Monday, December 7, 2009

Picks of the Week: December 6 - 12, 2009

Website of the Week -- Demos

Demos is a non-partisan public policy research and advocacy organization founded in 2000. Headquartered in New York City, Demos works with advocates and policymakers around the country in pursuit of four overarching goals: a more equitable economy with widely shared prosperity and opportunity; a vibrant and inclusive democracy with high levels of voting and civic engagement; an empowered public sector that works for the common good; and responsible U.S. engagement in an interdependent world. A multi-issue national organization, Demos combines research, policy development, and advocacy to influence public debates and catalyze change. Demos publishes books, reports, and briefing papers that illuminate critical problems and advance innovative solutions; works at both the national and state level with advocates and policymakers to promote reforms; helps to build the capacity and skills of key progressive constituencies; projects the organization’s values into the media by promoting Demos Fellows and staff in print, broadcast, and Internet venues; and hosts public events that showcase new ideas and leading progressive voices. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- Women, Wealth and Giving: The Virtuous Legacy of the Boom Generation by Margaret May Damen and Niki Nicastro McCuistion

From the publisher: Discover gender-specific tools and strategies Boom-Generation women can use to make philanthropic and charitable decisions. Answering women's questions of how and why to give from the heart, Women, Wealth & Giving helps you understand the models that work best for charitable giving and how these models fit into your legacy mission, whether you've earned, inherited or married into your wealth. Women, Wealth & Giving will help you understand what models work best for charitable giving, and how to fit those models into your plans, mission, and intended legacy-whether you earned, inherited or married into wealth. This useful planning guide also includes pertinent anecdotes, worksheets, quizzes, inspirational profiles, a resource guide, and much more:

• Identifies gender-specific tools and strategies Boom-Generation women can use to make philanthropic and charitable decisions
• Provides women the means to engage their hearts as well as their minds in giving money, time, and talent away in meaningful ways
• With over 43 million Boom-Generation Women at or nearing the age of retirement, the American population is reaching what has been described as the great wealth transfer, and with women outliving men, or choosing to live alone, the role of women in decisions concerning philanthropic dollars will be critical to the economic, political and moral fabric of our society. Get Women, Wealth & Giving and discover the transformative power of women's philanthropy.

Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week --Increased Reliance on Volunteers

According to the report The Status of Minnesota's Volunteer Programs in a Shifting Environment, 60% of organizations reported an increased reliance on volunteers. This survey of 280 nonprofit and governmental organizations was conducted in late September by the Minnesota Association for Volunteer Administration (MAVA). Other survey findings include:

• 86% reported changes at least one aspect of their volunteer program.
• 44% experienced increased numbers of inquires from potential new volunteers. A drop in inquiries was reported by 14%.
• 52% reported volunteers were more likely to have strong work skills and 54% said they were more likely to be unemployed.
• 67% expect to increase reliance on volunteers in the coming year.
• 86% of respondents reported organizational fiscal stress.
• Over 50% reported an increase in volunteer hours of service, but only 12% had an increased budget for the volunteer program, pointing to resourcefulness in doing more with less. Leaders of volunteers were clearly being proactive, but many also reported feelings of stress.
• 60% were able to place most of the potential volunteers, 3% needed to put most of the new volunteers on a waiting list or turned them away, and 39% reported a combination of placing new volunteers and putting them on a waiting list.
• 48% reported increased collaboration with outside partners.

The report also includes a listing of strategies used by nonprofits to respond to these changes. To download a copy of the report, go to:

Resource of the Week -- An Overview of the Nonprofit and Charitable Sector

This report by the Congressional Research Service explores a number of policy issues have direct or indirect consequences for the nonprofit and charitable sector, including the establishment of a social innovation initiative, changes in the tax treatment of charitable donations, responses to the economic downturn, and health care reform. The first section of this report provides a formal definition of the nonprofit and charitable sector. The next section reports on the size and scope of the charitable sector. Charitable organizations are estimated to employ more than 7% of the U.S. workforce, while the broader nonprofit sector is estimated to employ 10% of the U.S. workforce. The third section of this report examines how charities are funded. Finally, the report concludes by surveying what policy options are considered most important by charitable organizations themselves including (1) increasing government grants and subsidies to charitable organizations; (2) creating an oversight agency within the federal government to gather data, conduct research, and advocate for the charitable sector; (3) implementing policies designed to help charities and foundations in economic downturns; (4) changing the itemized deduction for charitable contributions by limiting, converting to a credit, or making the deduction more widely available; and (5) a variety of other tax issues. To download a copy of the report, go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Guides in PowerPoint

In PowerPoint you can use guides to position shapes and objects on slides. To display guides in PowerPoint 2007:

• Press Alt + F9
• To display additional guides, hold down the Control key and drag a guide

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