Monday, January 25, 2010

Picks of the Week: January 24 - 30, 2010

Website of the Week -- Conflict Resolution Information Source

Conflict Resolution Information Source (CRInfo) is a free, online clearinghouse, indexing more than 25,000 peace- and conflict resolution-related Web pages, books, articles, audiovisual materials, organizational profiles, events, and current news articles. In addition to its easy-to-use search engine, CRInfo (along with its partner project, Beyond Intractability) provides easy browsing of information on 600 peace- and conflict resolution-related topics. Also available are recommended readings from a panel of editors on 425 topics, along with 225 "executive summary"-type overview essays on key topics. The education section includes a "build your own" virtual textbook system, an Internet-based conflict research training program, and extensive links to resources on elementary, secondary, and higher education, as well as professional training. An extensive Networking section helps users connect with the network of people working in conflict resolution-related fields. Finally, a set of Conflict Resolution FAQs provides easy access to many of the most common questions asked by CRInfo users. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- The Ask: How to Ask for Support for Your Nonprofit Cause, Creative Project, or Business Venture by Laura Fredricks

From the publisher: A completely revised edition of the must-have resource for increasing your nonprofit's bottom line. This thoroughly revised and updated edition of the best-selling book The Ask is filled with suggestions, guidelines, and down-to-earth advice that will give you the confidence to ask anyone for any size gift, for any purpose. Written in winning language, filled with sample dialogues, and offering a wealth of tips and tools, this book addresses common mistakes made when asking and shows how to correct each mistake, providing guidance and direction on how to make a great ask.

• Offers step-by-step guidance for learning personal solicitation skills
• Filled with real-world tools and techniques for raising money or support
• Contains advice for overcoming situations such as hesitating to ask for money and following through on the ask
• Written for fundraisers from any size organization
• Includes information on how to apply asking skills to a fundraiser's personal and professional pursuits.

Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week – The Suburbanization of Poverty: Trends in Metropolitan America, 2000 to 2008

A new study by the Brookings Institute has analyzed of the location of poverty in America, particularly in the nation’s 95 largest metro areas in 2000, 2007, and 2008. Key findings include:

• By 2008, suburbs were home to the largest and fastest-growing poor population in the country. Between 2000 and 2008, suburbs in the country’s largest metro areas saw their poor population grow by 25 percent—almost five times faster than primary cities and well ahead of the growth seen in smaller metro areas and non-metropolitan communities. As a result, by 2008 large suburbs were home to 1.5 million more poor than their primary cities and housed almost one-third of the nation’s poor overall.
• Midwestern cities and suburbs experienced by far the largest poverty rate increases over the decade. Led by increasing poverty in auto manufacturing metro areas—like Grand Rapids and Youngstown—Midwestern city and suburban poverty rates climbed 3.0 and 2.2 percentage points, respectively.
• In 2008, 91.6 million people—more than 30 percent of the nation’s population—fell below 200 percent of the federal poverty level. Between 2000 and 2008, large suburbs saw the fastest growing low-income populations across community types and the greatest uptick in the share of the population living under 200 percent of poverty.
• Western cities and Florida suburbs were among the first to see the effects of the “Great Recession” translate into significant increases in poverty between 2007 and 2008. Based on increases in unemployment over the past year, Sun Belt metro areas are also likely to experience the largest increases in poverty in 2009.

To download the report, go to:

Resource of the Week -- The Ultimate Non-Profit Job Guide

Guide To Online Schools, an online education directory that specializes in online degrees, online schools, and distance learning, has compiled a list of the top 97 job boards for non-profit positions. Openings range from entry-level to executive nonprofit management positions. The guide includes a selection of the 10 best with explanations for the selection. Go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Add a Drop Cap in Word 2007

A drop cap is when the first letter of the first word of a paragraph is displayed in a large font. To add a drop cap to a Word 2007 document:

• Click in the paragraph that will contain the drop cap
• Click the Insert tab on the Ribbon
• In the Text group, click Drop Cap
• Select either Dropped or In margin

To remove the drop cap, repeat the steps above and select None.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Picks of the Week: January 17 - 23, 2010

Website of the Week -- Standards for Excellence Institute

The first program of its kind in the United States, the Standards for Excellence Institute is a national initiative that promotes the highest standards of ethics and accountability in nonprofit governance, management, and operations, and facilitates adherence to those standards by all nonprofits. The Institute, an operating division of Maryland Association of Nonprofit Organizations (Maryland Nonprofits), uses the Standards for Excellence program, a comprehensive system of nonprofit sector self-regulation as its vehicle for effective change. The Standards for Excellence program works to strengthen the ability of nonprofit organizations to act ethically and accountably in their management and governance, while enhancing the public's trust in the nonprofit sector. For more information, go to:

Publication of the Week -- Change Philanthropy: Candid Stories of Foundations Maximizing Results through Social Justice edited by Alicia Epstein Korten and Kim Klein

From the publisher: This groundbreaking book shows how to increase funding for social justice philanthropy. Social justice philanthropy provides direct services to alleviate suffering and works to transform the systems and institutions that cause that suffering. Written in an engaging, easy-to-read style, Change Philanthropy offers an insider's view what works and what doesn't work when developing grantmaking strategies in support of social change. It gives clear guidance showcases foundations of all types and sizes including Liberty Hill Foundation, Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, Needmor Fund, Jacobs Family Foundation, Discount Foundation, Global Fund for Women, Schott Foundation, Ford Foundation, and the Open Society Institute. The book also includes a wealth of illustrative examples and contains practical suggestions and tips that can be applied immediately to support any social justice agenda.
• Offers a guide for increasing funds for social justice programs and suggestions for foundations on which programs to fund
• Gives step-by-step advice for developing a successful grantmaking strategy
• Includes a wealth of examples from leading foundations

Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week -- GuideStar's Eighth Annual Nonprofit Economic Survey

A survey of public charity and private foundation employees was conducted online from October 1, 2009, until October 15, 2009, the eighth annual nonprofit economic survey conducted by GuideStar, and the third of three such surveys conducted by GuideStar in 2009. The purposes of the survey were to compare how charitable organizations fared during the first nine months of 2009 to previous years and to try to gauge the effect of the downturn in the economy on the American nonprofit sector. Key findings include:

• 51 percent of respondents who accept contributions saw a decline in contributions over the first nine months of 2009 versus the same period in 2008. The major factors cited for a decline in contributions were fewer individuals giving (69 percent) and smaller gifts (69 percent).
• 62 percent of respondents had experienced an increase in demand for their organization's services in 2009.
• 36 percent of grantmakers decreased total monetary payouts; 27 percent gave more.
• Despite the tough year, most organizations were hopeful about 2010. Some 36 percent planned budget increases, and 29 percent expected to be able to maintain their current level of expenditures.
• For those organizations that expected to reduce their 2010 budgets, reduction in program services (59 percent) and salary freezes (54 percent) were the most frequently used techniques for making ends meet.

For more information, go to:

Resource of the Week -- Resource Guide On Corporate-Nonprofit Collaboration

Weber Shandwick and the Gill Foundation have released "Business of Change," a resource guide focused on corporate-nonprofit collaboration to promote equality for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. The 104-page guide, available free to download, is a first-of-its-kind collection of best practices with actionable and practical ideas to help nonprofits and corporations advance LGBT equality.

• The Business of Change guide includes:
• Overview of the changing landscape of corporate philanthropy
• 2009 Business of Change survey results
• Glossary of terms
• Information on organizations that provide indices rating LGBT equality
• 110 questions nonprofits should consider prior to partnering
• Case studies of innovative collaborations between LGBT nonprofits and corporations

To download a copy of the guide, go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Adding Paste Values to the Quick Access Toolbar in Excel 2007

Using the Paste Values option in Excel lets you strip formulas from your data and paste only the resulting values. In Excel 2007 the Quick Access Toolbar is a great way to simplify using this feature. Here's how:

• Click the Office button in the upper left corner of the Excel 2007 Screen
• Click the Excel Options button at the bottom of the Office window to display the Excel Options dialog box
• Click Customize in the left pane
• Under Choose commands select All Commands
• Select Paste Values
• Click Add and then OK

Monday, January 11, 2010

Picks of the Week: January 10 - 17, 2010

Website of the Week -- Everyday Democracy

Everyday Democracy helps local communities explore ways for all kinds of people to think, talk and work together to solve problems. Using groundbreaking tools and methods for organizing large-scale dialogue and collaborative problem solving, Everyday Democracy works with neighborhoods, cities and towns, regions, and states, helping them pay particular attention to how racism and ethnic differences affect the problems they address. The organization partners with local, regional and national innovators to explore ways to connect public dialogue to community change and governance, and to place racial inclusion at the forefront of practices to strengthen democracy. Building on the real-life challenges and successes of communities, Everyday Democracy creates flexible tools and processes that are widely used and adapted in the United States and beyond. For more information, go to:

Publication of the Week -- Transformational Philanthropy: Entrepreneurs and Nonprofits by Lisa Dietlin

From the publisher: Transformational Philanthropy: Entrepreneurs and Nonprofits is a practical guide on attracting entrepreneurs to nonprofit organizations as an investor, donor and true philanthropist. It provides insight into the decision making patterns, expectations, and philanthropic behaviors of entrepreneurs. The primary use of this book will be for those in the philanthropic world to understand how to approach entrepreneurs for donations and contributions. The book includes real world examples, industry statistics, case studies, interviews, and important "how-to" tips related to entrepreneurs. Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week -- 5 Trends that Will Affect Online Fundraising in 2010

Network for Good has identified five trends that will have impact on nonprofit online fundraising in 2010:

1. Nonprofits may see a greater number of donations with a smaller average gift size.
2. As much as the media talks of a possible economic rebound, prospective supporters will still be wary of donating to new causes.
3. Email outreach will continue its upward trend, meaning more email in subscribers' inboxes.
3. Recurring gifts will be a huge portion of online giving.
4. As in the past, year-end gifts will account for a substantial percentage of total annual contributions.

For more information including implications for nonprofits, go to:

Resource of the Week -- eBay Giving Works

eBay Giving Works is the program that helps sellers list items on eBay to benefit nonprofits. Any eBay seller who has an account in good standing can create an eBay Giving Works listing. The program is administered by MissionFish, a licensed nonprofit organization. Because charitable fundraising is a highly regulated area subject to numerous state and federal laws, eBay has created very specific guidelines for allowing charitable solicitations. eBay Giving Works listings stand out with a nonprofit icon. The nonprofit is also described in the listing. Plus, nonprofit listings receive additional visibility through specialized search functionality. eBay Giving Works listings on average tend to sell more often with more bids and at higher final prices. For more information, go to: To view a short video describing eBay Giving Works, go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Align Controls in Access 2007 Using Keyboard Shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts allow you to quickly access frequently used commands or operations. In the past we have published numerous tips for using keyboard shortcuts in Word and Excel. Here are a few for Access 2007 users:

• Display a form or report in Design View or Layout view
• Select a control or controls
• Press Ctrl + L to align the text to the left
• Press Ctrl + R to align the to the right
• Press Ctrl + E to center the text

When using keyboard shortcuts remember to hold the Ctrl key down while pressing the letter. Microsoft provides a complete listing of Access 2007 keyboard shortcuts at

Monday, January 4, 2010

Picks of the Week: January 3 - 9, 2010

Website of the Week -- Asset-Based Community Development Institute

The Asset-Based Community Development Institute is located at the School of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University. ABCD has a staff of four individuals working at the university, including founders, John McKnight and Jody Kretzmann. The Asset-Based Community Development Institute (ABCD) is at the center of a large and growing movement that considers local assets as the primary building blocks of sustainable community development. Building on the skills of local residents, the power of local associations, and the supportive functions of local institutions, asset-based community development draws upon existing community strengths to build stronger, more sustainable communities for the future. ABCD and its affiliated faculty have created a library of community building workbooks, published scholarly articles, books, and chapters oriented to an array of audiences, and developed training curricula and other materials associated with the asset-based community development approach. Additionally, ABCD has gathered community stories from many of its partners and feature them on this website as a resource from which other communities can learn. Finally, ABCD provides examples of asset-mapping tools so that community groups and organizations can borrow from the experiences of others doing asset-based community development work. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- The Three Laws of Performance: Rewriting the Future of Your Organization and Your Life by Steve Zaffron and Dave Logan

From the publisher: When a hurricane warning is announced, everyone's concerns and actions become focused on that expectation; the hurricane essentially becomes the future which people are "living into." Similarly, when an organization needs to transform or make the leap to a higher level, everyone involved should be "living into" the vision of the organization's new, improved future. But in the majority of organizations, the future people are living into is based on past performance and experience, and so major transformation is almost impossible. Steve Zaffron is CEO of Vanto Group which has helped hundreds of companies envision and effectively implement major change and performance improvement. Zaffron and Dave Logan outline this proven system for rallying all of an organization's employees around a new vision, and more importantly, making it stick. Their focus is on making such transformations permanent and repeatable, providing practical examples from Vanto Group’s clients. Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week -- Growing Impact of Giving Circles

According to a May 2009 study, “The Impact of Giving Together: Giving Circles’ Influence on Members’ Philanthropic and Civic Behaviors, Knowledge and Attitudes,” conducted by the University of Nebraska at Omaha, the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers, and the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, giving circles contribute more and act more strategically. The principle investigators were Dr. Angela M. Eikenberry, an assistant professor in the School of Public Administration at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and Jessica Bearman, an independent consultant focusing on philanthropic and nonprofit organizations; with research assistance from Hao Han and Melissa Brown, Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, and Courtney Jensen, University of Nebraska at Omaha. Key findings include:

• Giving circles influence members to give more.
• Giving circles influence members to give more strategically.
• Giving circles members give to a wide array of organizations.
• Giving circle members are highly engaged in the community.
• Giving circles increase members’ knowledge about philanthropy, nonprofits, and the community.
• Giving circles have a mixed influence on members’ attitudes about philanthropy, nonprofit and government roles, and political/social abilities and values.

To download a copy of the study report, go to:

Resource of the Week -- Community Visioning and Strategic Planning Handbook

The Community Visioning and Strategic Planning Handbook by Derek Okubo, is provided by the National Civic League. Based on extensive experience, this is the most comprehensive, step-by-step guide to the community visioning process, and includes how to assemble champions, broaden the stakeholder group, convene town meetings and other outreach events, assess the civic infrastructure, work with the media, and implement recommendations. To download a copy, go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Using the Excel 2007 Camera Tool

The Excel 2007 Camera tool lets you take a picture of a range of cells on a worksheet. Before you can use this tool you must first add it to the Quick Access Toolbar on the Ribbon.
To add the Camera tool to the Quick Access Toolbar:

• Click the Office button in the upper-left corner of the Ribbon
• Click the Excel Options button
• Click Customize
• In the Choose Commands From drop-down list, select Commands Not in the Ribbon
• Select Camera and double-click to add it to the Quick Access Toolbar
• Click OK to close the Excel Options dialog box

To use this tool:

• Select a range on your worksheet
• Click the Camera tool on the Ribbon
• Click where you want the picture to appear (In this workbook or even in another workbook)

A graphic is created of the range you selected. If you change the original data the picture also changes. You can even copy or move this picture to the clipboard and paste it into Word or PowerPoint if you need to. However, if you copy it into another program it will no longer update when the original is changed.