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.

No comments: