Monday, February 22, 2010

Picks of the Week: February 21- 27, 2010

Website of the Week – Centre for Social Innovation

The Centre co-locates a diverse set of organizations and individuals who work for social innovation. Founded in 2004, the Centre provides physical desk space, virtual resources, and social opportunities to nurture collaboration, community, and innovation. Shared services include: office space, meeting rooms, internet and phone services, reception services, cross organizational marketing and electronic newsletter, office equipment, optional health and dental insurance, collaborative programs, and even shared bicycles. The Centre sets pricing for shared spaces and services to cover the operating expenses. This matches the Centre’s mission to be financially self-sustaining. Members of the Centre also sign a Cooperation Policy, pledging to actively support the community and maintain a culture of collaboration. This commitment is evidenced by numerous inter-organizational programs and a highly diverse calendar of public events that take place at the Centre each month. According to the Nonprofit Centers, Inc. key lessons learned from the experience of the Centre for Social Innovation include:

• Create multiple shared spaces offerings to suit participants’ needs.
• Create cost structures that are equitable and also strengthen the community of participating organizations.
• Encourage a general commitment of participating organizations, beyond a rental agreement, that supports the mission of the shared service and its community.

Go to:

Publication of the Week -- The Power of Social Innovation: How Civic Entrepreneurs Ignite Community Networks for Good by Stephen Goldsmith, Gigi Georges and Tim Glynn Burke

From the publisher: Civic leaders across the U.S. and throughout the world are discovering creative ways to overcome the obstacles that seal the doors of opportunity for too many. These inspiring individuals believe that within our communities lie the entrepreneurial spirit, compassion, and resources to make progress in such critical areas as education, housing, and economic self-reliance. The Power of Social Innovation offers public officials, social entrepreneurs, philanthropists, and individual citizens the insights and skills to create healthier communities and promote innovative solutions to public and social problems. This seminal work is based on Stephen Goldsmith's decades of experience, extensive ongoing research, and interviews with 100+ top leaders from a wide variety of sectors. Goldsmith shows that everyday citizens can themselves produce extraordinary social change. The Power of Social Innovation features illustrative case studies of change-oriented philanthropists, public officials, and civic leaders. While all collaborate across sectors, they run both start-ups and established organizations such as the New York City public schools, United Way of America, the United Negro College Fund, and Teach For America. The book shows the catalyzing role each plays in transforming a community's social service delivery systems. To complement the book's myriad tools and case studies, The Power of Social Innovation web site ( provides links to relevant Harvard research as well as additional helpful resources. Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week – Gender Mix in the Nonprofit Sector

Conducted from January 2007 to June 2009, the Labor Force Study provides an evidence-based understanding of the nonprofit sector and its HR needs. According to the study, the nonprofit sector’s labor force is predominantly female: three-quarters (75%) of those working in the sector are women. In most areas of the sector, however, men occupy a disproportionate number of senior management positions, while women are overrepresented in administrative and support-staff positions. A notable exception to this trend is the Health and Social Services sector, where women are better represented in senior positions. The study also found that there are notable age discrepancies between men and women working in the nonprofit sector. Women who work for nonprofit organizations are on average nearly five years younger than men working in the sector (42.3 is the average age for women, 46.9 for men). Women outnumber men in all the 44-and-under age cohorts while men outnumber women in all the 45-and-over cohorts. For more information, go to:

Resource of the Week – Diversity Planning Best Practices

According to California Diversity Magazine, diversity and inclusion strategies can readily produce dynamic results, yet they are often rendered ineffective for two key reasons: they rank low among organizational priorities and they fail to align with the organization’s operations. It’s critical to build upon each of these determinants for success when designing a diversity and inclusion strategy. There are six best practices that need to be incorporated into your organization’s diversity plans. Go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Excel AutoFill with Week Days

Hopefully you are already familiar with the Excel AutoFill feature for filling ranges with the months or days of the week. But what if you need to fill an Excel range with just weekdays? Here’s how:

• Enter the starting day into a cell
• Place the pointer over the lower right corner of the cell until you see the copy/fill handle (a thin black plus)
• Right click the handle and drag to select the range you want to fill with weekdays
• When you let up on the mouse button a menu will appear
• Select Fill Weekdays

This tip works in Excel 2007 as well as earlier versions.

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