Monday, March 29, 2010

Picks of the Week: March 28 - April 3, 2010

Website of the Week -- B Corp.

B Corporations are a new type of corporation which uses the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. B Corporations are unlike traditional responsible businesses because they: meet comprehensive and transparent social and environmental performance standards; institutionalize stakeholder interests; and build collective voice through the power of a unifying brand. B Corporations address two critical problems which hinder the creation of social and environmental impact through business:

• The existence of shareholder primacy which makes it difficult for corporations to take employee, community, and environmental interests into consideration when making decisions; and
• The absence of transparent standards which makes it difficult for all of us to tell the difference between a 'good company' and just good marketing.

B Corporations' legal structure expands corporate accountability and enables them to scale and achieve liquidity while maintaining mission. B Corporations' transparent and comprehensive performance standards enable consumers to support businesses that align with their values, investors to drive capital to higher impact investments, and governments and multinational corporations to implement sustainable procurement policies. For more information, go to:

Publication of the Week -- Brandraising: How Nonprofits Raise Visibility and Money Through Smart Communications by Sarah Durham

From the publisher: In the current economic climate, nonprofits need to focus on ways to stand out from the crowd, win charitable dollars, and survive the downturn. Effective, mission-focused communications can help organizations build strong identities, heightened reputations, and increased fundraising capability. Brandraising outlines a mission-driven approach to communications and marketing, specifically designed to boost fundraising efforts. This book provides tools and guidance for nonprofits seeking to transform their communications and marketing through smart positioning, branding, campaigns, and materials that leverage solid strategy and great creative, with a unique focus on the intersection of communications and fundraising. Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week – Corporate Giving Trends

The Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy, an international forum of business CEOs and chairpersons focused exclusively on corporate philanthropy, has published Giving by the Numbers 2009. Based on corporate contributions data from 137 leading companies, including 55 of the Fortune 100, this edition of Giving in Numbers features a comprehensive study of 2008 corporate giving. Findings include:

• Even in challenging economic times, 53% of surveyed companies increased giving from 2007 to 2008—just 3% fewer than the 56% that increased giving from 2006 to 2007. Moreover, an impressive 27% of companies increased giving from 2007 to 2008 by 10% or more.
• Among the 53% of companies that gave more in 2008, non-cash giving increased by a median of 29%. Companies that gave less dropped most in corporate cash grants.
• Poll results show that CEOs and giving officers are prioritizing the fulfillment of pre-existing commitments to grantees while working to integrate philanthropic strategy with company-wide business objectives more comprehensively. CECP presents their top four imperatives for redesigning community investment programs.
• Despite sustaining greater profit declines than their non-Fortune 100 peers, 60% of Fortune 100 companies increased giving from 2007 to 2008. By contrast, 47% of non-Fortune 100 companies increased giving in the same time period.

To download a copy of the report, go to:

Resource of the Week – Harvard Business School Working Knowledge Newsletter

The Harvard Business School publishes HBS Working Knowledge, a weekly newsletter available at no charge. HBS Working Knowledge is a forum for innovation in business practice, offering readers a first look at cutting-edge thinking and the opportunity to both influence and use these concepts before they enter mainstream management practice. Every day, HBSWK features new work from among the more than 200 HBS faculty at the forefront of their diverse fields of expertise, providing a valuable source of inspiration for executives, entrepreneurs, and managers seeking to keep their organizations at the leading edge of innovation and change. Articles specific to nonprofit organizations are frequently included. If you would like to receive this e-mail newsletter each Monday, simply submit your e-mail address here: Once your subscription begins, be sure to click on "Social Enterprise & Nonprofit" in the left column for past articles on nonprofit topics.

Tech Tip of the Week -- COUNTIFS in Excel 2007

We've had the COUNTIF function in Excel for a while. This function allows you to count records in a list that match a single criteria. What's completely new with Excel 2007 is COUNTIFS which allows you to count records based on multiple criteria. Sure, there were other ways of doing this before, but none as easy as the COUNTIFS function. Here's the syntax:


Makes it really simple to count records in a range that match the criteria you enter in the formula. If you need a little more help, check out this article on the Microsoft web site: Use the COUNTIFS function in Excel 2007 to analyze data.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Picks of the Week: March 21 - 27, 2010

Website of the Week -- Institute on Governance

The Institute on Governance is a non-profit organization founded in 1990 to promote the concept of good governance in Canada and abroad, and helps governments, the voluntary sector, communities and the private sector put effective governance into practice. The Institute concentrates its work around specific knowledge areas, including: Aboriginal Governance, Accountability and Performance Measurement, Board Governance, Building Policy Capacity, Technology and Governance, Values, Ethics and Risk, and International Programming. The site contains an extensive collection of resources and publications. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- Managing Technology to Meet Your Mission: A Strategic Guide for Nonprofit Leaders edited by Holly Ross, Katrin Verclas and Alison Levine

From the publisher: Managing Technology to Meet Your Mission is a practical resource that will help nonprofit professionals make smart, strategic decisions about technology. The book shows how to effectively manage technology and offers practical advice for decision makers and staff alike who often have little or no experience with technology. With contributions from the top experts in the nonprofit technology field, this must-have guide addresses technology planning and people. It includes the tools you need to get the work done, and the knowledge that will help you communicate better, evaluate technology investments, raise money, and more. Written in nontechnical language the book covers a broad spectrum of topics including:

• Achieving IT Alignment with Your Mission Steve Heye, YMCA of the USA
• Managing Technology Change Dahna Goldstein, PhilanTech
• Measuring the Return on Investment of Technology Beth Kanter, trainer, blogger and consultant
• IT Planning and Prioritizing Peter Campbell, Earthjustice
• Finding and Keeping the Right PeopleJames L. Weinberg and Cassie Scarano, Commongood Careers
• Budgeting For and Funding Technology Scott McCallum and Keith R. Thode, Aidmatrix Foundation and more.

Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week – Wealthy Americans Reduced Giving in 2009

The sixth annual Wealth and Values Survey of more than one thousand Americans with at least $500,000 in investable assets found that in 2009 Americans' sense of obligation to give did not drop significantly from previous years, despite a severe recession. Indeed, 55 percent of respondents said they felt an obligation to give back financially to their communities — roughly the same percentage as in 2008 (58 percent), 2007 (54 percent), and 2006 (54 percent). At the same time, 28 percent of respondents said they had cut back, or planned to cut back, their charitable giving in 2009 as a result of the economic downturn, compared to 13 percent who said they had increased, or planned to increase, their giving. The survey also found that some 24 percent of "ultra wealthy" respondents — individuals with $5 million or more in investable assets — said they were concerned about their ability to give to charity, compared to 16 percent of respondents with $500,000 to $1 million in assets. "The economy has forced a fundamental shift in how the wealthy approach their philanthropic activities," said Bruce Bickel, senior vice president and head of private foundation management services at PNC Wealth Management. "In many cases they are refining their giving to reflect the potential for greater impact to specific issues that are most meaningful to them, sometimes restricted by geographical preferences. They are purposefully becoming more mission-driven and governed less by emotion." For more information, go to:

Resource of the Week -- Checklist for Accountability

Independent Sector has developed a set of excellent tools to assess your nonprofit’s accountability and transparency IQ and then use the results of the assessment to strengthen your organization in these critical areas. The Checklist for Accountability combines recommendations made by Independent Sector and the Panel on the Nonprofit Sector. It was developed with the additional input of the Ethics and Accountability Committee and Communications and Marketing Advisory Task Force. Go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Access 2007 Donations Template offers a variety of free templates to help you set up Office applications. Click here to download a template which creates an Access database for tracking information about fundraising campaigns including donations made by contributors, campaign related events, and pending tasks. It’s free and it’s a great way to get started using Access.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Picks of the Week: March 14 - 20, 2010

Website of the Week -- is the U.S. government Web site that helps you create, maintain, and strengthen effective youth programs. Included are youth facts, funding information, and tools to help you assess community assets, generate maps of local and federal resources, search for evidence-based youth programs, and keep up-to-date on the latest, youth-related news. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- The Jossey-Bass Reader on Nonprofit and Public Leadership
Jossey-Bass Publishers by James L. Perry (Editor)

From the publisher: An ideal resource for students and professionals, this comprehensive reader offers a diverse collection of the foremost writings on leadership and management in the public and nonprofit sectors. The book includes previously published essays, articles and extracts from leading books and periodicals, framed and vetted by author and professor James L. Perry. The anthology covers a wide range of topics, offering a third sector perspective on the general leadership questions essential to any manager--principles and practices of leadership, organizational change, corporate culture, communication, efficiency, ethics--as well as issues unique to public and nonprofit organizations--understanding leadership roles in the nonprofit world, founder vs. ED relationships, board leadership, alternative and collaborative leadership, strategic management, sustainability, and the future of leadership. Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week – Nonprofit Social Media Adoption and Success

In August 2009, an email was sent to 7,500 subscribers of The Chronicle of Philanthropy inviting them to take the online survey designed to discover how nonprofits are using social media in their fundraising and outreach activities. By September 14, 2009 a total of 1,295 people had responded. Key findings include:

• 88% of respondents indicated that their organization currently participates in some form of social media.
• More than half of respondents said they’ve been using social media for less than a year.
• 20% of respondents said they spend more than 5 hours per week using social media.
• The most popular type of social media among respondents is general social networking such as Facebook and MySpace. Next most popular are blogs /microblogs and professional social networking.
• Facebook is by far the most popular social networking tool in use. Twitter and YouTube are also widely used.
• Advertising /promotion and profile creation /maintenance are the most common types of social media activities in which respondents take part.
• When respondents were asked what their goals are for social media participation, the most frequently mentioned responses were ‘sharing our story’, building a community, public relations, and donor engagement / retention. For a copy of the report, go to:

Resource of the Week -- Catalog of Nonprofit Literature

The Catalog of Nonprofit Literature is a searchable database of the literature of philanthropy. It incorporates the unique contents of the Foundation Center's five libraries and contains approximately 28,000 full bibliographic citations, of which nearly 20,000 have descriptive abstracts. It is updated daily. The Catalog was formerly known as Literature of the Nonprofit Sector (LNPS). Go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Gantt Charts in Excel 2007

A previously published tip Gantt Chart for Scheduling in Excel introduced Gantt charts as tools for project management and provided a link to a downloadable template. Making a Gantt Chart in Excel 2007 is another excellent resource for creating Gantt Charts in Excel. This 7-minute video gives you step-by-step instruction on how to use the built-in chart tool in Excel 2007 to create a Gantt chart. If you need more help, check out this article by Michele McDonough Using Excel to Create a Gantt Chart.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Picks of the Week: March 7 - 13, 2010

Website of the Week -- ArtsLab

ArtsLab is an in-depth three year learning and technical assistance program offering a diverse set of activities designed to strengthen small arts organizations. The program brings together eight nonprofit arts groups in northern Minnesota and eight in urban Minneapolis/St. Paul to share ideas and study best practices. ArtsLab provides peer learning seminars or “Labs,” one-to-one consulting, distance learning and modest grants to support the work undertaken through ArtsLab. This unique capacity-building program focuses on four dimensions of capacity: Leadership Capacity, Adaptive Capacity, Management Capacity, and Operational Capacity. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- Leading Across Boundaries: Creating Collaborative Agencies in a Networked World, Updated and Expanded Edition by Russell M. Linden

From the publisher: In our complex environment, nonprofit organizations and public agencies must work together collaboratively and cut across organizational boundaries if they are to solve today's tough problems. Leading Across Boundaries offers a stimulating and highly accessible guide for leaders of nonprofit and governmental organizations who want to develop successful and lasting partnerships. Written by Russell Linden, an expert in the field of organizational change, this important resource shows how to make collaboration work in real-world situations. Linden explores the interpersonal and organizational forces that can inhibit collaboration and offers strategies for overcoming these often daunting challenges.
Created as a companion to Linden's Working Across Boundaries, this book is filled with illustrative examples of collaborations–both successful ventures and those that have failed. Leading Across Boundaries offers public managers and nonprofit leaders a wealth of new material, case studies, and instructive international examples. In-depth case studies–drawn from education, health and human services, law enforcement, finance, intelligence agencies, the arts, and other fields–are available online. Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week – 2009-2010 Fundraising Trends

Campbell & Company conducted a national survey of the preliminary 2009 fundraising results of nonprofit organizations, their comparisons with 2008 results and their plans for 2010. Key findings included:

• Over half of all organizations (51.7 percent) reported an increase in 2009 totals over 2008 compared to only 38.8 percent that noted a decrease and 9 percent reporting the same.
• Several respondents commented that foundation and corporate donations were lower and there were fewer individual donors, but with more gifts per donor and lower gift amounts. Others noted that specific donors “really stepped up and gave more knowing that some donors could not give as much in 2008 and into 2009” and that “the elephant hunt continues.” Some organizations also cited government contracts as a significant source of revenue increases.
• During the fourth quarter, nearly two-thirds (64.4 percent) of all respondents showed an increase in funds raised year over year, while only 25 percent decreased and about 10 percent stayed the same.
• Fourth quarter fundraising remains a key component in total annual fundraising results: over 40 percent of all respondents raised between 21 and 40 percent of 2009 totals during the fourth quarter, about 26 percent raised between 41 and 60 percent of their totals and 16 percent raised more than 60 percent of their total. Only 15 percent raised less than 20 percent of their total during the fourth quarter.

For more information, go to:

Resource of the Week -- Nonprofit Management Education Database

Roseanne M. Mirabella, Ph.D of Seton Hall University has compiled what is no doubt the most complete listing of university based nonprofit management training and education programs – 299 programs to be exact. Results are available by state and much much more. Go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Copy Formatting in Word

A previously published tip Fast Formatting covered using format painter (the paintbrush icon) to copy the format of text. Since I am a fan of shortcut keys, and sometimes format painter seems a bit erratic when using it to repeatedly copy the same format, here's how to do the same thing using shortcut keys:

• Click on the text which you want to copy a format from
• Press Ctrl+Shift+C (copy format) to copy the text formatting of the area where the cursor is located
• Select the text you want to copy the format to and press Ctrl+Shift+V (paste format)

This method is even more flexible than using the paintbrush. You can paste the format as many times as you want, since the format copy is saved in a memory area like the clipboard, and still do other things in between copies. And it appears to work in all versions of Word.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Picks of the Week: February 28 - March 6, 2010

Website of the Week -- The San Francisco Foundation

For more than 60 years, The San Francisco Foundation has been an incubator for community investment, original ideas, and passionate leadership. Learn about our origins and our vision for the future. The Foundation is a vehicle for change and a network of philanthropists and civic leaders bringing resources together to support and build on the strengths of community and make the Bay Area the best place it can be. The San Francisco Foundation ranks among the largest of the nation’s community foundations in grantmaking and assets. The Foundation is strongly committed to diversity, publishes their diversity policy on the website and desctibes the levels of diversity attained within the board and staff in concrete terms – rare leadership in itself and a model for other foundations and nonprofit organizations to adopt. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- Generating and Sustaining Nonprofit Earned Income edited by Sharon M. Oster, Cynthia W. Massarsky, and Samantha L. Beinhacker

From the publisher: Generating and Sustaining Nonprofit Earned Income is the essential hands-on guide for helping your organization achieve greater financial stability through a diversified stream of revenue. In collaboration with the Yale School of Management – The Goldman Sachs Foundation Partnership on Nonprofit Ventures, this important resource identifies best practices for generating a reliable earned income stream and ultimately freeing your organization from excessive dependence on foundations and other donors. In this book, editors Sharon M. Oster, Cynthia W. Massarsky, and Samantha L. Beinhacker collect the best thinking from the business, nonprofit, and government sectors on how to establish and manage an earned income venture. Generating and Sustaining Nonprofit Earned Income is filled with concrete lessons and sound business strategies that can significantly benefit your organization’s internal capacity and financial health. The book covers a wealth of topics. If your organization has done its pre-testing and feasibility analysis and is ready to start operating an earned income venture, this is the book for you. Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week – Nonprofit Governance Trends

Each year since 2003, Grant Thornton’s National Board Governance Survey for Not-for-Profit Organizations has examined the governance of not-for-profit organizations in order to learn how they are handling these increased demands. According to the 2009 survey, the vast majority of organizations have responded to these challenges by cutting costs, seeking new revenue streams, reducing endowment spending, enhancing their governance practices and reassessing their strategic plans. Key findings include:

• Nearly nine in 10 (87%) respondents reduced expenses, while more than half (54%) reduced personnel.
• Boards made a number of governance changes in 2009, adopting or updating their policies relating to investment (39% of boards), record retention (32%) and whistleblowing (26%).
• A volatile market and staggering losses for a number of organizations led nearly six in 10 (58%) to rebalance their investment portfolios.
• Nearly three-quarters (73%) of respondent organizations now have formal policies in place to review executive compensation.

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

Resource of the Week -- Net Gains: A Handbook for Network Builders Seeking Social Change

This handbook provides practical advice for the growing number of people developing networks for social change. Authors Madeleine Taylor and Peter Plastrik start with the point of view that networks provide social-change agents with a fundamentally distinct and remarkably promising “organizing principle” to use to achieve ambitious goals. Given the complexity and enormity of social problems, the unrelenting pressure to reduce the cost of creating and implementing solutions, and the recent proliferation of small nonprofit organizations, networks offer a way to weave together or create capacities that get better leverage, performance, and results. A remarkable resource! Go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Creating Lines in Word 2007

One of my favorite shortcuts from previous versions of Word still works in Word 2007! To create lines across the page of a Word document:

• Type three consecutive hyphens ( --- ) and press Enter for a normal line
• Type three underscores ( ___ ) and press Enter for a bold line
• Type three equal signs ( === ) and press Enter for a double line
• Type three pound symbols ( ### ) and press Enter for a triple line
• Type three tildes ( ~~~ ) and press Enter for a wavy line
• Type three asterisks ( *** ) and press Enter for a dotted line

These lines extend from the left margin to the right margin and the width of these lines will change if you change the margins of your document or if you change the orientation from Portrait to Landscape.