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.

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