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.

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