Monday, May 31, 2010

Picks of the Week: May 30 - June 5, 2010

Website of the Week – WomenOnCall.Org

WomenOnCall.Org is a unique online network that connects women with specific volunteer opportunities that allow them to share their professional skills and expertise with nonprofits. Through on-site and virtual volunteer opportunities, members provide short, high-impact, skills-based service, making giving back realistic and efficient. In 2005, Margot Pritzker developed the idea for a web-based organization that eased the difficulty of matching the right volunteer with professional skills with the right non-profit that needed them. In addition, the organization had to emphasize how much could be done in one hour – maximizing both the non-profit’s and volunteer’s valuable time. Thus, was born. While there are many volunteer match sites, none focus specifically on the high-impact method of utilizing professional skills and short-term commitments that emphasizes. In addition, many of the volunteer opportunities can be completed virtually–during a busy woman’s lunch hour or in the evening. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- The Executive Director's Guide to Thriving as a Nonprofit Leader, 2nd Edition by Mim Carlson and Margaret Donohoe

From the publisher: The Executive Director's Guide to Thriving as a Nonprofit Leader not only clearly and concisely identifies the most critical issues of nonprofit leadership, but it also provides the resources and answers to those challenges. It will be required reading for both the most seasoned executive as well as the emerging leader. The Executive Director’s Guide was developed to provide nonprofit Executive Directors and CEOs — and those who work with them — tools, resources, and insights to strengthen the individual, the profession, and the entire nonprofit sector. The Executive Director’s Guide provides practical insights to help Executive Directors navigate the complex position they are in, and find practical ways to deal with some of the obstacles they are most likely to face along the way. this book will increase Executive Director’s resilience, help them explore new ways of managing and leading their unique organizations, find their own path to personal and organizational balance, and thrive fully as nonprofit leaders. It is a highly readable and practical road map for success. Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week – 2009 Household Charitable Giving Down Five Percent from 2008

Individual charitable giving in 2009 amounted to $217.3 billion, a decline of $11.2 billion or 4.9 percent from the estimated $228.5 billion total in 2008, according to the latest report by researchers at the Center on Wealth and Philanthropy at Boston College and published by the Association of Fundraising Professionals. This 5% decline is in addition to the 6 percent decline that the Center calculated in 2008. For 2010, the researchers project annualized individual giving totals (also known as household giving) will range between approximately $222 billion and $227 billion, an increase between 3 and 4.5 percent over the estimated total for 2009. The projected growth is based on analysis of the first two quarters according to scenarios that assume relatively low and high economic growth. The full report, will be published in the July/August 2010 issue of Advancing Philanthropy, the magazine of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. The report's findings are based on estimates produced quarterly by the Individual Giving Model developed and housed at the Center on Wealth and Philanthropy. For more information, go to:

Resource of the Week – BoardSource E-Books

BoardSource free electronic books are a compilation of publications that BoardSource has found popular through the years, and has chosen to offer as an electronic resource to the nonprofit sector. BoardSource offers these selected free e-books for the public and for BoardSource members only. Titles available to the public at no charge include: All Hands on Board, Starting a Nonprofit Organization, History of Nonprofit Boards, To Go Forward, Retreat. Other titles are available to BoardSource members. Go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Turning Photos into PowerPoint 2007 Slide Shows

To turn your digital pictures into PowerPoint 2007 slide shows:

• Click the Insert tab on the Ribbon
• In the Illustrations group, click Photo Album
• On the Photo Album dialog box, click the File/Disk button to Insert pictures
• Click the Create button

Monday, May 24, 2010

Picks of the Week: May 23 - 29, 2010

Website of the Week – Social Edge

Social Edge, a program of the Skoll Foundation, is a site where social entrepreneurs, nonprofit professionals, philanthropists, and other practitioners of the social sector connect to network, learn, inspire, and share resources. Social Edge launched in June 2003 with the mission to: connect social entrepreneurs, their partners and allies to discuss cutting-edge issues shaping the field; foster frank dialogue, mutual respect and a sense of community among all in the sector; and promote learning from the best, promising and disastrous practices. The site attempts to strike a balance between the visionary and the practical, with discussions, blogs, many resource links, and online workshops and features. Social Edge has an audience of tens of thousands of social entrepreneurs around the world; it is particularly targeted at social entrepreneurs with limited access to other local resources and practitioners due to the nature of their work (e.g., international development) or their location (e.g., developing countries or in rural areas). Go to:

Publication of the Week -- Building Strong Nonprofits: New Strategies for Growth and Sustainability edited by John C. Olberding and Lisa Barnwell Williams

From the publisher: Utilizing the extensive expertise of leading fundraising consulting firm Skystone Ryan's executive leadership team and managing consultants to explore and illuminate the most timely issues facing the philanthropic community, Building Strong Nonprofits: New Strategies for Growth and Sustainability identifies new opportunities to define the future of philanthropy.

• Includes notable contributors from the Skystone Ryan leadership team
• Analyzes the most potent trends and developments and interpret their implications for the future of philanthropy
• Offers eight to twelve essays, each by a different Skystone Ryan consultant with particular experience, insight, and expertise in the area

Building Strong Nonprofits: New Strategies for Growth and Sustainability is for you, whether you are a nonprofit leader, executive director, board member, or development director, and are becoming aware that new organizational strategies are called for if the same old donors are not supportive in the same old ways. Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week – Survey Reveals Widespread Innovation at Nation’s Nonprofits

A new Johns Hopkins University survey has revealed widespread innovation among the nation’s nonprofits, as well as efforts by those organizations to measure their programs’ effectiveness. The vast majority (82 percent) of responding organizations reported implementing an innovative program or service within the past five years, and 85 percent reported measuring program effectiveness. The study surveyed a nationwide sample of nonprofit organizations in four key fields – children and family services, elderly housing and services, community and economic development, and the arts – with 417 organizations responding. It defined an “innovative” program or service as “a new or different way to address a societal problem or pursue a charitable mission that is more effective, efficient, sustainable, or just than prevailing approaches.”

• Substantial majorities of organizations in all four fields covered by the survey reported innovative activity during the previous five years, and this was particularly pronounced among larger organizations, challenging the common assumption that organizations become less innovative as they grow in size.
• The major barriers to more extensive use of performance measurements identified by respondents were a lack of staff time and expertise, and the cost of good evaluation.
• Recommendations from survey respondents for helping to overcome the remaining barriers to nonprofit innovation and performance measurement included better tools to measure qualitative impacts (82 percent of respondents), less time-consuming measurement tools (81 percent), financial resources to support the measurement and research functions (79 percent), greater help from intermediary organizations in fashioning common evaluation tools (67 percent), and training for personnel in how to use these tools (63 percent).
• Sizeable proportions of respondents also urged the new White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation to continue stressing the importance of innovation but to recognize as well the value of effective ongoing programs and the barriers that restrictive regulations, lack of coordination among federal agencies, and inadequate financial support for program evaluation place in the way of innovation and performance measurement.

To download the full report “Nonprofits, Innovation and Performance Measurement: Separating Fact from Fiction” go to

Resource of the Week – Wellness Programs for Nonprofit Staff

Nonprofit organizations often lack wellness programs as part of their benefits packages often because leadership believes they have no merit related to possible costs. There are solutions to the cost issue and wellness is a must for any benefits package. A key issue is that nonprofit leaders often don’t recognize wellness programs as an important component of an organization’s total benefits package. Many leaders have little to no interest in such programs especially when there are costs involved. Nonprofit HR Solutions, a human resources consulting firms dedicated exclusively to meeting the needs of nonprofit organizations, has developed a guide to assist nonprofits in starting up wellness programs. To download a copy of the free guide, go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- SmartArt Graphics in Office 2007

SmartArt is a new feature in Office 2007. It’s easy to use and available in Word, Excel and PowerPoint. It can be used to create organization charts and time lines, to show sequential tasks, and much more. These resources can help you get started:

Create a SmartArt graphic

“How to” article from

Demo: Spice up your text with SmartArt graphics

Demo with audio from

Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007 introduces SmartArt graphics

Online training from

Monday, May 17, 2010

Picks of the Week: May 16 - 22, 2010

Website of the Week – FASTEN

The Faith and Service Technical Education Network (FASTEN) offers informational resources and networking opportunities to faith-based practitioners, private philanthropies, and public administrators who seek to collaborate effectively to renew urban communities. An initiative of Pew Charitable Trusts, FASTEN actively identifies best practices in faith-based services and multi-sector collaboration, and produces and disseminates educational materials for practitioners in the public and private sectors. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- Fundraising Principles and Practice by Adrian Sargeant and Jen Shang

From the publisher: This books offers a definitive text on the vital topic fundraising. It provides students of fundraising and nonprofit professionals access to the most relevant theories and includes concrete examples of modern fundraising practice. The book contains clear learning objectives, recommended readings, case studies, summary self-test questions, and exercises at the end of each chapter. The Principles and Practice of Fundraising comprehensively addresses all the major forms of fundraising and critical topics such as donor behavior and fundraising planning. Adrian Sargeant is the world's foremost fundraising scholar. This text will be invaluable to the beginner, but new research findings mean it should also be a must read for established practitioners. Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week – Charitable Donors Give More When Asked Personally

Donors to charitable organizations give more when they are asked in person and when someone they know makes the request, a new study commissioned by Chicago-based consulting firm Campbell & Company and conducted by the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University finds. The study, Significant Gifts: Where Donors Direct Their Largest Gifts and Why confirms what nonprofit organization fundraisers have often observed: people give to people and especially to people they know. Donors who were asked to give in person by someone they knew donated 19 percent more ($987) to secular (non-religious) charities, when compared with telephone, mail or email requests from someone they knew ($799). For religious organizations, when the donor was asked in person by someone he or she knew, the average donation was 42 percent higher ($2,904) than when someone the donor knew made the request using a different tactic ($1,698). For more information, go to:

Resource of the Week – Leadership Dialogues

The Leader to Leader Institute recently announced the launch of Leadership Dialogues, an online toolbox featuring a growing library of video interviews with inspiring leaders including Ford President and CEO Alan Mulally, and Tony Hsieh, Founder and CEO of The site is catalogued by topic and provides current and future leaders with essential leadership wisdom in topics such as diversity, accountability, courage, entrepreneurship, and growth that will help build effective social sector organizations. To access Leadership Dialogues, go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Back up a Microsoft Access 2007 Database

• Open the Database you want to back up
• Click the Microsoft Office Button (top left)
• Point to Manage
• Click Back up Database to open the Save As dialog box
• Choose the name and the location (By default Access 2007 adds the date of the backup to the name of the file.)
• Click the save button

Monday, May 10, 2010

Picks of the Week: May 9, 2010

Website of the Week – Ventureneer

Ventureneer is a web-based education and professional development portal that aims to provide a new approach to learning that blends traditional formal instruction with informal learning derived from problem solving with peers using Web 2.0 technology. Members use Ventureneer to solve problems, request resources or information, seek guidance from others and, most important, how to have the greatest impact. Through Ventureneer, you can:

• Take interactive classes to develop critical thinking skills and heighten your ability to make effective decisions.
• Use a peer rating-and-commenting system similar to Netflix, Amazon and Zagat that organizes content so you know what others think is most relevant.
• Share resources – share your perspectives and, in turn, learn from the experiences of your peers to address your own recurring problems.
• Participate in one-to-one peer partnering.

Go to:

Publication of the Week -- Designing a Not-for-Profit Compensation System by
JoAnn Senger

From the publisher: Written by recognized not-for-profit human resource specialist JoAnn Senger, Designing a Not-For-Profit Compensation System provides a step-by-step method to help human resource professionals design and manage a successful compensation system for any public or not-for-profit organization. When it comes to compensation systems, the not-for-profit sector is rife with complexities, including legislative approval requirements and the board of directors' direct involvement in compensation matters. Addressing these and other unique obstacles, Designing a Not-For-Profit Compensation System:

• Defines various types of not-for-profit and public organizations
• Identifies current types of compensation structures
• Identifies organizational characteristics influencing the usefulness of each structure, including the organization's budgeting and accounting processes and timetables
• Covers maintenance for all compensation structures and the interaction among organizational units
• Details the usefulness of each compensation structure, including midpoint calculations, rate adjustments, variable pay, and market surveys

Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week – CEO Salary Trends

The Council on Foundations just announced the results from its 2009 Grantmakers Salary and Benefits Report. The findings are based on responses from an online survey of 779 foundations and corporate grantmakers of which 50 were corporate grant makers (foundations or direct giving programs) and 729 were community, private (family or independent), or public foundations. Key findings from the survey include:

• In 2009, the reported median salary for CEOs/CGOs was $140,250; the median salary for program officers was $78,000. These salaries vary by size and type of grantmaker and by region.
• Between 2005 and 2009, overall CEO salaries increased by 15.9% in nominal terms at private foundations and 25.3% at community foundations.
• The median salary in the Midwest was 10.1% lower than the national median for all positions. Salaries in the Northeast were 9.1% higher.
• Between 2005 and 2009, program officer salaries increased by 13% in nominal terms at private foundations and 21.5% at community foundations.

To download a copy of the report at the Council's website, go to:

Resource of the Week – Nonprofit Webinars

Wild Apricot, a Canadian based software development company has compiled a list of webinars on a number of nonprofit management topics being offered this month at no charge. 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.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Picks of the Week: May 2 - 8, 2010

Website of the Week – The Urban Institute

The Urban Institute is a nonprofit nonpartisan policy research and educational organization established to examine the social, economic, and governance problems facing the nation. It provides information and analysis to public and private decision makers to help them address these challenges and strives to raise citizen understanding of the issues and tradeoffs in policy making. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- Transparency: How Leaders Create a Culture of Candor by Warren Bennis, Daniel Goleman, James O'Toole, and Patricia Ward Biederman

From the publisher: In Transparency, the authors, a powerhouse trio in the field of leadership, look at what conspires against "a culture of candor" in organizations to create disastrous results, and suggest ways that leaders can achieve healthy and honest openness. They explore the lightning-rod concept of "transparency" which has fast become the buzzword not only in business and corporate settings but in government and the social sector as well. Together Bennis, Goleman, and O'Toole explore why the containment of truth is the dearest held value of far too many organizations and suggest practical ways that organizations, their leaders, their members, and their boards can achieve openness. After years of dedicating themselves to research and theory, at first separately, and now jointly, these three leadership giants reveal the multifaceted importance of candor and show what promotes transparency and what hinders it. They describe how leaders often stymie the flow of information and the structural impediments that keep information from getting where it needs to go. This vital resource is written for any organization, business, government, and nonprofit that must achieve a culture of candor, truth, and transparency. Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week – Foundation Growth and Giving Estimates, Current Outlook

According to the Foundation Center, the recent economic crisis caused the nation's more than 75,000 grantmaking foundations to cut their 2009 giving by an estimated 8.4 percent-by far the largest decline ever tracked by the Foundation Center. Grant dollars fell from $46.8 billion to $42.9 billion. Yet according to Foundation Growth and Giving Estimates (2010 Edition), released by the Foundation Center, this cutback totaled less than half the 17 percent loss in foundation assets recorded in the prior year. Key estimates for 2009 giving include:

• Independent and family foundations — which represent close to nine out of 10 foundations — reduced their giving 8.9 percent to $30.8 billion in 2009.
• Corporate foundation giving decreased 3.3 percent to $4.4 billion in 2009.
• Community foundation giving declined 9.6 percent to $4.1 billion in 2009, exceeding decreases by independent and corporate foundations.

To download a copy of the Foundation Center’s current outlook, go to:

Resource of the Week – RAFFA Resources for Nonprofits

RAFFA, an accounting, technology, and consulting firm serving nonprofits and small businesses, has maintains a comprehensive list of resources addressing the following topics: advocacy, ethics, marketing, governance, financial management, fundraising, human resources, legal issues, tax issues, technology, strategy, and volunteerism. The firm adds new material regularly. Go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Format Cells to Display the Cent Sign in Excel 2007

• Select the range of cells you want to format
• Right click on the selected range and choose Format Cells from the shortcut menu
• Make sure the Number tab is selected in the Format Cells Dialog Box
• Under Category select Custom
• In the Type field enter [<1].00¢;$0.00_¢ (You can copy this format directly from this web page. If you type it yourself you will need to hold down the ALT key and enter 155 (or 0162) on the ten key pad to create the ¢ sign.)
• Click OK