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

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