Monday, June 14, 2010

Picks of the Week: June 13 - 19, 2010

Website of the Week – Lodestar Foundation

The Lodestar Foundation seeks to maximize the leverage of philanthropic dollars and engagement through the pursuit of two strategies: By supporting organizations, programs and projects that encourage philanthropy, public service and volunteerism; and, by encouraging and supporting long-term collaborations among nonprofits working in the same area in order to increase efficiency, reduce duplication of efforts and maximize impact through the application of sound business practices. The foundation sponsors the Collaboration Prize, a $250,000 national award designed to identify and showcase models of collaboration among nonprofit organizations. The foundation also hosts an extensive Nonprofit Collaboration Database. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- A Carver Policy Governance Guide, Volume 2, Ends and the Ownership, Revised and Updated by John Carver and Miriam Carver

From the publisher: Ends and the Ownership helps boards distinguish between what an organization is for and what it does (ends versus means)—a basic feature of the innovative Policy Governance model. This important guide also discusses the concept of ownership and includes sample policies that can help board members effectively prioritize and govern. The Policy Governance model is based on the functions rather than the structure of a governing board. It outlines commonsense principles about governing that fit together into an entire system. The practices of the Policy Governance board, which are consistent with the principles, allow it to control without meddling, focus on long-term organizational outputs, powerfully delegate to a CEO and staff, and discharge its fiduciary responsibility in a visionary, strategic manner. Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week – Online Fundraising and Marketing Trends

Convio, Inc. has released the results of its annual Convio Online Marketing Nonprofit Benchmark Index Study. This year’s study shows that online giving is growing steadily, there has been an increase in the number of online gifts and nonprofits are continuing to grow their email files. The study is designed to help nonprofit professionals evaluate beneficial online marketing metrics, evaluate the effectiveness of their organization compared to similar organizations and determine strategies for future success. Key findings of the study include:

• Online giving grew 14 percent despite a difficult economy. Overall, 69 percent of organizations raised more in 2009 than 2008, while 31 percent saw declines in their online fundraising.
• An increase in gifts drove fundraising gains. Of those that grew fundraising in 2009, 92 percent saw an increase in the number of gifts in 2009 compared with just 43 percent of organizations seeing an increase in their average gift amount.
• Small organizations grew fastest. Organizations with fewer than 10,000 email addresses on file, many of which are participants in the Convio Go! program, grew online revenue by 26 percent, and gifts by 32 percent.
• Web traffic growth continued for most, but at a slower rate. 60 percent of organizations grew their website traffic from 2008 to 2009. Web traffic growth in 2009 was in the single digits at 6 percent compared with double digit growth seen in previous years.
• Web traffic was strongly correlated with email file growth. 38 percent of an organization’s success building large email files could be directly attributed to the amount of traffic to the organization’s website.

To download the full study, go to:

Resource of the Week – Guide to Board Voting By Email

Attorney Gene Takagi and Emily Nicole Chan discuss the topic of Board Voting By Email in a very thorough article appearing in the Blue Avocado newsletter article. Go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Freeze a Formula into its Current Value

To freeze a formula into its current value:

• Select the formula
• Press F2 (Edit)
• Press F9 (Calc)
• Press Enter

Now you can copy or move the value anywhere you need it. This trick works in all versions of Excel, even 2007!

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