Monday, July 26, 2010

Picks of the Week: July 25 - 31, 2010

Website of the Week – Idealware

Idealware, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, provides thoroughly researched, impartial and accessible resources about software to help nonprofits make smart software decisions. From the most basic questions (like how to use software to help manage emailing hundreds of people at once), to the more complex (like understanding the role of social networking and mobile phone text-messaging in fundraising strategy), organizations need a trusted source for answers.
Idealware provides an authoritative online guide to the software that allows U.S. nonprofits—especially small ones—to be more effective. By synthesizing vast amounts of original research into credible and approachable information, Idealware helps nonprofits make the most of their time and financial resources. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- Human Resources Management for Public and Nonprofit Organizations: A Strategic Approach, 3rd Edition by Joan E. Pynes

From the publisher: Public and nonprofit organizations face difficult challenges today that make the strategic management of human resources crucial. This book shows how to integrate HR practices with the mission of their organization. An accessible tool complete with an instructor s manual, this book provides an integrated approach to current HR concerns and is unique in its focus on both public and nonprofit agencies. Offering guidance and techniques for implementing effective human resource management strategies job analysis, performance evaluation, recruitment and selection, training and development, compensation and benefits, and collective bargaining Pynes demonstrates how strategic human resources management is essential to proactively managing change. Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week – Trends in Program-related Investments

The Foundation Center has released For four decades U.S. foundations have had the ability to make below-market-rate investments in activities consistent with their missions and count these investments as part of their annual charitable distributions. Of the nation's more than 75,000 grantmaking foundations, the Foundation Center has tracked 173 private and community foundations that made program-related investments (PRIs) totaling $742 million in 2006 or 2007. According to a new report from the Foundations Center, Doing Good with Foundation Assets: An Updated Look at Program-related Investments, while the development of low-cost housing, community development, and microfinance have historically attracted PRIs, there is growing use of PRIs in areas such as education, arts and culture, social and health programs, and environmental sustainability. To download a free copy of the report, go to:

Resource of the Week – The Nonprofit Social Media Decision Guide

Social media can be useful to your organization… but how useful? For what? What tangible results are people seeing from it? Created in partnership with the New Organizing Institute, the Decision Guide walks you through a step-by-step process to decide what social media channels make sense for your organization via a workbook, guide, and the results of more than six months of research. And through the included Consultant Directory, you can find a professional to help define and implement your strategy. The Decision Guide walks through:

• What social media is, and why it might be useful for you
• How your goals, audiences, and metrics should drive the decision making process
• Specific information on the tangible value nonprofits have seen in using Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, Photo Sharing Sites, Video Sharing Sites, and more.
• Choosing an effective social media mix
• Integrating all your communications
• A workbook that helps you walk through all of this for your own needs

Go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Adding Paste Values to the Quick Access Toolbar in Excel 2007

Using the Paste Values option in Excel lets you strip formulas from your data and paste only the resulting values. In Excel 2007 the Quick Access Toolbar is a great way to simplify using this feature. Here's how:

• Click the Office button in the upper left corner of the Excel 2007 Screen
• Click the Excel Options button at the bottom of the Office window to display the Excel Options dialog box
• Click Customize in the left pane
• Under Choose commands select All Commands
• Select Paste Values
• Click Add and then OK

Monday, July 19, 2010

Picks of the Week: July 18 - 24, 2010

Website of the Week – Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership

The mission of the Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership (MCNL) is to enhance the performance and effectiveness in the nonprofit sector through high quality community-oriented education, applied research, problem solving and service. MCNL applies the resources and talents of the University and the sector to the problems and issues facing the nonprofit sector so its members are better prepared to serve their communities. MCNL creates opportunities for the leaders of this vital community to come together as colleagues to learn, network and support each other, and to encourage personal, professional and organizational renewal and effectiveness. The Midwest Center is a service and outreach unit of the L.P. Cookingham Institute of Public Affairs in the Henry W. Bloch School of Business and Public Administration at the University of Missouri - Kansas City. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- The Networked Nonprofit: Connecting With Social Media to Drive Change by Beth Kanter and Allison Fine

From the publisher: This groundbreaking book shows nonprofits a new way of operating in our increasingly connected world: a networked approach enabled by social technologies, where connections are leveraged to increase impact in effective ways that drive change for the betterment of our society and planet. Named one of the most influential women in technology by Fast Company and one of BusinessWeek's "Voices of Innovation for Social Media," Beth Kanter is the author of Beth's Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media. Allison H. Fine is the author of Momentum: Igniting Social Change in the Connected Age, which was the winner of the 2007 Terry McAdams National Nonprofit Book Award. Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week – Foundation Giving Trends

Among the major areas of activity, health, education, arts and culture, and human services captured the largest shares of grant dollars awarded by sampled foundations in 2008, according to Foundation Giving Trends (2010 Edition). By number of grants, human services continued to rank first, with sampled funders allocating 26.4 percent for the field. Other key findings include:

• Foundations awarded a record 214 grants of $10 million or more in 2008. Of the 10 largest, six were made by the Gates Foundation mainly for health-related activities and international development.
• International giving — which cuts across all areas and includes grants awarded directly to overseas recipients and to U.S.-based international programs — reached a record 24.4 percent of total grant dollars awarded.
• Among specific populations, the economically disadvantaged benefited from the largest share of grant dollars, rising to a record $6.9 billion.

To download the highlights at no charge, go to: To order the full report, go to:

Resource of the Week – Blackbaud Index of Charitable Giving

The Blackbaud Index of Charitable Giving is a broad-based fundraising index that reports revenue trends of 1,426 nonprofit organizations representing $2.24 billion in yearly revenue on a monthly basis. The Index is based on actual revenue statistics from nonprofit organizations of all sizes representing arts, culture, and humanities; education; environment and animals; healthcare; human services; international affairs; public and society benefit; and religion sectors. Go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Nudging Objects on PowerPoint 2007 Slides

Have you ever tried to move an object on a slide just a little? Try this:

• Select the object
• Press Ctrl + an arrow key

This tip also works in earlier versions.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Picks of the Week: July 11 - 17, 2010

Website of the Week – Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies

The Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies seeks to improve understanding and the effective functioning of not-for-profit, philanthropic, or “civil society” organizations in the United States and throughout the world in order to enhance the contribution these organizations can make to democracy and the quality of human life. The Center is part of the Johns Hopkins Institute for Policy Studies and carries out its work through a combination of research, training, and information-sharing both domestically and internationally. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- Zilch: The Power of Zero in Business by Nancy Lublin

From Publishers Weekly: Lublin, CEO of the youth volunteering organization Do Something and founder of Dress for Success, shows organizations how to get more done with less of everything, especially money and personnel, while keeping innovation, passion, and creativity high. Sharing insightful stories and strategies from her own experiences and from stars in the not-for-profit world such as Billy Shore from Share Our Strength, Wendy Kopp from Teach for America, and John Lilly from Mozilla, she debunks the most prevalent myth in business today—that salary drives great performance and stellar productivity. She proposes that companies broaden their rewards and their understanding of compensation so that people become deeply motivated to excel and offers techniques for extracting the best from people including creating a stimulating workplace, offering skill development, and doling out titles liberally. She also shares advice on branding, doing more for customers, stretching finances, and more. Concluding each chapter with 11 questions to prompt creativity in specific areas, she propels readers on the road to positive change. Inspiring, wise, and eminently practical, this book distills the best practices that any company—private or public—can adopt, and that no leader should be without. Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week – Nonprofit Advocacy and Lobbying Trends

The “Report on the Listening Post Project Chicago Roundtable on Nonprofit Advocacy and Lobbying” is now available on the Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies website. The survey found that, while nonprofits are widely engaged in efforts to influence public policies affecting them and those they serve, they are often constrained in their advocacy efforts by a lack of adequate resources, including tight budgets and limited staff time and expertise. While acknowledging up front the challenge of limited financial and staff resources available for advocacy efforts, survey participants focused their discussion on how to best leverage existing resources and assets to support advocacy efforts. Four themes emerged:

• Advocacy efforts must directly involve nonprofit organizations themselves, including the active use and dissemination of "brick wall" stories and increased engagement of clients/customers/patrons in the lobbying process;
• Intermediary organizations should play an active role in supporting the advocacy efforts of individual organizations by engaging members in mission-based advocacy and working toward establishing long-term funding streams for advocacy efforts;
• Foundations and their boards must be better educated on the relationship between engaging in advocacy and achieving organizational mission; and
• The policy community itself needs to be better engaged by nonprofits and their intermediaries, and educated about the impact of existing lobbying laws on nonprofit advocacy.

Go to:

Resource of the Week -- Free Nonprofit Webinars for June 2010

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 – useful for fundraisers, board members, administrators, active volunteers and volunteer coordinators. Go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Flipping Data in an Excel 2007 Worksheet

Ever create an Excel 2007 table and then wish the columns were rows and the rows were columns? Here's a solution:

• Select the table
• Press Ctrl + c to copy (Or click the copy button on the Home tab of the Ribbon)
• Select the cell where you want the new table to begin (this cell CAN be in the old table)
• Right click to display the shortcut menu and select Paste Special (Or on the Home tab of the Ribbon, click the Paste arrow to display the Paste Special option)
• In the Paste Special dialog box, select Transpose and click OK