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

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