Monday, August 23, 2010

Picks of the Week: August 22 - 28, 2010

Website of the Week – Virtual Arts Incubator Project

Arts Services, a division of the Fine Arts Fund, developed the Virtual Arts Incubator Project as a way to offer start-up nonprofit organizations advice, as well as links and access to some of the materials, forms and services they need along the way.. From "arts insights" to organization charts and financial models, the Virtual Arts Incubator is a resource for a wide variety of audiences including small arts organizations, board members and Fine Arts Fund volunteers to organizations of all sizes. A panel of volunteers in the nonprofit, legal and for-profit business fields collaborated to offer this resource guide along with access to many other sources of information. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- How to Change Things When Change Is Hard by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

From the publisher: Why is it so hard to make lasting changes in our companies, in our communities, and in our own lives? The primary obstacle is a conflict that’s built into our brains, say Chip and Dan Heath, authors of the critically acclaimed bestseller Made to Stick. Psychologists have discovered that our minds are ruled by two different systems—the rational mind and the emotional mind—that compete for control. The rational mind wants a great beach body; the emotional mind wants that Oreo cookie. The rational mind wants to change something at work; the emotional mind loves the comfort of the existing routine. This tension can doom a change effort—but if it is overcome, change can come quickly. In Switch, the Heaths show how everyday people—employees and managers, parents and nurses—have united both minds and, as a result, achieved dramatic results. In a compelling, story-driven narrative, the Heaths bring together decades of counterintuitive research in psychology, sociology, and other fields to shed new light on how we can effect transformative change. Switch shows that successful changes follow a pattern, a pattern you can use to make the changes that matter to you, whether your interest is in changing the world or changing your waistline. Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week – Continuing Impact of the Economy on Public Charities And Private Foundations

Some 40 percent of participants in GuideStar's first nonprofit economic survey for 2010 reported that contributions to their organizations dropped between January 1 and May 31, 2010, compared to the same period a year earlier. Another 28 percent said that contributions had stayed about the same, and 30 percent stated contributions had increased. "The Effect of the Economy on the Nonprofit Sector: A June 2010 Survey" presents these results and more. Among the other findings:

• Eight percent of respondents indicated that their organizations was were in imminent danger of closing.
• In order to balance budgets, 17 percent of respondents reduced program services, and 11 percent laid off employees.
• More than 60 percent of participants reporting decreased contributions attributed the drop to a decline in both the number of individual donors and the size of their donations.
• Among organizations that use volunteers, 17 percent used one or more in what had formerly been paid positions.
• About a third (32 percent) of organizations increased their reliance on volunteers, whereas 9 percent experienced a decline.

To download a free copy of the report, go to:

Resource of the Week – Nonprofit Risk Management Center

The Nonprofit Risk Management Center was established in 1990 to provide assistance and resources for community-serving nonprofit organizations. As a nonprofit, the Center is uniquely positioned to both understand and respond to questions with practical, affordable suggestions for controlling risks that threaten a nonprofit’s ability to accomplish its mission. The Center's mission is to help nonprofits cope with uncertainty by offering a wide range of services (from technical assistance to software to training and consulting help) on a vast array of risk management topics (from employment practices, to insurance purchasing to internal controls and preventing child abuse). The Center does not sell insurance or endorse organizations that do. Go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Using the Excel 2007 Camera Tool

The Excel 2007 Camera tool lets you take a picture of a range of cells on a worksheet. Before you can use this tool you must first add it to the Quick Access Toolbar on the Ribbon.

To add the Camera tool to the Quick Access Toolbar:

• Click the Office button in the upper-left corner of the Ribbon Click the Excel Options button
• Click Customize
• In the Choose Commands From drop-down list, select Commands Not in the Ribbon
• Select Camera and double-click to add it to the Quick Access Toolbar
• Click OK to close the Excel Options dialog box

To use this tool:

• Select a range on your worksheet
• Click the Camera tool on the Ribbon
• Click where you want the picture to appear (In this workbook or even in another workbook)

A graphic is created of the range you selected. If you change the original data the picture also changes. You can even copy or move this picture to the clipboard and paste it into Word or PowerPoint if you need to. However, if you copy it into another program it will no longer update when the original is changed.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Picks of the Week: August 15 - 21, 2010

Website of the Week – Volunteer Canada

Volunteer Canada is the national voice for volunteerism in Canada. Since 1977, Volunteer Canada has been committed to supporting volunteerism and civic participation through ongoing programs and special projects. National in scope, Volunteer Canada's board members, partners and members represent hundreds of different communities across Canada., Volunteer Canada actively engages in research, training and promotional campaigns to increase community participation and provide leadership on issues and trends in the Canadian volunteer movement. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur

From the publisher: Business Model Generation is a handbook for visionaries, game changers, and challengers striving to defy outmoded business models and design tomorrow's enterprises. If your organization needs to adapt to harsh new realities, but you don't yet have a strategy that will get you out in front of your competitors, you need Business Model Generation. Co-created by 470 "Business Model Canvas" practitioners from 45 countries, the book features a beautiful, highly visual, 4-color design that takes powerful strategic ideas and tools, and makes them easy to implement in your organization. It explains the most common Business Model patterns, based on concepts from leading business thinkers, and helps you reinterpret them for your own context. You will learn how to systematically understand, design, and implement a game-changing business model--or analyze and renovate an old one. Along the way, you'll understand at a much deeper level your customers, distribution channels, partners, revenue streams, costs, and your core value proposition. Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week – Nonprofit salaries in 2010

Terrie Temkin, founding partner of CoreStrategies for Nonprofits Inc, has compiled an excellent summary of recent trend reports on nonprofit salaries. She states: " In April of 2009, the reported salary picture was bleak. According to a study by the Nonprofit Finance Fund released at that time, 41 percent of nonprofit organizations had reduced or were considering reducing staff or salaries and 22 percent had reduced or were considering reducing staff hours. As many as 43 percent of the nonprofits surveyed were dipping into their reserves to stay afloat. ... However, by April of 2010, things appear to have changed. The AFP study referenced above found that the average salaries of its U.S.-based survey participants increased by 7.4 percent." For more information, go to:

Resource of the Week – HR CheckUp

The HR Council for the Nonprofit Sector takes action on nonprofit labor force issues for Canadian nonprofits. The Council has developed a 10 minute online HR CheckUp. This self-diagnostic allows you to rate your organization's current performance in a number of functional HR areas. Based on your results, a custom HR Prescription will recommend tools, tips and strategies to improve and maintain your organizational HR Health. To access the Checkup and a number of other HR tools and resources, go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Quickly Change Font Size in Word

To quickly increase or decrease the font size of selected text by 1 point, do this:

This trick works in Word 2007 as well as earlier versions.
• Select Text
• Ctrl + ] to increase by 1 point
• Ctrl + [ to decrease by 1 point

Monday, August 9, 2010

Picks of the Week: August 8 - 15, 2010

Website of the Week – Ontario Nonprofit Network

The Ontario Nonprofit Network (ONN) is a network of networks that helps to build communication and coordination among nonprofit organizations working for the public benefit in Ontario. ONN supports nonprofits by providing the information that they need to make their voices heard and their issues addressed. ONN brings together people and groups that want to work together to strengthen the nonprofit sector. ONN’s work is action focused, creating opportunities for the emergence of new ideas, flexibly responding to opportunities and needs as they arise. This is based on their theory of change is that when the sector is better connected (the network), leaders will start to discover the needs and opportunities for collaboration (in constellations or communities of practice) that will lead to the sector being able to take action to affect changes that will benefit nonprofits in Ontario. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- The Social Media Marketing Book by Dan Zarrella

From the publisher: The Social Media Marketing Book guides you through the maze of communities, platforms, and social media tools so you can decide which ones to use, and how to use them most effectively. With an objective approach and clear, straightforward language, Dan Zarrella shows you how to plan and implement campaigns intelligently, and then measure results and track return on investment. Whether you're a seasoned pro or new to the social web, this book will take you beyond the jargon to social media marketing mastery.

• Make sense of this complicated environment with the help of screenshots, graphs, and visual explanations
• Understand the history and culture of each social media type, including features, functionality, and protocols
• Get clear-cut explanations of the methods you need to trigger viral marketing successes
• Choose the technologies and marketing tactics most relevant to your campaign goals
• Learn how to set specific goals for your campaigns and evaluate them according to key performance indicators

Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week – Donor Trends in 2010

A new report, The Cygnus Donor Survey…Where Philanthropy is Headed in 2010 by Penelope Burk of Cygnus Applied Research, Inc., has found a split between typical donors—those whose smallest gift was $81—and more affluent donors, whose smallest gift was $135. Only 8 percent of typical donors said they plan to give less to charity in 2010, down from 17.5 percent in a similar survey last year. But among the affluent donors, 11 percent said that they would give less to charity this year than in 2009. That percentage grew to 17 percent among the top 10 percent of donors who gave the most money to charity. Other trends in giving were noted by respondents, all of which have significant implications for fundraisers as they reflect donors' growing irritation with certain fundraising practices. They are: a preference for giving to charities that provide donors with measurable results (69%); eliminating or reducing support to nonprofits that over-solicit (67%); a greater tendency to take cost per dollar raised into account when making giving decisions (65%); shifting more support to charities working locally (43%); and supporting fewer causes (41%). Additionally, 59% of respondents said they now do more research prior to supporting a charity for the first time, which speaks to donors' growing independence in managing their philanthropy. For an Executive Summary of the report, go to To order the full report, go to:

Resource of the Week – Free e-Book - How to Raise A Lot More Money Now

Network for Good has just published a free e-book How to Raise A Lot More Money Now* - 50 Great Ideas from 11 Top Experts. According to the organization, some of the best minds in the fundraising world came up with 50 creative ideas that you can start using today to raise more money for your cause. You'll find great ideas from Jeff Brooks, Jocelyn Harmon, Mark Rovner, Kivi Leroux Miller, Beth Kanter, Allison Fine, Nancy Schwartz, Sarah Durham, Chris Forbes, Alia McKee Scott, and Katya Andresen. To download the free e-book, go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Data Validation in Excel 2007

Data Validation lets you restrict what goes into a cell. For example, if dates being entered must be between a certain range, do this:

• Select the range of cells that you want to apply data validation to
• Click the Data tab on the Ribbon
• In the Data Tools group click the Data Validation button
• Under Validation criteria choose Date from the Allow drop-down menu
• Enter the acceptable date range
• Click OK

If someone tries to enter a date outside this range a warning is displayed that says, "The value you entered is not valid.”

Monday, August 2, 2010

Picks of the Week: August 1 - 7, 2010

Website of the Week – Pillar Nonprofit Network

Pillar Nonprofit Network supports nonprofit organizations in fulfilling their missions in the communities they serve. The organization strives to provide leadership, advocacy and support to the nonprofit sector through the promotion of volunteerism, professional development, networking, and information. The site includes an extensive collection of resources on all aspects of nonprofit management and leadership. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- Streetsmart Financial Basics for Nonprofit Managers, 3rd Edition by Thomas A. McLaughlin

From the publisher: Tom McLaughlin is a proven master at making the daunting concepts of nonprofit financial management clear and engaging. This book is a superb introduction for new nonprofit executives, board members, and students. It is also an excellent refresher and reference for those who have been around the nonprofit sector for a while. It is well written, concise, and thought provoking. As nonprofits strive for greater accountability, Tom McLaughlin's real-world examples and accessible style make this book indispensable for nonprofit executives, managers, and board members at organizations of any size. Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week – Millennials and Online Sharing In Networks

A new study from the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project reveals Millennials attitudes about online sharing in social netwroks. In a survey about the future impact of the internet, a solid majority of technology experts and stakeholders said the Millennial generation will lead society into a new world of personal disclosure and information-sharing using new media. These experts said the communications patterns “digital natives” have already embraced through their use of social networking technology and other social technology tools will carry forward even as Millennials age, form families, and move up the economic ladder. Experts surveyed say that the advantages Millennials see in personal disclosure will outweigh their concerns about their privacy. For more information, go to:

Resource of the Week – Nonprofit Webinars for August 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 -- Creating Access 2007 Tables from Excel

Here's a simple way to create an Access 2007 table from an Excel worksheet:

• Open the Excel worksheet
• Select the data you want in your Access table
• Copy the data to the clipboard and paste it into Access or you can even drag and drop it into Access