Monday, September 27, 2010

Picks of the Week: September 26 - October 2, 2010

Website of the Week – National Center for Youth Law

The National Center for Youth Law (NCYL) focuses particularly on children living in poverty, advocating for their protection from abuse, for their access to housing, healthcare, public benefits, and for improved methods of collecting child support. It also seeks to address the tendency to deal with youth behavior punitively. NCYL works towards these goals by publishing articles, manuals, books, and its bimonthly journal, Youth Law News; providing technical assistance and training; assisting legal advocates who represent poor children; and conducting administrative and legislative advocacy. The Web site includes pertinent news, an overview of the organization, online articles, analyses, publications, and links to related resources. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- Advanced Facilitation Strategies: Tools & Techniques to Master Difficult Situations by Ingrid Bens

From the publisher: From Ingrid Bens, the author of the best-selling book Facilitating with Ease!, comes the next-step resource for project leaders, managers, community leaders, teachers, and other facilitators who want to hone their skills in order to deal with complex situations. Advanced Facilitation Strategies is a field guide that offers practical strategies and techniques for working with challenging everyday situations. These proven strategies and techniques are based on experience gleaned from hundreds of facilitated activities in organizations of all sizes and in all sectors. Both novice and seasoned facilitators who have had firsthand experience designing and leading meetings will benefit from this reality-based playbook. Advanced Facilitation Strategies is filled with the information facilitators need to:

• Become better at diagnosing facilitation assignments and creating effective process designs
• Broaden their repertoire of tools to make impromptu design changes whenever they are needed
• Learn to be more resilient and confident when dealing with dysfunctional situations and difficult people.

Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week – Nonprofits Bright Spot in National Jobs Picture

Nonprofit employers are providing one of the few bright spots in the country's dismal employment picture this Labor Day, according to new data released today by researchers at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Civil Society Studies. Initial analysis of data on 21 states spread broadly across the country reveals that nonprofit employment actually grew by an average of 2.5 percent per year between the second quarter of 2007 and the second quarter of 2009, the worst part of the recent recession. By contrast, for-profit employment in these states fell during this same period by an average of 3.3 percent per year. And this pattern held for every single state examined. However, nonprofits in some fields and some states did worse than others. For more information, including charts and tables with data listed by state and by field of activity, go to:

Resource of the Week – Free Management Library

Developed by Carter McNamara and hosted by The Management Assistance Program for Nonprofits, the Free Management Library offers an extensive listing of resources of interest to nonprofit organizations. The Library provides easy-to-access, clutter-free, comprehensive resources regarding the leadership and management of yourself, other individuals, groups and organizations. Content is relevant to the vast majority of people, whether they are in large or small for-profit or nonprofit organizations. Over the past 15 years, the Library has grown to be one of the world's largest well-organized collections of these types of resources. The Library has been averaging well over 1,000,000 visitors per month.. Many of its topics consistently rank in the top ten results from Google searches. Go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Tracking Revisions in Excel 2007

Excel 2007 tracks worksheet revisions so you can see what has changed on each sheet. To use this feature, do the following:

• Click the sheet to make it active
• Click the Review tab on the Ribbon
• Click Track Changes in the Changes group
• Choose Highlight Changes
• Click in the "Track changes while editing" box and then set the types of changes you want to highlight.

You can choose to have the changes highlighted on screen or listed on a new sheet.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Picks of the Week: September 19 - 25, 2010

Website of the Week – Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law

The Shriver Center on Poverty Law develops its advocacy agenda in accordance with the needs of the low-income communities that it serves. Through policy, advocacy, and legal resources, the organization "identifies, develops, and supports creative and collaborative approaches to help achieve social and economic justice." The major clearinghouse on poverty law, the center's Web site provides access to an enormous collection of publications and case studies. The site also has information about advocacy, news, and an advanced search function. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- ROI For Nonprofits: The New Key to Sustainability by Tom Ralser

From the publisher: Nonprofits face the same challenges as for-profits when it comes to raising money and keeping investors happy. When investors in nonprofits are shown that their money is making a difference-that their investment is paying off-they are more likely to keep investing. Written by Tom Ralser-a CFA uniquely qualified to apply ROI methodologies to the nonprofit sector-ROI For Nonprofits: The Key to Nonprofit Sustainability details the methods and processes your nonprofit can effectively use to demonstrate the value of your organization's efforts. Filled with an abundance of case studies as well as pragmatic tips, tools, and methods used successfully by hundreds of nonprofits, this practical book covers topics including

• Defining ROI
• The Leverage of Investors
• Learning from the For-Profit World
• Moving to an Investment-based Mindset
• Treating Investors as Investors

Your nonprofit's prospective investors want to know "What are you accomplishing with my money?" ROI For Nonprofits: The Key to Nonprofit Sustainability offers you immediately useful concepts that accentuate, enhance, and augment solid fundraising and represents a major change in how to capitalize on the motivations of those who are likely to invest in your organization. Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week – Influence of Family on Giving Decisions

According to a new study of donor attitudes and giving behavior released this week by Russ Reid, parental involvement in nonprofits increases the odds of a child becoming a donor by more than 80 percent; with parents who don’t, there’s only a 25-percent chance the child will grow up to be a donor, the study found. Nonprofits can build their donor pools of tomorrow by encouraging adults to volunteer their time at an organization, to talk to their kids about nonprofits they support, or to give money to their church. Key findings include:

• The dollar breakdown of estimated yearly giving among age groups: People ages 18 to 24 donated $350, those 25 to 39 gave $544, people ages 55 to 69 gave $805, and those 70 and older donated $1,200. “The older you get, the more generous you are. Fund-raising expenditures should be “invested accordingly” toward segments that are more likely to give, with a higher gift value.
• On average, individuals gave in three ways—55 percent gave online as well as via mail; 20 percent who gave online also gave through a telemarketing call. Sending a check through mail still was the most popular method at 61 percent.
• Don’t bet on social media yet. While 57 percent of all donors use social media, only 6 percent actually gave money that way. There’s a big difference between following and giving.

To reserve a free copy of the full study, go to:

Resource of the Week – Leadership and Race: How to Develop and Support Leadership that Contributes to Racial Justice

A new report released by the Leadership Learning Community and other thought leaders in the leadership development and racial equity fields, discuss how current approaches to leadership development actually maintain and promote racial inequalities. This is the first report to analyze the link between major philanthropy investments in the racial equity and leadership development fields. The report, How to Develop and Support Leadership that Contributes to Racial Justice, suggests that a large number of leadership programs associate leadership with equal opportunity and individualism. This thinking does not recognize that current systems (i.e. policy, culture and institutional practices) can cause racial identity to limit one’s access to life opportunities. It also focuses too narrowly on changing the behavior of individual leaders. Instead, leadership programs should:

• make their programs more accessible for people of color;
• help participants understand how race limits access to opportunities – in other words, the impact of structural racism; and
• promote collective leadership. This approach will help participants work together to tackle the systems that maintain racial inequalities.

This report is the first in a series of publications, the Leadership for a New Era Series, launched by the Leadership Learning Community in 2009 to promote inclusive, networked and collective leadership approaches. To download this free report, go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Recording Narrations in PowerPoint 2007

Did you know you could easily record narrations for your PowerPoint slides? Here’s how:

• Click the Slide show tab on the Ribbon
• In the Set Up group click the Record Narration icon
• In the Record Narration dialog box you can set microphone level and change recording quality
• Click OK and choose to start from the current slide or from the first slide
• When you are finished you will be asked if you want to save the timings for each slide

For more information on recording narration for your PowerPoint slides, go to

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Picks of the Week: September 12 - 18, 2010

Website of the Week – National Issues Forums
The National Issues Forums, a voluntary, nonpartisan, nationwide network of forums and study circles, is rooted in the notion that citizens need to come together to deliberate about common problems in order to act on them. The Web site has NIF Reports, a schedule of workshops where citizens come together to learn more about convening and moderating forums, and a message board. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- Supporting the Decision to Join: What Association Boards Should Know and Do About Membership and Affiliation by James Dalton

From the Publisher: Third in the blockbuster companion series that includes The Decision to Join and The Decision to Volunteer, this brand new, leader-friendly title provides the intelligence your board needs to drive member loyalty, and engage in strategic deliberation and intelligence-based decision making. It's grounded in sound research mined from the 2007 ASAE & The Center study. Author James Dalton studied the responses for board-level implications then added his authoritative insights. As a result you get the know-how to inspire value proposition dialogue and membership strategy in your board members. Clearly this is a resource containing intelligence-based research--buy it for your board members today. No board member should fulfill his or her role without it. Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week – Nonprofits Find Value in Time-Off Programs

Even as a very slow and modest upturn in the U.S. economy is becoming evident, not-for-profit organizations across the country continue to search for ways to reward employees, despite the shrinking pay increase budgets and pay freezes seen throughout the industry. The newly released 2010 Compensation Data Not-For-Profit survey results show that exempt employees with less than one year of service earn an average of 7.7 vacation days, while non-exempt employees earn 6.7 days. More than half of the not-for-profit organizations offering paid vacation to employees use years of service to determine the number of days an employee can accrue. Exempt employees with 5 years of service average 15.8 days of vacation, compared to those with 10 years of service, 19 days. For more information, go to:

Resource of the Week – Nonprofit Collaboration Database

The Foundation Center hosts a nonprofit collaboration resource page that includes a database containing information about the ways that nonprofits can collaborate to achieve their missions — through mergers, joint programming, and other forms of collaboration. This database is a resource for everyone seeking real-life examples of how nonprofits are working together. Find information from more than 250 nonprofit collaborations drawn from the 2009 Collaboration Prize, created by the Lodestar Foundation. 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

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Picks of the Week: September 5 - 11, 2010

Website of the Week – Nonprofit Tech 2.0

Nonprofit Tech 2.0 was created and is managed by Heather Mansfield (Bio) (LinkedIn) of DIOSA Communications. She also created and maintains the Nonprofit Organizations Twitter profile, the Nonprofit Organizations Facebook Page, the Nonprofit Organizations YouTube Channel, the Nonprofit Organizations MySpace, and the Web 2.0 for Nonprofit Organizations LinkedIn Group. Fueled by a strong passion for the Internet, Heather spends her days [and some nights] helping nonprofit organizations utilize the Internet as a tool for social change. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- Nonprofit Law for Religious Organizations: Essential Questions & Answers by Bruce R. Hopkins and David Middlebrook

From the publisher: Nonprofit Law for Religious Organizations: Essential Questions & Answers is a hands-on guide to the most pertinent and critical legal issues facing those who lead and manage religious tax-exempt organizations with an emphasis on tax, employment, property and constitutional law. This timely book is a response to the need for guidance, direction, and clarification of legal and tax laws affecting churches and other religious organizations. Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week – Volunteer Trends in the US

The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released its report, "Volunteering in the US - 2009." These trends are important because they not only have implications for getting work done, but also because there are major giving implications presented by volunteerism according to Independent Sector (volunteers are more likely to give in dollars too). According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the most frequent activity performed by volunteers is fundraising. Amongst the ages 20-34, tutoring, teaching, or mentoring is the biggest activity. Men are slightly more likely to volunteer than women. Religious organizations are the largest beneficiaries of volunteerism, followed by youth or educational services volunteering. Interestingly, the higher the level of educational attainment, the less time volunteered for religious organizations - more time was given to sport, hobby, or cultural organizations, but they were also more likely to volunteer than those with lower levels of education. Volunteerism increased among people with full time jobs, but decreased significantly amongst people ages 20-24. Overall volunteerism increased with age, and the largest segment of volunteers was ages 65 or older. However, younger people were less likely to volunteer for religious organizations than those over 65. The largest segment of volunteers does so because someone asked them (44%), while 40% do so because they sought out the opportunity. This study surveyed 60,000 households and tracked civilian volunteerism. for more information, go to:

Resource of the Week – Nonprofit Webinars for September 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 -- Quickly Change Font Size in Word

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

• Select Text
• Ctrl + ] to increase by 1 point
• Ctrl + [ to decrease by 1 point

This trick works in Word 2007 as well as earlier versions.