Monday, December 20, 2010

Picks of the Week: December 19 - January 1, 2011

Website of the Week – Public Agenda

For over 30 years, Public Agenda has been providing unbiased and unparalleled research that bridges the gap between American leaders and what the public really thinks about issues ranging from education to foreign policy to immigration to religion and civility in American life. Nonpartisan and nonprofit, Public Agenda was founded by social scientist and author Daniel Yankelovich and former Secretary of State Cyrus Vance in 1975. Public Agenda's two-fold mission is to help American leaders better understand the public's point of view and enable citizens know more about critical policy issues so they can make thoughtful, informed decisions. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- The Influential Fundraiser: Using the Psychology of Persuasion to Achieve Outstanding Results by Bernard Ross and Clare Segal

From the publisher: With the explosion of uninspired e-mail solicitations, dull fundraising dinners, and cookie-cutter direct mail campaigns, donors are demanding a new, personalized approach when being asked for money. Drawing on the authors' practical experience and the most current psychological and neurological research, The Influential Fundraiser offers a wealth of approaches that will help fundraisers make significant and successful creative "asks" for money from donors . . . in person. Written by Bernard Ross and Clare Segal—two leading experts in the field of international nonprofit fundraising—the book offers step-by-step guidance for gaining confidence and learning the necessary skills and techniques fundraisers must have to build successful relationships and raise substantial amounts of money. Written in an accessible, engaging style, The Influential Fundraiser will help you to be both highly effective and very flexible. The 5P model outlined in the book—Passion, Proposal, Preparation, Persuasion, and Persistence—will help fundraisers and volunteers learn invaluable skills needed for fundraising success. The Influential Fundraiser is international in scope and includes helpful suggestions for dealing with a wide range of cultural and diversity issues. Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week – Foundations’ Public Policy-related Activities

The Foundation Center’s first report benchmarking the level of engagement of U.S. foundations in policy-related activities reflects an increase in grantmaker support for research, public education, and resources to policymakers in recent years. Key Facts on Foundations’ Public Policy-related Activities finds that one-quarter of the more than 1,300 foundations that responded to a survey either fund or are engaged in such activities, with larger foundations far more likely to participate than smaller ones. In fact, more than half of those who engage in public policy-related activities increased their levels of support over the last five years. To download a copy of the report, go to:

Resource of the Week – Fundraising Databases

The Center for Nonprofit Management has complied a list of online fundraising databases for grant seekers and grant makers. Go to: http://www.cnmsocal.

Tech Tip of the Week -- Add a Drop Cap in Word 2010

A drop cap is used to display the first letter of the paragraph in a large font. To add a drop cap to a paragraph in Word 2010:

• Click in the paragraph where you would like to apply a drop cap
• Click the Insert tab on the Ribbon
• In the text group, choose Drop Cap
• From the Drop Cap list, click to select the style or choose options for additional choices

Monday, December 13, 2010

Picks of the Week: December 12 - 18, 2010

Website of the Week – Community Partners

Community Partners was established in 1992 to meet a growing need experienced by civic and social entrepreneurs in Southern California for a structure that freed them from red tape while they pursued the cause that animated them. Conceived as a “foundation for emerging philanthropies”, its "incubator" has grown steadily to include nearly 130 projects led by people who reflect the scope and diversity of the Southern California region and over a dozen strategic initiatives in partnership with funders, networks and established organizations. From initial investments of $250,000, Community Partners has grown into a solid institution managing more than $10 million a year in revenue. For emerging leaders of civic and community projects, Community Partners handles finance, HR, and legal needs; help them develop their idea into a funded project; connect them with their peers and leaders in the community; and equip them with the tools and training to grow an effective, sustainable project. For experienced social innovators and networks of established stakeholder groups, Community Partners provides the knowledge and means to get new ideas and coalitions off the ground in a matter of weeks. For funders, Community Partners provides skilled management of program offices, peer convenings, regranting, and capacity-building programs that strengthen their impact in the community. While the focus is on Southern California, the resources will be very helpful to others. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- The Abundant Community: Awakening the Power of Families and Neighborhoods by John McKnight and Peter Block

From the publisher: There is a growing movement of people with a different vision for their local communities. They know that real satisfaction and the good life are not provided by organizations, institutions, or systems. No number of great CEO’s, central offices, or long range plans produce what a community can produce. People are discovering a new possibility for their lives. They have a calling. They are called. And together they call upon themselves. This possibility is idealistic, and yet it is an ideal within our grasp. It is a possibility that is both idealistic and realistic. Our culture leads us to believe that a satisfying life can be purchased. It tells us that in the place where we live, we don't have the resources to create a good life. This book reminds us that a neighborhood that can raise a child, provide security, sustain our health, secure our income, and care for our vulnerable people is within the power of our community. This book gives voice to our ideal of a beloved community. It reminds us of our power to create a hope-filled life. It assures us that when we join together with our neighbors we are the architects of the future where we want to live. For nearly three decades, John McKnight has conducted research on social service delivery systems, health policy, community organizations, neighborhood policy, and institutional racism. He currently directs research projects focused on asset-based neighborhood development and methods of community building by incorporating marginalized people. Peter Block is an author, consultant. His work is about empowerment, stewardship, chosen accountability, and the reconciliation of community. He’s the author of Flawless Consulting, Stewardship, The Answer to How is Yes, and Community. Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week – Millennial Donor Trends

According to a new study, Millennial Generation donors want to be engaged in a different way than Baby Boomers or Generation X donors; however, contrary to what general perceptions might suggest, that doesn’t mean you’ll connect with them most successfully through social media appeals. For the “2010 Millennial Donor Study,” Achieve and Johnson Grossnickle Associates (JGA) asked more than 2,200 people between the ages of 20 and 40 across the U.S. about their giving habits and engagement preferences. Approximately 75% of the respondents represented Generation Y or Millennial donors. The results of the survey show a generation definitely connected by technology and social media, but more inspired to give and volunteer by personal engagement and human connections. These results would suggest that nonprofit organizations seeking to tap into this new generation of donors will need to redesign their solicitation and engagement processes, treating these new givers more like their older peers in an effort that will not deliver a quick return on investment but will reward the organization over time. Key findings include:

• 91% of Millennial donors are at least somewhat likely to respond to a face-to-face request for money from a nonprofit organization, with 27 percent being highly likely to respond to such a request. Only 8 percent are highly likely to respond to an email request.
• 55.2% of Millennial donors are likely or highly likely to respond to a specific request or particular project. 55.7% are not likely to respond to a general, non-specific ask.
• 71.9% of Millennial donors don’t need to volunteer for an organization before they donate.
• Millennial donors want to know details about the organizations they support: 86.3 percent want updates on programs or services, and 54.6 percent want information about the organization and its financial condition. 68 percent want information about volunteer opportunities.
• 60.5% say they would like access to board and executive leadership, and 53.2% say they have it.
• Asked who could get them to donate to an organization, most Millennial donors say they would be likely or highly likely to give if asked by a family member (74.6%) or a friend (62.8 %). Only 37.8% would be likely or highly likely to give is asked by a coworker.

To download a copy of the report, go to:

Resource of the Week – Volunteer Management Blogs

Susan Ellis of Energize, Inc. has compiled an excellent list of blogs on the subject of volunteer management. Go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Using Excel 2010 Sparklines

A new feature in Excel 2010 called Sparklines can help you spot trends in your data. Sparklines are tiny charts that sit on top of a cell. Here’s how to create them:

• Select an empty cell or group of empty cells where you want to insert Sparklines
• Click the Insert tab on the Ribbon
• In the Sparklines group, click the type of Sparkline you want to create
• In the Data box, enter the range of cells that contain the data to base the Sparklines on

Monday, December 6, 2010

Picks of the Week: December 5 - 11, 2010

Website of the Week – Nonprofit Trends

Nonprofit Trends is a blog by Steve MacLaughlin and covers a wide range of topics around the nonprofit sector with a focus on the trends shaping the nonprofit sector. Steve is the Director of Internet Solutions at Blackbaud and is responsible for leading how the company provides online solutions for its clients. Steve has spent more than 14 years building successful online initiatives with a broad range of Fortune 500 firms, government and educational institutions, and nonprofit organizations across the world. He is a frequent speaker at conferences and events including the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP), Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), Direct Marketing Fundraisers Association (DMFA), Institute of Fundraising, National Association of Independent School (NAIS), Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN), and other nonprofit organizations. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- The Change Leader's Roadmap: How to Navigate Your Organization's Transformation, 2nd Edition by Linda Ackerman Anderson and Dean Anderson

From the publisher: In these turbulent times, competent change leadership is a most coveted leadership skill, and savvy change consultants are becoming trusted participants at the board table. For both leaders and consultants, knowing how to navigate the complexities of organization transformation is fast becoming the key to a successful career. This second edition of the author s landmark book is the king of all how-to books on change. It provides a strategic overview of the author s proven change process methodology, as well as pragmatic guidance and tools for each key step in a complex transformational change process. The Change Leader s Roadmap is the most comprehensive guide available for building transformational change strategy and designing and implementing successful transformation. This book is specifically written for leaders, project managers, OD practitioners, change practitioners, and consultants seeking greater change results. Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week – Nonprofit Fundraising Trends

The Nonprofit Research Collaborative has released the “November 2010 Fundraising Survey” on the state of nonprofit fundraising. Respondents answered questions comparing their organizations’ total contributions in the first nine months of 2010 compared with the same period in 2009. Nearly the same percentage of organizations reported that giving was up as those that reported giving was down. Of the about 2,500 responses, 36 percent said giving rose and 37 percent said giving fell, while the other 26 percent reported that total giving remained the same. However, there are some differences across organizations according to charity type and budget size. Key findings include:

• Organizations in four of the analyzed subsectors reported an equal percentage of both increases and decreases in contributions. These subsectors include: Arts, Education, Environment/Animals, and Human Services.
• International organizations were the most likely to report an increase in contributions, reflecting donations made for disaster relief.
• The larger the organization’s size based on total annual expenditures, the more likely the organization was to report an increase in charitable receipts in the first nine months of 2010, compared with the same period in 2009.
• Approximately 22 percent of charities used volunteers in positions that were formerly paid positions during the first nine months of 2010. This is up from 15 percent a year ago.
• Most organizations were hopeful about 2011. About 47 percent planned budget increases, 33 percent expected to maintain their current level of expenditures, and only 20 percent anticipated a lower budget for 2011.

To download a copy of the report, go to:

Resource of the Week -- Nonprofit Webinars for December 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 -- Using Screenshot in Office 2010

Screenshot -- a new feature in Office 2010 -- allows you to capture images from your screen.

• Click the document that you want to add the screenshot to
• Click the Insert tab on the Ribbon
• In the Illustrations group, click Screenshot
• To add the whole window, click the thumbnail in the Available Windows gallery
• To add part of the window, click Screen Clipping, and when the pointer becomes a cross, press and hold the left mouse button to select the area of your screen that you want to capture
• If you have multiple windows open, click the window you want to clip from before clicking Screen Clipping. When you click Screen Clipping, the program you are working in is minimized and only the window behind it is available for clipping
• After adding a screenshot, you can use the tools on the Picture Tools tab to edit and enhance the screenshot

You can use Screenshot in Word 2010, PowerPoint 2010 and Excel 2010.