Monday, January 31, 2011

Picks of the Week: January 30 - February 5, 2011

Website of the Week – The Center for Nonprofit Management

As one of the nation's leading management support organizations, the Center for Nonprofit Management, based in Dallas, strives to bring the most current tools for best practices in nonprofit management to thousands of nonprofit boards, staff and volunteers each year. The mission of the Center is to build stronger communities by increasing the performance and impact of nonprofit organizations. In the late 1970's, the Meadows Foundation in Dallas recognized a significant need for staff development and management assistance to charitable organizations. In 1980, with the support of other local funders, Meadows provided the seed funding to establish the Center for Nonprofit Management. Today, the Center receives support from donations, grants, fees for services and annual membership dues at a minimal cost and is a United Way affiliate. Nonprofits everywhere will find t he extensive collection of resources including sample documents helpful. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- Donor-Centered Planned Gift Marketing by Michael J. Rosen

From the publisher: Donor-Centered Planned Gift Marketing helps nonprofit organizations move beyond traditional marketing techniques that have historically yielded only modest results and reveals how putting the focus on the donor can produce the best outcomes for all. Here, nonprofits new to gift planning will learn to market effectively from the start while those with established programs will discover ways to enhance their efforts. You will learn about various donor-centered marketing channels and techniques, as well as how to generate internal support for an improved planned gift marketing effort.

• Full of useful and proven tips you can implement for immediate results
• Offers practical tools including forms and checklists
• Includes a worksheet to help organizations calculate their planned giving potential

Sharing the latest research findings, this book shows you how to identify who your planned giving prospects are. You will learn how to effectively focus on them through meaningful communication that ultimately inspires them to give-and give more. Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week – Major Demographic Shifts

According to a new report by researchers at the University of North Carolina, "Six Disruptive Demographic Trends: What Census 2010 Will Reveal," identifies major shifts in U.S. demographics and their implications for business, consumer markets and the nation's competitiveness in the global marketplace. The six trends are:

• South-shifting population. More than half of the nation's population growth during the past decade (51.4 percent) occurred in Southern states, driven in part by an in-migration of an estimated 2.3 million newcomers from nearly all demographic groups.
• "Browning" of America. Nonwhites accounted for an estimated 85 percent of U.S. net population growth during the past decade.
• Intermarriage increase. Marriage across racial and ethnic lines has doubled since 1980, further contributing to the browning trend, with 41 percent of all intermarriages in 2008 between Hispanics and whites.
• "Graying" of America. The first baby boomer born in America turned 65 on Jan. 1, sparking a "silver tsunami" of 79 million baby boomers who will exit the U.S. workforce over the next 20 years. About 8,000 Americans will turn 65 every day over the next five years, and they will live longer than previous generations because of advances in health care and lifestyles that are more active.
• Gender shift. Women now hold nearly half of all paid U.S. jobs (49.8 percent), own 40 percent of all businesses and hold 43 percent of executive, administrative and managerial positions in the U.S. economy
• More grandparent-headed households.

Researchers identified these trends by analyzing demographic and economic statistics compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau and a number of other sources. The complete report is available at

Resource of the Week – Nonprofit Spark

Nonprofit Spark is a weekly radio show for nonprofit leaders. Renee McGivern, founder and CEO of Spark Plug Consulting, started Nonprofit Spark in 2008 to provide training and communications consulting to small businesses, trade associations and nonprofits. The intention of the radio show is to spark learning and purposeful action so leaders and board members of new and emerging nonprofits succeed. Each week's show covers the nuts and bolts of managing and governing organizations. Renee's guests are nonprofit leaders, consultants who share practical tips and insights. For your convenience, each podcast is archived so you can get at what you need when you need it. Go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Combining Text from Two Cells in Excel

In Microsoft Excel you can combine the text in two or more cells into a single text string by using “concatenation”. The result is displayed in the cell where you type the formula. For example, If you have a worksheet that contains the First name in cell A1 and the Last name in cell B1, enter the following expression in cell C1 to create a text string that displays the values of the First and Last names separated by a space: =A1&" "&B1.

Be sure to put a space between the double quotes in the expression. Copy this formula down to each row containing the names. Then copy the cells containing this formula back to their original position using Paste Special to convert the formula into a value:

• Select the column by clicking the column name
• Choose Copy
• Right click and choose Paste Special from the short-cut menu
• Choose Values and click OK

This tip works in Excel 2007 and 2010 as well as earlier versions.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Picks of the Week: January 23, 2010

Website of the Week – Socialbrite

Socialbrite is a learning hub & sharing community that brings together top experts in social media, causes and online philanthropy. The organization aims to share insights about tools and best practices that advance the social good. Socialbrite is an ad-free community learning center which also offers strategic services to nonprofits. One of the highlights of the website is an extensive collection of tutorials created to help show nonprofits, cause organizations, businesses and individuals how to effectively use social media. Most of the tutorials are short video screencasts. For more information, go to:

Publication of the Week -- Effective Fundraising for Nonprofits: Real-World Strategies That Work by Ilona Bray

From the publisher: Getting tax-exempt status for your nonprofit organization is just the first step toward succeeding in your mission -- ultimately, your nonprofit's effectiveness depends entirely on your ability to raise money. Fortunately, Effective Fundraising for Nonprofits will show you how. Featuring advice and stories from over 40 experienced fundraisers, foundation staffers, journalists, and more, the 3rd edition of Effective Fundraising for Nonprofits offers strategies for raising donations from individuals, companies, and institutions, and covers the tools and staff you'll need to get the job done. The 3rd edition is updated to include a new focus on fundraising in the down economy and features input from development professionals across the U.S. And, you can read up on latest studies on who gives the most and why and the latest tips for "greening" your nonprofit's special events. Plus, you'll get the latest tax figures, guidelines for the new IRS Form 990, and updated resource recommendations and contact information. Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week – Internet Deeply Embedded in Organizational Life in America

The internet is now deeply embedded in group and organizational life in America. A new national survey by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project has found that 75% of all American adults are active in some kind of voluntary group or organization and internet users are more likely than others to be active: 80% of internet users participate in groups, compared with 56% of non-internet users. And social media users are even more likely to be active: 82% of social network users and 85% of Twitter users are group participants. In this survey, Pew Internet asked about 27 different kinds of groups and found great diversity in group membership and participation using traditional and new technologies. Asked to assess the overall impact of the internet on group activities:

• 68% of all Americans (internet users and non-users alike) said the internet has had a major impact on the ability of groups to communicate with members. Some 75% of internet users said that.
• 62% of all Americans said the internet has had a major impact on the ability of groups to draw attention to an issue. Some 68% of internet users said that.
• 60% of all Americans said the internet has had a major impact on the ability of groups to connect with other groups. Some 67% of internet users said that.

To access the full report, go to:

Resource of the Week – Fundraising Resources for Nonprofits

Blackbaud has complied an extensive collection of resources for nonprofits on topics including fundraising, financial management, online fundraising, website management, prospect research, business intelligence, and nonprofit management. The resources are organized in the following categories: white papers, internet resources, industry research, tip sheets, podcasts, newsletters and more. Go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Microsoft Office 2010 Quick Reference Guides

There are a lot of great resources to help you learn Office 2010. Custom Guide Online Learning has created printable 2-page quick reference guides which you can download for free. Give it a try.

Word 2010

Excel 2010

PowerPoint 2010

Monday, January 17, 2011

Picks of the Week: January 16 - 23, 2011

Website of the Week – IDEO

IDEO (pronounced “eye-dee-oh”) is an award-winning global design firm that takes a human-centered approach to helping organizations in the public and private sectors innovate and grow. Of special interest to nonprofits is their HCD Toolkit. The HCD Toolkit was designed specifically for NGOs and social enterprises that work with impoverished communities in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The free kit, available for download here, walks users through the human-centered design process and supports them in activities such as building listening skills, running workshops, and implementing ideas. The process has led to innovations such as the HeartStart defibrillator, Cleanwell natural antibacterial products, and the Blood Donor System for the Red Cross — all of which have enhanced the lives of millions of people. Although the center of attention is the developing world, many nonprofits will find this fresh, customer focused approach very useful for designing new programs and redesigning current ones. This free innovation guide can be downloaded at Check out the rest of the website at

Publication of the Week -- Leveraging Good Will: Strengthening Nonprofits by Engaging Businesses by Alice Korngold

From the publisher: Leveraging Good Will shows how nonprofit organizations can access the extraordinary resources of businesses, and how for-profits can benefit from partnering with nonprofits. Written by Alice Korngold—an expert in matching business professionals with nonprofit organizations—this important resource clearly demonstrates how nonprofits can gain valuable experience, expertise, relationships, and funding that will elevate and advance their organizations while businesses can build stronger relationships with the community and develop the next generation of leaders. Filled with illustrative examples and real-life success stories, Leveraging Good Will is an insider’s guide to what it takes for nonprofits to transform their organizations through partnerships with businesses. Step by step, the book outlines how to create a solid plan based on proven-in-practice techniques. Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week – For Minorities, New 'Digital Divide' Seen

A new study by the The Pew Internet & American Life Project reveals a new 'digital divide' for minorities. Today, as mobile technology puts computers in our pockets, Latinos and blacks are more likely than the general population to access the Web by cellular phones, and they use their phones more often to do more things. But now some see a new "digital divide" emerging — with Latinos and blacks being challenged by more, not less, access to technology. It's tough to fill out a job application on a cellphone, for example. Researchers have noticed signs of segregation online that perpetuate divisions in the physical world. And blacks and Latinos may be using their increased Web access more for entertainment than empowerment. Fifty-one percent of Hispanics and 46% of blacks use their phones to access the Internet, compared with 33% of whites, according to a July 2010 Pew poll. Forty-seven percent of Latinos and 41% of blacks use their phones for e-mail, compared with 30% of whites. The figures for using social media like Facebook via phone were 36% for Latinos, 33% for blacks and 19% for whites. For more information, go to:

Resource of the Week – Growing Your Business: A Guide To Grant Writing

Should a business or organization consider seeking grants, the first thing they should know is whether or not their business or organization is qualified to receive the grant. If grants are not appropriate for their business or organization, other ventures such as bank loans should be considered instead. In the event that they are worthy of a grant, they should seek funding that is directly related to their mission. Being clear about the organization’s mission and strengths as well as the activities of the organization will ensure that the time they spend on writing the grant is worthwhile. The resource "Growing Your Business: A Guide To Grant Writing" provides a good introduction to these important considerations and includes links to other tools on the subject. Go to: (A special thanks to Taylor, a student in Ms Brookes' class for recommending this resource!)

Tech Tip of the Week -- Selecting a Range in Excel
In Excel, a range is a group of connected cells. When working in Excel you often need to select a range. Here is a simple trick for quickly selecting a range:

• Click anywhere within the range
• Press Ctrl + Shift + *

The range is selected. This trick works in all versions of Excel.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Picks of the Week: January 9 - 15, 2011

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. 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. Steve serves on the Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN) Board of Directors and supports its focus on both the growth and professionalism of the nonprofit technology field as well as building knowledge and information sharing capacity throughout the sector. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- Achieving Excellence in Fundraising, 3rd Edition, edited by Eugene R. Tempel , Timothy L. Seiler and Eva E. Aldrich

From the publisher: The third edition of this acclaimed resource, Achieving Excellence in Fundraising, explains the fundraising profession's major principles, concepts, and techniques. With contributions from noted experts in the field, and filled with illustrative examples, this book demonstrates why fundraising is a strategic management discipline and clearly defines each step in the fundraising cycle. Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week – Reduced Giving Projected for 2011

Nearly two thirds of U.S. adults (65%) have supported a non-profit organization in the last 12 months with money, time or goods, according to a recent survey conducted by Vision Critical. This number tracks below the 70% to 75% that was typical of non-profit giving earlier in the decade and is indicative of the anemic economic recovery, high unemployment, and economic turmoil still facing much of America. When asked directly about their financial gifts, nearly one half of Americans (46%) say they are giving less money compared to last year while the same proportion (46%) say their giving is unchanged. Only eight per cent of Americans said they would be giving more in 2010. Among those providing a financial donation, giving most commonly occurs through direct collection at a church, temple or place of worship (36%), followed by direct mail (23%). However, online giving through a charity’s website is now the third most popular way to give (15%) and giving through social networking/media (5%), banner ads (4%) and text messaging (4%) are now statistically meaningful and will likely grow as Americans look for more and easier ways to give. According to the Vision Crtical survey, the giving picture for 2011 doesn’t look much better. The plurality of survey respondents say they will be able to give about the same (40%) as they did in 2010. While one fifth (21%) say they will be able to give more in the coming year, 15 per cent say they will give less, and yet another fifth of respondents (21%) say they will not be able to give at all in 2011. For more information, go to: or contact Justin Greeves at

Resource of the Week – Social Media Resources for Nonprofits

Common Knowledge, a San Francisco based consultancy that provides full service consulting in online marketing, fundraising, communications and advocacy has complied an extensive collection of resources that will be useful for nonprofits. Common Knowledge publishes a monthly email newsletter, and releases occasional whitepapers and case studies. Go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Using PowerPoint 2010

If you’re switching to PowerPoint 2010, here are some resources that can help you.
Changes in PowerPoint 2010, an article on the Microsoft site, covers what’s new and what’s changed.
What PowerPoint 2010 Beginners Need to Know, on, lists dozens of resources on everything from simple beginner tips and tricks to advanced uses such as animation and sound.
Microsoft PowerPoint 2010 Tutorials contains many excellent articles and tutorials for learning to use PowerPoint 2010.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Picks of the Week: January 2 - 8, 2011

Website of the Week – Nonprofits Assistance Fund

The Nonprofits Assistance Fund (NAF) was incorporated as an independent nonprofit in 1998 to administer loan funds previously operated as programs of The Minneapolis Foundation. NAF's mission is to foster community development and vitality by building financially healthy nonprofit organizations. Underlying this mission is the belief that financially healthy nonprofit organizations play a vital role in stabilizing and anchoring the communities they serve. Nonprofits Assistance Fund is the only organization in the state with the express purpose of improving nonprofit organizations' financial health. NAF supports nonprofits through transformational lending and by encouraging healthy financial practices and providing strategic financial guidance. While the focus of the organization is Minnesota, the website is rich with resources that will benefit nonprofits anywhere. Especially noteworthy are valuable tools for nonprofit financial management. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- Nonprofits and Government: Collaboration and Conflict
by Elizabeth T. Boris and C. Eugene Steuerle

From the publisher: The past several decades have seen unprecedented growth in the scope and complexity of relationships between government and nonprofit organizations. These relationships have been more fruitful than many critics had feared and more problematic than many advocates had hoped. Nonprofits and Government is the first comprehensive, multidisciplinary exploration of nonprofit government relations. The second edition of this important book is fully updated and includes two new chapters. The authors address a host of important issues, including nonprofit advocacy, direct regulatory and tax policy, the conversion of nonprofits to for-profits, clashes in government interaction with religion and the arts, and international nonprofit government relationships. Practitioners, researchers, and policymakers alike will benefit from the authors wide-ranging discussion. Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week – Nonprofit Technology Use

According to the latest Communiqué from the Center for Civil Society Studies at the Johns Hopkins Institute for Policy Studies "The Nonprofit Technology Gap – Myth or Reality?" despite the common impression that nonprofits lack adequate, up-to-date information technologies, this latest issue of the revealed that nonprofits have integrated current information technologies into a wide range of their organizational activities. Key findings include: An overwhelming majority of all respondents (88 percent) reported that technology is integrated into “many” or “all” aspects of their organization. The vast majority of all respondents indicated that information technologies are “moderately important” or “critical” to almost all of their organizational activities, including accounting/finance (98 percent), external communications (98 percent), tracking users (94 percent), internal communications (94 percent), administration (93 percent), marketing and publicity (93 percent), fundraising and donor management (91 percent), and program and service delivery (91 percent). The vast majority of all organizations (98 percent) reported using information technologies for program/ service delivery; Roughly two-thirds of all respondents (65 percent) described this use as moderate or significant.
To download a copy of the latest Communiqué, go to:

Resource of the Week – Nonprofit Webinars for January 2011
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 VLOOKUP in Excel

VLOOKUP is a powerful function in Excel which allows you to look up a value in an Excel list or table. For example, you could use this function to look up grades based on a percentage value. To learn more about this function, check out the free online training from Microsoft VLOOKUP: What it is, and when to use it.