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.

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