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.

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