Saturday, April 2, 2011

Picks of the Week: April 3-9, 2010

Website of the Week – The Outcome Group

The Rensselaerville Institute (TRI) and The Center for What Works (WhatWorks), both nonprofits dedicated to assisting social sector organizations and communities to achieve better results, have announced a new organizational combination. WhatWorks will be joining TRI’s Outcome Group. Debra B. Natenshon, TRI’s Outcome Group partners with communities, foundations, nonprofit organizations and governments in achieving dramatic human gain using innovation and an outcome focus. The work focuses on deep consulting, strategic mapping and training provided by its team of outcome leaders. The Center for What Works focuses on benchmarking, offering online practical tools, training, and professional services to social sector organizations to measure progress toward strategy and mission and to continually improve outcomes for their target beneficiaries. In combining, this joint division at TRI will continue guiding foundations and nonprofits through an inclusive approach to reach higher results by using research-based outcome frameworks to help client organizations define, achieve and verify tangible accomplishments in behavior change and condition. The combined organization will achieve a shared vision: to guide nonprofits, foundations and communities to make transformational break-throughs for the people they serve, with their investments in time and money. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- Nonprofits and Business by Joseph J. Cordes

From the publisher: In an age of high-profile corporate foundations and socially responsible companies, the barrier between the nonprofit and business worlds is more permeable than ever. Nonprofits and Business assembles a diverse group of researchers to examine nonprofits from commercial, economic, and legal perspectives. Chapters on nonprofit-business hybrids and performance measurement are also included. As both the government and the public have come to demand efficiency from nonprofit operations, they have looked to corporations to find creative ways to raise money and demonstrate effectiveness. Nonprofits and Business is a unique resource on this emerging trend. Click to preview this look on

Trend of the Week – Online Advocacy, Fundraising, and Social Media Effectiveness Trends

A comprehensive new analysis of nonprofit online fundraising and advocacy from M+R Strategic Services and NTEN found that online fundraising showed steady growth for participating groups in 2010 despite the current economic climate. Most groups saw a 10% increase in dollars raised online from 2009 to 2010, the same percentage increase those groups saw from 2008 to 2009, but slower than those nonprofits were seeing from 2006 to 2008, prior to the recession. Findings also showed tremendous potential for growth in social media: for every 1,000 email list subscribers, participating nonprofits had just 110 Facebook users and 19 Twitter followers. To access the full study, presentation slides and recording and more, go to: A free registration is required.

Resource of the Week – Groups Really DO Work

This resource, located on the website of the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, is a clearly written basic introduction to organizing a group and exploring the transition to nonprofit and or tax- exempt status. Topics include weighing the advantages of incorporation and tax exempt status, choosing the right structural form, a glossary of key terms, and links to other resources for writing bylaws and other organizational documents and developing an ongoing board of directors. Go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Copy Formatting in Word

A previously published tip Fast Formatting covered using format painter (the paintbrush icon) to copy the format of text. Since I am a fan of shortcut keys, and sometimes format painter seems a bit erratic when using it to repeatedly copy the same format, here's how to do the same thing using shortcut keys:

• Click on the text which you want to copy a format from
• Press Ctrl+Shift+C (copy format) to copy the text formatting of the area where the cursor is located
• Select the text you want to copy the format to and press Ctrl+Shift+V (paste format)

This method is even more flexible than using the paintbrush. You can paste the format as many times as you want, since the format copy is saved in a memory area like the clipboard, and still do other things in between copies. And it appears to work in all versions of Word.

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