Monday, May 2, 2011

Picks of the Week: May 1 - 7, 2011

Website of the Week – Institute for Nonprofit Education and Research

The mission of the Institute for Nonprofit Education and Research is to educate leaders and advance best practices in the nonprofit and philanthropic community through academic excellence, applied learning, and research that examines issues of strategic importance to the sector. The Institute for Nonprofit Education and Research is part of the Department of Leadership Studies at the University of San Diego which offers: an M.A. in Nonprofit Leadership and Management and a Ph.D. in Leadership Studies with a Specialization in Nonprofit/Philanthropic Leadership and Management. The Institute for Nonprofit Education and Research houses the Caster Family Center for Nonprofit and Philanthropic Research and the Nonprofit Governance Symposium. The Institute houses a best practice library of applied projects that were completed by students in the masters program for, and in collaboration with, a variety of nonprofit organizations. Our online library will continue to grow as students create or revise corporate by-laws, personnel policies, volunteer manuals, board manuals, fundraising plans, financial management systems plans and information technology plans. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- Brand Aid: Shopping Well to Save the World by Lisa Ann Richey and Stefano Ponte

From the publisher: “Has there ever been a better reason to shop?” asks an ad for the Product RED American Express card, telling members who use the card that buying “cappuccinos or cashmere” will help to fight AIDS in Africa. Cofounded in 2006 by the rock star Bono, Product RED has been a particularly successful example of a new trend in celebrity-driven international aid and development, one explicitly linked to commerce, not philanthropy. In Brand Aid, Lisa Ann Richey and Stefano Ponte offer a deeply informed and stinging critique of “compassionate consumption.” Campaigns like Product RED and its precursors, such as Lance Armstrong’s Livestrong and the pink-ribbon project in support of breast cancer research, advance the expansion of consumption far more than they meet the needs of the people they ostensibly serve. At the same time, such campaigns sell both the suffering of Africans with AIDS (in the case of Product RED) and the power of the average consumer to ameliorate it through familiar and highly effective media representations. Using Product RED as its focal point, this book explores how corporations like American Express, Armani, Gap, and Hallmark promote compassionate consumption to improve their ethical profile and value without significantly altering their business model, protecting themselves from the threat to their bottom lines posed by a genuinely engaged consumer activism. Coupled with the phenomenon of celebrity activism and expertise as embodied by Bono, Richey and Ponte argue that this “causumerism” represents a deeply troubling shift in relief efforts, effectively delinking the relationship between capitalist production and global poverty. Click to preview this look on

Trend of the Week – Latest Nonprofit Employment Trends

According to the Nonprofit Employment Trends Survey, a national study of nonprofit employment practices, new jobs are coming online at nonprofits as hiring freezes are finally being lifted. The national Nonprofit Employment Trends Survey™ was conducted through a partnership between Nonprofit HR Solutions and the Caster Family Center for Nonprofit and Philanthropic Research. Key findings include:

• Although the HR function is viewed as critical within many organizations, it still remains a low priority for most organizations. Eighty-four percent of nonprofit respondents agreed that the HR function is critical to their organization’s ability to fulfill its mission, yet few prioritize the HR function within their organizations. The majority of respondent organizations (52 percent) do not have a dedicated HR professional and 55 percent rely upon existing staff to handle new programs and or initiatives.
• Nearly a quarter of nonprofits lost staff in 2010. However 60 percent of those organizations indicated that they intend to hire or are considering the creation of new positions in 2011. This finding was consistent irrespective of the size of the organization.
• When nonprofits lay off staff, 81 percent report using existing staff to fulfill the duties of the eliminated position. This is a worrisome trend as it could lead to burnout and premature turnover.
• Turnover remains low. Economic improvements are not being realized as quickly as anticipated. Findings from this year’s survey revealed that turnover remains low within nonprofit organizations. Turnover rates for respondent organizations were calculated at 13 percent compared to last year’s rate of 21 percent. This low turnover rate is an indication that the economy might not be improving as quickly for nonprofits as it is for other sectors.
• It’s still “who you know” when it comes to nonprofit recruitment. Nonprofits primarily use in person networking and newspapers to recruit job candidates. This is surprising considering the rapid growth and affordability of social networking tools over the past few years. This practice also has the potential to negatively impact diversity efforts

To download a free copy of the report, registration is required. Go to:

Resource of the Week – NTEN: Change (A Quarterly Journal for Nonprofit Leaders)

Through in-depth articles, case-studies, best practices, leader profiles, and discussions, NTEN's quarterly journal for nonprofit leaders provides the guidance and practical considerations necessary for making sound investments and decisions that will help your organization achieve its mission. Thanks to the generous support of Google, NTEN is proud to offer NTEN: Change to the nonprofit community for free! You'll be able to download the journal, view it on your computer, or even access it from your iPad, iPod Touch, or iPhone. To subscribe, go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Worksheet Selection in Excel

If you have several worksheets in an Excel workbook, it can be time consuming to select the one you want to view. This shortcut can help you speed up the process.
• Right click on the sheet tab navigation arrows
• A menu of worksheet tabs pops up
• Left click the worksheet you want to view

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

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