Monday, May 30, 2011

Picks of the Week: May 29 - June 4, 2011

Website of the Week – boardnetUSA

boardnetUSA is a unique website dedicated to the express purpose of connecting nonprofit boards and new leaders. The website is designed to be a common technological platform for a national collaborative network of communities working locally to enhance nonprofit board governance. This growing network of Community Partners work together on common themes of populating board rooms as well as individually developing services tailored to their local market. The Volunteer Consulting Group, a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization in New York City with over 38 years of experience aiding in the development and strengthening of nonprofit organizations, initially developed the concept of boardnetUSA. With assistance from philanthropic and corporate supporters the Volunteer Consulting Group serves as the primary management and coordinating entity of the growing national network that is boardnetUSA. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- Small Change: Why Business Won't Save the World by Michael Edwards

From the publisher: A new movement is afoot that promises to save the world by applying the magic of the market to the challenges of social change. Its supporters argue that using business principles to solve global problems is far more effective than more traditional approaches. What could be wrong with that? Almost everything, argues former Ford Foundation director Michael Edwards. In this hard-hitting, controversial exposé, he marshals a wealth of evidence to reveal that in reality, a market approach hurts more than it helps. Real change will come when business acts more like civil society, not the other way around. Author
Michael Edwards is an independent writer and activist who is affiliated with the New York-based think-tank Demos, the Wagner School of Public Service at New York University, and the Brooks World Poverty Institute at Manchester University in the UK. From 1999 to 2008 he was Director of the Ford Foundation’s Governance and Civil Society Program, and previously worked for the World Bank, OxFam, and Save the Children. Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week – Women Strongest Believers in the Power of Supporting Causes

8 in 10 American women believe that supporting causes creates a sense of purpose and meaning in life; and feel everyone can make a difference through their support, while their male counterparts are more likely to view supporting causes as a fad, according to new data released today by Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide and Georgetown University’s Center for Social Impact Communication. The findings are part of the larger Dynamics of Cause Engagement study, conducted among American adults age 18 and older in late 2010,which explored trends in cause involvement and the roles of a variety of activities in fostering engagement with social issues. Similarities and Differences in Cause Support In addition to believing that everyone can make a difference by supporting causes, American women are more likely than men to believe that supporting causes creates a sense of purpose and meaning in life, makes them feel good about themselves and makes them feel like part of a community. More than four in ten Americans (45%) are actively involved with supporting causes, and women make up a significantly larger part of this group than men. For more information, go to:

Resource of the Week – Connected Citizens: The Power, Peril and Potential of Networks

Open-source projects and grassroots collective action are important sources of inspiration for 21st-century civic engagement, enabling us to combine the creativity and transparency of open innovation with community organizing’s relational abilities and courage to confront power. This is the message of a new report, “Connected Citizens: The Power, Peril and Potential of Networks,” released by Monitor Institute and Knight Foundation. The report examines the role of networks in linking up citizens, with the goal of increasing participation in community leadership. The report looked at 70 projects that use an open and decentralized network-centric approach. Many of the projects “are technologically enabled,” says the report. “Others are rooted in in-person relationships. Most combine online and offline interaction, as well as insights from the open-source movement and grassroots organizing. Five patterns emerged for good network building:

• Listening to and consulting the crowds: Actively listening to online conversations and openly asking for advice.
• Designing for serendipity: Creating environments, in person and online, where helpful connections can form.
• Bridging differences: Deliberately connecting people with different perspectives.
• Catalyzing mutual support: Helping people directly help each other.
• Providing handrails for collective action: Giving enough direction for individuals to take effective and coordinated action.

The Connected Citizens report details each of these five patterns, with examples and case studies. It has an accompanying website. To access the report and the website, go to

Tech Tip of the Week -- Edit Videos with PowerPoint 2010

In PowerPoint 2010 you can edit a video clip before you embed it in your presentation. You can:
• Trim
• Add effects and styles
• Crop
• Adjust the size
• Adjust the contrast
• Add borders and effects, and more...

The following resources can help you learn these amazing new features:
YouTube Video Edit Videos with PowerPoint 2010 from Microsoft
• Article Edit Videos inside a Presentation in PowerPoint 2010 from
• Article Five tips for working with Video in PowerPoint 2010 from

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