Monday, May 9, 2011

Picks of the Week: May 8-14, 2011

Website of the Week – Resource Center for Good Governance and Ethical Practice

Independent Sector launched the new online Resource Center for Good Governance and Ethical Practice, a comprehensive collection of tools for nonprofit and philanthropic organizations to enhance the accountability and transparency of their operations and ensure they operate in ethical ways. At the heart of the Resource Center is the Principles for Good Governance and Ethical Practice: A Guide for Charities and Foundations, which has been called " the most significant industry-based effort to promote self-regulation by the sector to date." The Resource Center showcases, through downloads or links, over 250 model policies, research papers, templates, and other tools. Most are available free of charge. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- CauseWired by Tom Watson

From the publisher: For today's super-wired, always-on, live-life-in-public young Americans, the causes they support define who they are. Societal aspirations have so permeated the "net native" population that causes have become like musical tastes. CauseWired illustrates wired causes in action, bringing real-world stories to readers.

• Tracks the massive societal impact on causes of online social networks-from blogs, to video, to the rise of social networks
• Reveals the extraordinary influence of online social networks-in raising money for charity, in changing the political climate and electing candidates, and in raising consciousness for causes

From Facebook causes and campaigns on MySpace, to a raft of new startups and innovative projects like Kiva, and DonorsChoose, this immensely relevant book delivers actionable research and recommendations to help readers launch their own successful wired social campaigns. Click to preview this look on

Trend of the Week – Corporate Foundation Giving Trends

Corporate foundation giving remained mostly unchanged in 2010 at an estimated $4.7 billion, according to The Foundation Center's Key Facts on Corporate Foundations (2011 Edition). Grant dollars rose 0.2 percent from 2009, although, adjusted for inflation, corporate foundation giving in fact decreased 1.6 percent in 2010. Despite the severity of the economic downturn, and especially its impact on the banking and financial services sector, corporate foundation giving remains at its highest level on record. Similar to other types of foundations, a number of corporate foundations made exceptional efforts to minimize cuts in giving during the economic crisis. A number of corporate foundations build up their endowments during more prosperous years so that they can draw on those resources to stabilize giving during downturns. Productivity gains have also helped the corporate sector to return to profitability more quickly than could have been anticipated at the outset of the financial crisis. Looking ahead, just over half (52 percent) of corporate foundations responding to the Foundation Center’s annual forecasting survey expect to increase their giving in 2011. To download a copy of the report, go to:

Resource of the Week – Principles Workbook: Steering Your Board Toward Good Governance and Ethical Practice

Independent Sector has developed the Principles Workbook: Steering Your Board Toward Good Governance and Ethical Practice, a tool designed to help the nonprofit community meet its commitment to examine and improve their governance practices. Independent Sector developed the Workbook in partnership with BoardSource, the leading national resource on nonprofit governance. It expands and elucidates the Panel's Principles for Good Governance and Ethical Practice: A Guide for Charities and Foundations, 33 recommendations that thousands of organizations have already used to strengthen their practices. The Workbook distills the core concepts in each of the principles and suggests points for board and staff to discuss about their current practices. Progress worksheets accompanying each of the four sections assist nonprofits and foundations in making plans and recording their progress. Go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Calculate the Days, Months or Years between Dates in Excel

Use the DatedIf function to calculate the interval between dates in Excel. Here's how:

Enter the function into a cell =DATEDIF ( start_date , end_date, unit )

For example, to calculate the number of months between two dates, if the start date is in cell D2 and the end date is in cell E2 you could enter this formula into cell F2:

To learn more about this function, go to to the Microsoft website or watch a YouTube video. This tip works in Excel 2007 and 2010, as well as earlier versions.

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