Monday, June 27, 2011

Picks of the Week: June 26 - July 2, 2011

Website of the Week – Urban Institute - The Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy

The Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy (CNP) explores the role and impact of nonprofit organizations and philanthropy in democratic societies. CNP is developing the Nonprofit Advocacy Initiative, a five-year project that brings together people and institutions with diverse expertise to examine how the advocacy activities of nonprofit organizations affect public attitudes and civic participation, political discourse, public policy, and social change. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- Net Work: A Practical Guide to Creating and Sustaining Networks at Work and in the World by Patti Anklam

From the publisher: Patti Anklam provides a guide for leaders and participants to work within and lead purposeful social networks "in the world." Awareness of "networks" and "networked organizations" has reached the mainstream of the business publishing world, as evidenced in the increasing number of articles in such publications as the Harvard Business Review and the Sloan Management Review. Formal networks include civic organizations like Rotary International, alumni groups, and business and professional groups. There is yet another class of network that is not yet well defined, and for which the norms and governance models are emerging--networks such as inter-company and intra-company learning and collaboration networks; independent consultants who share common interests and passions who want to remain independent but work collaboratively and consistently with like-minded others. They can be geographically local business networks; web-based virtual learning groups and communities; or global action networks destined to make the world a better place. The purpose of this book is to provide a taxonomy and guidebook to these "emergent" networks, with a specific focus on helping leaders and participants to create and sustain successful networks. It will address the need for articulating a governance model and norms, selecting and using appropriate tools, and expectations for how the network will grow and change over time. Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week – Giving USA 2011 Highlights

After a steeper drop than was previously believed - 13.2 percent between 2007 and 2009 - charitable giving rose slightly in 2010 to $290.89 billion, according to Giving USA 2011, the annual report on philanthropy released today by the Giving USA Foundation. While this year's inflation-adjusted increase of 2.1 percent is a promising sign, it also signals the need for modest expectations: at this rate, it could take another five to six years for giving to return to pre-recession levels. Other highlights of the Giving USA 2011 study include:

• Even with this year's uptick, total philanthropy only returned to levels from the year 2000, accounting for inflation, as demonstrated on the graph below.
• Giving remained above 2 percent of GDP for the fourteenth consecutive year - a testament to philanthropy's place as a core American value.
• Religion continued to receive the largest share of contributions in 2010, followed by education.
• On the whole, most sectors experienced growth over 2009 levels of philanthropy. Most notably, international affairs received 13.5 percent more contributions (adjusted for inflation), driven primarily by Haiti relief efforts and grants from the Gates Foundation.
• After two years of decline, arts and culture showed a healthy uptick of over 4 percent.

To download an executive summary of Giving USA 2011 free of charge, go to:

Resource of the Week – Ten Tactics for Engaging the Public

How can online tools help you engage citizens in public decision-making and problem-solving? What are the most common mistakes being made by public managers and other leaders as they try to work with the public online? In a given scenario, which tools and tactics seem most appropriate and effective? Using Online Tools to Engage – and be Engaged by – the Public, a new report from the IBM Center for the Business of Government, delves into these questions, describes a range of scenarios and tactics, and gives real-world examples of online engagement. It highlights over 40 different technologies in use today to support various kinds of public participation. Though it was compiled for use by governments, the report and the tools listed in this table are also worth considering for nonprofits that wish to engage their stakeholders online. To download this resource, 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.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Picks of the Week: June 19 - 25, 2011

Website of the Week – City University of New York: Center for the Study of Philanthropy

The Center for the Study of Philanthropy administers the Global Network on Women's Advocacy and Civil Society. The Network disseminates information on women's issues among research centers, nonprofit organizations, and advocacy groups. Network users have access to an active bibliography of resources, a discussion listserv, and other research studies. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- Nonprofit Consulting Essentials: What Nonprofits and Consultants Need to Know by Penelope Cagney

From the publisher: Author Penelope Cagney is an active consultant and principal of The Cagney Company. A recognized authority on nonprofit consulting, she is a sought-after presenter for international conferences and webinars, as well as a frequent contributor to publications worldwide. Everyone seems to have a different idea of what it means to consult or be a consultant, especially in the charitable sector. Finally, we have a book, Nonprofit Consulting Essentials that really delves into the assumptions and truths and the roles and responsibilities of consultants. This really is an essential guide to nonprofit consulting and capacity building in the current climate of dramatic and discontinuous change. Whether you are just entering the sector or looking to refresh your skills, this book is a must-read. Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week – Obstacles to Nonprofit Innovation and Performance Measurement

In early 2010, the Johns Hopkins Listening Post Project conducted a survey focused on nonprofit innovation and performance measurement. This survey produced three important findings:

• The adoption of innovative practices is widespread among nonprofits. In fact, the vast majority (82 percent) of all Sounding respondents reported implementing at least one innovative program or service over the past five years.
• Although innovation is widespread within the nonprofit sector, it is not as widespread as it could be. Thus, more than two‐thirds of the organizations reported having at least one innovation in the past two years alone that they wanted to adopt but were unable to, and most attributed this inability to a lack of funding.
• Especially troubling was respondents’ inability to move promising innovations to scale. Reasons included a lack of “growth capital,” narrow govern‐mental funding streams, and the tendency of foundations to encourage innovations but then not sustain support for them.

This survey demonstrated that a key challenge for nonprofits isn’t a dearth of innovative ideas, but rather a lack of much‐needed resources to develop and sustain them. To explore this problem in greater depth and gain a better understanding of how nonprofits can overcome this obstacle, in December 2010 the Listening Post Project held an online webinar which brought together nonprofit experts, representatives of nonprofit intermediary organizations, and practitioners from a diverse set of nonprofit organizations. A new report summarizes the major findings that emerged from the session and proposes strategies that could help nonprofits to deploy innovative services and programs despite scarce resources. To read the report on this webinar or last year's survey findings that it discussed, please visit:

Resource of the Week – Imagine Canada's Nonprofit Library

Imagine Canada is a national charitable organization whose mission is to support and strengthen Canada’s charities and nonprofits so they can, in turn, support the Canadians and communities they serve. Imagine Canada’s Nonprofit Library is the largest online resource center for people who work in Canada's charities and nonprofits. The Nonprofit Library offers recommended resource lists and a searchable database to the John Hodgson Library collection, the most comprehensive collection of Canadian research and practical resources in the following areas: governance & accountability, philanthropy & fundraising, organizational management, human resources and volunteerism. Non-Canadian nonprofits will find Imagine Canada’s library to be of great support to their work as well. To access this extensive Library, go to: .

Tech Tip of the Week -- Create Equations in Excel 2010

In Excel 2010 you can insert common mathematical equations into your worksheets or build your own equations with the new equation editing tools. Here’s how:
• Click the Insert tab on the Ribbon
• In the Symbols group, click the arrow next to Equation
• Select from the equation gallery and the equation is inserted in a text box

To build your own equation:
• Insert a text box (or shape)
• Click to select the text box (or shape)
• Click the Insert tab on the Ribbon
• In the Symbols group, click Equation
• The Equation Tools Design Ribbon is displayed

Monday, June 13, 2011

Picks of the Week: June 12-18, 2011

Website of the Week – Renaissance Journalism Center

The Renaissance Journalism Center (RJC), a project of San Francisco State University’s Journalism Department, incubates innovative approaches to journalism and storytelling that serve, strengthen and empower communities. Created in 2009, the Center provides grants, technical assistance and training, and forges entrepreneurial partnerships with journalists and their news organizations, ethnic media and hyperlocal news sites, philanthropic and nonprofit organizations, scholars and students. The Center is operated in partnership with ZeroDivide, a foundation that leverages technology to benefit people in low-income, minority and other disadvantaged communities. Go to: The Renaissance Journalism Center created a toolkit to help community/ethnic media outlets and nonprofit organizations to become more adept users of new media – from video and audio, to the various social media, blogs, SEO, and monitoring and metrics. To access the Toolkit, go to:

Publication of the Week -- Fundraising for Social Change, 6th Edition by Kim Klein

From the publisher: New edition! This bestselling book is one of the most widely used in the field by nonprofit organizations across the country. A soup to nuts description of how to build, maintain and expand an individual donor program, this book is often called "the Bible of grassroots fundraising." Since it was first published in 1988, Fundraising for Social Change has become one of the most widely used books on fundraising in the United States. Fundraising practitioners and activists rely on it for hands-on, specific, and accessible fundraising techniques, and it has become a required text in dozens of college courses around the country. This new edition offers the information that has made the book a classic: proven know-how on asking for money, planning and conducting major gifts campaigns, using direct mail effectively, and much more. The book has been significantly changed to include new technology—e-mail, online giving, and blogs—and contains expanded chapters on capital and endowment campaigns, how to feel comfortable asking for money, how to recruit a team of people to help with fundraising, and how to build meaningful relationships with donors. In addition, this essential resource contains new information on such timely topics as ethics, working across cultural lines, and how to create opportunities for fundraising more systematically and strategically. Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week – Nonprofits' Use of Facebook

In February 2011, Idealware surveyed 505 nonprofit organizations using Facebook as part of their communications mix in order to answer some of the questions from last year's social media survey and find out where the nonprofit world stands after the Nonprofit Social Media Decision Guide. This report sums up the results of the survey, with high-level takeaways of the data, as well as overviews of how much time organizations are spending on Facebook, how many have set goals and how they’re keeping track of their own results. This is all interspersed with case studies and quotes from the interviews to shed light on what success means on Facebook and to provide ideas on how to use the site. Key findings include:

• About 200 of the 505 organizations surveyed reported success converting Facebook fans into donors or volunteers.
• More than 70 percent of respondents saw a significant increase in traffic to their websites because of their Facebook presence.
• About 66 percent of respondents from advocacy organizations saw an increase in people taking some noticeable form of action, like signing a petition.
• 80% of the respondents felt that Facebook helped them enhance their relationship to existing constituents

To access the report, go to:

Resource of the Week – Donated Goods and Services for Nonprofits

Good360, a registered 501(c)(3), is an innovative online marketplace where product donations from America's top brands become goods for the greater good. Register today to browse our online catalog, arrange for direct shipping or pick-ups in your neighborhood, and connect with local donors for recurring pick-ups. Corporate partners include Home Depot, HP, Bed Bath and Beyond and many more. Go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Recolor a Picture or Change the Color or Transparency in Office 2010

In Office 2010 -- Word, PowerPoint and Excel -- you can recolor a picture, adjust the color saturation and tone, and more! Here's how:

• Select the picture you want to recolor
• Click the Picture Tools Format tab on the Ribbon
• In the Adjust group, click Color
• Select one of the many options, for example:

Monday, June 6, 2011

Picks of the Week: June 5-11, 2011

Website of the Week – Institute for Social Entrepreneurs

The Institute for Social Entrepreneurs provides education, training and consulting services for social entrepreneurs in the United States and abroad. The website includes introductory resources to social entrepreneurship, a glossary, bibliography, links to other useful websites and more. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- The Search for Social Entrepreneurship by Paul Charles Light

From the publisher: Research on social entrepreneurship is finally catching up to its rapidly growing potential. In The Search for Social Entrepreneurship, Paul Light explores this surge of interest to establish the state of knowledge on this growing phenomenon and suggest directions for future research. Light begins by outlining the debate on how to define social entrepreneurship, a concept often cited and lauded but not necessarily understood. The subsequent section examines the four main components of social entrepreneurship: ideas, opportunities, organizations, and the entrepreneurs themselves. The copious information available about each has yet to be mined for lessons on making social entrepreneurship a success. The third section draws on Light s original survey research on 131 high-performing nonprofits, exploring how they differ across the four key components. The fourth and final section offers recommendations for future action and research in this burgeoning field. Paul C. Light is the Paulette Goddard Professor of Public Service at New York University. Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week – Social Media Reaching African Americans and Hispanics

Nearly one in three African American adults (30%) and four in ten Hispanics (39%) say they are more likely to support a cause or social issue online than offline today—both significantly higher percentages than Caucasians (24%), according to the new Dynamics of Cause Engagement study. Jointly conducted in late 2010 by Georgetown University’s Center for Social Impact Communication and Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, the study examined trends in cause involvement and the roles of a variety of activities in fostering engagement with social issues among American adults age 18 and over. Other key findings include:

• African Americans and Hispanics are significantly more likely to believe that they can help get the word out about a social issue or cause through online social networks.
• African Americans and Hispanics are significantly more likely than Caucasians to look to social media as an additional source of information.
• African Americans and Hispanics are significantly more likely than Caucasians to be involved in several key issues, including diabetes, domestic violence, bullying, childhood obesity, Haiti relief and HIV/AIDS.

For more information, go to:

Resource of the Week – Key Elements of Effectiveness: Bridgespan’s Organization Wheel

High performing nonprofits think about their organizations as much more than the boxes and lines on an “org chart.” The Bridgespan Group finds that truly effective organizations exhibit strengths in five key interrelated areas: leadership, decision-making and structure, people, work processes and systems, and culture. Effective organizations pay attention to 10 key characteristics across these five areas. For example, effective leadership requires having a clear vision that is translated into well understood priorities, and supported by a cohesive and aligned leadership team. For more information on these important capacity building framework, go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Apply Artistic Effects to Pictures in PowerPoint 2010

You can apply artistic effects to a picture in PowerPoint 2010 to make it look more like a sketch, drawing, or painting. Only one effect can be applied at a time. Applying a different artistic effect will remove the previously applied effect. Here's how:
• Click the picture you want to apply an artistic effect to
• Click the Picture Tools Format tab on the Ribbon
• In the Adjust group, click Artistic Effects
• Click the effect that you want to apply
• Click Artistic Effects Options to fine tune the artistic effect