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.

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