Monday, July 18, 2011

Picks of the Week: July 17 - 23, 2011

Website of the Week – Brandeis University Civic Practices Network

The Civic Practices Network is a project led by Brandeis University's Center for Human Resources at the Heller School for Advanced Studies in Social Welfare. The project provides online information with case studies, stories, and other materials about civic education, responsible community action, and democratic policy-making. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- Coaching Skills for Nonprofit Managers and Leaders: Developing People to Achieve Your Mission by Judith Wilson and Michelle Gislason

From the publisher: Coaching Skills for Nonprofit Leaders offers practical steps for coaching leaders to greatness and complements the academic and theoretical work in nonprofit leadership theory. The book can be used by the coaching novice as a thorough topical overview or by those more experienced with coaching as a quick reference or refresher. Based on the Inquiry Based Coaching approach, Coaching Skills will strengthen and expand the reader's ability to drive organization mission, while retaining the intrinsic values of the nonprofit culture and working towards outcomes that create a culture of discipline and accountability and empower others to be even more responsible, accountable, and self-motivated. This book uses accessible language, examples, case studies, key questions, and exercises to help:

• Promote better relationships
• Know when to delegate, direct and coach.
• Balance directive and supportive styles of leadership for productive partnerships
• Overcome fears and deal head-on with difficult situations and conflict.
• Use coaching for performance improvement and on-the-job development.
• Support independent thinking and personal reflection
• Gain commitment and accountability from others and build teams

Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week – Perceptions of Diversity in the Nonprofit Workforce

The Voice of Nonprofit Talent: Perceptions of Diversity in the Workplace is a new study produced by Commongood Careers and Level Playing Field Institute that focuses on ethnic and racial diversity in the nonprofit workplace. The study examines the repercussions of what happens when organizations do nothing to change this reality. Key findings include:

• While almost 9 out of 10 employees believe their organization values diversity, more than 7 out of 10 believe their employer does not do enough to create a diverse and inclusive work environment.
• Among employees who believe their employers value diversity, only one-fourth (25%) believe that their organization has actively demonstrated their commitment to creating a racially diverse environment. This disconnect was particularly evident among employees of color, who were more likely than were white employees to hold negative views of their organizations’ actions towards creating a racially diverse environment (25% compared to 16%).

Two common themes emerged from the responses of employees who believed their organizations were not doing enough to create racially diverse environments: (1) reliance on “empty talk” but not action, and (2) the lack of staff diversity itself. To download a copy of the report, go to: Also see commentary on the study by Rosetta Thurman at

Resource of the Week – Organizing Toolbox

The New Organizing Institute is offering their Organizing Toolbox online at no charge. The extensive collection of training materials, first written by Marshall Ganz of Harvard’s Leading Change Project, and refined by thousands of organizers in the field, provide the basic tools for effective organizing that can result in concrete change. Under each lesson you’ll find a video of a trainer leading that session, a participant guide to walk you through key teachings and small group practice sessions. If you want to train others you’ll also find the PowerPoint and trainer’s notes to help you out. Go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Add Text to Displayed Numbers in Excel 2007 or 2010

To add text to a number in a cell:

• Select the cells you want to add text to
• From the Home tab on the Ribbon, in the Cells group, click "Format"
• Select Format Cells from the drop-down menu
• Select Custom from the Category list
• In the Type box, select the default value General
• After the word General, enter a space and a quote, next enter the word you want to display and another quote. For example, General "Pounds" or "Inches"
• Click on OK

The format you create will put the word after any number you enter into the cell, but Excel will still treat the value as a number, not text.

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