Monday, October 31, 2011

Picks of the Week: October 30 - November 5, 2011

Website of the Week -- Partnership for Philanthropic Planning

Originally created in 1988 as the National Committee on Planned Giving (NCPG), the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning (the Partnership) is a 501(c)(3) public charity whose mission is to help people and organizations create charitable giving experiences that are the most meaningful in achieving both charitable mission and the philanthropic, financial, family and personal goals of the donor. The Partnership achieves its mission through research, education, advocacy, community dialogue and the setting of standards and best practices in philanthropic planning. The Partnership strives to engage all constituents in the charitable gift planning process: planned giving and major gifts professionals, nonprofit managers and trustees, financial and estate planners, trust managers and administrators. To access the Resource Center, go to:

Publication of the Week -- Implementing and Sustaining Your Strategic Plan: A Workbook for Public and Nonprofit Organizations by John M. Bryson Sharon Roe Anderson and Farnum K. Alston

From the publisher: Based on John Bryson's acclaimed comprehensive approach to strategic planning, the Implementing and Sustaining Your Strategic Plan workbook provides a step-by-step process, tools, techniques, and worksheets to help successfully implement, manage, and troubleshoot an organization's strategy over the long haul. This new and immensely practical workbook helps organizations work through the typical challenges of leading implementation for sustained change. It spotlights the importance of effective leadership for long-term successful strategic plan implementation. The authors include a wealth of tools designed to help with goal and objective setting, budgeting, stakeholder analysis, priority reconciliation, strategies in practice, special leadership roles, cultural changes, and more. The workbook's conceptual framework, step-by-step process, and worksheets can be applied in a variety of ways. It can be used as a whole, or selected parts can be used by board members, boards of directors, senior management teams, implementation teams, and task forces on a regular basis throughout the process of sustained implementation. The workbook's individual worksheets, or combinations of worksheets, can be used as needed to address a variety of implementation-related tasks. Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week – Latest Trends in Corporate Giving

Based on data from 184 companies, including 63 of the top 100 companies in the Fortune 500, the 2011 Edition of Giving in Numbers is the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy's seventh annual report on trends in corporate philanthropy. The sum of contributions across all respondents of the 2010 Corporate Giving Survey (CGS) totaled over $15.5 billion in cash and product giving. In this report, CECP not only presents a profile of corporate philanthropy in 2010, but also seeks to answer the pivotal question: How has corporate giving changed since the onset of the economic downturn? Key findings include:

• 94% of companies offered at least one matching gift program in 2010
• 89% of companies had a formal domestic employee volunteer program
• 81% of companies reported having a corporate foundation
• Health, education, and community and economic development were top priorities for the typical company

For more information about the key findings and to download a copy of the full report, go to:

Resource of the Week – Nonprofit Tips Phone App

From the publisher: Smart tips at your fingertips. Whether you work or volunteer for a nonprofit organization – or would like to – this app is for you. Need to chair a committee? Planning a fundraising event or board retreat? Thinking about joining a board? Want to know more about nonprofit budgets? View a daily tip that can help you and your favorite cause be more effective and efficient. Search related categories and terms. Designate favorites and add notes to stimulate discussion at your next meeting. Or simply share a smart thought with colleagues and friends. Features Display a daily tip with brief commentary. Touch a category to view related tips or search by keyword or tip number. Save or share a tip or edit your favorites list. Add and save your notes about a tip. Shake your device to reload the current day. Go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Using IF Functions in Excel 2007 and 2010

In a previous tip Using IF Functions in Excel we covered the basic If function which can be used in all versions of Excel. explains the use of the If function and provides step-by-step tutorials on how to enter this function in 2007 and 2010:

Using the Excel 2007 IF Function

Using If Functions in Excel 2010

Download the If Function Worksheet and learn about the more complex uses of If functions.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Picks of the Week: October 23 - 29, 2011

Website of the Week -- The Community Tool Box

The Community Tool Box is a widely used Internet-based resource for promoting community health and development. The Community Tool Box is a service of the Work Group for Community Health and Development at the University of Kansas. Development of the Community Tool Box has been ongoing since 1994, and is a public service of the University of Kansas. The Tool Box provides more than 7,000 pages of practical information to support community health and development work. The focus is on specific practical skills, such as conducting a meeting or participatory evaluation, that help create conditions for health and human development. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- Driving Social Change: How to Solve the World's Toughest Problems by Paul C. Light

From the publisher: This important book illustrates how to create the social breakthroughs needed to solve urgent global threats such as poverty, disease, and hunger. It then turns to three alternative, but complementary, paths to social breakthrough: social protecting, social exploring, and social advocacy, providing a detailed map of the journey from initial commitment to a world of justice and opportunity. This publication:

• Examines the current condition of the social impact infrastructure
• Offers strategies for how to remedy the steady weakening of our social-impact infrastructure
• Provides tactics to build strong social organizations and networks
• Illustrates dynamic methods to respond to constant economic and social change

Author Paul Light believes we should be less concerned about the tools of agitation (social entrepreneurship, social protecting, social exploring, and social advocacy) and more concerned about the disruption and replacement of the status quo. Timely in its urgency, this book describes the revolutionary social impact cycle, which provides a new approach for framing the debate about urgent threats. Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week – Lack of Diversity in Arts Giving

Most foundations make grants to big arts organizations that serve a well-to-do, predominantly white audience, according to a new study by the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy. The study says organizations with annual budgets exceeding $5-million, representing about 2 percent of cultural organizations, collected 55 percent of arts grants in 2009. The biggest recipients tend to be museums, operas, and symphonies, which have seen attendance decline while demand is rising for community-based cultural programs, according to the watchdog group, which has challenged foundations to step up support for all types of groups that serve the needy. Arts philanthropy has not kept pace with demographic changes and “is using its tax-exempt status primarily to benefit wealthier, more privileged institutions and populations,” said Holly Sidford, the study’s author. To download an executive summary of the report, go to:

Resource of the Week – Top 10 Tips for Running a Good Nonprofit Hiring Process

Any hiring process takes thoughtful planning. But for nonprofit organizations, which often face time and money constraints, and whose staff are highly driven by passion and commitment to a cause, the planning process takes on new meaning. It becomes even more important in this type of environment to ensure that the hiring process is done efficiently, and reaps the best candidates for the senior roles that nonprofits seek to fill. To explore how to run a good process, The Bridgespan Group interviewed Tom Friel, the retired chairman and chief executive officer of Heidrick & Struggles International, Inc. and a senior advisor to The Bridgespan Group. In this article, he shares his top 10 tips on running an effective hiring process. Go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Add a Drop Cap in Word 2010

A drop cap is used to display the first letter of the paragraph in a large font. To add a drop cap to a paragraph in Word 2010:

• Click in the paragraph where you would like to apply a drop cap
• Click the Insert tab on the Ribbon
• In the text group, choose Drop Cap

From the Drop Cap list, click to select the style or choose options for additional choices

Monday, October 17, 2011

Picks of the Week: October 16 - 22, 2011

Website of the Week -- Social Edge

Social Edge is a global online community where social entrepreneurs and other practitioners of the social benefit sector connect to network, learn, inspire and share resources. While Social Edge is sponsored by the Skoll Foundation, Social Edge has no connection to its grantmaking programs. Social Edge launched in June 2003 with the mission to:

• Connect social entrepreneurs, their partners and allies to discuss cutting-edge issues shaping the field.
• Foster frank dialogue, mutual respect and a sense of community among all in the sector.
• Promote learning from the best, promising and disastrous practices.

Social Edge has become a site where social entrepreneurs, philanthropists and other practitioners of the social benefit sector connect to network, learn, inspire and share resources. The site attempts to strike a balance between the visionary and the practical, with its spirited discussions and online workshops and features. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- The Nonprofit Board Members Guide to Lobbying and Advocacy by Marcia Avner

From the publisher: The Nonprofit Board Member's Guide to Lobbying and Advocacy shows board members how to use their power and privilege to move their organization's work forward. The book includes: Concepts, principles, and strategies specific to board members of 501 (c)(3) charities; An eight-step process that enables boards to plan for advocacy to be proactive instead of reactive; First-person success stories and from-the-field advice from board members across the U.S.; Three ways to influence the executive branch of government; Four facts about lobbying with foundation grant funds; Twenty frequently asked questions about lobbying; Information about the laws that govern lobbying by nonprofits; Detailed worksheets that lead readers through critical processes; An appendix of lobbying tips and tactics; Encouragement to make advocacy and lobbying core to a board's active leadership .Hands-on worksheets and resources guide you Detailed worksheets lead you through critical processes from creating a public policy readiness profile, selecting lobbying strategies, identifying key decision makers, identifying resources, and drafting a public policy work plan. An annotated list of helpful resources includes publications, organizations, and web sites.
Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week – Social Media Trends

Clear Verve Marketing LLC based in Wisconsin partnered with McGrath Marketing Associates to launch a study on the social media habits of nonprofit organizations in Southeast Wisconsin. Key findings include:

• Ninety percent of nonprofits use social media, but only 36 percent have a policy regarding its use.
• Although nonprofits have generally embraced the use of social media, many have discovered challenges and in some cases, abandoned the use of social media altogether.
• While lack of resources was often cited by the organizations that abandoned the use of social media, it is also important to note that this same issue was also cited as a major challenge for the organizations that are still using social media.

To access the survey, go to:

Resource of the Week – Finding Your Funding Model: A Practical Approach to Nonprofit Sustainability

The Bridgespan Group’s latest guide, "Finding Your Funding Model: A Practical Approach to Nonprofit Sustainability," outlines a six-step journey to identifying and building the funding model that is right for your organization. Building on years of primary research and consulting experience with dozens of nonprofits, The Bridgespan Group has developed an approach to help organizations identify and develop funding models that can best position them to achieve programmatic aspirations. Finding Your Funding Model provides practical guidance for the steps required, and the decisions and tradeoffs to be made, that will confront nonprofit leaders along the way. Go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Selecting a Range in Excel 2007/2010

In Excel, a range is a group of connected cells. When working in Excel you often need to select a range. Here is a simple trick for quickly selecting a range:

• Click anywhere within the range
• Press Ctrl + A
• The range is selected

If the worksheet does not contain data, Ctrl + A selects the entire worksheet. Another way to select the entire worksheet is to click the button in the upper left corner of the worksheet

Monday, October 10, 2011

Picks of the Week: October 9 - 15, 2011

Website of the Week -- Tides

Tides partners with individuals and institutions to support values-based social change throughout the world. Tides pursues multiple, related strategies to promote this mission. From green nonprofit centers to programmatic consulting, donor advised funds to fiscal sponsorship, grants management to risk management and more, Tides gives members of the nonprofit and philanthropic community freedom to focus on the change it wants to see. For more information, go to:

Publication of the Week -- Building Nonprofit Capacity: A Guide to Managing Change Through Organizational Lifecycles by John Brothers and Anne Sherman

From the publisher: This important resource shows nonprofit leaders how to effectively shepherd a change process within their organization. Based on research from TCC's (formerly The Conservation Company) organizational effectiveness studies and results from the core capacity assessment tool (CCAT, used with over 1000 organizations), the book provides an assessment's lifecycle score that reflects the organization's current stage of development. Filled with case studies, the book provides an outline of the trajectory of organizations along the lifecycle and best practices of how to move successfully through the lifecycle, including the use of templates and resources to assist their movement. Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week – The State of Nonprofit Transparency: Voluntary Disclosure Practices

Guidestar has published a report summarizing the current state of voluntary disclosure policies in the nonprofit sector. Key findings include:

• A high percentage (93 percent) of nonprofits are embracing the Internet to disclose information about their programs and services. In addition, nearly three-quarters of the organizations provided the names of the people who serve on their governing boards and the key staff who manage their organizations and oversee the delivery of programs and services.
• Only 43 percent of the nonprofits surveyed posted their annual reports on their Web sites. Organizations with higher income levels were more likely to make their annual reports available via the Web.
• Only 13 percent posted their audited financial statements on their Web sites. The results of our survey show a reluctance to disclose audited financial statements publically. Although not all nonprofits obtain audits of their financial statements, our survey sample reflects organizations of the size for which an audit is both prudent and a necessary tool for assessing management’s financial capabilities and the organization’s financial health.
• Only 3 percent posted their respective IRS letters of determination on their Web sites. The results of our survey show great reluctance to disclose this basic document authenticating an organization’s tax-exempt status, even though every tax-exempt organization is required to make available for public inspection its application for exemption, any supporting documentation, and any letter or document issued by the IRS concerning the application.

Guidestar recommend five simple steps that will greatly advance nonprofit transparency. For the recommendations and to download a free copy of the report, go to: (Scroll down to the bottom of the page.)

Resource of the Week – Best Practice Briefs

Between 1998 and 2005, University-Community Partnerships at Michigan State University's Office of University Outreach and Engagement published a series of 34 Best Practice Briefs. The briefs were designed to summarize research-based information about human service concepts, processes, models, and tools for funders, policy makers, and service organizations. The full series is archived here in PDF format. Use the navigation bar on the left of the webpage to browse the series by topic, or link directly to the PDF files listed at the site. Go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Change Text Case in Word

To change the case of text in Word, try this:

• Select text
• Press Shift + F3 until it changes to the desired case style

Pressing Shift + F3 toggles the text case between sentence case, UPPERCASE, lowercase, and capitalize each word. Be sure to hold down the Shift WHILE you press F3. Also, it works in all versions of Word. However, if you include text with punctuation at the end, it will skip the option to capitalize each word. You can also try this in PowerPoint.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Picks of the Week: October 2 - 8, 2011

Website of the Week -- Foundation Center Online Learning Lab

The Foundation Center offers an array of online training courses to help you succeed in your fundraising efforts. You can find these online courses listed in the Center's "Virtual Classroom". Go to:

Publication of the Week -- The Jossey-Bass Handbook of Nonprofit Leadership and Management, 3rd Edition by David O. Renz (Editor) and Robert D. Herman

From the publisher: The Jossey-Bass Handbook of Nonprofit Leadership and Management brings together leading experts in the nonprofit and management fields to describe effective practice in all the important functions, processes, and strategies of nonprofit management. Based on the most current research, theory, and experience, this comprehensive edition offers useful advice for managing nonprofit organizations and addresses key aspects of practice such as board development, strategic planning, lobbying, marketing, fundraising, volunteer management, financial management, risk management, and compensation and benefits. New chapters include information and knowledge in areas that have developed and changed substantially since the second edition was published, including: social entrepreneurship, financial leadership and capital structure, demands for new levels of accountability and transparency, and the changing political and legal climate and context. David O. Renz is the Beth K. Smith/Missouri Chair in Nonprofit Leadership and the Director of the Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership, a leadership development and research center at the Henry W. Bloch School of Business and Public Administration at the University of Missouri, Kansas City.

Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week – Childhood Poverty Among Hispanics Sets Record, Leads Nation

The spread of poverty across the United States that began at the onset of the Great Recession of 2007-2009 and accelerated last year hit one fast-growing demographic group especially hard: Latino children. More Latino children are living in poverty -- 6.1 million in 2010 -- than children of any other racial or ethnic group. This marks the first time in U.S. history that the single largest group of poor children is not white. In 2010, 37.3% of poor children were Latino, 30.5% were white and 26.6% were black, according to an analysis of new data from the U.S. Census Bureau by the Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center. This negative milestone for Hispanics is a product of their growing numbers, high birth rates and declining economic fortunes. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, Hispanics today make up a record 16.3% of the total U.S. population. But they comprise an even larger share (23.1%) of the nation's children, a disparity driven mainly by high birth rates among Hispanic immigrants. Read the full report for discussion of the factors explaining this trend and how the recession reversed a pattern where more white children lived in poverty than Hispanic children prior to 2007. The report also explores the varied impact of the recession on different subgroups of Latino children. Go to:

Resource of the Week – Stepping Up, Staying Engaged: Succession Planning and Executive Transition Management for Nonprofit Boards of Directors

Staying Engaged, Stepping Up is the fifth volume of a monograph series on executive transitions and executive transition management, funded by the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Family Fund and the Annie E. Casey Foundation. This publication focuses particularly on board leaders. It provides a set of practical perspectives, hands-on tools, brief case studies, and useful resources to help board chairs, officers, and members take a proactive approach to preparing their organizations for a transition. To download a copy, go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Freeze a Formula into its Current Value in Excel

To freeze a formula into its current value:

• Select the formula
• Press F2 (Edit)
• Press F9 (Calc)
• Press Enter

Now you can copy or move the value anywhere you need it. This trick works in all versions of Excel, including 2007 and 2010!