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

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