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.

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