Monday, November 28, 2011

Picks of the Week: November 27 - December 3, 2011

Website of the Week --

Over the past few decades, the boundaries between the public (government), private (business), and social (non-profit) sectors have been blurring as many pioneering organizations have been blending social and environmental aims with business approaches. There are many expressions of this trend, including corporate social responsibility, microfinance, venture philanthropy, sustainable businesses, social enterprise, privatization, community development and others. As this activity matures, it is becoming formalized as a ‘Fourth Sector’ of the economy. This website provides important links to a resource library, a directory of organizations engaged in giving form and direction to the Fourth Sector, a legal document library, and more. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- The Nonprofit's Guide to Human Resources: Managing Your Employees & Volunteers by Jan Masaoka

From the publisher: The nonprofit workplace has a culture of its own, shaped largely by the organization's mission and the staff attracted to the mission, which can include large numbers of volunteers. And with many of today's nonprofits operating on a slim budget, chances are you're fulfilling more than one role in the organization and can use some focused guidance! Geared to this unique culture, The Nonprofit's Guide to Human Resources provides legal and "good practice" information for anyone in charge of HR at small to medium sized organizations. Whatever your title and experience level, you'll learn how to identify, face and resolve daily legal issues related to:

• hiring, including screening, testing, background checks and interviewing
• salaries and benefits, including FMLA and comp time
• firings, layoffs and time reductions
• determining suitable volunteer positions and recruiting and training for them
• employee communications and other administrative tasks
• managing a multi-racial, multicultural and multi-generational workforce
• handling an organization in crisis

The Nonprofit's Guide to Human Resources offers the sound legal information found in Nolo's other books for employers while addressing specific nonprofit issues you're likely to encounter, such as the board of directors' role in HR, and managing volunteers. Throughout the book you'll find helpful tips and lessons learned (the hard way!) from expert advisers in various areas of HR management, from hiring to unions.

Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week – Why Americans Use Social Media

Two-thirds of online adults (66%) use social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace or LinkedIn. These internet users say that connections with family members and friends (both new and old) are a primary consideration in their adoption of social media tools. Roughly two thirds of social media users say that staying in touch with current friends and family members is a major reason they use these sites, while half say that connecting with old friends they’ve lost touch with is a major reason behind their use of these technologies. Other factors play a much smaller role—14% of users say that connecting around a shared hobby or interest is a major reason they use social media, and 9% say that making new friends is equally important. Reading comments by public figures and finding potential romantic partners are cited as major factors by just 5% and 3% of social media users, respectively. To read or download the full report:

Resource of the Week – Non-Profits: Sample Forms and Policies

The new IRS Form 990 requires the organization to adopt a number of policies in order to comply with the standards of governance, accountability and transparency. The following samples have been compiled and developed by Wegner CPAs based in Wisconsin. Go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Create a List with Checkboxes in Word 2007/2010

Here's an easy way to add a list with checkboxes in Word:

• Create a bulleted list
• Select the list
• On the Home tab, in the Paragraphs group, click the arrow on the Bullets button
• If a checkbox does not appear on the Bullets drop-down menu, click Define New Bullet
• Under Bullet Character, click the Symbol button
• From the Symbol menu, click on a checkbox symbol and click OK
• You can also select another font, such as Wingdings, and choose a checkbox from this font before clicking OK

This is a quick and simple way to create a checkbox list for printing. However, it does not allow you to click the checkbox on the screen and check the item off the list. Next week's tip will cover this more advanced technique for creating checkbox lists in Word.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Picks of the Week: November 13 - 19, 2011

Website of the Week -- Online Compendium of NPO Regulations

This Web site provides a central resource for nonprofit organization (NPO) administrators, regulators and the interested public to find information about the laws and regulations controlling NPOs in the U.S. The site has three major sections: a set of informational pages about various general topics, a section of pages each dedicated to an individual jurisdiction (e.g. states) that describe the regulations of those jurisdictions, and a section devoted to current issues in NPO regulation and the efforts being made to minimize the regulatory burden that NPOs face. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- Content Rules by Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman

From the publisher: Blogs, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and other publishing platforms are giving everyone a "voice," including organizations and their customers. So how do you create the bold stories, videos, and blog posts that cultivate fans, arouse passion for your products or services, and ignite your business? Content Rules equips you for online success with a one-stop source on the art and science of developing marketing content that people care about. This coverage is interwoven with case studies of companies successfully spreading their ideas online-and using them to establish credibility and build a loyal customer base.

• Learn the art of storytelling and the science of journalism
• Find an authentic "voice" and craft bold content that will resonate with prospects and buyers and encourage them to share it with others
• Leverage social media and social tools to get your content and ideas distributed as widely as possible
• Boost your online presence and engage with customers and prospects like never before with Content Rules.

Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week – Computer and Internet Use at Home

Exploring the Digital Nation - Computer and Internet Use at Home updates and expands last year’s report, Exploring the Digital Nation: Home Broadband Internet Adoption in the United States, based on data from the Census Bureau’s most recent Current Population Survey (CPS) School Enrollment and Internet Use Supplement. Key findings include:

• As of October 2010, more than 68 percent of households used broadband Internet access service, up from 64 percent one year earlier
• Cable modem (32 percent) and DSL (23 percent) ranked as the most commonly used broadband technologies. Other technologies, including mobile broadband, fiber optics, and satellite services, accounted for a small, but growing, segment of households with broadband Internet access service.
• Over three-fourths (77 percent) of households had a computer – the principal means by which households access the Internet – compared with 62 percent in 2003. Low computer use correlates with low broadband adoption rates.
• Broadband Internet adoption, as well as computer use, varied across demographic and geographic groups. Lower income families, people with less education, those with disabilities, Blacks, Hispanics, and rural residents generally lagged the national average in both broadband adoption and computer use. For example, home broadband adoption and computer use stood at only 16 percent and 27 percent, respectively, among rural households headed by a Black householder without a high school diploma. Also, households with school-age children exhibited higher broadband adoption and computer use rates than other households (Section 4.1, Figure 7).
• The most important reasons households without broadband Internet or dial-up service gave for not subscribing were: (1) lack of need or interest (47 percent); (2) lack of affordability (24 percent); and (3) inadequate computer (15 percent)

For more information and to download the full report, go to:

Resource of the Week – Tools for Capacity Building

The National Council of Nonprofit Associations (NCNA) has compiled an excellent collection of capacity building tools and resources for nonprofits. Go to:

Tech Tip of the Week Using Date Functions in Excel 2007/2010

There are many ways to use the Date functions in Excel. Previous Tech Tips have included: Calculate a Person's Age in Excel; Calculate Remaining Days in the Year; and Calculate the Days, Months or Years between Dates in Excel.

A lesser known date function is NETWORKDAYS, which returns the number of work days between two dates. The format for this function is: NETWORKDAYS(start_date,end_date,[holidays]). Holidays is optional.

The following tutorials can help you learn to use of the Date functions in Excel:
Excel 2007 / 2010 Date Functions: Working with Dates in Excel from

Microsoft Excel 2007 to 2010: The Date Function in Excel from

Monday, November 7, 2011

Picks of the Week: November 6 - 12, 2011

Website of the Week -- National Human Services Assembly

The National Human Services Assembly is an association of the nation’s leading national non-profits in the fields of health, human and community development, and human services. Many of the member organizations are national offices of large networks of local health & human service organizations. Others are national research or resource organizations or national programs. The National Assembly is a learning community where leaders with parallel responsibilities at different national nonprofit human service organizations (e.g., CEOs, HR directors) share knowledge and expertise about their work in this sector. The Assembly envisions “a just and caring nation which effectively addresses the development and care of its citizens.” And it envisions itself as a force attempting to make that vision a reality. Goals of the Assembly include:

• Provide collective leadership to shape national human development/health & human service strategies.
• Serve as a catalyst for sharing of resources for the purposes of individual/professional development and organizational efficiency and effectiveness.
• Increase awareness of the importance of and trust in the nonprofit health & human service sector.

For more information, go to:

Publication of the Week -- Everyone Leads: Building Leadership from the Community Up by Paul Schmitz

From the publisher: Paul Schmitz, CEO of Public Allies, shares unique experiences and lessons his organization has learned from two decades of identifying and developing thousands of diverse young leaders across the country. With inspiring stories and practical examples, the author shares what it means to lead today. He tells the story about how the Public Allies model emerged (including Michelle Obama's important role) and demonstrates the organization's approach through illustrative stories of its graduates and of his own unusual leadership journey. The author surveys America's democratic and civil rights history, current trends, and leadership theory to demonstrate how collaboration among citizens has always been core to social change. The book also delves into five leadership values essential today: recognizing and mobilizing assets, diversity and inclusion, teamwork and collaboration, continuous learning, and integrity. Everyone Leads offers a hopeful path for citizens, policymakers, and nonprofit organizations wanting to build and engage the diverse leadership our communities and our democracy badly need.

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Trend of the Week – Nonprofit Employers Don’t Meet Workers’ Needs for Job Satisfaction

As reported by the Chronicle of Philanthropy, two recent reports show a disconnect between what nonprofits provide to their workers and what employees say is essential to their job satisfaction. The survey reports gathered data from about 3,500 nonprofit workers in the New York and Washington metropolitan areas and were conducted by the staffing firm Professionals for NonProfits. Key findings include:

• Seventy percent of workers in two surveys said their jobs were either disappointing or only somewhat fulfilling. That might be a reason 25 percent of workers said they were considering looking for a job outside the nonprofit world.
• Four out of 10 workers in both cities said that the factors they ranked as most essential are not on display at their nonprofits:—“respect, trust, and support by management” as well as a sense that their organization has “a compelling mission.”
• About half of all workers said they felt recognition and reward for their hard work and outstanding performance were essential. And yet 60 percent of workers in Washington and 65 percent in New York said hard work was not valued at their organization.
• The pay cuts that many nonprofit workers have taken during the economic downturn may be exacting a cost in employee satisfaction: About half of workers in both surveys said a salary reduction would be a reason to leave and a more important motivation for departure than a change in work expectations or job description. For more information about the reports, go to:

Resource of the Week – Accounting Procedures Manual Template

Blue Avocado Magazine has provided a template for developing an accounting procedures manual for your nonprofit. It was developed by Deborah Cooper of the California Association of Nonprofits (CAN), along with Meredeth Clark (also from CAN) and Steve Zimmerman, C.P.A., of Spectrum Nonprofit Services. Go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Broadcasting PowerPoint 2010 Presentations

An amazing new feature in PowerPoint 2010 is the ability to Broadcast your slideshows to anyone, anywhere. Here's how:

• Make sure you have signed up for a Windows Live ID
• Open your slide show
• Click the Slide Show tab on the Ribbon
• Click the Broadcast Slide Show button in the Start Slide Show group
• PowerPoint prepares your slide show
• The Broadcast Slide Show screen is displayed with a link to your presentation
• Email the link to anyone you want to attend your presentation
• Now click the Start Slide Show button and remote viewers can view your presentation

The following articles can help you learn this powerful new tool:

PowerPoint Blog: Introducing Broadcast Slide Show

PowerPoint Blog: Broadcast your Presentation with PowerPoint 2010