Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Picks of the Week: December 25 - 31, 2011

Website of the Week -- Center for Nonprofit Management

As one of the nation's leading management support organizations, the Center for Nonprofit Management brings the most current tools for best practices in nonprofit management to thousands of nonprofit boards, staff and volunteers each year. The mission for the Center is to build stronger communities by increasing the performance and impact of nonprofit organizations. In the late 1970's, the Meadows Foundation in Dallas recognized a significant need for staff development and management assistance to charitable organizations. In 1980, with the support of other local funders, Meadows provided the seed funding to establish the Center for Nonprofit Management. Today, the Center receives support from donations, grants, fees for services and annual membership dues at a minimal cost and is a United Way service provider. The site houses an excessive collection of resources for nonprofits. Go to: http://www.cnmdallas.org/about_the_center.aspx.

Publication of the Week -- Shift and Reset: Strategies for Addressing Serious Issues in a Connected Society by Brian Reich

From the publisher: In these challenging economic times, it is more important than ever for nonprofits to focus on shaping policy, building capacity, developing talent, improving their marketing and promotion, fundraising, and developing partnerships/collaboration for organizational success. Shift & Reset: Strategies for Supporting Causes in a Connected Society teaches the nonprofit/social change/philanthropy/cause community how to take advantage of rapidly changing technologies and new communication ecosystem that exist in our connected society.

• Addresses the most critical challenges facing the nonprofit/social change/philanthropy/cause community
• Re-envisions how we support causes and address serious issues in our connected society
• Outlines how organizations must operate—and what happens when they don't re-think their work
• Features interviews with over twenty-five leading thinkers/authors/organizational leaders

Innovative and right on time, Shift & Reset equips nonprofit professionals with a set of three core principles, a five-step checklist of immediate action items, as well as a list of ten "must-read" items.

Click to preview this book on Amazon.com.

Trend of the Week – Growth of Suburban Poverty

The Brookings Institution released a report on the growth of poverty in the suburbs of four major metropolitan areas in the US and how foundations have reacted to these changing demographics. Using data from local funders in the Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, and Detroit regions, as well as interviews with practitioners, the report found several key takeaways from philanthropy’s involvement in suburban poverty. Most of the community foundations in the suburban areas are smaller and newer, and do not give out enough grants compared to their urban counterparts proportional to the poverty levels in the areas they served. Additionally, the report highlighted the need for capacity building in suburban social service nonprofits, but noted that most suburban funders are not providing this necessary support. To download the report, go to: http://www.brookings.edu.

Resource of the Week – Board Leadership Resources

Consultant Robert C. Harris has complied an excellent collection of practical tools for managing various aspects of board operations. Go to: http://www.rchcae.com/board-leadership-dowbloads.

Tech Tip of the Week -- Calendar Templates for Office

Gearing up for the new year? Microsoft has a collection of templates for creating calendars using Word, Excel. PowerPoint, Access, and other programs. You can download them for free. Check it out. Click to download free calendar templates. http://office.microsoft.com.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Picks of the Week: December 18 - 24, 2011

Website of the Week -- onPhilanthropy.com

onPhilanthropy.com is a global resource for non-profit, philanthropy and corporate social engagement professionals. It is free of charge and features the industry’s leading e-mail newsletter. onPhilanthropy.com is published by CauseWired Communications, a communications firm specializing in helping nonprofits and causes effectively communicate and secure the support to advance their mission. Thanks to our dedicated staff and contributors, onPhilanthropy.com has become one of the leading online resources connecting a community of voices for change. More than 100,000 non-profit and philanthropy professionals visit OnPhilanthropy's web site, blogs, and newsletters each month. Go to: http://onphilanthropy.com.

Publication of the Week -- Boomer Volunteer Engagement: Collaborate Today, Thrive Tomorrow by Jill Friedman Fixler, Sandie Eichberg and Gail Lorenz

From the publisher: Boomer Volunteer Engagement: Collaborate Today, Thrive Tomorrow is everything nonprofits need to engage skilled Boomer volunteers. This innovative book provides a step-by-step guide for engaging Boomers as volunteers to build organizational capacity. The authors offer a new framework through which nonprofits can capitalize on the vast skills and resources of the 78.2 million Baby Boomers. The guidebook includes a comprehensive, easy-to-understand synthesis of the body of research on the Baby Boomer generation, featuring information that is current and relevant to volunteer engagement. The book also includes 14 downloadable interactive PDF worksheets that focus effort on measurable results. With this inspiring and practical guide for reengineering volunteer programs, nonprofits will not only survive in a changing world, but also thrive in the future. Through collaborative volunteer engagement with the Baby Boomer generation, organizations will have the capacity to fulfill their missions and achieve their dreams.

Click to preview this book on Amazon.com.

Trend of the Week – Foundation Giving Trends 2011 and Beyond

According to the Foundation Center's The Foundation Yearbook, 2011 edition, giving by this country’s more than 76,000 grantmaking foundations stabilized at $45.7 billion in 2010, nearly unchanged from 2009. This followed a record 2.1 percent decline in giving between 2008 and 2009. Numerous factors contributed to the relative stabilization of giving
following the unprecedented 17 percent drop in foundation assets in 2008, including the beginning of a stock market resurgence in the latter half of 2009, the commitment of many foundations to maintaining their grants budgets or reducing the extent of reductions relative to their assets losses, and new resources provided by recently established or newly large foundations. The Foundation Center estimates that foundation giving returned to modest growth in 2011. As the economic recovery remains shaky, the outlook for 2012 and beyond remains uncertain. Nonetheless, while it may take some time to return to the levels of giving recorded prior to the Great Recession it seems unlikely that foundations will institute further pronounced reductions in their giving. To download a summary of the Foundation Yearbook, 2011 Edition, go to: http://foundationcenter.org. To order a copy of the yearbook, go to: http://foundationcenter.org/marketplace.

Resource of the Week – Next Generation Organizations: 9 Key Traits

According to Compasspoint Nonprofit Services based in San Francisco, We have heard much about next generation leaders but little about the way their leadership styles are embodied inside organizational walls. What exactly does next generation leadership entail, how are their organizations structured, what practices are in place, what do their boards look like, and how are operations adapted? CompassPoint has identified a set of 9 characteristics that we think demonstrate how next generation leaders are transforming their organizations to operate in a fundamentally different way to raise the bar on mission impact. To access a monograph describing the Next Generation Organization featuring case examples as well as a companion self assessment tool, go to: http://www.compasspoint.org/nextgenorgs.

Tech Tip of the Week -- Status Bar Sums in Excel

• Select the cells you want to sum
• Check the Status Bar in the lower right
• All versions will display a Sum. By default, in Excel 2007 and 2010, the Count, Average and

Sum will be displayed. But this default can be changed by right clicking on the Status Bar to display the Customize Status Bar menu.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Picks of the Week: December 11 - 17, 2011

Website of the Week -- Insight Labs

The Insight Labs is a pro bono strategy development platform for non-profit organizations, non-governmental organizations and government agencies. An Insight Lab is a structured, three-hour strategy session benefiting a non-profit organization, government agency or industry. Participants are corporate leaders from varied industries, representatives from the benefiting entities, “wildcard” participants (such as professional writers, artists, or scientists), and Insight Lab staff who moderate the discussion. Non-profit organizations and agencies that partner with Insight Labs must meet three criteria for eligibility. They must:

1. Acknowledge the value of the process.
2. Have resources to execute the strategy that the session produces.
3. Have an issue that is compelling to Insight Lab staff.

The Insight Labs staff choose participants from the creative, corporate and academic world for their strategic and creative thinking. These individuals are able to lend these skills to the issue addressed at the Lab without concern for the current limitations of the partner organization. Insight Lab Founder and Dean Jeff Leitner argues that including intelligent individuals who are not impacted directly by the outcome of the session allows for more creative solutions. For more information, go to: http://www.theinsightlabs.org/about.

Publication of the Week -- Banding Together for a Cause: Proven Strategies for Revenue and Awareness Generation by Rachel Armbruster

From the publisher: Experience the yellow wristband campaign from the beginning and learn how to position your nonprofit for success Passionate and inspiring, Banding Together for a Cause will help you identify ways to generate funds for your programs and missions through valuable and meaningful partnerships. In it, author Rachel Armbruster dissects the LIVESTRONG campaign, from timing and brand, to partners and visionary thinking. Engaging and informative, this reliable guide contains interviews and insights with key executives at both LIVESTRONG and Nike. Along the way, this remarkable book takes you behind-the-scenes of the spectacularly successful Lance Armstrong Foundation campaign. It starts with a simple big idea, the yellow wristband, and examines how you can find similar success within your own nonprofit.

Click to preview this book on Amazon.com.

Trend of the Week – Bleak Fundraising Picture for 2012

A new study by the by the Nonprofit Research Collaborative, a joint project by the Indiana University Center on Philanthropy and five other organizations, paints a bleak fundraising picture for nonprofits in 2012. The survey included numerous questions about levels of demand, plans for 2012 and signals of fiscal stress. Data from this study alert managers and donors alike to consider the priorities facing the nonprofit sector in 2012. Responding charitable organizations of all sizes are starting next year with:

• Increases in demand, as reported by 65 percent of respondents, which was consistent across all subsectors—but statistically significantly higher (at 69 percent) for respondents that received government funding in 2010;
• Modest plans to increase operating budgets, at 4 in 10 responding charities;
• Declining philanthropic support this year at 28 percent of respondents and flat philanthropic support at 31 percent of respondents;
• Lower levels of funding from sources other than philanthropic giving, reported by 46 percent of survey respondents;
• Lower government funding among the 55 percent that had government funding, where 54 percent reported declines in government funding in 2011.
• Among signs of fiscal stress, about half of responding organizations have cash reserves for less than three months’ of operating expenses or say they are over‐reliant on a limited number of funders (48 percent each).

This analysis suggests that in the United States, large numbers of nonprofit, charitable organizations— and particularly the smaller entities, as discussed below—are struggling to secure funding for the vital services they provide in their communities. To download the study, go to: http://www2.guidestar.org.

Resource of the Week – Energize, Inc. "News in the Volunteer Field" Blog

Energize, Inc. has launched the "News in the Volunteer Field" Blog. The newest post will always be visible from the Energize, Inc. Web site homepage. This blog is a place for leaders of volunteers to share and talk about timely, noteworthy events, resources, programs, and people in volunteerism. Connect with this Blog to keep informed about:

• Trends or events having an impact on volunteering
• New ideas in volunteer management
• Free or low-cost materials for leading volunteers effectively
• News-to-use in daily work with volunteers

Go to: http://blog.energizeinc.com.

Tech Tip of the Week -- Animation Painter in PowerPoint 2010

The Animation Painter button is a new feature in PowerPoint 2010. It works the same way as the Format Painter button except it copies animations from one object to another. Here’s how to use it:

• Select an object with animations
• Click the Animations tab on the Ribbon
• Select the Animation Painter button in the Advanced Animation group
• With a single click you can transfer all the animations and settings to another object
• If you double-click the Animation Painter button, you can paint multiple objects

Monday, December 5, 2011

Picks of the Week: December 4 - 10, 2011

Website of the Week -- Independent Sector

Independent Sector is the leadership network for charities, foundations, and corporate giving programs committed to advancing the common good in America and around the world. Our nonpartisan coalition of approximately 600 organizations leads, strengthens, and mobilizes the nonprofit and philanthropic community in order to fulfill our vision of a just and inclusive society and a healthy democracy of active citizens, effective institutions, and vibrant communities. Included in the website is the new Resource Center for Good Governance and Ethical Practice containing more than 250 materials to help organizations improve their operations. Go to: http://www.independentsector.org/about

Publication of the Week -- The Volunteer Management Handbook: Leadership Strategies for Success by Tracy D. Connors (Editor)

From the publisher: Completely revised and expanded, the ultimate guide to starting—and keeping—an active and effective volunteer program. Drawing on the experience and expertise of recognized authorities on nonprofit organizations, The Volunteer Management Handbook, Second Edition is the only guide you need for establishing and maintaining an active and effective volunteer program. Written by nonprofit leader Tracy Connors, this handy reference offers practical guidance on such essential issues as motivating people to volunteer their time and services, recruitment, and more. Up-to-date and practical, this is the essential guide to managing your nonprofit's most important resource: its volunteers. Now covers volunteer demographics, volunteer program leaders and managers, policy making and implementation, planning and staff analysis, recruiting, interviewing and screening volunteers, orienting and training volunteers, and much more. Click to preview this book on Amazon.com.

Trend of the Week – Foundation Giving Trends

Among the major areas of activity, education, health, human services, and public affairs/society benefit captured the largest shares of grant dollars awarded by sampled foundations in 2009, according to Foundation Giving Trends (2011 Edition). By number of grants, human services continued to rank first, with sampled funders allocating 27 percent for this area. Key findings include:

• Foundations awarded 186 grants of $10 million or more in 2009. Of the 10 largest, five were awarded by the Gates Foundation, mainly for health and education.
• International giving — which cuts across all areas and includes grants awarded directly to overseas recipients and to U.S.-based international programs — accounted for nearly 24 percent of total grant dollars awarded.
• Among specific populations, the economically disadvantaged benefited from the largest share of grant dollars (29 percent) and grants (25 percent).

To download the report highlights, go to: http://foundationcenter.org.

Resource of the Week – Nonprofit Collaboration Database

In addition to identifying and showcasing exceptional nonprofit collaboration efforts, The Collaboration Prize, supported by the Lodestar Foundation, provides models and best practices for the field through the Nonprofit Collaboration Database, a resource for everyone seeking real-life examples of how nonprofit organizations are working together. The database is housed with the Foundation Center. The database contains detailed information on 250 collaborations nominated for the 2009 Prize, and will be further expanded to include new collaboration models resulting from the 2011 Prize process, as well as other examples that are not part of The Collaboration Prize project of nonprofits working together. Information is arranged by searchable categories, including ways to collaborate, reasons to collaborate, challenges and outcomes. Go to: http://collaboration.foundationcenter.org/search.

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

Last week we covered a simple way to create a checkbox list for printing. This week's tip covers a more advanced technique for creating checkbox lists which you can click on to check. Here's how:

•If the Developer tab is not displayed on your Ribbon you will need to add it:
1. Click the File Menu
2. Click the Options button at the bottom of the left pane
3. Click Customize the Ribbon in the left pane
4. Click to select Developer under the Main Tabs pane on the right

• To add the checkbox, click the Developer tab on the Ribbon
• Click the checkbox in the control group

Click the checkbox control to select (or deselect). We recommend using a table for this type of a list, placing the checkbox in a column beside the list items.