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:

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

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:

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:

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

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