Monday, January 30, 2012

Picks of the Week: January 22 - 28, 2012

Website of the Week -- Volunteer Consulting Group

The Volunteer Consulting Group (VCG) is a nonprofit organization, founded in 1969 by the Harvard Business School Club of Greater New York, whose mission focuses on strengthening nonprofit organizations by increasing the governing and management ability of their Boards of Directors. Services that VCG provides to strengthen the governance of the nonprofit sector include: (1) Matching Board members and Boards; (2) Working to make Boards more effective; and (3) Continually upgrading the skills of current Board members. VCG offer several services for those interested in ongoing developments in nonprofit governance. Through advocacy, peer-learning roundtables and workshops, and educational resources -- such as the website -- Governance Matters fosters an open exchange of ideas throughout the nonprofit sector. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- The 100 Best Business Books of All Time: What They Say, Why They Matter, and How They Can Help You by Jack Covert and Todd Sattersten

From the publisher: This book is a no-brainer for your bookshelf-it's like having a literate Cliff's Notes guide to all those books you know you should have read by now. More than 11,000 business books are published each year, and hidden somewhere in that overwhelming stack is the solution to your current business problem. For twenty-five years, Jack Covert and Todd Sattersten have made it their job to recommend the best business books, and now they've taken on the ultimate challenge-to reread the classics, the bestsellers, and the sleepers and choose the 100 most relevant, most revealing, most useful books in business history. This collection is more than just a list. Covert and Sattersten highlight important takeaways and put each book in context. Their insights can help anyone cut through the clutter and discover the business books that are truly worth their time and money.

Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week – Minorities Are More Generous Than Whites, Study Finds

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) released a new report, “Cultures of Giving: Energizing and Expanding Philanthropy by and for Communities of Color” with support from Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors. This new report shows how the face of philanthropy is rapidly changing to become as ethnically, culturally and socioeconomically diverse as our country’s population, with some of the most significant growth stemming from identity-based philanthropy—a growing movement to spark philanthropic giving from a community on behalf of a community, where “community” is defined by race, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation. Historically, communities of color receive a small percentage of mainstream philanthropic dollars despite an often disproportionate need. Yet recent trends show that communities of color are giving at increasing rates and levels. For instance, 63 percent of Latino households now make charitable donations, and African Americans give away 25 percent more of their income per year than whites. To download the full report, go to:

Resource of the Week – The Grantsmanship Center Archives

The Grantsmanship Center publications are packed with information on how to plan, manage, staff and fund the programs of nonprofit organizations and government agencies. Archives of these publications are now available at the Library of Congress. You may also access articles from recent issues organized under ten categories. Go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Copy Formatting in Word

A previously published tip Fast Formatting covered using format painter (the paintbrush icon) to copy the format of text. Since I am a fan of shortcut keys, and sometimes format painter seems a bit erratic when using it to repeatedly copy the same format, here's how to do the same thing using shortcut keys:

• Click on the text which you want to copy a format from
• Press Ctrl+Shift+C (copy format) to copy the text formatting of the area where the cursor is located
• Select the text you want to copy the format to and press Ctrl+Shift+V (paste format)

This method is even more flexible than using the paintbrush. You can paste the format as many times as you want, since the format copy is saved in a memory area like the clipboard, and still do other things in between copies. And it appears to work in all versions of Word.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Picks of the Week: January 15 - 21, 2012

Website of the Week -- The Future of Philanthropy

This website contains the results of a partnership between the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. The partnership was initiated by Tom Reis, a program director within the Philanthropy and Volunteerism unit at Kellogg, and by Barbara Kibbe, then the director of Packard’s Organizational Effectiveness and Philanthropy Program and now vice president for program and effectiveness at the Skoll Foundation. As representatives from two of the very few funders doing grantmaking to build the capacity of philanthropy and nonprofits, Reis and Kibbe were troubled by their perception that the U.S. nonprofit sector was not keeping up with the pace of change. This website is designed for individuals who want to do a better job of using their own resources (money, time, expertise) and for those who are employed as philanthropy professionals or advisors. It is primarily constructed to help improve the practice of philanthropy. But it also contains material for those who are working to change philanthropy. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- The Budget-Building Book for Nonprofits: A Step-by-Step Guide for Managers and Boards, 2nd Edition by Murray Dropkin, Jim Halpin, and Bill La Touche

From the publisher: This best-selling nuts-and-bolts workbook, now in its second edition, has become the gold standard for nonprofit managers and boards who must work through the budget cycle. The book offers practical tools and guidance for completing each step of the budgeting process. Designed to be comprehensive and easy to use, The Budget-Building Book for Nonprofits provides everything budgeters and nonfinancial managers need to prepare, approve, and implement their own budgets. Includes new chapters on Zero-Based and Capital Budgeting as well as a CD with spreadsheets, worksheets and a new budget-building software, the CMS Nonprofit Budget Builder, designed to help you implement the concepts in the book. The software includes an expandable standard chart of accounts (COA) and will aid in building, organizing, tracking and planning budgets.

Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week – Foundation Funding for Hispanics/Latinos

According to Foundation Funding for Hispanics/Latinos in the United States and for Latin America, released by the Foundation Center in collaboration with Hispanics in Philanthropy, total grant dollars targeting Latinos in the U.S. between 2007 and 2009 averaged about $206 million per year, while funding for Latin America averaged roughly $350 million per year. Human services (27 percent) and health (26 percent) captured the largest shares of grant dollars awarded for Latinos in the U.S. Of the grants targeting Latin America, Mexico and Brazil received the largest shares. Among other key findings in the report:

• The top 10 funders awarding grants for Latinos in the U.S. from 2007 to 2009 accounted for close to 40 percent of grant dollars.
• Recipient organizations in the Western region of the United States received the largest share (42 percent) of foundation dollars intended to benefit Hispanics. Over 80 percent of this funding went to organizations in California.
• The largest share of grant dollars for Latin America was for the environment and animals (33 percent), followed by international affairs (20 percent).
• Roughly half of funding for Latin America went directly to recipient organizations located in Latin America, while the other half was awarded through U.S.-based international programs.

To download the free report, go to:

Resource of the Week – Finding the Right CEO

BoardSource has released a new white paper: Finding the Right CEO. According to this guide, when looking for the next chief executive, the search committee should remember that what counts is the diversity of a candidate’s experience. Qualifications, lists of achievements, proofs of expertise are the facts of an individual candidate’s suitability, and all are important. But the truth behind those lists resides in the character of a candidate’s experience — in the variety and complexity of the situations the candidate has encountered and how the candidate dealt with the encounters. To download a copy of the white paper, go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Using Excel 2010 Sparklines

A new feature in Excel 2010 called Sparklines can help you spot trends in your data. Sparklines are tiny charts that sit on top of a cell. Here’s how to create them:

• Select an empty cell or group of empty cells where you want to insert Sparklines
• Click the Insert tab on the Ribbon
• In the Sparklines group, click the type of Sparkline you want to create
• In the Data box, enter the range of cells that contain the data to base the Sparklines on

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Picks of the Week: January 8 - 14, 2012

Website of the Week -- Stanford Social Innovation Review

The Stanford Social Innovation Review has re-launched its website. Stanford Social Innovation Review is an award-winning magazine and website that covers cross-sector solutions to global problems. SSIR is written for and by social change leaders in the nonprofit, business, and government sectors who view collaboration as key to solving environmental, social, and economic justice issues. Published at the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society at Stanford University, SSIR bridges academic theory and practice with ideas about achieving social change. SSIR covers a wide range of subjects, from microfinance and green businesses to social networks and human rights. Its aim is both to inform and to inspire. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- Impact Investing: Transforming How We Make Money While Making a Difference by Antony Bugg-Levine and Jed Emerson

From the publisher: This is the first book to chart the catalytic path of this new industry, explaining how it is and can be a positive disruptive force. It shows how impact investing is a transformational vehicle for delivering "blended value" throughout the investment spectrum, giving a single name to a set of activities previously siloed in enclaves, revealing how they are linked within what is becoming a new field of investing. Written by two leaders in the growing field of impact investing, the book defines this emerging industry for participants on all sides of the funding equation (investors, funders and social entrepreneurs).

• Filled with illustrative examples of impact investing success stories
• Reveals how the field can expand in order to address the most critical so social and environmental issues of our day
• Explores the wide-ranging applications of impact investing as well as entrepreneurial opportunities

The authors do not take a normative approach to argue how investors should behave like an investment guide might but show how entrepreneurial people and institutions are already offering an integrated alternative.

Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week – Key Predictions and Trends for the Nonprofit Sector in 2012

Convio announced its key predictions and expected trends that will have the biggest impact on the nonprofit sector in 2012: social and mobile continuing to mature; peer-to-peer engagement having greater influence; and donors dictating terms of interaction. Key Predictions and Trends for the Nonprofit Sector in 2012 include:

• Online fundraising was up 40 percent from 2009. Online will continue as the fastest growing giving channel.
• Online's influence outside of transactions is growing as older donors engage in web-based communications and advocacy.
• Acceleration in new media channels and devices (social and mobile) will have significant increase in material importance for nonprofits.
• Direct communications by nonprofit organizations will have less impact on the giving decisions of donors than in years past.
• Donors will increasingly rely on referrals and guidance from friends, family and co-workers to make decisions, particularly the younger generations.
• Nonprofits will want to tap their most vocal and loyal supporters to be active promoters.
• Information overload will continue as individuals receive mail, email and other communications from marketers with increasing intensity, making it challenging for nonprofits to have their messages heard.
• Text messages, RSS feeds, tweets and Facebook posts only compound the problem.
• Tailored communications that resonate with donors will be critical.
• Nonprofit supporters want to be able to define and customize how they are communicated to (e.g. go paperless, set frequency of emails and filter for content).
• The burden of expectation for nonprofits is being set by the for-profit sector.

For more information, go to:

Resource of the Week – posts federal, state, city, local and foundation grants on one website, categorized by type and updated daily. All our grants are current and expired grants are archived daily. Members can sign up for free to receive a weekly email of new grants posted. Members can also tour archives for free. To view complete details of new and current grants, including the complete application, there is a low subscription rate. All posts on include the important grant information, full applications, deadlines and contact person information. 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.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Picks of the Week: January 1 - 7, 2012

Website of the Week -- Creative Capital

Creative Capital provides integrated financial and advisory support to artists pursuing adventurous projects in five disciplines: Emerging Fields, Film/Video, Literature, Performing Arts and Visual Arts. Working in long-term partnership with artists, Creative Capital’s pioneering approach to support combines funding, counsel and career development services to enable a project’s success and foster sustainable practices for its grantees. In its first decade, Creative Capital has committed more than $20 million in financial and advisory support to 325 projects representing 406 artists, and has reached an additional 3,700 artists through its Professional Development Program. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- Giving 2.0 by Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen

From the publisher: Giving 2.0 is the ultimate resource for anyone navigating the seemingly infinite ways one can give. The future of philanthropy is far more than just writing a check, and Giving 2.0 shows how individuals of every age and income level can harness the power of technology, collaboration, innovation, advocacy, and social entrepreneurship to take their giving to the next level and beyond. Major gifts may dominate headlines, but the majority of giving still comes from individual households—ordinary people with extraordinary generosity. Based on her vast experience as a philanthropist, academic, volunteer, and social innovator, Arrillaga-Andreessen shares the most effective techniques she herself pilots and studies and a vast portfolio of lessons learned during her lifetime of giving. Featuring dozens of stories on innovative and powerful methods of how individuals give time, money, and expertise—whether volunteering and fundraising, leveraging technology and social media, starting a giving circle, fund, foundation, or advocacy group, or aspiring to create greater social impact—Giving 2.0 shows readers how they can renew, improve, and expand their giving and reach their fullest potential. A practical, entertaining, and inspiring call to action, Giving 2.0 is an indispensable tool for anyone passionate about creating change in our world.

Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week -- State Budget Losses Expected to Cause Problems for Nonprofits Through 2013

Despite signs the economy is improving, nonprofits that rely on state money should brace for at least two more years of tough times, a new report warns. The report, prepared by Changing Our World, a philanthropy consulting firm, traces the evolution of the economic crisis, assesses its impact on state budgets, and explores whether philanthropy can make up for the loss of government spending on social programs. The report offers the following tips to help nonprofits respond to the current economic downturn and prepare for the next one:

• Tap unemployed people to work as volunteers, possibly with an honorarium. The organization benefits from their experience while they gain a position that will make them more attractive to potential employers.
• When raising money, emphasize the positive. Instead of saying the organization is hurting financially, explain the impact a gift could make. Develop a strategy for measuring results if one does not already exist to be prepared for the next crisis.
• Consider adding to the board people who have financial expertise and relevant government experience.
• Get educated about domestic and international business and economic trends. Read the Financial Times and The Wall Street Journal.
• Set up a board committee that meets when an economic measure, like unemployment or consumer confidence, hits a designated number.
• Make sure no more than 60 percent of any program’s budget comes from government money.

To access the full report, go to:

Resource of the Week – Greenlights Nonprofit Management Resource Library

Greenlights for Nonprofit Success is a management service organization dedicated to improving the management effectiveness of the Central Texas nonprofit sector. Services include customized consulting and coaching, organization and board advancement, information and referral, interactive education, and nonprofit convening events. Greenlights has compiled an extensive collection of free downloadable resources that will be useful to all nonprofits. To access the library, go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Record Templates for Office

Trying to set up records for the coming year? Microsoft offers free templates for Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and other Office programs, which can help you set up records in a number of categories:

• Academic records
• Financial records
• Home records
• Human Resources records
• Journals
• Ledgers
• Logs
• Medical and health care records

And more. Click to download record templates.