Monday, February 27, 2012

Picks of the Week: February 26 - March 3, 2012

Website of the Week -- National Council of Nonprofits

The National Council of Nonprofits, the nation’s largest nonprofit network, works through its member State Associations to amplify the voices of America’s local community-based nonprofit organizations, help them engage in critical policy issues affecting the sector, manage and lead more effectively, collaborate and exchange solutions, and achieve greater impact in their communities. The NCNA website housed one of the most extensive collections of resources for nonprofits of all types. To access this collection, click on "resources" on the opening webpage. If your nonprofit is not already a member of a state council affiliated with the National Council of Nonprofits, it's time to consider joining. For membership information and much more, go to:

Publication of the Week -- Smart Stewardship for Nonprofits: Making the Right Decision in Good Times and Bad by Peter C. Brinckerhoff

From the publisher: A practical guide to effective decision-making frameworks and tools for nonprofits that ensure successful stewardship. The basic tenets of decision making for nonprofits are similar, whether you're growing, shrinking, or trying to think your way out of a box. Smart Stewardship for Nonprofits provides the tools to make the best stewardship decisions in these varied, but common, situations. Coverage includes the keys to smart stewardship for your nonprofit, the smart stewardship decision tree, understanding capability and capacity, making innovation the norm, understanding the true cost of growth, going to scale, and smart stewardship in bad times.

• Features tools to make the best stewardship decisions in every kind of situation
• Written for executive directors of nonprofit organizations, nonprofit board members, CPAs, and other financial counsel for nonprofits, development directors
• Provides a website hosting a variety of online tools and materials
• Also by Peter Brinckerhoff: Mission-Based Marketing, Mission-Based Management, Social Entrepreneurship, and Faith-Based Management

With innovative organizational change initiatives to foster new growth and effectiveness, Smart Stewardship for Nonprofits offers your nonprofit the critical guidance it needs to get there.

Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week – Consumer Attitudes Around Social Purpose

The GoodPurpose study is an annual global research published by Edelman, the world’s largest independent public relations firm. The study explores consumer attitudes around social purpose, including their commitment to specific social issues and their expectations of brands and corporations. The survey was conducted in 13 countries among more than 7,000 adults. It is the only global study of its kind. According to the latest study results, while consumers in emerging markets now outrank their peers on several measures of commitment to social purpose, citizens around the world maintain a high level of interest and engagement in cause. For the fourth year running, in all European and North American countries surveyed, purpose is more important than design/innovation or brand loyalty as a purchase trigger. when quality and price are the same. Despite the prolonged recession, two-thirds (66 percent) of global consumers report that they are likely to buy and recommend products and services from companies that support a good cause. Additional Key Findings Include:

• Sixty-nine percent of consumers globally believe corporations are in a uniquely powerful position to make a positive impact on good causes—as high as 80 percent in the U.S. and 82 percent in Mexico.
• Nearly two-thirds of global respondents (64 percent) believe it is no longer enough for corporations to give money; they must integrate good causes into their everyday business
• Seventy percent of global consumers say that a company with fair prices that gives back is more likely to get their business than a company that offers deep discounts and doesn’t give back.
• Globally, food and beverage tops the list of industries considered the most involved in good causes, virtually tied with media and healthcare providers.
• “Protecting the environment” ranks as the no. 1 cause that global consumers care about, followed by “improving the quality of healthcare”.
• Globally, 71 percent of consumers believe that projects that protect and sustain the environment can help grow the economy—with even higher numbers for China, Mexico, India, Brazil, and the U.S (87, 81, 81, 79, and 75 percent, respectively

To access the study report, go to:

Resource of the Week -- Beckner Research Digests

The University of Wisconsin Center for Nonprofits has published a new series of online resources that bridge the gap between scholarly research and the real world of community organizations. The Beckner Research Digests synthesize research on topics useful to nonprofit organizations, public agencies, and other organizations. The first round of 10 Digests present research conducted by faculty in different disciplines across UW-Madison—for example, Principles for Effective Family and Youth Prevention Programs by Stephen Small, professor of human development and family studies; Talking About Race by Katherine Cramer Walsh, associate professor of political science; A New Approach to Labor – Environment Coalitions by Laura Senier, assistant professor of community and environmental sociology, and Social Support for Academic Success of African American Boys by Jeffrey Lewis, UW-Extension, and Amy Hilgendorf, Kansas State University. One Digest, Tips on Building a Broad Base of Engaged and Empowered Volunteers, features Christens’ own research. He describes key implications for community organizations from the findings he recently published in several journal articles on community participation and psychological empowerment. Dr. Christens developed the Digests concept in collaboration with Jeanan Yasiri, executive director of the Center for Nonprofits. The Beckner Research Digests are available online at the UW Center for Nonprofits website at

Tech Tip of the Week -- Calculate the Days, Months or Years between Dates in Excel

Use the DatedIf function to calculate the interval between dates in Excel. Here's how:

• Enter the function into a cell

=DATEDIF ( start_date , end_date, unit )

• For example, to calculate the number of months between two dates, if the start date is in cell D2 and the end date is in cell E2 you could enter this formula into cell F2:

To learn more about this function, go to to the Microsoft website or watch a YouTube video. This tip works in Excel 2007 and 2010, as well as earlier versions.

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