Monday, March 26, 2012

Picks of the Week: March 25 - 31, 2012

Website of the Week -- CreateAthon

CreateAthon is a 24-hour, work-around the clock creative blitz during which local advertising agencies generate advertising services for local nonprofits that have little or no marketing budget. Since the program’s expansion from a single market to an international effort in 2001, 40 agencies have joined the CreateAthon network, holding CreateAthon events in their cities. This effort has benefited 833 nonprofit organizations with 1,809 projects valued at $7 million. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- Breakthrough Nonprofit Branding: Seven Principles to Power Extraordinary Results by Jocelyne Daw and Carol Cone

From the publisher: A hands-on guide to help your nonprofit build its brand, raise its profile, strengthen impact and develop deeper relationships with donors, volunteers, and other stakeholders. Breakthrough Nonprofit Branding is about the power a constituency-focused, compelling brand can have to revolutionize an organization and the way people view and support it.
• Shows how to optimally define what your organization stands for to differentiate, create value and breakthrough
• Explains how to build loyal communities inside and outside of your
organization to increase social impact
• Features seven principles for transforming a brand from ordinary trademark to strategic advantage
• Includes case studies of eleven breakthrough nonprofit brands and transferable ideas and practices that nonprofits of any size, scope or experience can implement

A practical road map and essential tool for nonprofit leaders, board members, and volunteers, this book reveals the vital principles you need to know to build and manage your organization's most valuable asset – its brand. In today’s highly competitive nonprofit world, building a breakthrough brand is no longer a "nice to do," but the new imperative.

Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week – Gaps In Financial Knowledge Challenge Mid-Size Nonprofits

A new survey of financial managers at mid-size nonprofit organizations reveals gaps in their financial knowledge, even as they grapple with economic challenges. The study was conducted by the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University to help nonprofits understand and increase their financial knowledge levels and improve their effectiveness. Nonprofits’ knowledge, policies and procedures were studied; some results were positive, while others revealed a clear need for financial education. Nearly half (49 percent) of mid-size nonprofits had less than three months’ worth of cash reserves for operating expenses available. A quarter (26 percent) had four to six months’ worth on hand, while another quarter had more than seven months of operating expenses. Other key findings include:
• Respondents said they were knowledgeable about negotiating with banks or lenders (78 percent), cash flow projections (75 percent) and financial scenario planning (72 percent).
• Only 46 percent reported knowing about debt restructuring.
• Financial literacy increased with the number of courses taken in accounting, economics, operations and financial management, and with the nonprofit’s revenue.
• Boards were involved in accountability (66 percent), but less so in managing investments (38 percent), developing budgets (30 percent) and scenario planning (27 percent).
• Less than 40 percent of nonprofits surveyed had an audit committee.

To access the study, go to:

Resource of the Week – Resources for Responding to Automatic Revocations by IRS

On June 8, 2011, the IRS posted the first Automatic Revocation of Exemption List, naming 279,599 non-profit organizations that had had their exempt status revoked for failure to file required annual returns. The list has been updated several times, and as of November 9, 2011, the IRS had revoked the exempt status of nearly 393,000 non-profit organizations. This unprecedented mass revocation has its roots in laws enacted by Congress as part of the Pension Protection Act of 2006. The first requires small non-profits, previously not required to file, to submit an annual return: Form 990-N, also sometimes referred to as the E-Postcard. The second requires the IRS to revoke the tax exempt status of any organization that fails to file an annual return for three consecutive years. Resources for responding to an automatic revocation by IRS are available at

Tech Tip of the Week -- Automatically Tab from Cell to Cell In Excel 2007/2010

If you have a spreadsheet with several data input cells and would like to automatically jump from cell to cell using your tab key, you can use the Protect feature to accomplish this. In a previous tip we explain how to Protect Cells in Excel 2007/2010.

After you have:
• Unlocked the cells that can be changed and
• Protected the worksheet

You can simply use your tab key to automatically move from cell to cell. This can greatly simplify some types of data input and you'll learn about worksheet protection in the process!

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