Monday, April 30, 2012

Picks of the Week: April 29 - May 5, 2012

Website of the Week -- Frances Hesselbein Leadership Institute
Established in 1990 as the Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management, the Frances Hesselbein Leadership Institute furthers its mission to strengthen and inspire the leadership of the social sector and their partners in business and government by connecting the public, private and social sectors with curated resources and relationships to serve, evolve and lead together. The Institute’s free monthly e-newsletter, Leading Today, is used as a vehicle to communicate social sector programs, events, publications and leadership initiatives. Each month, the Institute profiles one social sector organization’s innovative service, program or partnership employed to make a difference in the lives of the people it serves. This Innovation Profile aims to encourage collaboration and program replication. To access information and resources of the Institute, go to:

Publication of the Week -- The Non Nonprofit: For-Profit Thinking for Nonprofit Success by Steve Rothschild
From the publisher: A top business leader shares the business principles he used to launch both a top company and a thriving nonprofit. Nonprofit leaders know that solving pervasive social problems requires passion and creativity as well as tangible results. The Non Nonprofit shares the same business principles that drive the world's best companies, showing how they can (and should) be applied to the realm of nonprofits. Steve Rothschild personally crossed sectors when he left corporate America to found Twin Cities RISE!, a highly successful poverty reduction program. His honest story, and success and missteps, create an essential roadmap for any social venture looking to prove and boost its impact. The author distills essential nonprofit principles such as having a clear and appropriate purpose, creating economic value from social benefit, and establishing mutual accountability; and shares successful approaches from innovative organizations such as Grameen Bank, Playworks, Common Ground, Habitat for Humanity, Lumni, Caring Bridge, College Summit and RISE! Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week – Late Fall 2011 Fundraising Trends
Nonprofits report being "cut to the bone" in their budgets and fundraising results have not improved over the past year. Nonprofit organizations, particularly smaller entities, are struggling to secure funding for the vital services they provide in their communities. The Late Fall 2011 Nonprofit Fundraising Study examines fundraising results and their implications for organizational operations, and alerts managers and donors alike to consider the priorities facing the nonprofit sector in 2012 and beyond. The survey represents a unique collaboration by the Urban Institute's National Center for Charitable Statistics with Indiana University's Center on Philanthropy, the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Giving USA Foundation, Blackbaud, and GuideStar. To access the full report, go to:

Resource of the Week – 100 Ways to Build Your Business in 2012
Verve Marketing, LLC has published an e-book entitled "100 Ways to Build Your Business in 2012". This e-book includes marketing insights from twenty forward-thinking, businesses and compiled them in a very accessible publication. Review and download the full e-book at

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

Monday, April 23, 2012

Picks of the Week: April 22 - 28, 2012

Website of the Week -- Nonprofit Resource Center
The mission of the Nonprofit Resource Center is to enhance the resources and improve the management of nonprofit organizations, primarily within California’s northern Central Valley and Sierra Nevada regions. Offering comprehensive resources, from a professionally-staffed library, access to a grant funder database, from fundraising workshops to management networking, the Center enables new and existing nonprofits to improve management, operations, fund development, marketing & public relations, board development and more. This resource rich website will be of great use to nonprofits everywhere. For more information, go to:

Publication of the Week -- Internet Management for Nonprofits: Strategies, Tools and Trade Secrets by Ted Hart, James M. Greenfield, Steve MacLaughlin, Philip H. Geier, Jr.
From the publisher: The rapid onset of increasingly advanced and complex technologies has challenged nonprofits to invest with their sparse resources in attempting, and failing, to keep pace with for-profit companies, with the result that most now cannot compete with new commercial products and commercial applications. Nonprofit Internet Management reveals how current technologies can be utilized in full measure most effectively by nonprofits and addresses how to manage various applications for maximum benefit to internal operations and community service.

• Covers management models, social networking information, case studies, fundraising strategies, collaboration and coordination examples, and sample communications techniques
• Includes chapters written by leading Internet professionals
• In-depth discussion of Website design, technology trends, social networks, managing the organization using online tools, E-governance and board leadership, prospect research and donor modeling, volunteer recruitment and management, mobile technology, stewardship and relationship management, and green technology applications

Filled with case studies, Nonprofit Internet Management also includes screenshots, tables, worksheets and checklists. It's an essential resource for every nonprofit organization operating in our modern wired world. Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week – Nonprofit Finance Trends
The Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF) has released results of its 2012 State of the Nonprofit Sector survey. More than 4,500 respondents at nonprofits across the country shared the details of how they are adapting their organizations and finances to current economic conditions. The survey reveals that while 2011 was a year of significant organizational and programmatic changes, many nonprofits are still facing fundamental challenges that threaten the stability of the sector and the well-being of the people they serve. Key findings include:
• 85% of nonprofits experienced an increase in the demand for services in 2011.
• This is on top of years of increased demand: previous NFF surveys found that 77% of nonprofits experienced an increase in demand in 2010; 71% experienced an increase in 2009; and 73% experienced an increase in 2008.
• 88% expect an increase in demand for services in 2012.
• 57% have 3 months or less cash-on-hand.
• 87% said their financial outlook won’t get any better in 2012.

For more information including state by state results, go to:

Resource of the Week – The Nonprofit Social Media Policy Workbook
A good social media policy will provide clear guidelines as to what staff should and shouldn’t do when posting and interacting with the community on a day-to-day basis. Your organization can create a policy to help guide your whole staff simply by thinking about how you would like to make use of social media. Written using the research from the Nonprofit Social Media Decision Guide, this workbook is designed to help you, as an organization, ask the important questions about social media, and take the next steps to growing a social culture. To download a copy, go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Presenting with PowerPoint
Trying to improve your PowerPoint-driven presentations? Check out Presenting with PowerPoint: 10 dos and don'ts, published on the website. This article discusses the following tips for improving your presentations:
• Hold up your end with compelling material
• Keep it simple
• Minimize numbers in slides
• Don't parrot PowerPoint
• Time your remarks
• Give it a rest
• Use vibrant colors
• Import other images and graphics
• Distribute handouts at the end — not during the presentation
• Edit ruthlessly before presenting

Monday, April 16, 2012

Picks of the Week: April 15 - 21, 2012

Website of the Week -- Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations
The Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations at Harvard University is a university-wide center for the study of nonprofit organizations and civil society. The Hauser Center seeks to expand understanding and accelerate critical thinking about the leadership of nonprofit and non-governmental organizations through the key goals of research, education, and practice. The Center’s goals include:

• Research: Explore the critical questions affecting nonprofits and NGOs and widely disseminate the findings.
• Education: Support teaching about nonprofit organizations across Harvard University and development of curricula in the field.
• Practice: Connect current and future leaders with new thinking and scholarship.

For more information, go to:

Publication of the Week -- The Nonprofit Board Answer Book: A Practical Guide for Board Members and Chief Executives by BoardSource
From the publisher: This third edition of the bestselling book for nonprofit board members and professionals offers a thoroughly revised and updated resource that answers the most-commonly asked question on board governance. The book covers such topics as board structure and process, board member recruitment and orientation, board-staff relations, and financial management. This new edition includes updated information on topics that have recently increased in importance including new Form 990; dealing with the financial crisis, risk management, and mergers.

• Shows executives and board members how to be more effective, meet difficult situations head-on, and deal with commonplace challenges with confidence
• Topics include information on the viability of for-profit ventures, board retreats, board diversity, fundraising, financial oversight, strategic thinking, and the use of technology
• From Boardsource, the premier resource for practical information, tools, best practices, training, and leadership development for board members of nonprofit organizations worldwide

Offers insight gained from the BoardSource Governance Index Survey, hundreds of board self-assessments, and questions and challenges heard by BoardSource from thousands of nonprofit leaders.
Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week – Online Advocacy Continues Gaining Momentum
Online advocacy actions grew at a solid 17 percent clip from 2010 to 2011, according to The Convio Online Marketing Nonprofit Benchmark Index™ Study. The fastest growing sectors, each at more than 29 percent, are: Animal Welfare, Environment & Wildlife and Jewish. Advocacy actions are instances of sending some form of written communication to political leaders. In addition to an increase in online advocacy, advocates are also quickly becoming financial supporters of the organizations they support, growing at a 24.6 percent rate -- nearly four times the increase from 2010. Key advocacy findings of the study Include:

• Online legislative advocate counts grew by 17 percent: Overall, 75 percent of the verticals experienced more than 10 percent growth in their number of advocates.
• Animal Welfare, Environment & Wildlife, and Jewish grew the most: The verticals that experienced the greatest growth were Animal Welfare (30.12 percent), Environment & Wildlife (29.23 percent), and Jewish (29.21 percent).
• Donor advocates increased by 24.63 percent. This is nearly a fourfold increase from 2010 when the median change was 6.42 percent.

The full Benchmark study can be found at

Resource of the Week – Executive Transition Monograph Series
The ExecutiveTransitions Mongraph Series is a series of monographs on executive transitions and executive transition management, funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund. The series is a joint effort of TransitionGuides (Silver Spring, MD) and CompassPoint Nonprofit Services (San Francisco, CA). Go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Using the Data Analysis ToolPak in Excel 2007/2010
Most people are not aware of the Data Analysis ToolPak in Excel. This feature is disabled by default. To use the Data Analysis ToolPak you need to be familiar with Engineering and Statistical terminology. To enable it:

• Click the File tab (2010) or Office Button (2007)
• Click the Options button at the bottom of the menu
• Click Add-Ins in the left pane
• Click Go
• Select Analysis ToolPak
• Click OK

You can now access the ToolPak from the Data tab in the Analysis group

Monday, April 9, 2012

Picks of the Week: April 8 - 14, 2012

Website of the Week -- Youth Service America

Youth Service America (YSA) is a resource center that partners with thousands of organizations committed to increasing the quality and quantity of volunteer opportunities for young people, ages 5-25, to serve locally, nationally, and globally. Founded in 1986, YSA’s mission is to expand the impact of the youth service movement with communities, schools, corporations, and governments. YSA envisions a global culture of engaged youth who are committed to a lifetime of service, learning, leadership and achievement and works toward that mission through four core strategies:

• Organizing public policy and awareness campaigns
• Convening the field
• Offering incentives and recognition
• Providing information and educational resources

Go to:

Publication of the Week -- Strategic Fund Development + WebSite: Building Profitable Relationships That Last by Simone P. Joyaux

From the publisher: Strategic Fund Development became an instant classic the day the first edition was released. Now in this expanded third edition, it has been revised cover-to-cover with relevant new information and useful new tools and resources. The book addresses the needs for fundraisers of every level of expertise. Experienced development officers find this an invaluable reference tool for educating their colleagues and boards. New fundraisers get firm grounding in best practice and what it really takes to do this work. Executive directors learn how fundraising fits into the organization and what it takes to make fundraising productive. The publication:

• Contains in-depth analysis about what makes organizations effective, including things like leadership, organizational culture, decision-making processes, systems thinking, and well-managed change
• Offers comprehensive strategic planning insights, with detailed steps, sample research tools, retreat agendas, and complete plans
• Includes the same tools and resources for fundraising planning

This updated classic provides essential insights, with an extra bonus: purchasers get exclusive access to a website of tools and resources.

Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week – Nonprofit Fundraising Study: 2012 Outlook

The Nonprofit Research Collaborative (NRC), through its Nonprofit Fundraising Survey, offers the largest national survey of charitable receipts available in the United States and covering an entire calendar year. More than 1,600 organizations answered survey questions in early 2012 about charitable receipts from January through December 2011. Responding groups included large and small organizations (by budget size) and organizations from every subsector, from Arts, Culture & Humanities to Religion. Key findings are summarized here:

• Charitable receipts rose in 2011 at more than half of surveyed organizations
• Six in 10 respondents met their fundraising goal in 2011
• Respondents showed diverse use of fundraising approaches and methods
• Board members at responding charities are usually engaged in fundraising in numerous ways. Several survey respondents offered examples of successful strategies they have used for engaging board members in fundraising.

Survey respondents remain optimistic about prospects for fundraising in 2012, with 71 percent expecting to raise more this year than in 2011. However, when asked about the most important trends or issues that could affect fundraising results either positively or negatively, nearly one-third (31%) mentioned local, national, or global economies as a challenge to raising funds this year. To download a copy of the study, go to:

Resource of the Week – The Power of Partnership

Written and developed in partnership with the Blueshield of California Foundation, The Power of Partnership features four case studies showing how integrative forms of collaboration have enabled domestic violence organizations—and their partners—to capitalize on their strengths, develop new solutions, and more effectively serve the community. To download a copy of the monograph, go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Insert Time/Date in Excel or Access

Here are a few keyboard shortcuts you can use to insert the current time and date in a Microsoft Access table or Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.

• Current date: Press CTRL+SEMICOLON
• Current time: Press CTRL+SHIFT+ SEMICOLON
• Current date and time: Press CTRL+ SEMICOLON then SPACE then CTRL+SHIFT+ SEMICOLON

In Access, this keyboard shortcut only works if you are entering data in the Datasheet or Form view.

Editor's Note: When you insert the date and time using this tip, the information remains static. To update this information automatically, you must use the TODAY and NOW functions. To learn how to do this, search for Insert the current date and time in a cell in Excel Help and then click Insert a date or time whose value is updated.

This tip comes to us from, courtesy of Kimberly Schenk, Smyrna, Tennessee.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Picks of the Week: April 1 - 7, 2012

Website of the Week -- Unreasonable Institute

The Unreasonable Institute works to solve the world’s biggest problems by arming the entrepreneurs who can take them on with the mentorship, capital, and network to make it happen. Each year, the Institute unites 25 entrepreneurs from every corner of the globe to live under the same roof for six weeks in Boulder, Colorado. These entrepreneurs receive training and build long-term relationships with 50 world-class mentors, ranging from the former Managing Director of Investments at, to the CTO of HP, to an entrepreneur who’s enabled over 19 million farmers to move out of poverty. In the process, they also form relationships and build their businesses with 20 investment funds, receive legal advice & design consulting, and pitch to hundreds of potential investors and partners. You can view a 3-minute trailer to get an inside peak and read on to learn how the process works. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- The Dragonfly Effect: Quick, Effective, and Powerful Ways To Use Social Media to Drive Social Change by Jennifer Aaker, Andy Smith, and Chip Heath

From the publisher: Many books teach the mechanics of using Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to compete in business. But no book addresses how to harness the incredible power of social media to make a difference. The Dragonfly Effect shows you how to tap social media and consumer psychological insights to achieve a single, concrete goal. Named for the only insect that is able to move in any direction when its four wings are working in concert, this book
• Reveals the four "wings" of the Dragonfly Effect-and how they work together to produce colossal results
• Features original case studies of global organizations like the Gap, Starbucks, Kiva, Nike, eBay, Facebook; and start-ups like Groupon and COOKPAD, showing how they achieve social good and customer loyalty
• Leverage the power of design thinking and psychological research with practical strategies
• Reveals how everyday people achieve unprecedented results-whether finding an almost impossible bone marrow match for a friend, raising millions for cancer research, or electing the current president of the United States

The Dragonfly Effect shows that you don't need money or power to inspire seismic change. Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week – Volunteerism and Charitable Giving Trends

To explore volunteer behavior in the United States, the Fidelity® Charitable Gift Fund fielded a telephone survey of 15 minutes in length conducted by Harris Interactive of Princeton, N.J. from October 21 - 25, 2009. A total of 1,005 respondents were polled with an essentially equal proportion of men and women. Key findings include:

• People are volunteering in the U.S. but cynicism exists.
• Volunteers donate significantly more money to nonprofits than non-volunteers and many contribute both time and money.
• Most adults believe true philanthropy means the gift of time and money and are not looking for rewards.
• Many volunteer because it is the right thing to do or to support a cause they care about. The mission of an organization and serving local community needs top the list of choosing where to volunteer.
• Recent economic downturn has made volunteering time more appealing than giving money.
• Some adults are optimistic about increasing their donations in 2010 – especially those under 35.
• Time is the main barrier to volunteering, but trouble finding the right fit is also cited by 3 in 10 adults.

For more information, go to the executive summary at:

Resource of the Week – Philanthropic Capacity Building Resources

The Philanthropic Capacity Building Resources (PCBR) database contains 453 descriptions of capacity-building programs being carried out by U.S. foundations. From this database, you may obtain program profiles and conduct searches for programs under one or more search categories, as defined below. The PCBR also contains 32 profiles of intermediary organizations that serve as bridges between foundations and nonprofits. These intermediaries provide capacity-building assistance to nonprofits, supported financially by foundations and others. The PCBR database entered its ninth year of continuous operation in 2011. A complete system upgrade was completed in June 2010, to complement regular updates done annually, mostly recently in August 2011. The system upgrade included staff review of every profile, and direct contact with the sponsoring foundation to update any profiles that required it. To access the database, go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Run PowerPoint 2010 Slide Show in a Window

Have you ever wanted to be able to run a PowerPoint slideshow in a window? This can be done by adding a button to the Quick Access Toolbar. Here’s how:

• Click the File tab on the Ribbon
• Click the Options button at the bottom
• Click Quick Access Toolbar in the left pane
• Under Choose commands from, select Commands Not in the Ribbon
• Scroll down and select Slide Show in a Window
• Click Add to add this button to the Quick Access Toolbar
• Click OK

To run a slideshow in a window simply click the "easel" button on the Quick Access Toolbar.