Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Picks of the Week: May 27 - June 2, 2012

Website of the Week -- Opportunity Knocks
Opportunity Knocks is a national online job site, HR resource and career development destination focused exclusively on the nonprofit community. We are committed to lead and support efforts that help further nonprofit careers and promote a robust workforce that enables organizations to complete their missions. For nonprofit professionals, www.OpportunityKnocks.org is a vehicle for finding nonprofit jobs and access valuable resources for developing successful careers in the nonprofit community. For employers, the organization is an important way to find qualified candidates and receive valuable information that nonprofit organizations need when building successful recruitment, retention and human resource strategies. Go to: http://www.opportunityknocks.org.

Publication of the Week --  The Ethics Challenge in Public Service: A Problem-Solving Guide, 3rd Edition by Carol W. Lewis and Stuart C. Gilman

From the publisher:  This thoroughly revised and updated third edition of The Ethics Challenge in Public Service is the classic ethics text used in public management programs nationwide. The book serves as a valuable resource for public managers who work in a world that presents numerous ethical challenges every day. It is filled with a wealth of practical tools and strategies that public managers can use when making ethical choices in the ambiguous and pressured world of public service. The book also contains new material on topics such as social networking, the use of apology, ethics as applied to public policy, working with elected officials, and more.

Click to preview this book on Amazon.com.

Trend of the Week –  Giving Circle Trends
Giving circles have emerged over the last decade as a growing and significant philanthropic trend among donors of all wealth levels and backgrounds. Past studies have shown that the number of giving circles has exploded across the country and that they are an established philanthropic force. Donors who participate in giving circles say they give more, give more strategically, and are more knowledgeable about nonprofit organizations and problems their local communities, according to a report released by the University of Nebraska at Omaha, the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers, and the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University. Giving circle members are more likely than other donors to give to organizations serving women and girls, ethnic and minority groups, and for arts, culture and ethnic awareness. They are less likely to give to federated or combined giving funds (such as the United Way) and to religious organizations. The study, which was funded in part by the Aspen Institute Nonprofit Sector and Philanthropy Program, examines the impact of giving circles on members’ giving and civic engagement, knowledge and attitudes. The report included a survey of 587 current and past giving circle members and a control group, interviews, and participant observations. To download the full report, go to: http://www.philanthropy.iupui.edu.

Resource of the Week – Free-Range Thinking Journal
free-range thinking is a monthly journal on public interest communications published by a goodman, a communications consulting firm that helps public interest groups, foundations,
and progressive businesses reach more people more effectively. free-range thinking includes information on best practices and resources for public interest communicators. To read the latest issue, access the archives, and request a free subscription, go to: http://www.agoodmanonline.com/newsletter/index.html.

Tech Tip of the Week -- Add a Drop Cap in Word 2010
A drop cap is used to display the first letter of the paragraph in a large font. To add a drop cap to a paragraph in Word 2010:

·         Click in the paragraph where you would like to apply a drop cap
·         Click the Insert tab on the Ribbon
·         In the text group, choose Drop Cap
·         From the Drop Cap list, click to select the style or choose options for additional choices

Monday, May 21, 2012

Picks of the Week: May 20 - 26, 2012

Website of the Week -- CatchaFire
Catchafire is that matches professionals who want to give their skills with nonprofits and social enterprises that need their help. Catchafire is a New York City-based, for-profit social mission business (and certified B-Corporation)  service that matches social good organizations with professionals who want to offer their skills and expertise in areas such as marketing, public relations, communications, design, multimedia, social media, fundraising, strategy, finance, human resources, and technology through pro bono service. Currently Catchafire has almost 2,000 organizations registered and 10,000 professionals in its network. Go to: http://www.catchafire.org.

Publication of the Week --  The Mission Myth: Building Nonprofit Momentum Through Better Business by Deirdre Maloney
From the publisher:  What is the Mission Myth? Most nonprofits believe that to achieve success all they need is passion and heart. The truth? It is only when they integrate The Four Ms: Management Money Marketing Measurement that they will achieve optimal results. Here are strategies, anecdotes, and practical tips for new levels of success - all derived from nonprofits that reached new heights. Offering validation, camaraderie, laughter, and hope, The Mission Myth helps you do good...well.

Trend of the Week –  Nonprofit Communications Trends 2012
Kivi Leroux Miller  has authored a report that summarizes results of a communications trends survey of 1,288 nonprofits in November 2011conducted at Nonprofit Marketing Guide.com. Key findings include:

  • Only ¼ of nonprofits (24%) have a written and approved marketing plan for 2012. 59% have a written plan or informal notes for themselves only, not formally approved by leadership.
  • Email marketing and websites will be the most important communications tools for nonprofits in 2012, followed by Facebook; print (newsletters, direct mail); in-person events; and media relations/PR. These are the Big Six of nonprofit communications.
  • The importance of social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and blogging held steady between 2011 and 2012, with only video gaining in importance.
  • Monthly emailing is the most popular frequency for nonprofits at 43%, followed by every other week at 19% and quarterly at 14%. More than three quarters of nonprofits (78%) plan to email their typical supporters at least monthly.
  • Quarterly direct mail is the most popular frequency for nonprofits at 39%, followed by twice a year at 31%.
  • Only 12% expect to send direct mail to their typical supporters at least monthly.
  • Nonprofit communicators are excited about investing in new websites, having real plans in place for the first time, integrating communications channels to increase effectiveness, and using social media to reach new supporters.
To access the report/infographics, go to: http://nonprofitmarketingguide.com/2012trends

Resource of the Week – Outsourcing Back-Office Services in Small Nonprofits: Pitfalls and Possibilities
The Management Assistance Group (MAG), based in Washington DC, has published a guidebook entitled  Outsourcing Back-Office Services in Small Nonprofits: Pitfalls and Possibilities. Leaders of smaller nonprofits know that attending to their back-office needs is critical but frequently lack the time or expertise to address these needs in addition to their programmatic work.  At the same time, they also have difficulty finding appropriate, affordable, quality outsourced services.  In this study, Mark Leach explores outsourcing as a solution for helping to improve small nonprofits’ back-office functions. To download a copy of the free guide, go to: http://www.managementassistance.org.

Tech Tip of the Week -- Saving your PowerPoint 2010 Presentation as a Video
There are a number of new features in PowerPoint 2010 which allow you to enhance your presentations with video, images and animations. During the coming weeks we will be publishing a series of tips that introduce you to these amazing new tools. Create a Video is one of these new features. Here’s how it works

  • Create your presentation
  • Save the presentation
  • Click the File tab
  • Click Save & Send in the left pane
  • Under File Types, click Create a video
  • Make changes in the right pane, if necessary
  • Click the Create Video button
 After you create a video, you can share it with others by:

  • Sending it as an e-mail attachment
  • Burning it to a DVD disc
  • Uploading it to a video sharing Web site such as YouTube
  • Posting it on your website or other shared location

Monday, May 14, 2012

Picks of the Week: May 13 - 19, 2012

Website of the Week -- Severson Center Trend Website
The Severson Center, a division of the Alliance for Children and Families, has opened their trend website to the general public, allowing more immediate access to a library of information in a readily accessible, user-friendly format. No login is needed for the website, but some reports are password protected for access by members of the Alliance. Trends and their impacts are organized under the following categories: Business/Economy, Education, Nonprofits, Technology/Science, Demographics/Population, Health, Social Service Issues, and Work. No question about it: this is the only resource of its kind and an invaluable resource for nonprofit strategic planning efforts.  Go to: www.alliancetrends.org.

Publication of the Week --  The Responsible Administrator: An Approach to Ethics for the Administrative Role, 6th Edition by Terry L. Cooper

From the publisher:  Those who serve the public trust must take special care to ensure they make ethical and responsible decisions. Yet the realities of bureaucracies, deadlines, budgets, and demands for quick results make the payoffs for dealing formally with ethics seem unclear. Since its original publication, The Responsible Administrator has guided professionals and students alike as they grapple with the challenges of making ethical, responsible decisions in real world situations. This new edition includes information on coping with new demands for accountability, as well as new cases and examples, an examination of current issues relevant to administrative ethics, and supplementary materials for professors. Cooper’s theoretical framework and practical applications and techniques will help you consider all of the factors involved in a decision, ensuring that you balance professional, personal, and organizational values. Case studies and examples illustrate what works and what does not. The Responsible Administrator helps both experienced and novice public administrators and students become effective decision makers, provides them with a solid understanding of the role of ethics in public service and the framework to incorporate ethical and values-based decision making in day-to-day management.
Click to preview this book on Amazon.com.

Trend of the Week –  Social Justice Philanthropy Trends
According to a new report from the Foundation Center, a small but important subset of grantmakers — those who work on issues ranging from human rights to environmental justice — has been disproportionately impacted by the global financial crisis and their recovery remains in jeopardy. Diminishing Dollars: The Impact of the 2008 Financial Crisis on the Field of Social Justice Philanthropy examines historical trends in foundation assets, spending, and giving levels; describes strategies used by foundations to cope with depleted assets immediately following the crisis; and presents projections through 2015 for asset and grantmaking levels. Key findings of the study indicate:
  • Unless the field sees five years of above average investment returns, social justice grantmaking in 2015 will remain below 2008 levels.
  • Small foundations (less than $50 million in assets) will struggle the most to recover from the economic downturn.
  • Nonprofit organizations seeking new funders will have a difficult time.
  • Some foundations are unintentionally depleting their endowments at a very slow rate.
To download a copy of the report, go to: http://foundationcenter.org/gainknowledge/research/pdf/diminishing_dollars2011.pdf.

Resource of the Week – "Hour Series" of Nonprofit Guides
The award-winning “Hour” Series of Guides to Nonprofit Management has been developed  by Marilyn Donnellan, founder and president of Nonprofit Management Services.  Topic areas are general administration/management, board/volunteer development, community involvement,  marketing, program evaluation, and resource development. The series includes assessments, templates and sample policies/procedures. They are especially geared to smaller nonprofits. For more information, go to http://nonprofitmanagementservices.com/index.php/products and scroll down.

Tech Tip of the Week -- COUNTIFS in Excel 2007/2010
We've had the COUNTIF function in Excel for a while. This function allows you to count records in a list that match a single criteria. What's completely new with Excel 20072010 is COUNTIFS which allows you to count records based on multiple criteria. Sure, there were other ways of doing this before, but none as easy as the COUNTIFS function. Here's the syntax:
Makes it really simple to count records in a range that match the criteria you enter in the formula. If you need a little more help, check out this article on the Microsoft web site: Use the COUNTIFS function in Excel 2007 to analyze data.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Picks of the Week: May 6 - 12, 2012

Website of the Week -- Common Knowledge
Common Knowledge, a consulting agency founded in 2002 and based in San Francisco provides comprehensive consulting services for online fundraising, advocacy, marketing and communications to nonprofit organizations that need to leverage the Internet more effectively to further their mission. The site includes an extensive list of resources on use of technology by nonprofits. Go to: http://www.commonknow.com/html/index.php.

Publication of the Week -- Performance Measurement: Getting Results by Harry Hatry, 2nd edition
From the publisher: Long before "reinventing government" came into vogue, the Urban Institute pioneered methods for government and human services agencies to measure the performance of their programs. This book synthesizes more than two decades of Harry Hatry's pioneering work on performance measurement into a comprehensive guide. The author explains every component of the process, from identifying the program's mission, objectives, customers, and trackable outcomes to finding the best indicators for each outcome, the sources of data, and how to collect them. He covers the selection of indicator breakouts and benchmarks for comparisons to actual values and suggests a number of uses for performance information. Joseph Wholey contributes a chapter on maintaining the quality of the performance measurement process. Click to preview this book on Amazon.com.

Trend of the Week – Nonprofit Social Networking Trends
NTEN, Common Knowledge and Blackbaud have released the fourth annual 2012 Nonprofit Social Networking Benchmark Report. The report provides insights for nonprofits, foundations, media and businesses serving the nonprofit sector about the most important behavior and trends surrounding social networking as part of nonprofits’ marketing, communications, fundraising, program and IT work. Key trends include:
• Commercial social network use by respondents has passed well into mainstream adoption leaving a small percentage of late mainstream and laggards to join in.
• Facebook popularity among respondents is at saturation levels, while average community size continues to grow.
• Twitter adoption still growing along with average follower base size.
• LinkedIn popularity is relatively low (compared to Facebook and Twitter) but 2011 saw a sizeable jump in adoption of this channel.
• Many mature (2+ years old) commercial social networking communities continue to grow, while an increasingly smaller number of respondents are just getting started.

To download a copy of the report, go to: http://nonprofitsocialnetworksurvey.com.

Resource of the Week – Building Capacity to Measure and Manage Performance
Over the last decade, the social sector has witnessed a dramatic shift towards a focus on measureable results, with nonprofits feeling immense pressure to demonstrate their impact. Yet many nonprofits appear to be woefully under-investing in measurement, particularly in their own internal capacity to measure and manage performance in an effort to improve their organizations. Based on interviews with nonprofit leaders and more than a decade of consulting and executive search work, this article from Bridgespan shares five key lessons that create the underpinnings for how organizations can approach building their capacities to measure and manage performance to improve impact. To download the article, go to: http://www.bridgespan.org.

Tech Tip of the Week -- Keep a file on the Office 2007/2010 Recent Documents List
An excellent new feature in Office 2007/2010 which works in Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access, is the ability to keep or “pin” a file in the Recent Documents list, here’s how:
• In 2007 click the Microsoft Office button or in 2010 click the File Tab and then click Recent
• Click the pin icon beside the document you want to keep on the list
• The pin button icon changes to a push pin viewed from the top