Monday, June 25, 2012

Picks of the Week: June 24 - 30, 2012

Website of the Week -- The Bridgespan Group
The Bridgespan Group is a nonprofit advisor and resource for mission-driven organizations and philanthropists. Bridgespan collaborates with social sector leaders to help scale impact, build leadership, advance philanthropic effectiveness and accelerate learning. Bridgespan works on issues related to society’s most important challenges in three primary areas: pathways to opportunity for disadvantaged populations, environmental sustainability, and civic engagement. Services include strategy consulting, executive search, leadership development, philanthropy advising, and developing and sharing practical insights. Bridgestar (, an initiative of the Bridgespan Group, provides a nonprofit management job board, content, and tools designed to help nonprofit organizations build strong leadership teams and individuals pursue career paths as nonprofit leaders. Go to:

Publication of the Week --  Grant Writing 101: Everything You Need to Start Raising Funds Today by Victoria Johnson
From the publisher:  Victoria Johnson has assembled an easy to read yet comprehensive guide for anyone looking to increase their organization's revenue through grants. This book includes basic guidelines, examples and references that guide the reader to the best approaches for seeking funds, and also provides valuable insights for making your organization stand out in an increasingly competitive fund-seeking environment. "Grant Writing 101" should be in every fundraiser's toolbox as a must-use tool. It is equally valuable for those beginning their career and fundraisers with decades of experience in the field. Kudos to Victoria Johnson for bringing a current and relevant approach to grant writing. Victoria Johnson, CFRE, is a successful grant writer, fundraising professional, and author.
Click topreview this book on

Trend of the Week – Older Adults and internet Use
As of April 2012, 53% of American adults age 65 and older use the internet or email. Though these adults are still less likely than all other age groups to use the internet, the latest data represent the first time that half of seniors are going online. After several years of very little growth among this group, these gains are significant. As of February 2012, one third (34%) of internet users age 65 and older use social networking sites such as Facebook, and 18% do so on a typical day. By comparison, email use continues to be the bedrock of online communications for seniors. As of August 2011, 86% of internet users age 65 and older use email, with 48% doing so on a typical day. Looking at gadget ownership, a growing share of seniors own a cell phone. Some 69% of adults ages 65 and older report that they have a mobile phone, up from 57% in May 2010. Even among those currently age 76 and older, 56% report owning a cell phone of some kind, up from 47% of this generation in 2010. To read or download the full report, go to:

New Guides On Boards, Strategic Planning, And Managing People
The Management Assistance Group (MAG) strengthens visionary social justice organizations, leaders, and networks to create a more just world. MAG has released three practical, easy-to-use guides on boards, strategic planning, and managing people. The guides are downloadable at no charge. Go to:

Monday, June 18, 2012

Picks of the Week: June 17 - 23, 2012

Website of the Week -- The Center for Collaborative Planning
The Center for Collaborative Planning (CCP) promotes health and social justice by providing training and technical assistance and by connecting people and resources. CCP supports diverse communities by providing extensive resource collections in key areas, such as: Asset-based Community Development (ABCD), Leadership Development, Working Collaboratively Community Assessment, and Strategic Planning. Go to:

Publication of the Week --  How to Say It: Grantwriting: Write Proposals That Grantmakers Want to Fund by Deborah S. Koch
From the publisher:  In grant- seeking, words can go where the applicant can't-the foundation boardroom, the corporation's headquarters-so it's important to use them as the strategic, powerful tools that they are. This book shows readers how to find, frame, and use words effectively to make the case for any organization and its projects. Readers are provided the tools for crafting a grant proposal that speaks directly to the funder's interests. Packed with examples of winning proposals, and strategies for using words to inspire and convince, this is the must-have resource for any grant-seeker hoping to stand apart from the crowd. Grant-seekers will learn:
·      How to find out which funders fit their project exactly
·      Strategies for figuring out what each grant-maker is looking for
·      Critical tips for crafting attention-grabbing proposals

Trend of the Week – Trends in American Families

The American Family Assets Study released by The Search Institute presents a compelling national portrait of families. It introduces a new framework of Family Assets—relationships, interactions, opportunities, and values that help families thrive. These assets are associated with positive outcomes for young teens and their parenting adults, explaining more of the differences in outcomes than many demographics and other individual and family characteristics explain. The study blends the perspectives of both teens and their parenting adults to show how a wide range of diverse families experience both strengths and gaps in Family Assets. The framework proposes an ideal—something families might aspire to as a vision for how they live their lives together. In this national study, American families scored an average of 47 out of 100 in the Family Assets Index, suggesting that the vast majority of families have both strengths to celebrate and opportunities to grow stronger together. For more information and to download a copy of the study, go to:

Resource of the Week – Retaining and Developing High Potential Talent: A Toolkit
Among the best strategies for developing diversity in human services is to retain and develop talent within your organization. The National Human Services Assembly's toolkit, Retaining and Developing High Potential Talent, focuses on onboarding, employee mentoring and succession planning as key levers for advancing diversity and inclusion through talent management. The guide offers a quick and accessible overview of key elements for building a successful Diversity & Inclusion approach to  your organization’s talent management, followed by a closer look at how to build effective onboarding, mentoring and succession planning programs. To download the guide, go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Turning Photos into PowerPoint 2010 Slide Shows
To turn your digital pictures into PowerPoint 2010 slide shows:

  • Click the Insert tab on the Ribbon
  • In the Illustrations group, click Photo Album
  • On the Photo Album dialog box, click the File/Disk button to Insert pictures
  • Click the Create button
The steps are the same for PowerPoint 2007.  Click here if you're using an earlier versionof PowerPoint. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Picks of the Week: June 10 - 16, 2012

Website of the Week -- IdeaEncore
IdeaEncore is a user generated knowledge management and online file sharing system. IdeaEncore offers free and easy registration, online file sharing, some free file downloads and free file browsing. As a nonprofit resource center, IdeaEncore helps organizations to build their reputation, spread their mission, and create earned income by providing a nonprofit and social enterprise marketplace for document sharing. IdeaEncore's online file downloads and sharing services enable individuals and organizations to publish, browse, share, and retrieve files to better understand what peers in the nonprofit community are doing. Go to:

Publication of the Week --  Thinking in Systems: A Primer by Donella H. Meadows
From the publisher:  In the years following her role as the lead author of the international bestseller, Limits to Growth--the first book to show the consequences of unchecked growth on a finite planet-- Donella Meadows remained a pioneer of environmental and social analysis until her untimely death in 2001. Meadows' newly released manuscript, Thinking in Systems, is a concise and crucial book offering insight for problem solving on scales ranging from the personal to the global. Edited by the Sustainability Institute's Diana Wright, this essential primer brings systems thinking out of the realm of computers and equations and into the tangible world, showing readers how to develop the systems-thinking skills that thought leaders across the globe consider critical for 21st-century life. Some of the biggest problems facing the world--war, hunger, poverty, and environmental degradation--are essentially system failures. They cannot be solved by fixing one piece in isolation from the others, because even seemingly minor details have enormous power to undermine the best efforts of too-narrow thinking.
Click topreview this book on

Trend of the Week – Volunteering in America 2011
The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) hosts the most comprehensive collection of information on volunteering in the U.S. at its Web site: The site allows civic leaders, nonprofit organizations, and interested individuals to retrieve a wide range of information regarding trends and demographics in volunteering in their regions, states, and nearly 200 metro areas. Volunteering data has been collected every year since 2002. The current summary document highlights some of the key findings from the new data released in 2011. Key findings include:

  • Generation X stepped up their commitment in 2010, giving 2.3 billion hours of service—an increase of almost 110 million hours since 2009. Once
  • stereotyped as skeptical and disengaged, Generation X is showing signs of optimism that they can make a difference in their communities through service as they become more connected to local networks through their careers and their children.
  • Gen X members have more than doubled their volunteer rate between 1989 and the present day (2010). In 1989, 12.3 percent of Generation X members who were between 16 (the minimum age to participate in the survey) and 24 volunteered with an organization. By 2010, the Gen X volunteer rate had risen to 29.2 percent.1
  • The increases in volunteer rates seen among Generation X reflect an observable pattern in volunteering among different age groups that holds true year after year: The volunteer rate tends to be higher in teen years than in early adulthood, when the volunteering rate is typically at its second lowest point after very old age. In the mid- to late twenties, volunteering rates begin to pick up again, growing until they reach a peak around the time of middle age. After middle age, volunteering rates begin to drop as age increases.
For more information, go to:

Resource of the Week – Emergency Succession Plan Template
The Center for Nonprofit Advancement has developed an Emergency Succession Plan Template. The purpose of the template is to define the contents of such a plan, and make this essential document easy to adapt and implement. The template includes plans for short-term, long-term and permanent executive director changes. The template includes a specific name or selection criteria would be established to select an acting executive director, a communications plan to notify board members, funders and other key stakeholders. The template also includes a thorough contact inventory. This will allow your organization to take important scattered information and place it all in one document, vital information in case of an emergency. The Center advises that this template should be built and reviewed annually with your organization’s board of directors. Go to:
Tech Tip of the Week -- Use Text-to-Speech in Excel 2007/2010
Text-to-speech was not included in the Excel 2007 Ribbon. To use this feature in Excel 2007/2010 you must first add it to the Quick Access Toolbar.  Here’s how:

·         Click the Customize Quick Access Toolbar arrow
·         Click More Commands from the drop-down menu
·         From the Choose commands from list, select Commands Not in the Ribbon
·         Scroll down and select the Speak Cells commands you want to use and click Add
·         Click OK when you are finished adding commands to your Quick Access Toolbar

Now you can select a group of cells to read back, click the speak button, and Excel will read your data.  Of course, you need speakers or a headset to hear it!  For more information on using this feature go to Converting text to speech in Excel.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Picks of the Week: June 3 - 9, 2012

Website of the Week -- Nonprofit Trends
Nonprofit Trends is a blog by Steve MacLaughlin and covers a wide range of topics around the nonprofit sector with a focus on the trends shaping the nonprofit sector. Steve is the Director of Internet Solutions at Blackbaud and is responsible for leading how the company provides online solutions for its clients. Steve has spent more than 14 years building successful online initiatives with a broad range of Fortune 500 firms, government and educational institutions, and nonprofit organizations across the world. He is a frequent speaker at conferences and events including the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP), Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), Direct Marketing Fundraisers Association (DMFA), Institute of Fundraising, National Association of Independent School (NAIS), Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN), and other nonprofit organizations. Go to:

Publication of the Week --  101 Social Media Tactics for Nonprofits: A Field Guide
From the publisher:  101 Social Media Tactics for Nonprofits features 101 actionable tactics that nonprofits can start using today, and most of the featured resources are free. Broken down into five key areas, this unique guide explains the steps and tools needed to implement each tactic, and provides many real-life examples of how nonprofits are using the tactics. With this book as your guide, you'll learn how leading nonprofit professionals around the world are leveraging social media to engage constituents, communicate their cause, and deliver on their mission.
  • Presents immediately useful ideas for relevant impact on your organization's social presence so you can engage with supporters in new and inventive ways
  • Features 101 beginner to intermediate-level tactics with real-life examples
  • Offers a workable format to help nonprofits discover new ways of deploying their strategy
  • Includes nonprofit social media influencers from leading nonprofits around the world including National Wildlife Federation, March of Dimes, and The Humane Society
Nonprofits know they need to start engaging with supporters through social media channels. This field guide to social media tactics for nonprofits will feature 101 beginner to intermediate-level tactics with real-life examples to help nonprofits discover new ways of deploying their strategy and meeting their social media objectives.
Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week –  Foundation Program Related Investment Trends
According to Key Facts on Mission Investing, a report from the Foundation Center, more foundations are using their investment assets to achieve their missions. One-in-seven surveyed foundations are employing market-rate mission-related investments and/or below-market-rate program-related investments to achieve a social benefit. More than half of those making mission-related investments began doing so within the past five years. Other findings include:
· About one-in-seven surveyed respondents (14.1 percent) currently engage in mission investing, including program related investments (PRIs) and/or market-rate mission related investments (MRIs).
· Among those foundations that engage in mission investing, half hold PRIs, 28 percent invest in both PRIs and MRIs, and less than a quarter (22 percent) hold only MRIs.
· Foundation involvement in mission investing varies by foundation type, with community and independent foundations being more likely to hold mission investments than corporate foundations.
To download a copy of the report, go to:

Resource of the Week – W.K. Kellogg Foundation Logic Model Development Guide
Nonprofits today are being pressed to demonstrate the effectiveness of their program activities by initiating and completing outcome-oriented evaluation of projects. The W.K. Kellogg Foundation Logic Model Development Guide was developed to provide practical assistance to nonprofits engaged in this process. In the pages of this guide, we hope to give staff of nonprofits and community members alike sufficient orientation to the underlying principles of "logic modeling" to use this tool to enhance their program planning, implementation, and dissemination activities.  To access the guide, go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Quickly Change Font Size in Word
To quickly increase or decrease the font size of selected text by 1 point, do this:

·         Select Text
·         Ctrl + ] to increase by 1 point
·        Ctrl + [ to decrease by 1 point

This tip works in all PC versions of Word.