Monday, August 6, 2012

Picks of the Week: August 5 - 18, 2012

Website of the Week -- LawForChange
LawForChange is a unique legal resource for people and organizations dedicated to improving lives and bringing about positive social change. This site combines in one place a broad menu of legal information prepared by leading law firms and lawyers and specifically tailored to the needs of social sector organizations in the United States. Its intended audience includes social entrepreneurs and innovators, social enterprises, charities, community organizations, philanthropies, faith-based organizations and all manner of nonprofit organizations. Go to:

Publication of the Week --  Nonprofit Asset Management: Effective Investment Strategies and Oversight by Matthew Rice, Robert A. DiMeo and Matthew Porter
From the publisher:  Nonprofit Asset Management is a timely guide for managing endowment, foundation, and other nonprofit assets. Taking you through each phase of the process to create an elegant and simple framework for the prudent oversight of assets, this book covers setting investment objectives; investment policy; asset allocation strategies; investment manager selection; alternative asset classes; and how to establish an effective oversight system to ensure the program stays on track.

  • Takes you through each phase of the process to create an elegant and simple framework for the prudent oversight of nonprofit assets
  • A practical guide for fiduciaries of endowment, foundation, and other nonprofit funds
  • Offers step-by-step guidance for the effective investment management of assets
Created as a practical guide for fiduciaries of nonprofit funds—board members and internal business managers—Nonprofit Asset Management is a much-needed, step-by-step guide to the effective investment management of nonprofit assets.
Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week – Major Trends Impacting Nonprofits
In a recent conference presentation in St. Louis, Professor Robert Reich, associate professor of political science at Stanford University, summarized major trends continuing to impact nonprofits. Five macro trends include:

  • Local, state and federal deficits, which can lead to decreased support for some organizations dependent on government funding
  • Comprehensive tax reform, which may depress individuals' incentive to donate since the deduction for charitable contributions might not mean as much.
  • Post-Citizens United world in which some nonprofits are becoming political agents, alienating some donors. Politicized nonprofit organizations can be seen as interest groups, and that can taint the trust of donors.
  • Dysfunctional federal political system, which Reich said "needed no explanation."
  • Blurring of the boundaries between nonprofits and for-profit organizations as nonprofits act like for-profits, and for-profit organizations adopt social missions like nonprofits.
Reich also discussed five more micro trends he believes might affect nonprofit organizations.

  • New modes of giving, especially online giving. Reich said the biggest days for online giving are Dec. 30-31 as the tax year closes.
  • Impact investing: By making seed investments in new start up for-profit organizations that support nonprofit causes, nonprofits can attempt to attract investors and donors.
  • Focus on measurable outcomes: Organizations should track what they are doing so donors know where their money has made the most impact. This will keep donors because they are promised outcomes from their donations.
  • New organizational forms that combine traits from for-profit organizations and nonprofit organizations. An organization uses business tools to create revenue, but it is not required to make a profit for shareholders so it can freely provide social services.
  • Inequality can both increase demand for services but also create a potential source of new donors. Reich said more Americans have the resources to become donors..
Go to:!/content/26140/changes_in_charitable_giving

Resource of the Week – Basics in Internal Organizational Communications
This section of the Free Management Library is geared to provide practical suggestions for nonprofit leaders and managers to ensure sufficient communications within their nonprofits. Topics include: common causes of problems in internal communications; key principles to effective internal communications; basic structures/policies to support effective internal communications; supervisor and employee communications; develop a basic communications plan. Go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Combining Text from Two Cells in Excel
In Microsoft Excel you can combine the text in two or more cells into a single text string by using “concatenation”.  The result is displayed in the cell where you type the formula.

For example, If you have a worksheet that contains the First name in cell A1 and the Last name in cell B1, enter the following expression in cell C1 to create a text string that displays the values of the First and Last names separated by a space:  =A1&" "&B1

Be sure to put a space between the double quotes in the expression. Copy this formula down to each row containing the names. Then copy the cells containing this formula back to their original position using Paste Special to convert the formula into a value:

·         Select the column by clicking the column name
·         Choose Copy
·         Right click and choose Paste Special from the short-cut menu
·         Choose Values and click OK

This tip works in Excel 2007 and 2010 as well as earlier versions.

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