Sunday, October 21, 2012

Picks of the Week: October 14 - 20, 2012

Website of the Week -- Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities is one of the nation’s premier policy organizations working at the federal and state levels on fiscal policy and public programs that affect low- and moderate-income families and individuals. The Center conducts research and develops policy options to inform public debates over proposed budget and tax policies and to help ensure that the needs of low-income families and individuals are considered in these debates. Over the past two decades, the Center has gained a reputation for producing materials that are balanced, authoritative, accessible to non-specialists, and responsive to issues currently before the country. The Center’s materials are used by policymakers and non-profit organizations across the political spectrum, as well as by journalists from a variety of media outlets. Go to:

Publication of the Week --  Inspired Philanthropy: Creating a Giving Plan
From the publisher:  If you want to change the world, you'll want to read Inspired Philanthropy. Tracy Gary and Melissa Kohner show you how social change happens. No matter how much or little you have to give, you'll learn how to create a giving plan that will make your charitable giving catalytic. Then, through clear text and substantive exercises, you'll learn how to align your giving with your deepest values-- to help bring about the very changes you want.
Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week – Foundation Payout Trends
The vast majority of U.S. grantmaking foundations are required by law to distribute 5 percent of their investment assets annually for charitable purposes. While this requirement is commonly known, it is often not well understood. Understanding and Benchmarking Foundation Payout demystifies the concept of payout while addressing common misperceptions. It also delivers first-ever trend information detailing the payout practices of the largest U.S. foundations. Among key findings from the new report: 

·         Most large endowed independent foundations paid out at or above the 5 percent required payout level during the period 2007 to 2009

·         Nearly one-in-five endowed foundations had payout rates at or above 10 percent

·         Few operating characteristics beyond endowment size were associated with consistently higher or lower payout rate practices, and variation was modest

·         Nearly one-in-10 endowed foundations had payout rates of less than 5 percent, generally due

·         to carryover of undistributed income or rapid growth in their assets

·         The decision to have a limited lifespan coincided with much higher payout levels for family foundations

To download the free report summary, go to:


Resource of the Week – Essential Guide to End-of-Year Fundraising
The Essential Guide to End of Year Fundraising e-book is available as a free download The book takes basic fundraising principles to the next level with practical advice and effective tips for using online resources to enhance any end-of-year giving campaign. Employing email, social media and other online tactics, nonprofit organizations can gain insight on:
·         Making the ask with direct, powerful content
·         Three key dates for reaching supporters
·         Integrating messages across multiple channels
·         The importance of repetition in messaging and response

Aquick read with easy to understand language and advice you can start using immediately, The Essential Guide to End of Year Fundraising will help your campaign be a success. To download the guide, go to: You will be asked to provide contact information.
Tech Tip of the Week -- Calculate the Days, Months or Years between Dates in Excel
Use the DatedIf function to calculate the interval between dates in Excel. Here's how:

 Enter the function into a cell

 =DATEDIF ( start_date , end_date, unit )

 For example, to calculate the number of months between two dates, if the start date is in cell D2 and the end date is in cell E2 you could enter this formula into cell F2:

To learn more about this function, go to to the Microsoft website  or watch a YouTube video . This tip works in Excel 2007 and 2010, as well as earlier versions.


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