Monday, October 22, 2012

Picks of the Week: October 21 - 27, 2012

Website of the Week -- The Communications Network
Formed nearly 20 years ago as a membership association, the Communications Network today is a stand-alone nonprofit organization that promotes the use of consistent, strategic communications as an integral part of effective philanthropy. The Network connects communications professionals working in philanthropy and the nonprofit sector to each other for guidance and mentoring and regularly sponsors learning and networking opportunities through webinars and the annual conference. Today, the Network’s membership represents a wide range of foundation communications leaders and consultants who work to advance communications strategies and practices in all mediums. Go to:

Publication of the Week --  Nonprofit Financial Management: A Practical Guide by Charles K. Coe
From the publisher:  Nonprofits vary from organization to organization, each with its own mission, funding sources, and organizational structure. One denominator is common with all nonprofits: each must have a sound financial management system in order to be accountable to its funders and perform capably. Written in plain English with straightforward guidance, Nonprofit Financial Management: A Practical Guide assists all nonprofits, from the smallest to the largest and most financially sophisticated, to manage their finances responsibly and professionally. Nonprofit Financial Management addresses federal reporting requirements and discusses methods to decrease expenses, ensure accounting control, and increase revenues through professional cash management. It explains how to read financial statements and analyze a nonprofit's financial condition by using the most recent IRS 990 reporting form. It is the first book to cover concisely all of the principal financial management subjects. It covers a full range of financial management topics, including accounting, internal controls, auditing, evaluating financial condition, budgeting, cash management and banking, purchasing and contracting, borrowing, and risk management. Written in an easy-to-read style, this book includes more than 100 exhibits, including thorough lists of best practices for you to keep in mind and include in your own work, covering a variety of real-life situations.
Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week – Use of Digital Communications on Rise In Foundations
Communications professionals at America’s grantmaking foundations are responding to the digital age, according to a new survey. The survey of 155 foundation communicators shows U.S. foundations are making use of all forms digital communications, especially social media, a top priority. The survey results suggest the growth of social media and other emerging digital technologies is changing the way foundations communicate with target audiences. Almost half of foundation communicators surveyed (47%) said they work for organizations that have blogs and three-quarters (76%) host videos on their websites. On average, respondents estimated that a quarter (24%) of their communications dollars in 2011 would be spent on electronic communications, more than any other tactic, although printed annual reports and other print publications still consume a sizeable share of the communications budget. Increasing capacity for new media and related digital work was cited as a high internal priority by 60 percent of survey participants, more than any other response. The survey also shows that reaching and influencing policy-makers were among the highest communications priorities cited by foundation communicators. Close to half of the respondents (47%) said that influencing public policy-makers was a high-priority objective. In fact, more respondents (55%) rated policy-makers as a “high-priority” target audience than any other group, although community leaders (53%) and current grantees (52%) followed closely. To download the report, go to:

Resource of the Week – A Short Guide to Consensus Building
Robert's Rules of Order is a fine way to run a formal meeting or a town hall vote, but too rigid for a business meeting where the agenda is to build consensus behind decisions. This is a freely available excerpt from the 1999 book, The Consensus Building Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide to Reaching Agreement, by Lawrence Susskind, Sarah McKearnan, and Jennifer Thomas-Larmer, and posted by the Public Disputes Program at Harvard Law School. This chapter, "Short Guide to Consensus Building," provides a no-frills, step-by-step approach to running a creative, productive meeting, down to the level of how to invite participants who might be assuming a legal liability by attending. Go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Creating a PowerPoint Presentation Using Word 2007/2010

To use a Word document to create a PowerPoint presentation
·        Format the document using Word heading styles
·        PowerPoint uses the heading styles in your Word document to set up the slides in a presentation ̶ each Heading 1 becomes the title of a new slide, and each Heading 2 becomes the first level of text
·        You must apply a heading format to the text you want to include in a slide
·        You can manually insert heading styles or create a document using Word outline

To create a Word Outline
·        Click the View menu
·        Click Outline in the Document Views group
·        Type your outline using Tab to add subheadings (promote)
·        Press Shift Tab to decrease the indent (demote)
·        You can also use the Promote and Demote buttons on the Ribbon
·        Save your outline

To Insert Outline Text from Word into PowerPoint
·        In PowerPoint, click the Outline tab in the left pane
·        Click the Home tab of the Ribbon
·        In the Slides group, click the arrow next to New Slide
·        Click Slides from Outline

No comments: