Monday, November 26, 2012

Picks of the Week: November 25 - December 1, 2012

Website of the Week --  Common Impact
Common Impact is a nonprofit organization that connects skilled professionals from global companies to high-potential local nonprofits. Common Impact 's employee engagement programs match employee-volunteers with nonprofits that need help overcoming key business challenges. This innovative approach to corporate community service enables companies to realize a positive return on their social investment while building stronger teams and developing employee skills. At the same time, this access to private sector talent enables nonprofits to amplify their impact on the constituents they serve. Ultimately, Common Impact 's work helps foster stronger communities wherever those companies operate.  For more information, go to:

Publication of the Week -- How to Write Successful Fundraising Letters, with CD, 2nd Edition by Mal Warwick
From the publisher: You'll learn all the essential components of writing for success from this go-to book for writing for fundraising! Mal Warwick, the nation's premier letter-writing tutor and direct mail expert, shows you the essential tools for making your direct marketing program a success. He gives you both general advice about the most effective direct mail strategies and specific guidance. Learn his step-by-step model through all the critical stages -from laying the groundwork for a prosperous campaign through the importance of thanking donors. Includes new chapters on E-mail solicitations, monthly and legacy giving and free downloads on

  • Gain insight into current trends in the field with updated cases, samples, and examples
  • Access more content for small to medium NPOs with limited budgets and resources
  • Learn the latest technology with new sections on typography and lay out
Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week – Nonprofit Sector is Growing Faster than Rest of the Economy
According to The Nonprofit Almanac 2012 published by the Urban Institute Press, the nonprofit sector's growth in total wages and employees outpaced government and business between 2000 and 2010. Even during and after the recession, from 2007 to 2010, nonprofit employment grew 4 percent and wages increased 6.5 percent, while they decreased in the business sector by 8.4 and 8 percent, respectively, and increased only 1 and 4.8 percent, respectively, for government. Nonprofits paid $587.7 billion in wages and employed 13.7 million people (9 percent of the country's labor force) in 2010. Nonprofit organizations did not escape the recession unscathed. Private giving was down 11 percent from 2007 to 2010. While corporate giving dropped 13 percent between 2007 and 2008, by 2010 it had surpassed pre-recession levels. However, in 8 of the past 10 years, the nonprofit sector spent more than it earned. The gap between revenues and outlays was $65 billion in 2008, 2009, and 2010. For more information or to order a copy, go to: Go to:

Resource of the Week – Pro Bono Readiness Roadmap
The Nonprofit Collaborative, consisting of Points of Light, the Taproot Foundation, and Common Impact, was initially convened by Capital One in February 2011. The Collaborative came together to identify, organize and share resources that will help the nonprofit sector be ready to engage in and benefit from pro bono professional services. By bringing these three organizations together, the hope is to identify and assess existing pro bono readiness support, understand areas of additional need, and encourage efficiency by reducing redundancy. As a response to the initial convening, over the past year the Collaborative identified the strategic value in building out a Pro Bono Readiness Roadmap to index the existing resources and services that support nonprofits in navigating how to become ready to engage in pro bono consulting services. The Roadmap will allow nonprofits nationwide easy, online access to navigate resources from Common Impact, Points of Light, and Taproot Foundation, among others, to help them prepare for pro bono services. For more information, go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Using Screenshot in Office 2010

Screenshot -- a new feature in Office 2010 -- allows you to capture images from your screen.

·         Click the document that you want to add the screenshot to
·         Click the Insert tab on the Ribbon
·       In the Illustrations group, click Screenshot

·         To add the whole window, click the thumbnail in the Available Windows gallery

·         To add part of the window, click Screen Clipping, and when the pointer becomes a cross, press and hold the left mouse button to select the area of your screen that you want to capture
·         If you have multiple windows open, click the window you want to clip from before clicking Screen Clipping. When you click Screen Clipping, the program you are working in is minimized and only the window behind it is available for clipping
·         After adding a screenshot, you can use the tools on the Picture Tools tab to edit and enhance the screenshot

You can use Screenshot in Word 2010, PowerPoint 2010 and Excel 2010.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Picks of the Week: November 18 - 24, 2012

Website of the Week --  Nonprofit Finance Fund
As one of the nation's leading community development financial institutions (CDFI), Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF) makes millions of dollars in loans to nonprofits and pushes for fundamental improvement in how money is given and used in the sector. Since 1980, NFF has worked to connect money to mission effectively so that nonprofits can keep doing what they do so well. NFF provides a continuum of financing, consulting, and advocacy services to nonprofits and funders nationwide. In addition to loans and lines of credit for a variety of purposes, NFF organizes financial training workshops, perform business analyses, and customize its services to meet the unique financial needs of each client. For funders, NFF provides support with structuring of philanthropic capital and program-related investments, manages capital for guided investment in programs, and provides advice and research to help maximize the impact of grants. Through offices -- in New York, Boston, Newark, Philadelphia, Detroit, San Francisco, and Los Angeles -- NFF staff also speak out, write, and conduct research to help advocate for positive change nationwide.  As the only national CDFI focused exclusively on nonprofits, NFF has lent over $250 million and leveraged $1.4 billion of capital investment on behalf of our clients. For more information, go to:

Publication of the Week --    Developing a Learning Culture in Nonprofit Organizations by Stephen J. Gill
From the publisher: How can today’s nonprofits demonstrate effective use of funds? How can they motivate employees and volunteers and combat burnout and high turnover? How can they ensure that they are performing in accordance with their mission and purpose? Author Stephen J. Gill answers these questions and more in Developing a Learning Culture in Nonprofit Organizations. Filled with practical tips and tools, the book shows students and managers of human services, arts, education, civic, and environmental agencies how to implement a learning culture with individuals, teams, the organization as a whole, and the larger community. Key features include:
·         Demonstrates how to create a culture of intentional learning that uses reflection and feedback, focuses on successes and failures, and builds a strong organization that motivates employees and volunteers
·         Offers specific, hands-on tools for each level of the organization, from the individual and team to the whole organization and the community
·         Discusses not only the need for a learning culture but also the barriers that may stand in the way
·         Takes a step-by-step approach that facilitates managers’ and students' understanding and learning
·         Incorporates practical tools that can be used in nonprofit management and in actual field instruction
Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week – Poverty Increases As Measured by Census Bureau Supplemental Poverty Measure -- The ranks of America's poor edged up last year to a high of 49.7 million, based on a new census measure that takes into account medical costs and work-related expenses. The numbers released by the Census Bureau are part of a newly developed supplemental poverty measure. Devised a year ago, this measure provides a fuller picture of poverty that the government believes can be used to assess safety-net programs by factoring in living expenses and taxpayer-provided benefits that the official formula leaves out. Based on the revised formula, the number of poor people exceeded the 49 million, or 16 percent of the population, who were living below the poverty line in 2010. That came as more people in the slowly improving economy picked up low-wage jobs last year but still struggled to pay living expenses. The revised poverty rate of 16.1 percent also is higher than the record 46.2 million, or 15 percent, that the government's official estimate reported in September. Due to medical expenses, higher living costs and limited immigrant access to government programs, people 65 or older, Hispanics and urbanites were more likely to be struggling economically under the alternative formula. Also spiking higher in 2011 was poverty among full-time and part-time workers. For more information, go to: 

Resource of the Week – Sample Request for Proposal for Audit Services for Nonprofit Organizations

Wipfli, Ullrich & Company is one of the largest CPA and consulting firms in the United States, with offices across Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Washington, and India. The firm offers a Sample Requests for Proposal - Audit Services for Nonprofit Organizations available at no charge. This document is designed to simplify the process of going out for bid, creating a scoring system, and asking the right questions of CPA firms. To download the sample RFP, go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Broadcasting PowerPoint 2010 Presentations

An amazing new feature in PowerPoint 2010 is the ability to Broadcast your slideshows to anyone, anywhere.  Here's how:

·         Make sure you have signed up for a Windows Live ID
·         Open your slide show
·         Click the Slide Show tab on the Ribbon
·         Click the Broadcast Slide Show button in the Start Slide Show group
·         PowerPoint prepares your slide show 
·         The Broadcast Slide Show screen is displayed with a link to your presentation
·         Email the link to anyone you want to attend your presentation
·         Now click the Start Slide Show button and remote viewers can view your presentation

The following articles can help you learn this powerful new tool:

·         PowerPoint Blog: IntroducingBroadcast Slide Show

·         PowerPoint Blog: Broadcast yourPresentation with PowerPoint 2010


Monday, November 12, 2012

Picks of the Week: November 11 - 17, 2012

Website of the Week --  VCG Governance Matters
VCG Governance Matters (Volunteer Consulting Group) is a nonprofit organization, founded in 1969 by the Harvard Business School Club of Greater New York, whose mission focuses on strengthening nonprofit organizations by increasing the governing and management ability of their Boards of Directors ( VCG's special focus is bringing together boards needing new members-and individuals who wish to serve-across boundaries of skill, ethnicity, age and geography. Services that VCG provides to strengthen the governance of the nonprofit sector include: (1) Matching Board members and Boards. (2) Working to make Boards more effective. (3) Continually upgrading the skills of current Board members. Through Governance Matters ( VCG offers several services for those interested in ongoing developments in nonprofit governance. Through advocacy, peer-learning roundtables and workshops, and educational resources -- such as the website -- Governance Matters fosters an open exchange of ideas throughout the nonprofit sector. Go to:

Publication of the Week --  The Jossey-Bass Handbook of Nonprofit Leadership and Management, 3rd Edition edited by David O. Renz
From the publisher: This is the Third Edition of the bestselling nonprofit management reference and text called the "big green book." Based on updated research, theory, and experience, this comprehensive edition offers practical advice on managing nonprofit organizations and addresses key aspects such as board development, strategic planning, lobbying, marketing, fundraising, volunteer management, financial management, risk management, and compensation and benefits. New chapters cover developments in such areas as social entrepreneurship, financial leadership and capital structure, accountability and transparency, and the changing political-legal climate. It includes an instructor's manual.

Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week – High Net Worth Philanthropy
The 2012 Study of High Net Worth Philanthropy examines the giving patterns, priorities, and attitudes of America’s wealthiest households for the year 2011. This study reveals consistent trends in the giving and volunteering behaviors of high net worth individuals and households from previous years, as well as departures from past trends. The vast majority (95.4 percent) of high net worth households continued to give to charity in 2011. Although the findings show a 3 percentage point decline in the rate of giving by these households from 2009, a growing proportion of high net worth individuals volunteered their time in 2011 (88.5 percent compared with 78.7 percent in 2009). More than one-third of these volunteers gave 200 hours or more of their time in 2011. High net worth donors have become more intentional about their giving in recent years. In 2011, the majority of these donors relied on a strategy to guide their giving and focused their giving on particular causes or geographical areas. In addition, compared with 2009, fewer high net worth donors gave spontaneously in response to a need and a greater proportion funded nonprofit general operations. To download the report, go to:

Resource of the Week –  Speak For Yourself: Nonprofit Public Policy Toolkit
The Colorado Nonprofit Association has created a free toolkit for nonprofits’ advocacy efforts. The toolkit provides information about what 501(c)(3)s can do as far as legislative and media advocacy and voter engagement activities and pointers for how to effectively work with public officials and the media. Go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Long Text Entries in Excel 2007/2010
To break a long text entry into separate lines, position the insertion point in the cell entry or on the Formula bar where you want the new line to start and press Alt + Enter. Excel expands the row containing the cell when it starts a new line. Excel automatically wraps the text in the cell when you press Enter to complete the entry, according to the cell's column width and the position of the line break.  
Here is another method for dealing with long text entries in Excel 2007/2010:
·        Select the cell containing the long text entry
·        Click the Home tab on the Ribbon
·        In the Alignment group, click the Wrap Text button

Or you can right click the text entry and:
·        Select Format Cells from the shortcut menu
·        Click the Alignment tab
·        Click to select the Wrap text option

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Picks of the Week: November 4 - 10, 2012

Website of the Week -- Social Impact Exchange
The Social Impact Exchange is a community of funders, advisors, wealth managers, intermediaries, nonprofits and researchers interested in funding and developing practices for scaling-up social solutions. The Exchange’s purpose is to establish a marketplace ecosystem that consistently enables effective social interventions to achieve scaled impact. The Exchange has three main functions:

·         Facilitate increased funding of nonprofit scaling initiatives through funder networks and growth capital markets in specific issues and geographies.
·         Develop and share knowledge, including research, information and education that leads to more effective scaling efforts
·         Build Field Infrastructure to enable a capital marketplace to emerge, including standards, funding platforms, and distribution channels to efficiently connect funders with growth initiatives

Publication of the Week --  The Power of Unreasonable People: How Social Entrepreneurs Create Markets That Change the World by John Elkington  and Pamela Hartigan
From the publisher:  Renowned playwright George Bernard Shaw once said "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world, the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man." By this definition, some of today's entrepreneurs are decidedly unreasonable - and have even been dubbed crazy. Yet as John Elkington and Pamela Hartigan argue in "The Power of Unreasonable People", our very future may hinge on their work. Through vivid stories, the authors identify the highly unconventional entrepreneurs who are solving some of the world's most pressing economic, social, and environmental problems. They also show how these pioneers are disrupting existing industries, value chains, and business models - and in the process creating fast-growing markets around the world. By understanding these entrepreneurs' mindsets and strategies, you gain vital insights into future market opportunities for your own organization. Providing a first-hand, on-the-ground look at a new breed of entrepreneur, this book reveals how apparently unreasonable innovators have built their enterprises, how their work will shape risks and opportunities in the coming years, and what tomorrow's leaders can learn from them. Start investing in, partnering with, and learning from these world-shaping change agents, and you position yourself to not only survive but also thrive in the new business landscape they're helping to define.  
Click to preview this book

Trend of the Week – Charitable Giving Trends in 2012
The Blackbaud Index of Charitable Giving is a broad-based fundraising index that reports total giving trends of 2,878 nonprofit organizations representing $8.3 billion in yearly giving on a monthly basis, both offline and online. The Index is based on actual giving statistics from nonprofit organizations of all sizes representing arts, culture, and humanities; education; environment and animals; healthcare; human services; international affairs; public and society benefit; and religion sectors. The Blackbaud Index of Charitable Giving reports that overall giving decreased by 3.1 percent for the 3 months ending September 2012 as compared to the same period in 2011. The Index also reports that online revenue increased by 2.7% for the three months ending September, as compared to the same period in 2011. For more information, go to:

Resource of the Week – All Hands on Board: The Board of Directors in All-Volunteer Organizations
This booklet by Jan Masaoka was originally published jointly by Boardsource and CompassPoint Nonprofit Services. Board members of an all-volunteer organization (AVO) know the important, but often unrecognized, role that the board plays. In addition to taking responsibility for the organization’s legal and ethical obligations to donors, clients, and the government, AVO boards shoulder the responsibility of providing guidance to the organization by managing the organization and leading the other volunteers with their hands, minds, and spirits. This handbook explains the two types of responsibilities that AVO boards have and provides a checklist that helps assess the work of the board. Like most all-volunteer organizations, the board can be so involved with getting the work done that it seldom finds the time to examine how the board itself is working, or to celebrate and appreciate the board’s hard work and achievements. To download the fee guide, go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Change Text Case in Word
To change the case of text in Word, try this:
·         Select text
·         Press Shift + F3 until it changes to the desired case style

Pressing Shift + F3 toggles the text case between sentence case, UPPERCASE, lowercase, and capitalize each word. Be sure to hold down the Shift WHILE you press F3.  Also, it works in all versions of Word. However, if you include text with punctuation at the end, it will skip the option to capitalize each word. You can also try this in PowerPoint.