Monday, December 24, 2012

Picks of the Week: December, 23 - 2012 -- January 5, 2013

Website of the Week --  Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence
The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence is devoted to creating an America free from gun violence, where all Americans are safe at home, at school, at work, and in our communities. The Brady Center works to reform the gun industry by enacting and enforcing sensible regulations to reduce gun violence, including regulations governing the gun industry. In addition, we represent victims of gun violence in the courts. The Center educates the public about gun violence through litigation, grassroots mobilization, and outreach to affected communities. The Brady Campaign works to pass and enforce sensible federal and state gun laws, regulations, and public policies through grassroots activism, electing public officials who support common sense gun laws, and increasing public awareness of gun violence. Through its Million Mom March and Brady Chapters the Center work locally to educate, remember victims, and pass sensible gun laws, believing that children have the right to grow up in environments free from the threat of gun violence. For more information, go to

Publication of the Week -- The Practitioner's Guide to Governance as Leadership: Building High-Performing Nonprofit Boards by Cathy A. Trower
From the publisher: The Practitioner's Guide to Governance as Leadership offers a resource that shows how to achieve excellence and peak performance in the boardroom by putting into practice the groundbreaking model that was introduced in the book, Governance as Leadership. This proven model of effective governance explores how to attain proficiency in three governance modes or mindsets: fiduciary, strategic, and generative. Throughout the book, author Cathy Trower offers an understanding of the Governance as Leadership model through a wealth of illustrative examples of high-performing nonprofit boards. She explores the challenges of implementing governance as leadership and suggests ideas for getting started and overcoming barriers to progress. In addition, Trower provides practical guidance for optimizing the practices that will improve organizational performance including: flow (high skill and high purpose), discernment, deliberation, divergent thinking, insight, meaningfulness, consequence to the organization, and integrity. In short, the book is a combination of sophisticated thinking, instructive vignettes, illustrative documents, and practical recommendations. The book includes concrete strategies that can help improve critical thinking in the boardroom, a board's overall performance as a team, as well as information for creating a strong governance culture and understanding what is required of an effective CEO and a chairperson. To determine a board's fitness and help the members move forward, the book contains three types of assessments: board members evaluate each other; individual board member assessments; and an overall team assessment. This practitioner's guide is written for nonprofit board members, chief executives, senior staff members, and anyone who wants to reflect on governance, discern how to govern better, and achieve higher performance in the process.

Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week – African American Philanthropy Trends
Giving Black in Los Angeles: Donor Profiles and Opportunities for the Future is a study of African American philanthropy in Los Angeles. In 2011 the Liberty Hill Foundation commissioned a study of African American philanthropy in Los Angeles for the purpose of moving beyond the question of whether African Americans give in comparable numbers to other racial groups and toward how and why they give their support, particularly for community organizing and social justice. This study of identity-based giving is designed to deepen our understanding of different kinds of identity-based giving among Black donors. Our multi-method analysis revealed three donor profiles and four opportunities for building African American philanthropy. Among Black Angelenos, the “Building the Black Community” Donor, the “Issue Impact” Donor and the “Hardwired To Give” Donor were identified based on their reports of discretionary income allocations, preferred recipients of their giving, motivations for giving, levels of education and religious involvement. In addition to the specific donor profiles, four findings suggest ways in which African American philanthropy, particularly giving focused on social justice, might be grown.  To access the full report, go to:

Resource of the Week – Board Placement: A Candidate’s Checklist
It can be very flattering to be invited, whether the recruitment occurred through a formal process or because someone you know is already on the Board and thought you might like to join them. Often, the knee-jerk reaction is to accept the position. However, once you have been approached about joining a Board of Directors in the Nonprofit Sector it is worth taking a step back and considering the role you may be taking on. The following is a checklist developed by BoardStar of some of the questions to ask yourself and the organization you may be joining. There are no right and wrong answers, here, and there is no magic scoring mechanism that will tell you whether to accept the role of Board Director or not. Instead, this is intended as a process to help you ask questions, and make a considered choice. To download the checklist,  go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Add a Drop Cap in Word 2010
A drop cap is used to display the first letter of the paragraph in a large font. To add a drop cap to a paragraph in Word 2010:
·         Click in the paragraph where you would like to apply a drop cap
·         Click the Insert tab on the Ribbon
·         In the text group, choose Drop Cap
·         From the Drop Cap list, click to select the style or choose options for additional choices

Monday, December 17, 2012

Picks of the Week: December 16 - 22, 2012

Website of the Week --  Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations (LANO)LANO is a statewide member organization that advocates for the nonprofit community and strengthens the effectiveness of those committed to improving Louisiana. LANO's mission is to be Louisiana’s "go-to” source for:
·         High quality information, tools, resources and member benefits that deepen the impact of Louisiana nonprofits
·         Engaging multi-sector network—both virtual and physical—convening year round to leverage the shared goals and resources of Louisiana’s nonprofits and other stakeholders
·         Written and spoken voice of advocacy for and about Louisiana’s nonprofit sector

For more information, go to:

Publication of the Week -- Social Media in the Public Sector Field Guide: Designing and Implementing Strategies and Policies by Ines Mergel and Bill Greeves
From the publisher: Stocked with real-life examples and case studies, this book explores myriad social media tools and provides step-by-step guidance on how to implement them based on mission, goals, and strategy. Written in a jargon-free and accessible style, the book is a go-to resource for anyone in government who wants to put the power of social media to work for their organization. Ines Mergel is assistant professor of public administration at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and the School of Information Studies (iSchool) at Syracuse University. Bill Greeves is the chief information officer for Wake County, North Carolina and has over 12 years of experience in government technology leadership. 

Trend of the Week – Trends in Corporate Giving
Developed by the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy in association with The Conference Board, Giving in Numbers: 2012 Edition is based on data from 214 companies, including 62 of the top 100 companies in the Fortune 500. The sum of contributions across all respondents of the 2011 Corporate Giving Survey (CGS), from which the data is pulled, totaled more than $19.9 billion in cash and product giving. This report not only presents a profile of corporate philanthropy in 2011, but also pinpoints how corporate giving is evolving and becoming more focused. Key findings include:
·         Median total giving in the report sample was $21.02 million
·         60% of companies gave more in 2011 than in 2009
·         83% of companies offered at least one matching gift program
·         85% of companies had a formal domestic employee volunteer program; 47% had a formal international volunteer program
·         82% of companies reported having a corporate foundation
·         Health, education, and community and economic development were top priorities for the typical company
·         46% of total giving was through direct cash

To download the full report, go to:

Resource of the Week – Calculating The Economic Impact Of Volunteers
How does one put an economic value on the time volunteers give to an organization? The Economic Impact Of Volunteers Calculator created by the Points of Light Foundation estimates the appropriate wage rate for volunteer time based on what the person does, the value of specific tasks according to market conditions as reported by the US Department of Labor. Organizations can use the Calculator to determine the value of the time their volunteers give doing a wide variety of volunteer jobs.

Tech Tip of the Week -- Using IF Functions in Excel
The Excel IF function is a great tool that can be used when the information you want in a cell is conditional. It’s particularly handy if you need to specify two or more different responses for a cell based on specified conditions.  The format for this function is:

=IF("if the condition stated here is true", "then enter this value", "else enter this value")

For example, to see at who passed or failed an exam an IF function could be used. Let’s assume the pass mark is 75 and the marks are in column B, starting from row 5. the formula would look like this:

=IF(B5>75, "Pass", "Fail")

Monday, December 10, 2012

Picks of the Week: December 9 - 15, 2012

Website of the Week -- offers specialized resources for volunteers, leaders and managers of volunteers, and instructors and thought leaders. is operated by the RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service in the LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin. Site content is developed by Center faculty, guest authors, and students engaged in the study of volunteerism. Under the direction of Sarah Jane Rehnborg, Ph.D., has been expanded to include useful articles written by leading practitioners and graduate students studying volunteer administration at The University of Texas at Austin. In 2009, was extensively revised and updated. The revisions to the site coincided with a new vision for as a resource dedicated to a conceptual and strategic understanding of volunteerism.  Go to:

Publication of the Week -- Extreme Facilitation: Guiding Groups Through Controversy and Complexity by Suzanne Ghais
From the publisher: Extreme Facilitation picks up where other books on the topic leave off to present a revolutionary method that helps large, unwieldy, adversarial, and apparently dysfunctional groups achieve consensus and reach objectives on divisive and contentious issues no matter how long the group has been struggling. Throughout the book, expert facilitator Suzanne Ghais shows how extreme facilitation - which puts on the emphasis on creativity, flexibility, and customization - can change how group members interact with one another and how participants view the issues even in the most challenging and exceptionally difficult situations. Extreme Facilitation covers the preparatory phases of the process, including assessment, convening, and contracting. Ghais also offers vital information on process design and tips for handling situations that many facilitators find particularly challenging.

Trend of the Week – Engaging Board Members in Fundraising
Nonprofit Research Collaborative (NRC) finds a statistically significant relationship between active fundraising by nonprofit board members and the nonprofit reaching its fundraising goals. Sixty percent of organizations where board members help with fundraising met their 2011 fundraising goals, compared with just 53 percent of nonprofits without board member engagement. This study also debunks a common perception that board members help an organization meet its fundraising goal through their own giving. Board member gifts were required at 57 percent of the responding charitable organizations but these gifts made up 10 percent or less of total charitable receipts at most organizations. To download a copy of the report, go to:


Resource of the Week – Take Root: Volunteer Management  Guidebook

Hands On Network has developed this guidebook to help volunteer service programs explore the basics of volunteer management. It is meant to be a user-friendly resource for developing volunteer recruitment, retention, and recognition strategies and methods of offering projects for diverse audiences. This guide does not prescribe how your programs should be structured; it does, however, provide resources you can adapt to meet your local program needs. The goal of this guidebook is to provide information that will help your program take root, leverage volunteers, and grow. To that end, the guidebook contains action-oriented sections to help you recruit, schedule, retain, and recognize volunteers. In addition, each chapter includes an activities and templates section with tools to assist you in applying the guidebook content to your program. To download a copy of the guide, go to: You can also access free eLearning courses and other valuable resources in the CNCS Resource Center at

 Tech Tip of the Week -- Run PowerPoint 2010 Slide Show in a Window

Have you ever wanted to be able to run a PowerPoint slideshow in a window?  This can be done by adding a button to the Quick Access Toolbar.  Here’s how:

·         Click the File tab on the Ribbon
·         Click the Options button at the bottom
·         Click Quick Access Toolbar in the left pane
·         Under Choose commands from, select Commands Not in the Ribbon
·         Scroll down and select Slide Show in a Window
·         Click Add to add this button to the Quick Access Toolbar
·         Click OK
To run a slideshow in a window simply click screen icon button on the Quick Access Toolbar.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Picks of the Week: December 2 - 8, 2012

Website of the Week --  Capacity Building for Non-Governmental Organizations Portal The Capacity Building for Non-Governmental Organizations portal was created for the eGranary Digital Library by the staff, students, and volunteers of United States International Council on Disabilities (USICD), and The WiderNet Project at the University of Iowa. Funding for the portal was provided by a grant from United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Find tools and resources that non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and non-profits can use to learn how to design, implement, and evaluate social change projects; how to raise funds and write grant proposals; how to establish and run an organization and increase the capacity of your organization to influence society. There are some broken links but nonetheless a very useful website. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- Boomer Volunteer Engagement: Facilitator's Tool Kit
From the publisher: Based on the success of the book Boomer Volunteer Engagement: Collaborate Today, Thrive Tomorrow, authors Jill Friedman Fixler and Beth Steinhorn have written a new tool kit designed to help organizations engage volunteer leaders to facilitate a successful volunteer engagement initiative. This facilitator's tool kit features 28 new worksheets, including meeting agendas, position descriptions, evaluation tools, and more. Together, Boomer Volunteer Engagement: Collaborate Today, Thrive Tomorrow and the new Facilitator's Tool Kit provide a straight-forward, step-by-step guide to harnessing the talents and skills of eager volunteers in your community to help your organization survive and thrive now and into the future.

Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week – Nonprofits’ Impact on the Economy
The Rebecca Gordon Group has compiled information from Forbes, the Giving USA report the Chronicle of Philanthropy, Atlas of Giving and Johns Hopkins University to create a visual guide to the complex ways nonprofits influence the economy. From the info graphic, one can see that the nonprofit sector has been growing steadily, both in size and financial impact for more than a decade. For purposes of this info graphic, nonprofits are defined as entities exempt from income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. We will let the info graphic speak for itself (that's the point of an info graphic!") But here are a few key findings:
·        After two consecutive years of drops in charitable giving in 2008 and 2009, giving is once again on the rise. Giving is expected to increase to 360 billion in 2012.
·        From 2000 to 2010, nonprofit employment increased in all 45 states reporting data, a total of 2.1% overall. During that same time frame, for-profit employment decreased by .6%

To view the info graphic, go to

Resource of the Week – “How To” Guides For Leadership Program Staff
As part of the Leadership for a New Era (LNE) initiative – a collaborative research initiative that seeks to promote more inclusive, networked and collective leadership models – the Leadership Learning Community (LLC) has generated a series of “how to” guides for leadership program staff. The guides are supported by funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The guides, which can be read separately or as an interconnected series, offer recommendations on these important topics:
·        How to use action learning to achieve your results
·        How to recruit to maximize the value of your cohort
·        How to cultivate and activate your network

To download the entire report go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Move or Copy Sheets between Workbooks in Excel 2007/2010

·        Open the sheet you want to move or copy
·        Click the Home tab on the Ribbon
·        In the Cells group, click Format 
·        Under Organize Sheets, select Move or Copy Sheet
·        Choose where you want the sheet to be copied or moved to
·        Be sure to select the create a copy box if you do not want your sheet moved