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

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