Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Picks of the Week: May 26 - June 1, 2013

Website of the Week --  Building Movement Project
The Building Movement Project works to strengthen the role of US nonprofit organizations as sites of democratic practice and to advance ways nonprofits can significantly contribute to building movement for progressive social change. The Building Movement Project engages four strategies to accomplish its goals. These include:
  • Changing the discourse and practice within the nonprofit sector to endorse values of justice, fairness, equity, and sustainability.
  • Identifying and working with social service organizations as neglected sites for social change/justice activities where staff and constituencies can be engaged as participants in democratic practices for social change.
  • Supporting young leaders who bring new ideas and energy to social change work and the promise of developing new forms of movement building.
  • Listening to and engaging people working in social change organizations, especially grassroots and community-based groups, to strengthen their ability to connect their vision and mission to practice.
Go to: http://www.buildingmovement.org.

Publication of the Week -- Wiley Not-for-Profit GAAP 2013: Interpretation and Application of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles
From the publisher: The Wiley Not-for-Profit GAAP 2013 is a comprehensive, easy-to-use guide to the accounting and financial reporting principles used by not-for-profit organizations. Written with the needs of the financial statement preparer, user, and attestor in mind, this guide provides a complete review of the authoritative accounting literature that impacts all types of not-for-profit organizations. At the same time, Wiley Not-for-Profit GAAP 2013 features many examples and illustrations that will assist professionals in applying authoritative literature to real-life situations.
  • Easy-to-use information that enables users to find needed information quickly
  • Coverage of accounting principles specifically related to not-for-profit organizations, as well as accounting principles applicable to all types of organizations
  • Specific coverage of accounting issues for different types of not-for-profit organizations
  • A disclosure checklist that helps financial statement preparers and attestors ensure that all disclosures required by GAAP have been considered
  • Flowcharts, diagrams, and charts, wherever possible, to help facilitate the user's understanding of the material presented
Destined to become the reference you keep at your side, Wiley Not-for-Profit GAAP 2013 strives to be a thorough, reliable reference that nonprofit accounting professionals will use constantly.

Click to preview this book on Amazon.com

Trend of the Week -- Nonprofit Chief Development Officer Retention
The study CDO Confidential: What CDOs Want You to Know about Retention reveals that unrealistic expectations set by management have reduced the average Chief Development Officer (CDO) tenure to one to two years. Other factors include a lack of sufficient resources and cooperation among CDOs, CEOs and Boards. Campbell & Company, a national nonprofit consulting and executive search firm, recently completed a nationwide survey to understand the reasons behind this trend. CDO Confidential received responses from more than 400 Chief Development Officers and Chief Executive Officers to gain multiple perspectives. The sample included organizations with a wide range of missions, budgets, staff sizes and geographic areas.  According to the report, shorter tenure in leading development roles not only leads to difficulty maintaining donor relationships, but also hinders the development and execution of long-term fundraising strategies. The implications of having short tenure are vast ranging from attracting and evaluating talent to onboarding to succession planning and require a wider, more in-depth dialogue with all parties involved. The report describes four main challenges:
  • Short tenure: Fifty-two percent (52%) of CDO served one to two years in their most recent position, confirming anecdotal evidence of shorter tenures. 
  • Unrealistic expectations: CDOs (75%) and CEOs (62%) cited unrealistic expectations are the number one reason behind CDO turnover. 
  • Reasons for departure: Twenty-eight percent (28%) of CDOs cited their organization’s lack of understanding of development as a reason for their most recent departure. 
  • Inadequate resources: Fifty-eight percent (58%) of CDOs felt they did not have the resources to do their job effectively, and twenty-nine percent (29%) of CDOs indicated professional development as their primary need.
To download the report, go to: http://www.campbellcompany.com/Portals/22807/docs/CDOConfidentialFinalStudyReport.pdf

Resource of the Week –  Audit Guide for Charitable Nonprofits
The National Council of Nonprofits has created a Nonprofit Audit Guide to provide charitable nonprofits with the tools they need to make informed decisions about independent audits. Because state laws vary in the scope of their regulation of charitable nonprofits, this Guide includes a 50-state chart that shows whether there is an audit requirement in each state, and if so, under what conditions. The Guide will help you understand what independent audits are, and help you prepare your nonprofit for an audit. The Guide will also tell you about the role of the board in the audit process, and shares tips and tools to help your charitable organization manage the audit process -- from hiring an auditor and preparing for the audit, to evaluating the audit firm's work. Additionally, the Guide includes information about special audit requirements that apply to nonprofits that receive funding from the federal government.  To download the guide, go to: http://www.councilofnonprofits.org/nonprofit-audit-guide
Tech Tip of the Week -- Animation Painter in PowerPoint 2010
The Animation Painter button is a new feature in PowerPoint 2010.  It works the same way as the Format Painter button except it copies animations from one object to another.  Here’s how to use it:
  • Select an object with animations
  • Click the Animations tab on the Ribbon
  • Select the Animation Painter button in the Advanced Animation group
  • With a single click you can transfer all the animations and settings to another object
  • If you double-click the Animation Painter button, you can paint multiple objects

Monday, May 20, 2013

Picks of the Week: May 19 - 24, 2013

Website of the Week --  Nonprofit Best Practice Library
The best practice library consists of exemplary projects completed by graduate students enrolled in the University of San Diego’s Nonprofit Leadership and Management program for, and in collaboration with, nonprofit organizations. The library expands each semester as students create or revise essential policy, planning, research, and fundraising documents that are critical to the successful operation of nonprofit organizations and programs. A portion of the nearly 800 consulting projects completed for nonprofits and foundations by students in the Nonprofit Leadership and Management program is contained in the library. Go to: www.sandiego.edu/nponline

Publication of the Week -- Balanced Scorecard: Step-by-Step for Government and Nonprofit Agencies by Paul Niven
From the publisher: This book provides an easy-to-follow roadmap for successfully implementing the Balanced Scorecard methodology in small- and medium-sized companies. Building on the success of the first edition, the Second Edition includes new cases based on the author's experience implementing the balanced scorecard at government and nonprofit agencies. It is a must-read for any organization interested in achieving breakthrough results.

Click to preview this book onAmazon.com

Trend of the Week -- Challenges Facing Nonprofit Fundraising
The study UnderDeveloped: A National Study of Challenges Facing Nonprofit Fundraising reveals that many nonprofits are stuck in a vicious cycle that threatens their ability to raise the resources they need to succeed. A joint project of CompassPoint and the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, the report found high levels of turnover and lengthy vacancies in development director positions throughout the sector. More significantly, the study reveals deeper issues that contribute to instability in the development director role, including a lack of basic fundraising systems and inadequate attention to fund development among key board and staff leaders. The report is organized around three main challenges and concludes with a set of recommendations to jumpstart a national conversation about how we can all help nonprofits take their fund development to the next level. Key findings include:
  • Revolving Door - Organizations are struggling with high turnover and long vacancies in the development director position.
  • Help Wanted - Organizations aren’t finding enough qualified candidates for development director jobs. Executives also report performance problems and a lack of basic fundraising skills among key development staff.
  • It’s About More Than One Person - Beyond creating a development director position and hiring someone who is qualified for the job, organizations and their leaders need to build the capacity, the systems, and the culture to support fundraising success. The findings indicate that many nonprofits aren’t doing this.
  • Breaking The Cycle - UnderDeveloped offers urgent calls to action for the nonprofit sector, citing key steps that nonprofit executives, funders, and sector leaders should consider as they set out to address the challenges detailed in the report.
To download the full report, go to: http://www.compasspoint.org/underdeveloped?goback=%2Egde_976867_member_240744162

Resource of the Week –  Partnership Self-Assessment Tool 2.0
The Partnership Self-Assessment Tool gives a partnership a way to assess how well its collaborative process is working and to identify specific areas for its partners to focus on to make the process work better. The Tool is provided by the Center for the Advancement of Collaborative Strategies in Health at The New York Academy of Medicine with funding from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation. The Tool was originally offered as a web-based assessment. Recognizing the popularity of the Tool and its usefulness to partnerships, the Center has now made the questionnaire and action-oriented report available with instructions for using the Tool offline. You will find a brief overview of the Tool, with a rundown of who should use it and why. For partnerships interested in using the Tool, a coordinator guide has been provided, along with instructions for using the tool offline (including how to use the questionnaire as a pen and paper instrument and how to tabulate the results), the tool questionnaire, and the tool report. Go to: http://www.partnershiptool.net

Tech Tip of the Week -- Using Date Functions in Excel 2007/2010
There are many ways to use the Date functions in Excel.  Previous Tech Tips have included:  Calculate a Person's Age in Excel; Calculate Remaining Days in the Year; and Calculate the Days, Months or Years between Dates in Excel.

A lesser known date function is NETWORKDAYS, which returns the number of work days between two dates.

The format for this function is: NETWORKDAYS(start_date,end_date,[holidays]).  "Holidays" is optional.

The following tutorials can help you learn to use of the Date functions in Excel:

Excel 2007 / 2010 Date Functions: Working with Dates in Excel from www.about.com
Microsoft Excel 2007 to 2010: The Date Function in Excel from www.homeandlearn.co.uk

Monday, May 13, 2013

Picks of the Week: May 12 - 18, 2013

Website of the Week --  FrameWorks Institute
The mission of the FrameWorks Institute is to advance the nonprofit sector's communications capacity by identifying, translating and modeling relevant scholarly research for framing the public discourse about social problems. FrameWorks designs, commissions, manages and publishes communications research to prepare nonprofit organizations to expand their constituency base, to build public will, and to further public understanding of specific social issues. In addition to working closely with social policy experts familiar with the specific issue, its work is informed by a team of communications scholars and practitioners who are convened to discuss the research problem, and to work together in outlining potential strategies for advancing remedial policies. FrameWorks also critiques, designs, conducts and evaluates communications campaigns on social issues. Its work is based on an approach called "strategic frame analysis," which has been developed in partnership with UCLA's Center for Communications and Community. Go to: www.frameworksinstitute.org

Publication of the Week -- Developmental Evaluation: Applying Complexity Concepts to Enhance Innovation and Use by Michael Quinn Patton PhD
From the publisher: Developmental evaluation (DE) offers a powerful approach to monitoring and supporting social innovations by working in partnership with program decision makers. In this book, eminent authority Michael Quinn Patton shows how to conduct evaluations within a DE framework. Patton draws on insights about complex dynamic systems, uncertainty, nonlinearity, and emergence. He illustrates how DE can be used for a range of purposes: ongoing program development, adapting effective principles of practice to local contexts, generating innovations and taking them to scale, and facilitating rapid response in crisis situations. Students and practicing evaluators will appreciate the book's extensive case examples and stories, cartoons, clear writing style, "closer look" sidebars, and summary tables. Provided is essential guidance for making evaluations useful, practical, and credible in support of social change.

Trend of the Week -- Mobile Fundraising Trends
Artez Interactive is a provider of web, mobile and social fundraising solutions for non-profits and charities around the world. Artez conducted a study to answer the questions: What's the impact of mobile technology on peer-driven fundraising campaigns? The firm examined the success of over 80,000 participants in a variety of fundraising campaigns to help answer this question. Key findings include:

15% of traffic to fundraising and donation pages comes from mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.

23% of participants in peer-driven events and campaigns choose to use mobile technology to help them fundraise for good causes.

Participants who use mobile technology to fundraise in a campaign raise up to 2.95x more than those who do not.

The percentage of donations made on mobile web browsers has grown 205% in the last 12 months.

Event participants using iPhones raise just slightly more than participants on Android devices.

To download the  research paper, go to: http://info.artez.com/mobile-fundraising-research-paper-2013

Resource of the Week –  Building Multiple Revenue Sources
The Compassion Capital Fund (CCF), administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, provided capacity building grants to expand and strengthen the role of nonprofit organizations in their ability to provide social services to low-income individuals. Between 2002 and 2009, CCF awarded 1,277 grants, and the CCF National Resource Center provided training and technical assistance to all CCF grantees. Strengthening Nonprofits: A Capacity Builder’s Resource Library is born out of the expansive set of resources created by the National Resource Center during that time period, to be shared and to continue the legacy of CCF’s capacity building work. This guidebook provides an overview of fifteen different revenue sources, insight into how online tools can help support revenue development, a step-by-step guide to developing a new revenue source, and analysis tools to help you assess your organization’s strengths and limitations. After reading this guidebook, you will know how to evaluate, start, and sustain one or more new income or revenue sources. Ideally, the tools, resources, and knowledge included in this guidebook will enable you to raise more money through the development of a targeted strategy that caters to your organization’s stage of development, strengths, and community assets. To download the free guide, go to: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/ocs/revenue_sources.pdf

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Picks of the Week: April 28 - May 4, 2013

Website of the Week --  Social Enterprise Alliance
The Social Enterprise Alliance is a membership organization devoted to building sustainable nonprofits through earned income strategies. The Alliance offers a network connecting entrepreneurial nonprofits with learning opportunities, technical assistance and resources to further their efforts. The members are predominantly nonprofit practitioners and grantmakers, but include technical consultants, for-profit businesses and academics as well. The Social Enterprise Alliance links nonprofit executives who have operated in isolation with an ongoing forum for addressing the needs and concerns of the enterprising nonprofit. Go to: www.se-alliance.org

Publication of the Week -- The Ethics Challenge in Public Service: A Problem-Solving Guide Carol W. Lewis and Stuart C. Gilman
From the publisher: This thoroughly revised and updated third edition of The Ethics Challenge in Public Service is the classic ethics text used in public management programs nationwide. The book serves as a valuable resource for public managers who work in a world that presents numerous ethical challenges every day. It is filled with a wealth of practical tools and strategies that public managers can use when making ethical choices in the ambiguous and pressured world of public service. The book also contains new material on topics such as social networking, the use of apology, ethics as applied to public policy, working with elected officials, and more.
Trend of the Week -- Most Major Gifts Are Made Locally 
According to a new study from the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, the majority of gifts of $1 million or more (60 percent) come from donors who live in the same state or geographic region as the nonprofit or foundation that receives the gift, the report finds. About half of all publicly announced gifts of this size (47 percent of the total number of gifts and 52 percent of the total dollar amount) come from donors living in the same state. In particular, health nonprofits, arts, culture and humanities organizations, higher education institutions, foundations and government agencies received more than half of their million-dollar-plus gifts from donors in the same state. About two-thirds of gifts of $1 million or more to these types of organizations were given by donors in their geographic region. Foundations and higher education institutions were the top two recipients of million-dollar-plus gifts between 2000 and 2011, with each receiving about one-third of the total dollar value of gifts at this level. The remaining dollars were relatively evenly split among the other types of organizations; no single subsector (apart from higher education and foundations) received more than 10 percent of publicly announced million-dollar-plus gifts. To download the study, go to: http://philanthropy.iupui.edu/research-by-category/a-decade-of-million-dollar-gifts

Resource of the Week -- Resources for Volunteer Managers
Located on the website of ServiceLeader.org, this resource area provides information on all aspects of volunteer management, including getting your organization ready to involve volunteers, volunteer screening, matching, record-keeping and evaluation, legal issues/risk management, volunteer/staff relations, online activism by volunteers, and volunteer management software. ServiceLeader.org is a project of the RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs of the University of Texas at Austin. For the resource page, go to: http://www.serviceleader.org/leaders

Tech Tip of the Week -- Adding Data Forms to the Excel 2010 Quick Access Toolbar
Those of you that enjoyed using the feature called Data Form in earlier versions of Excel may be unhappy when you can’t find it anywhere in the new 2007/2010 Ribbon interface.  But you CAN add it to the Quick Access Menu at the top of the Excel 2010 screen, and here’s how:
  • Click the File Tab in the upper left corner of the Excel 2010 Screen
  • Click the Options button at the bottom of the Office window to display the Excel Options dialog box
  • Click Quick Access Toolbar from the Options list
  • Select Commands Not in the Ribbon from the Choose commands from drop-down list
  • Select Form
  • Click Add and then OK
To use the Data Form click within the list range and click the Data Form button.