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:

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

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:

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:

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
Microsoft Excel 2007 to 2010: The Date Function in Excel from

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