Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Picks of the Week: June 2 - 8, 2013

Website of the Week -- provides free access to a suite of materials, including articles, speeches, videos, guides, and other tools, which build on and augment Leap of Reason: Managing to Outcomes in an Era of Scarcity, a book written by Venture Philanthropy Partners Chairman Mario Morino in partnership with McKinsey & Company and a dozen other social-sector experts and practitioners. You can also download David Hunter’s new book, Working Hard—and Working Well. The website is created and hosted by Venture Philanthropy Partners (VPP), a philanthropic investment organization that helps leaders build strong, high-performing nonprofit institutions. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- Handbook of Practical Program Evaluation by Joseph S. Wholey, Harry P. Hatry and Kathryn E. Newcomer
From the publisher: The third edition of Handbook of Practical Program Evaluation offers managers, analysts, consultants, and educators in government, nonprofit, and private institutions a valuable resource that outlines efficient and economical methods for assessing program results and identifying ways to improve program performance. This latest edition has been thoroughly revised. It reflects the evolving nature of the field, while maintaining its value as a guide to the foundational skills needed for evaluation Many new chapters have been prepared for this edition, including chapters on logic modeling and on evaluation applications for small nonprofit organizations. The Handbook of Practical Program Evaluation is a comprehensive resource on evaluation, covering both in-depth program evaluations and performance monitoring.  It presents evaluation methods that will be useful at all levels of government and in nonprofit organizations.

Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week -- Program-Related Investing Trends
Program-related investments (PRIs) are gaining attention from foundations for their potential to meet charitable purposes while generating financial returns, but their use remains limited, a new study by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy finds. The report, which was sponsored by Mission Throttle, analyzes key trends in foundations’ use of program-related investing between 2000 and 2010. Key findings include:
  • Housing, community development and education were the program areas that received both the highest total dollar amounts and the largest number of PRIs made by foundations between 2000 and 2010. Non-traditional program areas such as environment, health and arts and culture were also likely to receive PRI support during that period.
  • More than half of all PRIs were loans, but foundations have increased the use of equity investments and debt other than loans, such as loan guarantees or loan funds.
  • Measuring success is challenging. Foundations generally define success in two ways—programmatic or social success and financial or investment success—and some deem a PRI successful even if it did not produce a positive financial return on the investment so long as it produced the desired social outcome. Achieving success requires planning, new team structures, traditional financial investment skills and social metrics.
The full report, Leveraging the Power of Foundations: An Analysis of Program-Related Investments, and an executive summary are available on the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy website at

Resource of the Week –  Ten Nonprofit Funding Models
While the “for profit” world has many universally known business models, the nonprofit arena is lacking common plans.  In this study, Landes-Foster, Kim and Christiansen take a look at developing a series of ten funding models based on research of 144 large nonprofits with significant growth year over year.  The intent was not to help choose which model each organization should use, but to inform and educate. They discuss the important distinction between business models and funding models and posit that while business models are generally developed and understood, especially by the for-profit sector, funding models have never been clearly articulated. By using these three parameters: source of funds, type of decision makers and the motivation of the decision makers, the authors came up with ten funding models grouped into categories defined by dominant type of funder (single funder, many individuals, government, corporations and a mix).  They include a few questions with each model to help determine which is the best fit for an organization. Go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Keep a file on the Office 2007/2010 Recent Documents List
An excellent new feature in Office 2007/2010 which works in Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access, is the ability to keep or “pin” a file in the Recent Documents list, here’s how:
  • In 2007 click the Microsoft Office button  or in 2010 click the File Tab and then click Recent
  • Click the pin icon beside the document you want to keep on the list
  • The pin button changes to a push pin viewed from the top

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