Monday, July 29, 2013

Picks of the Week: July 28 - August 10, 2013

Website of the Week -- Giving Institute
The mission of the Giving Institute, formerly the American Association of Fundraising Counsel (AAFRC) is to educate and engage members in the ethical delivery of fundraising counsel and related services to non-profits through research, advocacy, and best practices. The Institute developed the Standards of Practice and Professional Code of Ethics, widely accepted as a model for professional ethics in the field. Since 1935, the Giving Institute and its 34 member firms have embraced and embodied the core values of ethics, excellence, and leadership in advancing philanthropy. Serving clients of every size and purpose, from local institutions to international organizations, Giving Institute member firms embrace the highest ethical standards and maintain a strict code of fair practices. Today the Institute also publishes Giving USA, the annual yearbook on American philanthropy, and supports research and education. Giving Institute continues to provide financial support, expertise, and leadership to the Foundation and works in partnership with it to advance philanthropy and promote ethics in the fundraising profession. Go to:
Go to:

Publication of the Week --  With Charity for All: Why Charities Are Failing and a Better Way to Give by Ken Stern
From the publisher: Vast and largely unexamined, the world of American charities accounts for fully 10 percent of economic activity in this country, yet operates with little accountability, no real barriers to entry, and a stunning lack of evidence of effectiveness. In With Charity for All, Ken Stern reveals a problem hidden in plain sight and prescribes a whole new way for Americans to make a difference. Each year, two thirds of American households donate to charities, with charitable revenues exceeding one trillion dollars. Yet while the mutual fund industry employs more than 150,000 people to rate and evaluate for-profit companies, nothing remotely comparable exists to monitor the nonprofit world. Instead, each individual is on his or her own, writing checks for a cause and going on faith. Ken Stern, former head of NPR and a long-time nonprofit executive, set out to investigate the vast world of U.S. charities and discovered a sector hobbled by deep structural flaws. Unlike private corporations that respond to market signals and go out of business when they fail, nonprofit organizations have a very low barrier to entry (the IRS approves 99.5 percent of applications) and once established rarely die. From water charities aimed at improving life in Africa to drug education programs run by police officers in thousands of U.S. schools, and including American charitable icons such as the Red Cross, Stern tells devastating stories of organizations that raise and spend millions of dollars without ever cracking the problems they set out to solve. But he also discovered some good news: a growing movement toward accountability and effectiveness in the nonprofit world. With Charity for All is compulsively readable, driven in its early pages by the plight of millions of Americans donating to good causes to no good end, and in its last chapters by an inspiring prescription for individual giving and widespread reform.

Click to previewthis book on

Trend of the Week --  Human Rights Funding Trends
Every year foundations around the world are funding efforts to ensure that the rights of all people are honored and protected. Advancing Human Rights: The State of Global Foundation Grantmaking, prepared by the Foundation Center and the International Human Rights Funders Group, identifies foundations in 29 countries funding human rights work in every region of the world. Their support totaled $1.2 billion in 2010, reached more than 6,800 unique organizations, and funded activities such as ensuring the right to peaceful assembly and to education. The first research report of its kind, Advancing Human Rights provides crucial baseline numbers against which to track future trends — including the impact of new grantmakers entering the field. This multi-year partnership between the Foundation Center and IHRFG is enriched by collaboration with Ariadne (European Human Rights Funders Network) and the International Network of Women’s Funds. Such efforts align with the Foundation Center’s stated priorities to empower donors with the knowledge tools they need to be strategic and to communicate philanthropy’s contribution to making a better world. Advancing Human Rights: The State of Global Foundation Grantmaking can be downloaded for free at

Resource of the Week –  Cracking the Network Code
As grantmakers and nonprofits are looking for ways to collaborate more effectively, many are experimenting working with and through networks to achieve greater impact. Because networks are by definition loosely controlled and emergent, understanding how to effectively build and sustain them requires new skills and knowledge. This new publication from Grantmakers for Effective Organizations sets out to crack the code behind the network mystique. It describes a method to working more efficiently and effectively through networks, and a critical first step for grantmakers and nonprofits alike is adopting a network mindset, which may require dramatic shifts in attitude and behavior for many. "Cracking the Network Code" outlines four principles that comprise the network mindset, illustrates the principles with a range of examples of networks that have achieved real results, and offers practical questions and recommendations to help leaders achieve the benefits and avoid common pitfalls of working through networks. This important resource is based in part on the path breaking article "The Networked Nonprofit" appearing in the Stanford Social Innovation Review in 2008. While is focused on the role of grantmakers, it offers important guidance for the leaders of nonprofit organizations themselves. To download the guide, go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- COUNTIFS in Excel 2007/2010
We've had the COUNTIF function in Excel for a while. This function allows you to count records in a list that match a single criteria. What's completely new with Excel 20072010 is COUNTIFS which allows you to count records based on multiple criteria.  Sure, there were other ways of doing this before, but none as easy as the COUNTIFS function.  Here's the syntax:

Makes it really simple to count records in a range that match the criteria you enter in the formula. If you need a little more help, check out this article on the Microsoft web site:  Use the COUNTIFSfunction in Excel 2007 to analyze data.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Picks of the Week: July 21 - 27, 2013

Website of the Week -- The Association of Black Foundation Executives
The Association of Black Foundation Executives (ABFE) holds the distinction of being the first of the Council on Foundations 38 Affinity Groups. ABFE was established in 1971, and since then the organization has grown into an independent membership organization that counts among its members the most influential staff, trustees and donors of grantmaking institutions that promote effective and responsive philanthropy in Black communities. For nearly four decades ABFE has been a trailblazer for championing the interests of Black communities within the philanthropic sector. ABFE also recognizes that Black communities and the philanthropic leaders who serve those communities still face institutional and structural barriers that often hinder efforts to leverage philanthropy's powerful tools for positive, enduring social change. For more information, go to:

Publication of the Week --  Leadership Conversations: Challenging High Potential Managers to Become Great Leaders by Alan S. Berson and Richard G. Stieglitz
From the publisher: Often the very same skills and traits that enable rising stars to achieve success "tenacity, aggressiveness, self-confidence" become liabilities when promoted into a leadership track. While managers' conversations are generally transactional and centered on the task at hand, leaders must focus on people, asking great questions and aligning them with the vision for the future. Leadership mindsets and skills can be developed, and Leadership Conversations provides practical guidance for connecting with others in ways that transform each interaction into an opportunity for organizational and personal growth.
Identifies four types of conversation every leader must master: building relationships, making decisions, taking action, and developing others
Provides an action plan for boosting your personal leadership potential, as well for developing leadership skills in others
Draws on the authors' rich experience coaching and working with leaders at a wide range of organizations

Click  to preview this book on

Trend of the Week -- 2013 Millennial Impact Report
Since 2009, the Millennial Impact Report, published by the marketing firm Achieve, has uncovered comprehensive data that reveals this rising generation is eager to connect, get involved, and give to causes they’re passionate about. And over that time, Achieve has zeroed in on the Millennial behaviors of greatest interest to nonprofits—first their trends in giving, then in service, and now in communication. This year, Achieve gathered information from an online survey distributed to Millennials through 14 research partners.
  • The top takeaway: Millennials first support causes they are passionate about (rather than institutions), so it’s up to organizations to inspire them and show them that their support
  • can make a tangible difference on the wider issue. Millennials view volunteer opportunities as a way to socially connect with like-minded peers, which moves them beyond technology (social networking) to in-person action. It’s especially helpful when organizations craft marketing messages that highlight the peer involvement -- for example, “Join 20 other people like you at Clean-Up Day this Saturday.”
  • Further, volunteer programs that facilitate networking for Millennials maximize this generation’s inherent social connectedness. Designing programming with this benefit in mind will ultimately help retain young professionals and give them opportunities to broaden their skillsets among groups of people invested in the same issue.
The report also shows that offering online training in place of in-person training is attractive to Millennials, with the added benefit of allowing participants to train and serve anywhere. This generation also wants to know upfront what their time will achieve, so sharing positive, direct results signals to Millennials that you value and respect their time. To download the report and related resources, go to:

Resource of the Week –  Organizational Assessment Checklist for Youth Involvement
Where Do You Start? You know you want to involve young people in decision-making, or you know that you can do it better – but you don’t know how to get going! This checklist can help you think about the most important factors in successful youth involvement, and challenge you and your organization/school/club to do more, better.  Also consult YouthonBoard's 15 Points manual for more information on topics addressed in the Organizational Assessment Checklist. This checklist will help give direction, uncover hidden issues, clarify tasks, and guide commitment to involving youth in decision-making. Use it as a tool with your board, your staff, young people, and others. Go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Entering the Current Date in Word 2007/2010
  • Click the Insert tab on the Ribbon
  • In the Text group, click Date and Time
  • Choose the desired date format
  • If you want the date to be updated every time you open the document, turn on the “update automatically” check box
  • Click on OK

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Picks of the Week: July 14 - 20, 2013

Website of the Week --  Leader-Values
This site aims to provide visitors with cutting-edge resources on leadership and value systems with a special emphasis on the consideration of multicultural, global issues. Resources at the site have been written or selected to assist leaders in all kinds of organization to develop their skills. In addition, the site examines the qualities and behavior of famous leaders throughout the centuries. Visitors are invited to take the free leadership assessment and the homepage signposts most of the site content. Thought-provoking feature articles share the limelight with regular sections: 'themes' offers in-depth work on change, knowledge, organization, and value systems and '4Es' discusses the four essential Es of leadership. Go to:

Publication of the Week --  Nonprofit Mergers and Alliances , 2nd Edition by Thomas A. McLaughlin
From the publisher: Using real-world examples, case studies, and enduring frameworks, Nonprofit Mergers and Alliances, Second Edition offers clear, practical, step-by-step guidance through the merger and alliance development process. From assessing feasibility and planning for implementation to post-merger integration, this ground-breaking work points out pitfalls and offers insightful commentary in every chapter.
  • Provides a comprehensive framework for designing and implementing effective collaborations of all kinds
  • Offers the tools needed to effectively collaborate with potential partners
  • Shows how nonprofit mergers are fundamentally different from for-profit mergers-and why board members need to know this
  • Focuses on the needs of the nonprofit sector, including cultural compatibility and compassionate management practices
  • Shows nonprofit managers and board members how to make their way through the merger process without repeating Wall Street's mistakes
Insightful and realistic, Nonprofit Mergers and Alliances, Second Edition equips you with the tools and knowledge you need to create effective collaborations.

Click  to preview this book on

Trend of the Week -- The Arts and Achievement in At-Risk Youth
This report from the National Endowment for the Arts examines arts-related variables from four large datasets -- three maintained by the U.S. Department of Education and one by the Department of Labor -- to understand the relationship between arts engagement and positive academic and social outcomes in children and young adults of low socioeconomic status (SES). Conducted by James Catterall, University of California Los Angeles, et al., the analyses show that achievement gaps between high- and low-SES groups appear to be mitigated for children and young adults who have arts-rich backgrounds. To download the report, go to:

Resource of the Week –  The Dynamic Board: Lessons from High-Performing Nonprofits
The Nonprofit Practice of McKinsey & Company:” The Dynamic Board: Lessons from High-Performing Nonprofits” This report from the Nonprofit Practice of McKinsey & Company, explores the issue of board effectiveness. The report summarizes the best practices identified through McKinsey’s interviews with the directors or board chairs of 32 highly-regarded nonprofits. Go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Using the Data Analysis ToolPak in Excel 2007/2010
Most people are not aware of the Data Analysis ToolPak in Excel. This feature is disabled by default. To use the Data Analysis ToolPak you need to be familiar with Engineering and Statistical terminology. To enable it:
  • Click the File tab (2010) or Office Button (2007)
  • Click the Options button at the bottom of the menu
  • Click Add-Ins in the left pane 
  • Click Go 
  • Select Analysis ToolPak
  • Click OK
You can now access the ToolPak from the Data tab in the Analysis group.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Picks of the Week: July 7 - 13, 2013

Website of the Week --  The Global Philanthropy Forum
A project of the World Affairs Council of Northern California, the Global Philanthropy Forum aims to build a community of donors and social investors committed to international causes, and to inform, enable and enhance the strategic nature of their work. Through an annual conference, a summer seminar, special events and conference call programs, the GPF connects donors to issues; to effective strategies; to potential co-funding partners; and to emblematic agents of change from around the world. By building, and continually refreshing a lasting learning community, the GPF seeks to expand the number of philanthropists who will be strategic in pursuit of international causes. Go to:

Publication of the Week -- The Green Nonprofit: The First 52 Weeks of Your Green Journey by Sarah Brophy
From the publisher: The Green Nonprofit: The First 52 Weeks of Your Green Journey is for nonprofit leaders who want to:
  • Reduce environmental impact and save money;
  • Quickly implement basic energy- and water-saving strategies;
  • Create a green team to help generate and implement green ideas; and
  • Outline a sustainability plan that matches your strategic goals.
To help you begin your journey, Sarah Brophy provides a two-step/two-week approach to get the word out and help you find helpers. Fifty-two weeks is a long time to work alone on an effort as important as greening your nonprofit. From the beginning, Brophy shows how to share what you do and build a team to help. By breaking the start of your green journey into 52 weekly steps, Brophy makes the journey easy and fun. She rarely uses jargon but when it's important enough to mention, she explains it. Though this book is for nonprofit practitioners, it's also suitable for anyone in a for-profit business who wants to be environmentally responsible.  Sarah Brophy is a pioneer in the field of environmental sustainability in educational nonprofits, particularly museums, zoos, aquariums, and gardens. She consults on environmental sustainability throughout the United States and is a frequent speaker at regional and national conferences. She is the co-author of The Green Museum, now in its second edition. 

Click  to preview thisbook on

Trend of the Week --  Impact of Sequester on Meals On Wheels Program
New information detailing the devastating impact of the federally mandated budget cuts known as sequester has been released by the Meals On Wheels Association of America. Based on a survey of Meals on Wheels programs across the country, these findings reveal nearly 70% of Meals on Wheels survey respondents have reduced the number of meals served to the nation's hungry and homebound seniors. Among the findings survey respondents revealed:
  • Programs have been forced to cut, on average, 364 meals per week;
  • Over 70% are establishing or adding to existing waiting lists;
  • Programs have increased their waiting lists on average by 58 seniors;
  • 40% of programs responding have eliminated staff positions; and
  • One in six are closing congregate meals sites or home-delivered meal programs
The survey was conducted in May 2013 among Meals On Wheels Association Members who currently receive federal funding through the Older Americans Act. To access the study, go to:

Resource of the Week –  Learning Driven Assessment Workbook
The Social Sector Office of McKinsey and Company has developed a workbook to help nonprofit leaders plan a Learning Driven Assessment. Created for foundation program officers, social investors and nonprofit program staff charged with determining the effectiveness of social sector programs, this workbook is designed to support discussions between program and evaluation colleagues. Using this workbook is a process which will occur over a period of weeks and months. Nonprofits utilizing this learning assessment are encouraged to engage experts on assessment to help finalize and implement the Learning Driven Assessment plan. To learn more and to access the assessment tool, go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Quickly Change Font Size in Word
To quickly increase or decrease the font size of selected text by 1 point, do this:
  • Select Text
  • Ctrl + ] to increase by 1 point
  • Ctrl + [ to decrease by 1 point
This trick seems to works in all versions, including 2007 and 2010.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Picks of the Week: June 30 - July 6, 2013

Website of the Week --  Financial Management Training Center
The Financial Management Training Center offers free web based courses on a broad range of financial management topics. Courses are downloaded to your computer by clicking on the hyperlinks on the opening webpage. Short Courses come in three formats: Microsoft Word documents, pdf files (requires Acrobat Reader) and exe files (self-extracting file). Finally, you can find Lecture Notes from other financial management courses. Go to

Publication of the Week -- Group Alchemy: The Six Elements of Highly Successful Collaboration by Deborah Pruitt
From the publisher: You’re passionate about making an impact … and you know that high-level collaboration is the key. Now you can confidently and consistently create the relationships, partnerships, and groups that achieve outstanding success. Group Alchemy: The Six Elements of Highly Successful Collaboration synthesizes Deborah Pruitt’s dual perspectives as anthropologist and accomplished organizational consultant into six elements proven to make groups more successful: consistently producing outstanding results and enjoying a rewarding and inspiring collaboration experience. As you work through Group Alchemy, you can take the leap to the next level and create a group culture that serves your vision. With the group alchemy formula you can consistently generate the communication and trust necessary for truly successful collaboration—the kind where people personally invest in the group’s goals and aspirations and are willing to do what it takes to reach them. This is the promise of group alchemy, a promise the author has seen fulfilled time and again in groups that engage this method. Let your group be next!

Clickto preview this book on

Trend of the Week -- Volunteering as a Pathway to Employment
The Corporation for National & Community Service has recently released a report, Volunteering as a Pathway to Employment, which shows just how valued volunteering can be in the workforce. The study discovered that volunteering is linked with a 27 percent increase in odds of employment, and provides “social capital and human capital,” which are directly related with better job prospects. Some of the benefits volunteering can provide are professional contacts, expanding networks, leadership opportunities, social relationships, knowledge, and work experience. Volunteering has the strongest impact on rural communities and individuals who lack a high school diploma. One interesting finding was that economic conditions and time don’t seem to impact the relationship between volunteering and employment. CNCS also provided an infographic for their collected data. For more information and to download the report, go to:

Resource of the Week – Retaining and Developing High Potential Talent: A Toolkit
Among the best strategies for developing diversity in human services is to retain and develop talent within your organization. The National Human Services Assembly's toolkit, Retaining and Developing High Potential Talent, focuses on onboarding, employee mentoring and succession planning as key levers for advancing diversity and inclusion through talent management. The guide offers a quick and accessible overview of key elements for building a successful Diversity & Inclusion approach to your organization’s talent management, followed by a closer look at how to build effective onboarding, mentoring and succession planning programs. To download the guide, go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Broadcasting PowerPoint 2010 Presentations
An amazing new feature in PowerPoint 2010 is the ability to Broadcast your slideshows to anyone, anywhere.  Here's how:
  • Make sure you have signed up for a Windows Live ID
  • Open your slide show
  • Click the Slide Show tab on the Ribbon
  • Click the Broadcast Slide Show button in the Start Slide Show group
  • PowerPoint prepares your slide show 
  • The Broadcast Slide Show screen is displayed with a link to your presentation
  • Email the link to anyone you want to attend your presentation
  • Now click the Start Slide Show button and remote viewers can view your presentation
The following articles can help you learn this powerful new tool: