Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Picks of the Week: October 20 - 26, 2013

Website of the Week -- The Goodman Center
The Goodman Center was launched in 1998 as a company with a singular mission: to help good causes reach more people with more impact. Over time, The Goodman Center became known for its workshops in storytelling, presenting, strategic communications and more. In 2008 The Goodman Center partnered with Lipman Hearne, one of the nation’s leading marketing and communications firms, to develop online versions of workshops and create a virtual school “where do-gooders learn to do better.” Today all of The Goodman Center activities are consolidated under one name and can be found on its website. Go to:

Publication of the Week --  Managing Leadership Transition for Nonprofits: Passing the Torch to Sustain Organizational Excellence by Barry Dym, Susan Egmont and Laura Watkins
From the publisher: For nonprofits leadership transitions are a time of exceptionally high risk. Here, three internationally-respected experts show how to systematically identify, introduce, support, and monitor leaders in ways that enhance rather than undermine their performance. They explain why leadership transitions are so challenging for nonprofits, and show how to replace chaos and crisis with proven, sustainable leadership transition plans. Writing for all nonprofit board members, leaders, aspiring leaders, and stakeholders, the authors demonstrate how to:

  • Maintain organizational momentum, continuity, and credibility through the transition
  • Find leaders who align well with your organizational values and its evolving culture
  • Avoid fighting, rumors, accusations, and the common mistakes that derail nonprofit leadership transitions
  • Build a sturdy bridge between departing and incoming leaders
  • Set appropriate expectations for both boards and leaders, and guide them to complement each other successfully
  • Plan succession and continuity for the long-term
  • Use transitions to advance the organization’s mission

Trend of the Week --  Donor Retention a Growing Problem for Small Organizations
From The Urban Institute, an examination of anonymous records of donations by 1.8 million people shows that many organizations that rely on public donations to achieve their missions experience very high turnover rates in their donor rolls. According to the survey of 2342 nonprofits, only 43% of donors who gave to an organization in 2009 gave to the same organization in 2010. This doesn't mean that donors stopped giving but that many of them gave to other organizations. This pattern leads to high costs of fundraising for some organizations. Other groups, though, see much higher rates of retention year after year, suggesting that it is possible for more organizations to trim costly acquisition campaigns and the loss of potential long-term supporters. Donor Retention Matters reports on some key findings from the Fundraising Effectiveness Project. Continuing research will explore in more detail the underlying trends and patterns that affect this measure of nonprofits' connections with the communities they serve. For more information, and to download the report, go to:

Resource of the Week –  Social Enterprise Alliance Toolkit
This guide is a toolkit for those involved in state policy, such as governors, legislators, legislative
aides, and state government officials, as well as advocates, nonprofit organizations, foundations, lobbyists, and others. It is designed to provide the best available and current information, including policy suggestions, successes to date, policy trends, and resources to anyone interested in promoting social innovation, social entrepreneurship, social enterprise, and cross-sector collaboration in their state. The guide will prove particularly useful for those who want to:
  • Propose or further develop state social innovation, social entrepreneurship, and social enterprise initiatives;
  • Encourage state agencies or entities to support and fund innovative social solutions, including social enterprise;
  • Remove barriers to social innovation, social entrepreneurship, and social enterprise; and/or
  • Simply learn more about social innovation, social entrepreneurship, social enterprise, and cross-sector collaboration.
This Social Enterprise Alliance toolkit was developed in collaboration with Root Cause. To download a copy of the toolkit, go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Run PowerPoint 2010 Slide Show in a Window
Have you ever wanted to be able to run a PowerPoint slideshow in a window?  This can be done by adding a button to the Quick Access Toolbar.  Here’s how:
  • Click the File tab on the Ribbon
  • Click the Options button at the bottom
  • Click Quick Access Toolbar in the left pane
  • Under Choose commands from, select Commands Not in the Ribbon
  • Scroll down and select Slide Show in a Window
  • Click Add to add this button to the Quick Access Toolbar
  • Click OK

To run a slideshow in a window simply click this button on the Quick Access Toolbar

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Picks of the Week: October 13 - 19, 2013

Website of the Week -- Working Narratives 
Working Narratives works with social movements to tell great stories that inspire, activate and enliven our democracy. The organization believes that social movements thrive and win when they draw on participants’ personal experiences and local cultures. By telling stories—whether in the form of performance, radio, video, or other media—movements build power, envision new democratic possibilities, and change culture and policy. Working Narratives is located at the intersection of arts, technology, and policy. Working Narratives provides:
  • Training in how to tell and deploy stories,
  • Technology to produce and disseminate those stories,
  • Production of compelling stories to serve as model projects for the grassroots, and
  • Networking to build power in and among social justice individuals and groups that use narrative forms.
Go to:

Publication of the Week --  The Nonprofit Leadership Transition and Development Guide: Proven Paths for Leaders and Organizations by Tom Adams 
From the publisher: In this dynamic resource, Tom Adams, an expert in succession planning who has worked with hundreds of organizations, shows how intentional leadership development and properly managed leadership transitions provide nonprofits with the rare opportunity to change direction, maintain momentum, and strengthen their capacity. This accessible guidebook is filled with illustrative stories, instructive lessons, best practices, and practical tools that can be used to ensure a successful nonprofit leadership transition.
Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week --  Generational Giving Habits 
A new report from Blackbaud, The Next Generation of American Giving, reveals multichannel preferences and charitable habits of Generation X, Generation Y, Baby Boomers, and Matures. This research will help you learn how differences among the generations affect their charitable behavior, and how understanding those differences is crucial to your fundraising strategy. For example:
  • Boomers contribute 43% of all giving. Are you neglecting this lucrative generation in your efforts to woo hot-topic Millennials?
  • It’s time to lay to rest the generalization that digital is for young people only. All generations value a mix of online and offline communications and giving channels.
  • When it comes to volunteering, Gen Y talks the talk while Matures walk the walk. How do you get your younger supporters out from behind social media to actually take action?
  • Crowdfunding and peer-to-peer fundraising are gaining traction, largely with Generations X and Y. But organizations better be prepared to demonstrate the impact of gifts from these younger generations.
To download this report, go to:

Resource of the Week –  Working Better Together: Building Nonprofit Collaborative Capacity 
Collective action is an effective way for nonprofits to increase their impact , but they often lack the key capacities that enable these types of partnerships to thrive. As much as funders would like to encourage more collective action among their grantees, the reality for many nonprofits is that they simply do not have the time or the resources to do collective work. This new publication from Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (GEO) lays out insights on what core capacities nonprofits need in order to effectively collaborate — and how grantmakers can play a vital role in building these capacities. To download the publication, go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Keep a Table Row from Breaking in Word 2007/2010
To keep a table row from breaking between pages in Word 2007/2010:
  • Select the row you want to keep together on the same page
  • Below the Table Tools tab on the Ribbon, click the Layout tab 
  • In the Table group, click Properties to open the Table Properties dialog box
  • Click the Row tab
  • Clear to de-select the Allow row to break across pages check box
  • Click OK

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Picks of the Week: September 29 - October 12, 2013

Website of the Week -- KnowledgeWorks Foundation
KnowledgeWorks is a social enterprise that seeks to create sustainable improvement in U.S. student readiness for college and careers by incubating innovative school and community approaches, influencing education policy, and engaging in education research and development. Over the past ten years, KnowledgeWorks has transformed from involved grant maker to social enterprise.  Instead of writing checks and collecting grant reports, KnowledgeWorks supports the work of three education-focused subsidiary organizations, New Tech Network, EDWorks and Strive.  Each of these not-for-profit subsidiaries provides strategic assistance, coaching and other valuable services directly to school and community leaders across the country. The Foundation's work is funded in nearly equal parts from fee-for-service consulting work, a financial portfolio, and funding partners.  This mix of support enables KnowledgeWorks to achieve real impact on a national scale.   Go to: 

Publication of the Week --  The Difference: How the Power of Diversity Creates Better Groups, Firms, Schools, and Societies by Scott E. Page
From the publisher: In this landmark book, Scott Page redefines the way we understand ourselves in relation to one another. The Difference is about how we think in groups--and how our collective wisdom exceeds the sum of its parts. Why can teams of people find better solutions than brilliant individuals working alone? And why are the best group decisions and predictions those that draw upon the very qualities that make each of us unique? The answers lie in diversity--not what we look like outside, but what we look like within, our distinct tools and abilities. The Difference reveals that progress and innovation may depend less on lone thinkers with enormous IQs than on diverse people working together and capitalizing on their individuality. Page shows how groups that display a range of perspectives outperform groups of like-minded experts. Diversity yields superior outcomes, and Page proves it using his own cutting-edge research. Moving beyond the politics that cloud standard debates about diversity, he explains why difference beats out homogeneity, whether you're talking about citizens in a democracy or scientists in the laboratory. He examines practical ways to apply diversity's logic to a host of problems, and along the way offers fascinating and surprising examples, from the redesign of the Chicago "El" to the truth about where we store our ketchup. Page changes the way we understand diversity--how to harness its untapped potential, how to understand and avoid its traps, and how we can leverage our differences for the benefit of all.

Trend of the Week --  Who’s Not Online and Why
According to a study by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, as of May 2013, 15% of American adults ages 18 and older do not use the internet or email. Asked why they do not use the internet:
  • 34% of non-internet users think the internet is just not relevant to them, saying they are not interested, do not want to use it, or have no need for it.
  • 32% of non-internet users cite reasons tied to their sense that the internet is not very easy to use. These non-users say it is difficult or frustrating to go online, they are physically unable, or they are worried about other issues such as spam, spyware, and hackers. This figure is considerably higher than in earlier surveys.
  • 19% of non-internet users cite the expense of owning a computer or paying for an internet connection.
  • 7% of non-users cited a physical lack of availability or access to the internet.
Even among the 85% of adults who do go online, experiences connecting to the internet may vary widely. For instance, even though 76% of adults use the internet at home, 9% of adults use the internet but lack home access. These internet users cite many reasons for not having internet connections at home, most often relating to issues of affordability—some 44% mention financial issues such as not having a computer, or having a cheaper option outside the home. To download the full report, go to:

Resource of the Week –  Advocacy Funding: The Philanthropy of Changing Minds
Grant makers tend to be cautious about funding advocacy, and for good reason — yet advocacy can play a crucial role in advancing a foundation’s mission.  In this Grantcraft guide, contributors explain that advocacy includes a lot of opportunities to improve public policy through work that is well within the limits of the law.  Whether your purpose is to advance an idea, argue a position, or enrich the policy debate, the guide offers resources and strategies for planning your work, reaching your audience, assessing impact, and more.  Go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Use Text-to-Speech in Excel 2007/2010
Text-to-speech was not included in the Excel 2007 Ribbon. To use this feature in Excel 2007/2010 you must first add it to the Quick Access Toolbar.  Here’s how:
  • Click the Customize Quick Access Toolbar arrow
  • Click More Commands from the drop-down menu
  • From the Choose commands from list, select Commands Not in the Ribbon
  • Scroll down and select the Speak Cells commands you want to use and click Add
  • Click OK when you are finished adding commands to your Quick Access Toolbar

Now you can select a group of cells to read back, click the speak button, and Excel will read your data.  Of course, you need speakers or a headset to hear it!  For more information on using this feature go to Converting text to speech in Excel.