Sunday, November 24, 2013

Picks of the Week: November 17-23, 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:

Publication of the Week --  The Nonprofit Policy Sampler, Third Edition by Barbara Lawrence and Outi Flynn
From the publisher: For nonprofit organizations, policies are tools for setting priorities, making decisions, and defining and delegating responsibilities. Too often, policies are created to ensure a bad decision made during a crisis is never repeated. But policy-making need not be reactive. Boards that practice proactive policy-making can save themselves a great deal of anguish in a crisis situation that demands an immediate response. The Nonprofit Policy Sampler is designed to help. This exhaustive resource provides key elements and practical tips for 70 policy topic areas, along with more than 300 sample policies, job descriptions, committee charters, codes of ethics, board member agreements, mission and vision statements, and more. Each topic includes a choice of sample documents so you can select an appropriate sample from which to start drafting or revising your own policy. All samples, which have been professionally and legally reviewed, are included in the accompanying downloadable content.

Trend of the Week --  Chief Financial Officer Study
This survey of 906 nonprofit finance professionals reveals some surprises about these crucial-but-often-overlooked staff, looking at questions ranging from educational backgrounds, workload, board and CEO understanding of finance, and CEO compensation. This study was conducted by CalNonprofits' CEO Jan Masaoka and Spectrum Nonprofit's Steve Zimmerman under the auspices of American Nonprofits with data analysis assistance from Kristen Wolslegel. More than 900 individuals responded to survey notifications through Blue Avocado and American Nonprofits.  For the report and key findings, go to:

Resource of the Week –  Learning Circle Basics
A Learning Circle is a series of discussions, demonstrations, reports on readings and presentations through which the members of the Learning Circle share their knowledge and experience, learn new information and apply and test new skills. Learning Circles can be a powerful tool for capacity building. This website covers the following topics: why use a learning circle; how do learning circles work; the schedule of learning circle meetings; types of learning circle meetings, roles in the learning circle meeting, and general tips. Go to:

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