Saturday, November 30, 2013

Picks of the Week: November 24 - December 7, 2013

Website of the Week -- Coalition for Evidence Based Policy
A nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, the Coalition seeks to increase government effectiveness through the use of rigorous evidence about what works. In the field of medicine, public policies based on scientifically-rigorous evidence have produced extraordinary advances in health over the past 50 years. By contrast, in most areas of social policy – such as education, poverty reduction, and crime prevention – government programs often are implemented with little regard to evidence, costing billions of dollars yet failing to address critical social problems. However, rigorous studies have identified a few highly-effective program models and strategies (“interventions”), suggesting that a concerted government effort to build the number of these proven interventions, and spur their widespread use, could bring rapid progress to social policy similar to that which transformed medicine. The Coalition advocates many types of research to identify the most promising social interventions. For more information, go to:

Publication of the Week --  7 Measures of Success: What Remarkable Associations Do That Others Don't by American Society of Association Executives

From the publisher: This update of ASAE's all-time bestseller retains the original book's focus on the disciplines that define remarkable associations and provides some insights on how those remarkable organizations fared in light of the economic challenges in the intervening years since the original publication was published. Based on 15 years of data and original, objective research tailored to the association community's needs, 7 Measures of Success provides empirical data and seven success factors common among visionary nonprofits.

Trend of the Week --  Foundation Support for Media

Foundation support for media is growing at nearly four times the rate of domestic giving in other areas, with $1.86 billion invested between 2009-2011, according to a the report, Growth in Foundation Support for Media in the United States, a collaboration among the Foundation Center, Media Impact Funders, and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The report provides the most comprehensive view to date of philanthropy’s role in the media funding landscape. The report reveals that 1,012 foundations made 12,040 media-related grants totaling $1.86 billion from 2009-2011. Funding is examined across five areas — journalism, news, and information; media access and policy; media applications and tools; media platforms; and telecommunications infrastructure — uncovering insightful trends:

  • Foundations are increasingly focused on media funding: Media-related grantmaking grew at a higher rate than overall domestic grantmaking from 2009-2011 (21% increase vs. 5.8%, respectively).
  • Funders are reacting to the changing landscape of media in the digital age: New media investments (web-based and mobile) vastly outpaced that of traditional media (print, television, and radio), by a factor of four (116.5% vs. 29.4%).
  • Media-related funding is diverse: Four of the five major areas of media-related grantmaking experienced growth from 2009 to 2011. Media applications and tools led the way in growth (107.8%), while funding for telecommunications infrastructure experienced the only decrease (48.4%).
  • While funding for public broadcasting increased over time, it fell behind the increase in funding for media-related activities overall (17.6% vs. 21%, respectively).

The rise in media funding by foundations comes against the backdrop of drastic declines in revenue at traditional news outlets, declines that have raised questions about how communities will acquire the information that fuels civic life. To download the report, go to:

Resource of the Week –  Board Leader Succession Planning Resource

While much has been written about executive leadership succession in nonprofits, there are not as many resources available to help with board succession planning. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) has compiled some useful resources in the article “Succession Planning with Your Board”. There are links to a number of excellent worksheets and tools. Go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Using Section Breaks in a Word 2007/2010 Document

Section breaks are used to:

  • Change the layout from a single-column to two columns
  • Change the orientation from portrait to landscape
  • Separate chapters/sections of a document to control page numbering
  • Create a different header or footer for a section of your document

To insert a section break:

  • Click where you want to insert a Section Break or select a portion of the document around which to insert a pair of section breaks
  • Click the Page Layout tab on the Ribbon
  • In the Page Setup group, click Breaks

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