Monday, August 11, 2014

Nonprofit Resource Picks of the Week: August 3 - 9, 2014

Website of the Week -- WomenOnCall.Org

WomenOnCall.Org is a unique online network that connects women with specific volunteer opportunities that allow them to share their professional skills and expertise with nonprofits. Through on-site and virtual volunteer opportunities, members provide short, high-impact, skills-based service, making giving back realistic and efficient. In 2005, Margot Pritzker developed the idea for a web-based organization that eased the difficulty of matching the right volunteer with professional skills with the right non-profit that needed them. In addition, the organization had to emphasize how much could be done in one hour – maximizing both the non-profit’s and volunteer’s valuable time. Thus, was born. While there are many volunteer match sites, none focus specifically on the high-impact method of utilizing professional skills and short-term commitments that emphasizes. In addition, many of the volunteer opportunities can be completed virtually–during a busy woman’s lunch hour or in the evening.  Go to:

Publication of the Week -- Transformative Scenario Planning: Working Together to Change the Future by Adam Kahane

From the publisher: People who are trying to solve tough economic, social, and environmental problems often find themselves frustratingly stuck. They can’t solve their problems in their current context, which is too unstable or unfair or unsustainable. They can’t transform this context on their own—it’s too complex to be grasped or shifted by any one person or organization or sector. And the people whose cooperation they need don’t understand or agree with or trust them or each other. Transformative scenario planning is a powerful new methodology for dealing with these challenges. It enables us to transform ourselves and our relationships and thereby the systems of which we are a part. At a time when divisions within and among societies are producing so many people to get stuck and to suffer, it offers hope—and a proven approach—for moving forward together.

Trend of the Week --  Latest US Foundation Trends

Overall foundation giving is estimated to have reached nearly $55 billion in 2013, $8 billion more than in 2008, the peak year for giving prior to the economic downturn. According to a preview of the forthcoming Key Facts on U.S. Foundations, overall foundation giving will continue to grow ahead of inflation in 2014. Giving has held steady over the past several years, which is partly the result of foundations having kept their giving at higher-than-expected levels during the Great Recession. Key Facts on U.S. Foundations is the primary publication in which the Foundation Center documents the overall size of the U.S. foundation community and provides perspective on the giving priorities of the nation's largest foundations. To download the report, go to:

Resource of the Week –  Board Members Guide to Partnership Planning

This guide was authored by Dr. Ramya Ramanath and John A. Van Eyk. Partnerships may arise with the potential to allow nonprofit organizations to carry out their missions more effectively and efficiently. Board involvement is imperative when such an opportunity arises. Although the level of board involvement may differ depending on the complexity of the arrangement, yet its role in leading discussions on the potential impact on organizational performance is critical to all types of arrangements. The guide addresses some of the key factors nonprofit boards should consider when entering a partnership arrangement. This publication was created by the Johnson Center for Philanthropy. In partnership with the AIM Alliance. To download the Guide, go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Recolor a Picture or Change the Color or Transparency

In PowerPoint 2010 you can recolor a picture, adjust the color saturation and tone, and more! Here's how:

  • Select the picture you want to recolor
  • Click the Picture Tools Format tab on the Ribbon
  • In the Adjust group, click Color
  • Select one of the many options

This tip works in PowerPoint, Word and Excel 2010.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Picks of the Week: June 22 - 28, 2014

Website of the Week -- Useful Links for Nonprofits -- IKNOW
IKNOW provides a directory of useful links for nonprofits on issues ranging from education and fundraising to current legislation, strategic planning, and volunteerism. was conceived and launched in 1997 by Tom Raffa, Managing Partner of RAFFA, P.C., who saw the power of the web to help answer the many questions he received from his nonprofit clients and other friends in the sector.  Go to:

Publication of the Week --  The Last Virtual Volunteering Guidebook:  Fully Integrating Online Service into Volunteer Involvement by Jayne Cravens and Susan J. Ellis  
From the publisher: What is Virtual Volunteering? It’s work done by volunteers online, via computers, smartphones or other hand-held devices, and often from afar. More and more organizations around the world are engaging people who want to contribute their skills via the Internet. The service may be done virtually, but the volunteers are real! In The LAST Virtual Volunteering Guidebook, Jayne Cravens and Susan J. Ellis emphasize that online volunteers should be integrated into an organization’s overall strategy for involving volunteers. They maintain that the basic principles of volunteer management should apply equally to volunteers working online or onsite. Whether you’re tech-savvy or still a newbie in cyberspace, this book will show you how to lead online volunteers. Cravens and Ellis fervently believe that future volunteer management practitioners will automatically incorporate online service into community engagement, making this book the LAST virtual volunteering guidebook that anyone has to write!

Trend of the Week --  Inequality Increasing
During the first two years of the nation’s economic recovery, the mean net worth of households in the upper 7% of the wealth distribution rose by an estimated 28%, while the mean net worth of households in the lower 93% dropped by 4%, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of newly released Census Bureau data. From 2009 to 2011, the mean wealth of the 8 million households in the more affluent group rose to an estimated $3,173,895 from an estimated $2,476,244, while the mean wealth of the 111 million households in the less affluent group fell to an estimated $133,817 from an estimated $139,896. These wide variances were driven by the fact that the stock and bond market rallied during the 2009 to 2011 period while the housing market remained flat. Affluent households typically have their assets concentrated in stocks and other financial holdings, while less affluent households typically have their wealth more heavily concentrated in the value of their home. From the end of the recession in 2009 through 2011 (the last year for which Census Bureau wealth data are available), the 8 million households in the U.S. with a net worth above $836,033 saw their aggregate wealth rise by an estimated $5.6 trillion, while the 111 million households with a net worth at or below that level saw their aggregate wealth decline by an estimated $0.6 trillion. Because of these differences, wealth inequality increased during the first two years of the recovery. The upper 7% of households saw their aggregate share of the nation’s overall household wealth pie rise to 63% in 2011, up from 56% in 2009. On an individual household basis, the mean wealth of households in this more affluent group was almost 24 times that of those in the less affluent group in 2011. At the start of the recovery in 2009, that ratio had been less than 18-to-1. For more information, go to:

Resource of the Week –  Building a Field-Specific Leadership Pipeline
The Bridgespan Group recently helped a group of funders develop a more strategic approach to building a leadership pipeline inside the field of Jewish nonprofits. The report's findings and recommendations focus on this field, but the approaches these funders are taking to create an environment for success are worth consideration by other fields in the sector. For more information and to download the full Bridgespan report, 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

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Picks of the Week: June 1 - 7, 2014

Website of the Week -- Opportunity Agenda

The Opportunity Agenda launched in 2006 with the mission of building the national will to expand opportunity in America. Focused on moving hearts, minds, and policy over time, the organization works with social justice groups, leaders, and movements to advance solutions that expand opportunity for everyone. Through active partnerships, The Opportunity Agenda synthesizes and translates research on barriers to opportunity and corresponding solutions; uses communications and media to understand and influence public opinion; and identifies and advocates for policies that improve people’s lives. To achieve its mission, Opportunity Agenda focus on racial equity, immigration, economic opportunity, reproductive health and rights, and African-American men and boys. Go to: 

Publication of the Week --  The Board Member's Easier Than You Think Guide to Nonprofit Finances by Andy Robinson and Nancy Wasserman

From the publisher: With the possible exception of How do I avoid fundraising? a board member's most commonly unasked question is, What do all these numbers mean and what am I supposed to do with them? Financial planning and budgeting combine all of our money taboos with that common disorder, math phobia. Andy Robinson and Nancy Wasserman help trustees (and their staff colleagues) confront and address this fear with wisdom, clarity, humor, and humility. If you find math mysterious and scary, yet need to understand financial statements to do your job as a board member ... read this book

Click to preview this book on 

Trend of the Week --  Updated U.S. Wealth Transfer Report 
An estimated $59 trillion, distributed among heirs, charities, estate taxes and estate closing costs, will be transferred from more than 90 million U.S. estates from 2007 to 2061, in the greatest wealth transfer in U.S. history, according to a new report issued today by researchers at the Center on Wealth and Philanthropy (CWP) at Boston College. “The baby boomers are in the process of receiving the largest wealth transfer in history and then they will, in turn, provide even a larger wealth transfer to their heirs, to charity, and to taxes,” says Paul Schervish, the Center’s director who authored the report with CWP researcher John J. Havens. “One major finding in this report is that the very wealthy are applying a greater proportion of their net worth to charity during their lifetimes," says Havens.  "More and more money is being put directly into charity and foundations during a donor’s lifetime and not as great a proportion is showing up in the estate.” Among the highlights in the study, titled “A Golden Age of Philanthropy Still Beckons, National Wealth Transfer and Potential for Philanthropy:”

  • The sum directed from final estates (for which there is no surviving spouse) toward charity is estimated at $6.3 trillion, $36 trillion toward heirs,  and $5.6 trillion in Federal estate taxes.
  • Total gifts to charity during the study period are vastly greater, according to the study, which estimates that lifetime giving will yield an additional $20.6 trillion for charity from 2007-2061.

To download the report, go to: 

Resource of the Week –  Community Collaboratives Resource Library
This collection of resources compiled by the Bridgespan Group, shares research that explores the keys to success of community collaboratives and recommends ways to drive more collective impact. It also includes a number of profiles of community collaboratives that have successfully addressed challenges in their communities, as well as three guides that can help collaboratives become more effective in their efforts. Go to: 

Tech Tip of the Week -- Recolor a Picture or Change the Color or Transparency

In PowerPoint 2010 you can recolor a picture, adjust the color saturation and tone, and more! Here's how:

  • Select the picture you want to recolor
  • Click the Picture Tools Format tab on the Ribbon
  • In the Adjust group, click Color
  • Select one of the many options

This tip works in PowerPoint, Word and Excel 2010.

  • Under Organize Sheets, select Move or Copy Sheet
  • Choose where you want the sheet to be copied or moved to
  • Be sure to select the create a copy box if you do not want your sheet moved

Friday, May 30, 2014

Picks of the Week: May 25 - 31, 2014

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. 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 --  Donor Cultivation and the Donor Lifecycle Map: A New Framework for Fundraising + Website by Deborah Kaplan Polivy
From the publisher: A guide to better and more strategic fundraising, Donor Cultivation and the Donor Life Cycle Map presents the donor lifecycle map, which is circular in form, revealing how the convergence of the two subject matters—cultivation and the lifecycle map—can lead to better and more strategic fundraising. Author Deborah Kaplan Polivy specifically addresses the topic of cultivation and how, when focused over the donor lifecycle, it can become a logical and focused activity for obtaining increasingly large gifts.
  • Step-by-step guidance and practical tools for understanding and making the most of the donor lifecycle
  • Coverage includes Introduction to Donor Cultivation, Defining Donor Cultivation, Donor Cultivation Tools and the Donor Lifecycle: How and Where They Intersect, and Impediments to the Implementation Process
  • Features a companion website with a variety of online tools to help readers implement key concepts
Donor Cultivation and the Donor Life Cycle Map seeks to change the perspective from transactional fundraising to recurring fundraising, beginning with the first donation and extending to the very last—an endowment that keeps on giving even after death.

Trend of the Week -- Nonprofit-Government Contract and Grant Trends
In 2012, the Urban Institute conducted a national survey, Nonprofit‐Government Contracts and Grants: Findings from the 2013 National Survey, expanding the scope of a previous 2009 study to include most types of nonprofits. The latest survey indicates that nonprofit‐government contracts and grants reached approximately 56,000 nonprofits and totaled $137 billion and that the effects of the recession were still evident. The research reveals that problems reported with government contracts and grants in 2009 are not confined to human services nonprofits, although problems are less pronounced for grants than for contracts. Nonprofit organizations in 2012 were still dealing with many of the same issues as in 2009. This report provides data on government contracts and grants with nonprofits, problems encountered, and the current fiscal situation of nonprofit organizations in each state. This compilation of state profiles provides national and state-by-state snapshots of most types of nonprofit organizations that have contracts and grants with local, state, and federal governments. The individual state profiles are designed to document the extent of nonprofit-government contracting, processes and problems. States are also ranked according to number of grants, types of issues, and actions taken by nonprofits to address the challenges they face. To download the full report, go to:

Resource of the Week –  HandsOn Network
HandsOn Network, a Points of Light enterprise,  is a network of 250 local volunteer centers around the world that seek to engage 21st century volunteers to use their time, talent, voice and money to create change in their communities. The HandsOn Network offers volunteer development tools and resources that are accessible, easy to implement and focused on impact. These resources and tools are based on:
  • Principles of adult learning
  • Practitioner-based best practices
  • Interactive design
  • Practical resources for innovation, action and impact
  • Needs of the target audience

For more information about the resource library, go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Move or Copy Sheets between Workbooks in Excel 2007/2010

  • Open the sheet you want to move or copy
  • Click the Home tab on the Ribbon
  • In the Cells group, click Format
  • Under Organize Sheets, select Move or Copy Sheet
  • Choose where you want the sheet to be copied or moved to
  • Be sure to select the create a copy box if you do not want your sheet moved

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Picks of the Week: May 10-24, 2014

Website of the Week -- Philamplify 
Philamplify is an initiative of the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy that aims to maximize the impact of our country’s grantmakers. By providing a modern, user-friendly space to gather straightforward feedback from everyone involved in philanthropy, the project brings together voices that have traditionally been unheard. Philamplify combines expert research on the work foundations do with feedback from foundation and nonprofit leaders and staff, issue experts, community members and more. At the center of Philamplify is a series of comprehensive reports conducted by highly regarded researchers assessing foundation grantmaking and operations. Assessments include key findings and recommendations, along with in-depth analysis of foundations’ funding strategies. By keeping these assessments public, Philamplify seeks to build a culture of transparency, mutual accountability and knowledge sharing. turns the assessments into an interactive experience, giving everyone involved with or touched by philanthropy a chance to comment on each assessment’s key recommendations and each foundation’s overall grantmaking approach. Visitors also can share their stories in text, photo or video, chime in on general issues affecting philanthropy and provide direct feedback about Philamplify itself. Go to: 

Publication of the Week --  Arts & Numbers: A Financial Guide for Artists, Writers, Performers, and Other Members of the Creative Class by Elaine Grogan Luttrull 
From the publisher: The creative class—artists, actors, writers, musicians, freelancers, dancers, performers, and the like—are known for applying their passion for creative expression to everything they do. Perhaps the one thing that most fills this group with apprehension is the rigid world of numbers. This leads to problems arising from the unconventional financial and business situations of creative professionals, as well as the nonprofit organizations with which they're often affiliated. Finances, budgeting, and business matters can be dreaded, if not outright ignored, by creatives--to the detriment of their artistic pursuits. Author, artist, and CPA Elaine Grogan Luttrull has written Arts & Numbers to help creative professionals find the same confidence in their financial dealings as in their chosen mode of expression. It is an engaging, accessible guide that covers a variety of must-know topics, such as budgeting, cash management, visual charting, taxes, employment, and business etiquette. In a simple, straightforward style, Luttrull draws examples from smooth-flowing narratives depicting common issues within the arts worlds, as well as from her own personal anecdotes.

Trend of the Week --  Trends in Corporate Giving 
Developed by CECP in association with The Conference Board, Giving in Numbers: 2013 Edition is based on data from 240 companies, including 60 of the largest 100 companies in the Fortune 500. The sum of contributions across all respondents of the 2012 survey, from which the data is pulled, totaled more than $20 billion in cash and in-kind giving. This report not only presents a profile of corporate philanthropy in 2012, but also pinpoints how corporate giving is evolving and becoming more focused since before the recession of 2008 and 2009. This is the ninth annual report on trends in corporate giving. Key findings of the latest study include: 
  • The average company provides most of its giving in cash from corporate budgets and its corporate foundation, with other contributions provided in the form of non-cash resources
  • Through matching-gift programs, companies match employee donations of money or volunteer time to eligible nonprofit organizations. In 2012, 181 companies shared details about their matching-gift programs. Among that group, matching gifts comprised a median of 12% of a company’s total cash giving.
  • Employee-volunteer programs are planned and managed efforts that enable employees to volunteer under their employer’s sponsorship and leadership. In 2012, 188 companies reported having a formal domestic employee-volunteer program, a formal international-volunteer program, or both. Paid-Release-Time, Dollars for Doers, and Company-Wide Days of Service were listed among the most successful engagement programs in 2012.
  • In 2012, 81% of companies reported having a corporate foundation. The most common foundation structure was a pass-through model, wherein the company annually funds the foundation. Education (comprising both K-12 and Higher Education) was the most funded program area (collectively, 29% of average allocations) for the first time since Giving in Numbers was first released in 2006, inching past Health and Social Services for the top spot.

Resource of the Week –  How to Establish a Good ED-Board Relationship 
Bridgestar has developed a new resource "Starting Off on the Right Foot: How to Establish a Good ED-Board Relationship" that provides guidance on how boards and new executive directors/chief executive officers (EDs/CEOs) can lay a good foundation for an effective working relationship. The guide is based on interviews with CEOs and board chairs about the preliminary steps they took to ensure their relationships worked from day one. For a copy of the free guide, go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Creating a PowerPoint Presentation Using Word 2007/2010 
To use a Word document to create a PowerPoint presentation
  • Format the document using Word heading styles
  • PowerPoint uses the heading styles in your Word document to set up the slides in a presentation  ̶  each Heading 1 becomes the title of a new slide, and each Heading 2 becomes the first level of text
  • You must apply a heading format to the text you want to include in a slide
  • You can manually insert heading styles or create a document using Word outline

To create a Word Outline

  • Click the View menu
  • Click Outline in the Document Views group
  • Type your outline using Tab to add subheadings (promote)
  • Press Shift Tab to decrease the indent (demote)
  • You can also use the Promote and Demote buttons on the Ribbon
  • Save your outline

To Insert Outline Text from Word into PowerPoint

  • In PowerPoint, click the Outline tab in the left pane
  • Click the Home tab of the Ribbon
  • In the Slides group, click the arrow next to New Slide
  • Click Slides from Outline

Monday, April 14, 2014

Picks of the Week: April 13 - 26, 2014

Website of the Week -- Glasspockets

Glasspockets is a Foundation Center initiative that champions philanthropic transparency in an online world. Launched in 2010, but with roots dating back to the Center’s founding in 1956, Glasspockets provides the data, resources, examples, and action steps foundations need to understand the value of transparency, be more open in their own communications, and help shed more light on how private organizations are serving the public good. with Glasspockets, the Foundation Center and its partners are working to:

  • Inspire private foundations to greater openness in their communications
  • Increase understanding of best practices in foundation transparency and accountability in an online world
  • Illustrate how institutional philanthropy is relevant to the critical issues of our time
  • Highlight the many stories of philanthropy that show how private wealth is serving the public good
  • Illuminate successes, failures, and ongoing experimentation so foundations can build on each other's ideas to increase impact

Publication of the Week --  The Art of Membership by Sheri Jacobs

From the publisher: Member engagement, recruitment, and retention are fundamental activities that all membership organizations must master to ensure the growth and viability of their organizations over the long term. The Art of Membership by Sheri Jacobs, CAE, provides associations and membership organizations with the practical tools they need to build a loyal and diverse membership base over the long term. Readers will be able to put the tools to work immediately regardless organization size, budget, culture, type, or environment. The recommendations are concrete, irrefutable and backed by data derived from ASAE research, the author's own more than 40 Market Research Studies conducted with her team encompassing members and nonmembers from organizations of all types and sizes and her more than 15 years of experience developing and executing membership recruitment and retention plans for more than 100 associations. The book contains ample cases and examples from associations, nonprofits and for-profits (pricing strategies, value propositions, and marketing tactics) in addition to chapter-by-chapter "how-to" guides with checklists and worksheets that break down the concepts from goal to strategy to tactics culminating in an actionable "to-do" list.

Trend of the Week --  Fundraising Effectiveness Trends

The 2013 Fundraising Effectiveness Project report developed by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) and the Urban Institute, summarizes data from 2,840 survey respondents covering year-to-year fundraising results for 2011-2012. Key findings include:

  • Gains of $769 million in gifts from new, upgraded current, and previously lapsed donors were offset by losses of $735 million through reduced gifts and lapsed donors. This means that, while there was a positive $34 million net growth-in-giving, every $100 gained in 2012 was offset by $96 in losses through gift attrition. That is, 96 percent of gains in giving were offset by losses in giving.
  • Gains of 866,000 in new and previously lapsed donors were offset by losses of 909,000 in lapsed donors. This means that there was a negative (44,000) growth-in-donors and every 100 donors gained in 2012 was offset by 105 in lost donors through attrition. That is, 105 percent of the donors gained were offset by lapsed donors.
  • Growth-in-giving performance varies significantly according to organization size (based on total amount raised), with larger organizations performing much better than smaller ones.
  • The largest growth in gift dollars/donors came from new gifts/donors, and the pattern was most pronounced in the organizations with the highest growth-in-giving ratios.
  • The greatest losses in gift dollars came from lapsed new gifts, particularly in the organizations with the lowest and highest growth-in-giving ratios. The greatest losses in donors came from lapsed new donors in all growth-in-giving categories.

Resource of the Week –  Consent Agenda Guide

To expedite business at a board meeting, the board can approve the use of a consent agenda that includes those items considered to be routine in nature. Full information about these items should be provided to the board in advance in the board packet and any questions or concerns can be directed to the makers of the motions and answered prior to the meeting. This allows thorough examination of the routine items without using up precious board meeting time. BoardStar has prepared an excellent guide to the use of consent agendas. The three page guide is thorough and concise at the same time. To download a .pdf file, go to:

Tech Tip of the Week -- Selecting a Range in Excel 2007/2010

In Excel, a range is a group of connected cells. When working in Excel you often need to select a range.  Here is a simple trick for quickly selecting a range:

  • Click anywhere within the range
  • Press Ctrl + A
  • The range is selected

If the worksheet does not contain data, Ctrl + A selects the entire worksheet.  Another way to select the entire worksheet is to click the button in the upper left corner of the worksheet