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What's New?

This site is updated regularly. Check here to see what's been added.  The Picks of the Week is the only nonprofit capacity building resource of its kind on the Web, offering recommendations in the following categories: Cool Websites, Publications, Key Trends, Useful Resources, and Tech Tips. Published weekly since 2004, the Picks of the Week are updated each Monday. To check out the full archive, go to: Picks Archives.

Picks of the Week:  April 13 - 26, 2014

Website of the Week


Glasspockets is a Foundation Center initiative that champions philanthropic transparency in an online world. Launched in 2010, but with roots dating back to the Centerís 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

For more information, go to:

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.

Click to preview this book on

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.

bullet 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.
bullet Growth-in-giving performance varies significantly according to organization size (based on total amount raised), with larger organizations performing much better than smaller ones.
- Organizations raising $500,000 or more had an average 16.6 percent net gain.
- Organizations raising $100,000 to $500,000 had an average net loss of -5.1 percent.
- Organizations in the under $100,000 groups had an average net loss of -13.5 percent.
bullet 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.
bullet 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.

To download a copy of the report, go to:

Resource of the Week

Consent Agenda Guides

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:

bullet Click anywhere within the range
bullet Press Ctrl + A
bullet 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

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