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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:  November 16 - 22, 2014

Website of the Week

AIM Alliance

The Arizona-Indiana-Michigan Alliance (AIM) is a strategic collaboration that grew through the vision and commitment of three academic centers' leadership teams focused on addressing the needs of an evolving nonprofit sector and sustaining capacity. The work of the AIM Alliance started in 2003 when the three centers began planning discussions. The work of the alliance centers on knowledge sharing and strengthening diverse communities, cross delivery of flagship programs, development of standardized research protocols and joint publication and dissemination of research and cross participation in significant events. The alliance will further the sector by improving nonprofit management practice, generating and sharing scholarly and practical knowledge, increasing communication and collaborating on research. It will also strengthen its work with diverse communities by developing leadership and contributing to the public's understanding of nontraditional forms of philanthropy. Finally, the collaborative work will focus the centers by helping each other advance to the leading edge of nonprofit management education by bolstering each center's distinctive niches. Go to:

Publication of the Week

The Nonprofit Mergers Workbook Part I: The Leader's Guide to Considering, Negotiating, and Executing a Merger & Part II: Unifying the Organization after a Merger by David La Piana

From the publisher: Part I - From assessing reasons and readiness, to finding a partner, to negotiating the best path, to budgeting and implementation, author David La Piana guides you through the maze of options with a steady hand. Based on experience with more than sixty mergers, this handbook is the perfect starting point for any nonprofit exploring a possible merger and a basic resource for all nonprofit managers. You'll find: how to decide what kind of structure from collaboration to merger meets your goals; how to know your own motivation and keep your mission forefront; what kind of merger best fits your goals, structure, and financial situation; how to seek merger partners and objectively assess the pros and cons of each; how to manage the boards essential role in merger considerations; and more. Part II helps you create a comprehensive plan to achieve integration. It addresses large, strategic issues as well as small practical ones. Integration issues and how to handle them Section I: Going the Distance provides a broad view of integration, its challenges, and how to meet them. Topics include the basic tenets of organizational change; what success looks like in a well-implemented merger; the purpose and content of an integration plan; how to address people issues through leadership and planning; and the relationship between effective leadership, effective communication, and their combined contribution to integration success. How to create a useful integration plan Section II: Creating an Integration Plan takes you step-by-step through this essential process. You'll learn about integration of boards, cultures, management, staff and volunteers, programs, communications and marketing, and systems—one by one, in detail; the steps needed to create each section of the plan; common challenges, roadblocks, and crises that will arise, how to respond when they do; and more.

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Trend of the Week

Public Sharply Divided in Views of Americans in Poverty

While the nation’s poverty rate has dipped for the first time since 2006, the actual number of poor people (45.3 million) was not statistically different from the previous year, according to the figures released today by the Census Bureau. Poverty is an issue that deeply divides the American public when it comes to how much of a role government should play in alleviating the problems of the poor. Public is sharply divided in views of Americans in poverty When asked which view comes closer to their own, roughly half of the public (51%) says the “government today can’t afford to do much more to help the needy,” while 43% say “the government should do more to help needy Americans, even if it means going deeper into debt,” according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted earlier this year. For more information, go to:

Resource of the Week

Nonprofit Cost Analysis Toolkit

Bridgespan has developed a Nonprofit Cost Analysis Toolkit.This toolkit is intended primarily for senior leaders (e.g. executive directors, directors of finance, development directors, regional directors) of small to medium nonprofit organizations with multiple programmatic areas or multiple geographic sites. It may also be useful for leaders of larger nonprofits in those cases where this knowledge does not exist already among the organization's staff. The toolkit assumes that its users possess a basic understanding of financial concepts and a strategic purview of the organization. To access the Toolkit, go to:

Tech Tip of the Week

Create a List with Checkboxes in Word 2007/2010

Here's an easy way to add a list with checkboxes in Word:

bullet Create a bulleted list
bullet Select the list
bullet On the Home tab, in the Paragraphs group, click the arrow on the Bullets button
bullet If a checkbox does not appear on the Bullets drop-down menu, click Define New Bullet
bullet Under Bullet Character, click the Symbol button
bullet From the Symbol menu, click on a checkbox symbol and click OK
bullet You can also select another font, such as Wingdings, and choose a checkbox from this font before clicking OK

This is a quick and simple way to create a checkbox list for printing.  However, it does not allow you to click the checkbox on the screen and check the item off the list. Create a List with Clickable Checkboxes in Word 2010 covers this more advanced technique for creating checkbox lists in Word.

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Revised: November 17, 2014