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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:  August 24 - September 6, 2014

Website of the Week

National Center on Philanthropy and the Law

The National Center on Philanthropy and the Law (NCPL) was established in 1988 at New York University School of Law to explore a broad range of legal issues affecting the nation's nonprofit sector and to provide an integrated examination of the legal doctrines related to the activities of charitable organizations. The NCPL's goals of increasing the knowledge of students, faculty, scholars, attorneys, and nonprofit organizations worldwide in the area of law and philanthropy and improving the practice of law in this field are realized through the following eight core activities: Curriculum, Scholarly Research, Conferences, Library Collection, Bibliography, Fellowships, Career Counseling, and Faculty Development. The NCPL is developing a unified field of study that provides central focus and leadership to curriculum development, scholarly research, conferences, and career development in the nonprofit sector. This approach is intended to add to and improve the overall quality of education and scholarship among law students, legal scholars, nonprofit organizations, practicing attorneys, judges, executives, administrators, and other professionals in the field. Go to:

Publication of the Week

Influencer: The New Science of Leading Change Second Edition by Joseph Grenny, Kerry Patterson, David Maxfield, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler

From the publisher: Whether you're a CEO, a parent, or merely a person who wants to make a difference, you probably wish you had more influence with the people in your life. But most of us stop trying to make change happen because we believe it is too difficult, if not impossible. We learn to cope rather than learning to influence. From the bestselling authors who taught the world how to have Crucial Conversations comes the new edition of Influencer, a thought-provoking book that combines the remarkable insights of behavioral scientists and business leaders with the astonishing stories of high-powered influencers from all walks of life. You'll be taught each and every step of the influence process--including robust strategies for making change inevitable in your personal life, your business, and your world. You'll learn how to:


Identify high-leverage behaviors that lead to rapid and profound change


Apply strategies for changing both thoughts and actions


Marshal six sources of influence to make change inevitable

Click to preview this book on

Trend of the Week

Philanthropic Giving Through Donor-Advised Funds

Vanguard Charitable, one of the largest charities in the United States and a leading donor-advised fund (DAF), has released an analysis of its donors' charitable impact based on ten years of granting data and surveys of donors and nonprofit organizations. In An inside look: 15,330 donors who are giving to charity with a donor-advised fund, Vanguard Charitable examines granting trends of its donors across gender, generation, and geography. The study, which analyzes 10 years of data, also shows the growth in donor-advised funds as a mechanism for charitable giving and reveals who is using DAFs, where they are granting money, for how much, and for what purpose. Specifically, An inside look found that:


56% of donors use a DAF for the majority of their giving.


73% of DAF donors are involved with the charities that they support.


94% of donors recommend grants to the same charity more than once.


61% of donors are strategic about their philanthropy when giving with a DAF by following a long term plan that includes a budget, investment strategy and appropriate time horizon to meet their current and long-term giving objectives.

Go to:

Resource of the Week

Nonprofit Executive Succession-Planning Toolkit

Nonprofit Executive Succession-Planning Toolkit by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City is a resource for nonprofit board of directors and executive leaders. It provides tools to effectively implement succession planning and overcome barriers. This resource is intended for organizations who have no plan in place as well as those that wish to update their current succession plans. The tools may be applied differently between organizations based on the board and executive’s expertise, talent, resources and strategic plans. The toolkit includes an outline of key planning roles, readiness questions, overview of the succession-planning process, and templates for succession plans and complementary documents that organizations may tailor to fit their specific needs. The toolkit contains numerous links that easily direct users to related and pertinent templates and sections. Of special value are sample timelines and templates for emergency succession plans and departure defined succession plans. To download the toolkit, go to:

Tech Tip of the Week

Calculate the Days, Months or Years between Dates in Excel

Use the DatedIf function to calculate the interval between dates in Excel. Here's how:


Enter the function into a cell

=DATEDIF ( start_date , end_date, unit )


For example, to calculate the number of months between two dates, if the start date is in cell D2 and the end date is in cell E2 you could enter this formula into cell F2:

To learn more about this function, go to to the Microsoft website or watch a YouTube video. This tip works in Excel 2007 and 2010, as well as earlier versions.

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Revised: August 25, 2014