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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: May 24 - 30, 2015

Website of the Week

Third Sector New England

Third Sector New England provides management and leadership resources to help nonprofits support healthy, just communities. With a staff of dedicated nonprofit professionals, TSNE serves as fiscal sponsor, convener, consultant and grantmaker, offering a unique blend of capacity-building programs and services focused on strengthening nonprofits for a deeper impact on the communities they serve. Founded in 1959 as the Massachusetts Health Research Institute, Third Sector New England has expanded its programs over the past half century to serve nonprofits throughout New England and across the country. Today, TSNE is using new tools and strategies in its work to support clients and partners, foundations, colleagues working in nonprofit capacity building, and the many others committed to social change. The website provides information and insights to help you reach your goals and advance your mission. Nonprofits will find publications focused on increasing staff and board diversity; information on executive transition and organizational development; articles to help you learn more about fundraising, fiscal sponsorship, and sound financial management; and information on nonprofit management training and opportunities. Go to: tsne.org

Publication of the Week

Strategic Planning for Nonprofit Organizations: A Practical Guide for Dynamic Times 3rd Edition by Michael Allison and Jude Kaye

From the publisher: Strategic Planning for Nonprofit Organizations describes a proven method for creating an effective, organized, actionable strategy, tailored to the unique needs of the nonprofit organization. Now in its third edition, this bestselling manual contains new information about the value of plans, specific guidance toward business planning, and additional information about the strategic plan document itself. Real-world case studies illustrate different planning and implementation scenarios and techniques, and the companion website offers templates, tools, and worksheets that streamline the process. The book provides expert insight, describing common misperceptions and pitfalls to avoid, helping readers craft a strategic plan that adheres to the core values of the organization. A well-honed strategic plan helps nonprofit managers set priorities, and acquire and allocate the resources necessary to achieve their goals. It also provides a framework for handling challenges, and keeps the focus on the organization's priorities. Strategic Planning for Nonprofit Organizations is an excellent source of guidance for managers at nonprofits of every size and budget, helping readers to:


Identify the reasons for planning, and gather information from internal and external stakeholders


Assess the current situation accurately, and agree on priorities, mission, values, and vision


Prioritize goals and objectives for the plan, and develop a detailed implementation strategy


Evaluate and monitor a changing environment, updating roles, goals, and parameters as needed

Different organizations have different needs, processes, resources, and priorities. The one thing they have in common is the need for a no-nonsense approach to planning with practical guidance and a customizable framework. Strategic Planning for Nonprofit Organizations takes the fear out of planning, with expert guidance on the nonprofit's most vital management activity.

Click to preview this book on Amazon.com

Trend of the Week

Nonprofit Trends to Watch in 2015

The National Council of Nonprofits highlights trends that affect charitable nonprofits throughout the year  through two e-newsletters, Nonprofit Knowledge Matters and Nonprofit Advocacy Matters, and on the nonprofit sector trends hub on its website. The Council has compiled a list of trends to watch in 2015 and beyond:


The resource squeeze: Nonprofit leaders’ biggest challenge for 2015 remains finding resources, including raising the money needed to sustainably advance nonprofit missions.


Increasing needs in communities: In a trend that started just before the Great Recession hit, increasing needs in communities will continue to outpace the nonprofit sector’s current capability to meet those needs.


Governments shifting burdens to nonprofits: State and local governments will likely continue to look to the limited resources of charitable nonprofits to fill their own budget holes or expect nonprofits to fill the gaps when governments walk away from existing needs in communities.


Advancing missions through advocacy: Nonprofit staff, board members, and grantmakers alike are becoming more aware of the need to engage in advocacy to remove barriers and protect and promote nonprofit missions.


Truth trumps myths about overhead: Nonprofits are increasingly pushing back against the widespread misunderstanding of overhead and using transparency to help donors, grantmakers, and governments understand that it costs something to deliver a nonprofit’s mission.


The sharing economy: Collaboration in the age of the sharing economy looks a little different than in the past. In addition to more shared back office operations, space sharing by nonprofits is more common; the Council is seeing a trend that is expanding sharing to many administrative functions, including shared workers.

For the full list, go to: www.councilofnonprofits.org

Resource of the Week

ACT NOW! 18 Steps to Advocacy Readiness

Because so many have requested help with building specific advocacy skills and practices, Bolder Advocacy Initiative of Alliance for Justice has created "ACT NOW! 18 Steps to Advocacy Readiness." This new five-part series of articles about advocacy readiness and the funder role in building advocacy capacity includes case studies and examples related to specific capacity-building steps, expert advice, funder perspectives, and a funder checklist. Each article also links to additional resource materials aimed at helping nonprofits and foundations alike accomplish long-term public policy advocacy goals. To date, Bolder Advocacy has covered 9 of the 18 advocacy capacity-building steps in three articles: ACT NOW! Three to Get Ready: Planning and Preparing for Advocacy; ACT NOW! Building Influence with Information and Collaborative People Power ; and ACT NOW! Making the Case: Messaging, Media, and Influencing. The remaining two articles – the first on working with legislative, administrative, and other advocacy systems, and the second on organizational operations and fiscal sustainability – will be out soon. Upon completion of the series, all five articles will be compiled in an e-book designed to accompany the Advocacy Capacity Tool (ACT), and it will be available at no cost. Go to: bolderadvocacy.org

Tech Tip of the Week

Recording a Slide Show in PowerPoint 2010

Did you know you can record a Slide Show in PowerPoint 2010?  Here's how:


Open the Slide Show you want to record


Click the Slide Show tab on the Ribbon


In the Set Up group click the Record Slide Show icon


In the Record Slide Show dialog box, select what you want to record


Click Start Recording

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Revised: May 26, 2015