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2008 Resources of the Week

December 28 , 2008 - January 3, 2009

Promising Practices Catalogue

The Promising Practices Catalogue, a service of the Nonprofit Library Commons, showcases successful initiatives with proven community or organizational impact. You can browse a full listing featuring the following topics: innovation, collaboration, effective communication, leadership in governance, financial sustainability and more. Through this collection you can also find a reference to each project's funding partner, or community investor. Go to: nonprofitscan.imaginecanada.ca

December 21 - 27, 2008

Giving Circles Knowledge Center

Throughout history, passionate individuals have joined together to make life better in their communities. Today, thousands of donors pool their money, energy, and ideas to create giving circles. The Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers has compiled an extensive collection of resources on how to start, maintain, and grow a giving circle. Go to: www.givingforum.org

December 14 - 20, 2008

Crisis Communication Plan: Nonprofit Toolkit

The Colorado Nonprofit Association has prepared a toolkit you can use to develop a crisis Communication plan for your association. The toolkit is designed to help staff respond in a unified, professional manner that reinforces sector leadership and creates loyalty; strategically enhance the organization’s brand/role, and the public understanding of the value provided by the nonprofit community; and manage the distribution of critical, often sensitive, information to the media, members, and public. Go to: www.coloradononprofits.org

December 7 - 13, 2008

Nonprofit Economic Vitality Center

The National Council of Nonprofits developed this resource to help nonprofits better understand the current economic situation and have ready access to strategies to help them navigate the economy so they can serve their communities more efficiently. Resources are organized in three broad categories:


Basic Facts & Analysis: This section provides links to materials designed to help the public, policymakers, journalists, and nonprofits understand the mounting economic challenges.


Impact on Nonprofits: This section identifies ways the economy is hurting nonprofits - and thereby the communities they serve.


Proactive Positioning - Action Steps for Nonprofits: This section shares resources to help nonprofits not only weather this economic storm, but also emerge even stronger. 

The site is updated regularly. Go to: www.councilofnonprofits.org

November 30 - December 6, 2008

Managing in Tough Times: 7 Steps

The Bridgespan Group offers advice to nonprofits looking for ways to respond to these challenging times. According to the authors “this position paper presents seven steps for navigating economic turbulence distilled from the real-world experiences of our clients, other nonprofit leaders and experts, and our own research”. The steps include:

  1. Act quickly, but not reflexively, and plan contingencies.

  2. Protect the core (the programs and services that have the greatest impact on those you serve; and the organizational infrastructure required to support them).

  3. Identify the people who matter most and keep that group strong.

  4. Stay very close to your key funders.

  5. Shape up your organization (changes that could make your operations more efficient and your impact greater).

  6. Involve your board.

  7. Communicate openly and often.

For a copy of the full article, go to: www.bridgespan.org

November 23 - 29, 2008

The Resource Center for Effective Corporate-Nonprofit Partnerships

Mission & Market: The Resource Center for Effective Corporate-Nonprofit Partnerships, a service of Independent Sector, aims to provide the resources nonprofit and corporate executives need to help them build effective partnerships that enhance both mission and business goals—and serve to build the public trust for the nonprofit sector as a whole. In a marketplace of proliferating brands and products, corporations are constantly seeking innovative ways to differentiate their products and services in sustainable ways.  And in a time of ever greater societal needs, nonprofit organizations are looking for new sources of revenue, enhanced visibility, expertise, and creative ways to promote their messages and advance their missions.  As a result, there is a growing trend of companies and nonprofits creating a variety of partnerships that advance both the mission of the nonprofit organization and the business purpose of the company.  This online resource includes:


Expert Briefings and Model Guidelines


"Lessons Learned" Partnership Profiles


Types of Partnership Models


Motivations for Partnering


Glossary of Terms


Tax and Legal Issues

Go to: www.independentsector.org

November 16 - 22, 2008

The Partnering Toolbox

The Partnering Toolbox offers a concise, step-by-step overview of the essential elements that make for effective partnering. The Toolbook was written by Ros Tennyson and produced by the Partnering Initiative in co-operation with the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The Partnering Toolbook builds on the experience of those who have been at the forefront of innovative partnerships and offers a concise overview of the essential elements that make for effective partnering. Go to: www.energizeinc.com

November 9 - 15, 2008

Technology Planning Tools

The following tools developed by Npower can help your organization assess its technology and plan for the future:


TechAtlas: Managed by NPower, TechAtlas is a suite of online tools that help nonprofits assess, plan for and manage the technology they need to make an even greater difference in their communities. TechAtlas walks nonprofits through the technology planning process, from creating a vision of how technology could be most effective in their org, to assessing and prioritizing their needs, to generating a final report that can be shared with board and staff. Additionally, advanced features of TechAtlas provide tools to manage existing technology more effectively, such as online inventorying, help desk tracking and special assessments. More than 10,000 nonprofits have used TechAtlas to help manage their technology today, and plan for tomorrow. Go to: techatlas.org   


Total Cost of Ownership Calculator: The TCO Calculator is an important part of technology planning designed to help you analyze the long-term costs associated with owning technology on a per PC basis and then compare your results to industry benchmarks. Download the TCO Calculator at: www.npowerseattle.org

November 2 - 8, 2008


MeetingWizard.com is one of the more well known online scheduling tools. It is a free service that helps anyone trying to schedule a meeting with people who have complicated schedules and/or work in different locations. It is very easy to use, both for setting up the meeting, confirming the time and location, and sending reminders. Go to: www.meetingwizard.com

October 26 - November 1, 2008

Urban Institute Outcome Indicators Project

The Urban Institute has developed and applied an Outcome Framework to 14 specific program areas Examples include Transitional Housing, Youth Tutoring and Mentoring, Emergency Shelter, Advocacy, and more. For each program, there is a sample mission statement, an outcome sequence chart, a table of candidate program-specific outcomes, and data collection strategies with suggested data sources for each outcome indicator. Go to: www.urban.org

October 19 - 25, 2008

Three Toolkits from the Kellogg Foundation

The Kellogg Foundation has developed three toolkits for nonprofits. The Communications and Marketing Kit is designed to help non-profit organizations use communications to achieve their social change goals. The Evaluation Toolkit is designed for nonprofits seeking to design an effective, useful evaluation. The Policy Toolkit has been designed to support nonprofits and grassroots organizations in understanding the role of policy at all levels of government - local, state and national, and more importantly, prepare them for engagement in the policy process. This web-based handbook features the policy process and principles, guiding questions to help translate and understand the process and principles, as well as case stories to illustrate key ideas. Go to: www.wkkf.org

October 12 - 18, 2008

Research Summary on Nonprofit Sector Workforce

Workforce Issues in the Nonprofit Sector: Generational leadership change and diversity authored by R. Patrick Halpern and published by American Humanics is a topically organized report that highlights much of the research regarding the nonprofit sector workforce. The paper is intended to serve as a resource for practitioners, researchers, funders, and advocates within the nonprofit sector by providing a point-in-time snapshot of nonprofit sector workforce issues. Research on the sector constantly is revealing new insights and accepted best practices. This study should not be considered a comprehensive overview of workforce issues within the sector. The paper reviews a selection of existing literature covering workforce issues within the nonprofit sector from 1995 to the present. Additionally, considering the enormous diversity within the sector in terms of organizational size, scope, sub-sector, etc., the studies included in this analysis may not be applicable to or representative of all organizations operating within the sector. However, the paper provides relevant, general insights into the current state of the nonprofit workforce, especially insights related to executive turnover, diversity, and the next generation of nonprofit employees. Go to: www.humanics.org and click on “Literature Review and Bibliography.”

October 5 - 11, 2008

Effective Advocacy at All Levels of Government

While federal legislation certainly affects the operations of nonprofits, the funding and policy decisions that most affect locally-based nonprofits and their constituents come from city, county, and state governmental bodies. This timely publication from the Center for Lobbying in the Public Interest and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation is designed to prepare nonprofits for engagement at the state and local levels - where most nonprofits are likely to have the capacity to engage, and the potential to see quicker results - as well as for opportunities at the federal level. The challenge with a publication of this type is the lack of uniformity among local and state governments across the United States. Capturing the individual practices of 50 state legislatures and thousands of city and county governments would be impossible here. This publication thus focuses on three elements to aid nonprofits in their advocacy at all levels of government:


Generalized processes and principles of how to influence public policy in our federal system of government. By becoming familiar with general practices in policy development, nonprofits can better adapt to the specific ways of a particular jurisdiction's government.


Guiding questions that will help translate an understanding of general principles into appropriate strategies for specific issues at specific levels of government.


Case stories that bring key ideas to life and allow nonprofits to imagine themselves in similar situations.

To download a copy, go to: www.wkkf.org

September 28 - October 4, 2008

Governance Policies the IRS Thinks Your Organization May Have

Effective for tax years beginning after January 1, 2008, the revised Form 990 requires most tax-exempt organizations to make new disclosures regarding certain governance policies and practices.  In order to respond fully to the policy questions asked on the revised form, an organization generally must review its existing policies and consider whether it is appropriate to amend them or adopt new ones, in many cases by December 31, 2008.  The law firm of Quarles & Brady has prepared a briefing paper that summarizes the policies focused upon within the revised Form 990. These policies can be used by tax-exempt organizations as a basic checklist in reviewing their existing policies and in considering whether additional policies should be adopted before year-end. Go to: www.quarles.com

September 21 - 27, 2008

Strategic Thinking and Planning: A Resource Bibliography

We have just updated our Strategic Thinking and Planning Resource Bibliography. It contains books, articles and other web based resources. Go to: www.createthefuture.com

September 14 - 20, 2008

Logic Model Resources

The Center for Civic Partnerships has compiled an extensive collection of resources on development and use of logic models to guide program and service development. Go to: www.civicpartnerships.org

September 7 - 13, 2008

Thought Leaders Gateway

The Leader to Leader Institute Thought Leaders Gateway includes individuals whose intellectual contributions have furthered the Institute’s work. The gateway includes an alphabetical listing of all of these individuals with links to a short biography of the individual followed by a listing of their publications and any articles appearing in the Leader to Leader Journal.  This listing includes hyperlinks to any books and articles available on the leader to leader Institute website. An excellent resource! Go to: www.leadertoleader.org

August  31 - September 6, 2008

YouTube Nonprofit Program

Does your organization have a compelling story to tell? Do you want to connect with your supporters, volunteers, and donors but don't have the funds to launch expensive outreach campaigns? YouTube can help. Video is a powerful way to show your organization's impact and needs, and with a designated "Nonprofit" channel on YouTube, you can deliver your message to the world's largest online video community. The Nonprofit program is currently only available in the United States and the United Kingdom. YouTube is continuing to expand the program, so check back to see if other countries have been added in the future. Go to: www.youtube.com

August  24 - 30, 2008

American Management Association Scholarship Program

Managers and executives in the nonprofit social sector can benefit from a scholarship program developed in partnership between the American Management Association (AMA) and the Leader to Leader Institute. AMA is providing up to 75 scholarships administered by the Leader to Leader Institute to qualified recipients. Scholarship recipients will select and receive admission to an AMA seminar as well as a one year membership to each organization. To apply, go to: www.leadertoleader.org

August 17 - 23, 2008

The Evaluation Exchange

The Evaluation Exchange is the Harvard Family Research Project's evaluation periodical, The Evaluation Exchange, addresses current issues facing program evaluators of all levels, with articles written by the most prominent evaluators in the field. Designed as an ongoing discussion among evaluators, program practitioners, funders, and policymakers, The Evaluation Exchange highlights innovative methods and approaches to evaluation, emerging trends in evaluation practice, and practical applications of evaluation theory. It goes out to its subscribers free of charge 3–4 times per year. Go to: gseweb.harvard.edu

August 10 - 16, 2008

EEO Compliance Resources

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the enforcement body that will challenge an employer's hiring or employment practices when a discrimination complaint is lodged by an employee, a former employee or an applicant. According to attorney Jennifer Chandler Hauge, the EEOC is also in the business of helping employers avoid acting in a discriminatory manner. In this way, the EEOC can be seen as a nonprofit's risk management partner. Guidelines and fact sheets published by the Department of Labor and available on the EEOC's Web site are very helpful. Among the most helpful information recently made available is the EEOC's 2006 Compliance Manual. Published in April 2006, the manual describes common pitfalls and best practices for employers striving to avoid discriminatory practices. Go to: www.eeoc.gov

August 3 - 9, 2008

Leverage Points Newsletter

Leverage Points, a free e-bulletin from Pegasus Communications, spotlights innovations in leadership, management, and organizational development. This newsletter is the best resource on systems thinking systems thinking and related disciplines. For a free subscription, go to: www.pegasuscom.com. An archive of all issues of the newsletter is available at www.pegasuscom.com

July 27 - August 2, 2008

Audio Screencast: Effective Organizations Achieve Superior Results

A few years ago, Bridgespan began surveying clients' senior leadership teams about their organizations' strengths and weaknesses. There are now 30 nonprofits of varying sizes in the Bridgespan database, as well as a comparison set of data for more than 500 for-profits, which was developed at Bain & Company. Analysis of these databases demonstrates that high performing nonprofits think about organizational leadership, they identify the decisions that really matter, they develop the people necessary for success, they pay attention to work processes, and they create a high-performance culture. This presentation summarizes findings, and discusses barriers that commonly prevent many nonprofits from building effective organizations. It also outlines approaches that nonprofits can use to increase the effectiveness of their organizations. To view the audio screencast, go to: www.bridgespangroup.org

July 20 - 26, 2008

Root Cause Solutions E-Newsletter

Root Cause Solutions is a bi-monthly e-newsletter covering key issues and topics facing problem solvers working in nonprofits, corporations, foundations, and government agencies. It includes leading-edge strategies for building enduring solutions to our most pressing social problems, drawn from our work with our consulting clients and our social enterprises.  In addition, each issue provides our recommendations of other important articles and tools on the featured topic. Root Cause is a nonprofit organization that accelerates enduring solutions to social and economic problems by supporting social innovators and educating social impact investors. To subscribe to the newsletter, go to: www.rootcause.org

July 13 - 19, 2008

SmorgasBoard Newsletter

The SmorgasBoard Newsletter is published by BoardWalk Consultants. A sampling of bits and bytes on boards and leadership in nonprofits, foundations and the institutions that champion them, SmorgasBoard offers essays, practical tools, client developments, publications and other items of interest for trustees, executive directors, and those who care about the causes they serve. For subscription information and copies of past editions, go to: www.boardwalkconsulting.com

July 6 - 12, 2008

Everyone Ready Professional Development Program in Volunteer Management

Everyone Ready® is a professional development program in volunteer management delivered via Online Seminars, electronic Self-Instruction Guides, interactive discussion boards, and other online resources. It's designed to engage you in a year-long learning community, with all resources available 24/7 at your convenience. You get 12 new topics a year, alternating in presentation through 6 online seminars and 6 self-instruction guides. An expert trainer is available to respond to e-mailed questions at all times, so you can get attention and the clarification you need. The online seminars are provided in Flash® format, giving you a professional-quality program that you can access over and over. And there are always handouts, links to additional resources, and discussion questions.  To learn more about this innovative approach to training, go to: www.energizeinc.com

June 29 - July 5, 2008

Handbook on Citizen Engagement

The Canadian Policy Research Networks (CPRN) has released a Handbook on Citizen Engagement, a resource useful for those working in community development. The report, written by Amanda Sheedy and released in March 2008 describes citizen engagement as the belief that people should have and want to have a say in the decisions that affect their lives. The handbook is “intended to whet the appetite for citizen engagement for those new to citizen engagement, and for those with experience to deepen the analysis behind citizen engagement projects and provide a synthesis of the field and a concise reference tool. The long term vision is to contribute to the closing of the gap between governments and citizens, to allow public servants and politicians to reconnect with citizens’ needs, priorities and values.”  To download the Handbook on Citizen Engagement from the CPRN website as a .pdf file, go to: www.cprn.org

June 22 - 28, 2008

KIDS COUNT Data Center

A service of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, KIDS COUNT Data Center is an online database that features more than 100 indicators of child well-being for the 50 largest U.S. cities. You can select a state or city to find a range of major indicators of child well being such as child poverty rates, health insurance coverage, etc. You can also compare specific data across states or cities. Results can be viewed as a ranking, map, or trend line. Go to: www.kidscount.org

June 15 - 21, 2008

CharityChannel Re-launched

CharityChannel, one of the oldest and most comprehensive resources for nonprofits has re-launched. CharityChannel was founded in 1992 by Stephen Nill who saw a need for colleagues to connect, share and discuss pertinent challenges and issues. It was started as one email-based discussion forum – CHARITYTALK – which is still one of the more active discussions communities of CharityChannel. As the professional community grew, so did CharityChannel. With well over 100,000 participants, CharityChannel rolled out its new web site in March, 2008. The new site, built atop the CharityChannel framework™, is designed to enable nearly instant creation of features and content sections according to the rapidly expanding needs of the CharityChannel professional community.  The site includes articles, book reviews, newsletters, training resources and much more. Go to: charitychannel.com

June 8 - 14, 2008

The Mission-Based Management Newsletter

Peter Brinckerhoff of Corporate Alternatives, Inc. publishes an excellent monthly newsletter. Each issue includes the following features: Sites of the Month, Management Tip of the Month, Recommended Publications, and Marketing Tip. Also included are links to all past issues over the last five years. Go to: www.missionbased.com

June 1 - 7, 2008

Professional Practice Statements

Founded in 1916, the Association Forum of Chicagoland today serves 47,000 Chicago area association professionals whose efforts serve 37 million members and 9 million donors. In 1996 the Association Forum Board of Directors approved what is believed to be the first professional practice statements ever adopted by a professional society of association professionals. The collected practice statements can be adapted by other nonprofits as appropriate. Topics covered by the practice statement include:


Achieving Diversity in Associations


Facilitation of Effective Board Decision Making


Ethical Behavior of Association Leaders


Volunteer Leader and Staff Relationship


Evaluating the Performance of the Association Chief Executive Officer


Recruitment and Retention of Quality Staff


Strategic Alliances


Association Strategic Governance


Role and Function of an Audit Committee


Role of the Chief Executive Officer in the Nomination Process


And more

To view the practice statements, go to: www.associationforum.org

May 18 - 31, 2008

EPA Grant-Writing Tutorial

This interactive software tool walks the user through the grant-writing process and helps them learn to write more competitive grants. While the focus is on EPA grant applications, the resource will be useful for grant writing in general.  The program includes:


Detailed information and tips on writing a grant proposal


How to complete a grant application package


Program-specific sections on three EPA grant programs


Examples of good, complete grant packages


References and a glossary of terms 


Resources and contacts 


A mock grant-writing activity where the user is able to compare their results to a successful grant application  

Go to: www.purdue.edu

Week: May 11 - 17, 2008

Use of Due Diligence in Board Recruitment

Frank L. Kurre, national managing partner, in Grant Thornton’s Not-for-Profit industry practice Section, describes in the increasing use of due diligence by nonprofits when recruiting new board members. Some of the due-diligence procedures which nonprofits are using include the following:


Require the candidate to complete and submit the organization’s conflict-of-interest statement and to disclose any potential conflicts or certify that no conflicts exist prior to election.


Require the candidate to authorize the organization to perform a full background check. This background check typically includes a search of public documents for any legal judgments, IRS or state liens, negative media, publicity and a criminal check. This check would be especially important for youth serving nonprofits.


Request that the candidate provide three references from individuals not affiliated with the organization.


Request that the candidate briefly discuss (verbally or in writing) his or her approach to serving on the board. Topics to be addressed include commitment to the organization’s mission, willingness to participate in committee assignments and the expectation to attend a majority of board and committee meetings.


Assess whether the candidate has any relationships with existing board members, management or other individuals which could lessen the candidate’s ability to be objective and independent.

Less we think that such a list of procedures is overdone, let’s remember that were talking about recruitment of the board of directors whose members wield considerable authority and influence. For the full list of procedures including additional guidance, go to: www.grantthornton.com

May 4 - 10, 2008

A Cure for Founderitis

This article addresses the symptoms, causes and treatment of “founderitis”. The term "founderitis" or "founder's syndrome" refers to the unhealthy condition that afflicts many nonprofits whose founders maintain a stranglehold on organizational leadership. While many nonprofits owe their success — and in fact their very existence — to their founders, those same individuals can create chaos that ultimately leads to the organization's collapse. The challenge to founding CEOs and boards of directors is to take steps to change conflict and chaos into opportunities for growth. The article appearing in the Center for Association Leadership website, was authored by Maryll Kleibrink, CFRE, the director of development at the Center for Health, Environment, and Justice.  Go to: www.asaecenter.org

April 27 - May 3, 2008

Online Advocacy Resources

The Center for Lobbying in the Public Interest has assembled an extensive collection of online resources for advocacy. The links are organized in six categories: web based advocacy tool kits, organizations strengthening nonprofit lobbying, advocacy, public policy engagement and sites with lobbying & advocacy resources - by state, public policy web portals, take action on public policy issues and track bills web sites, and nonprofit sector and civic infrastructure organizations. Go to: www.clpi.org

April 20 - 26, 2008

Blue Avocado

Blue Avocado is a new online magazine whose aim is to engage and support the people of community nonprofits. Blue Avocado will publish on the 1st and 15th of every month—and is delivered via email newsletter, website, and RSS feed. Future issues will include


Board Cafe for nonprofit board members


Personal Finance column: making it work on nonprofit salaries


Ask Rita in HR: A nonprofit-specific human resources advice column


Consumer reviews of products


Word on the Street . . . nonprofit people on the frontlines report on the sustainability movement, human services, funding for films, and more


Strategies for Financial Sustainability, and more

The magazine is available at no charge. To subscribe, go to: www.blueavocado.org

April 13 - 19, 2008

Resources for Organizational Sustainability

The US Department of Labor’s Center for Faith-based and Community Initiatives has complied an extensive list of web-based resources on various aspects of organizational sustainability. The resources are organized in the following categories: Building a Sustainable Initiative, Collaboration and Identifying Stakeholders, Leadership and Board Development, The Business Plan for Nonprofits: Creating A Case, and Additional Resources. Go to:  www.dol.gov

April 6 - 12, 2008

Google for Nonprofits

A new portal, called Google for Nonprofits, is now available that provides nonprofits access and guidance on how to use a variety of tools and resources that Google offers. The portal offers such programs and features as:


The Gmail email system


An online donation collection and processing program


A system for sharing and editing documents online


An analytics program to determine how often people go to your website and how they use the information that it provides


An online grant search engine


A dynamic, interactive maps program to visually illustrate the work of a charity


Blogging software

For each service, Google for Nonprofits also offers instructions (with video tutorials) on how to use the program, as well as guidance as to how nonprofits can get the most benefit out of each. Use of each of the services is free of charge. The site also features examples of how some nonprofits are already using the various tools to further their mission. None of the programs offered through the portal are new. They have all been previously offered by Google, but the Google for Nonprofits portal is the first time the company has proactively marketed many of them to the nonprofit community.  Go to: www.google.com/nonprofits

March 30 - April 5, 2008

Nonprofit Management Toolkits

The McKnight Foundation has prepared a set of nonprofit management toolkits. Each toolkit provides a variety of selected online resources in nonprofit management, linked by topic area. These selected online resources are provided as a service to the staffs of nonprofit organizations. Access toolkits on the following topics:


General: Basic information to address a range of general needs for nonprofit management.


Communications: Develop your key messages, and then share those messages with the media, the public, and policymakers.


Evaluation: Capture ongoing assessments of all outcomes—successful and otherwise—to help inform future work.


Fundraising: Raise funds effectively through successful grantwriting and other funding opportunities.


Technology: Develop, or simply take control of, your organization's computers, network, and online presence.


Volunteers: Recruit and use your most powerful workforce wisely, with an eye toward screening, evaluation, legal risks, and more.

Go to: www.mcknight.org

March 23 - 29, 2008

Nonprofit Genie

Nonprofit Genie is a collection of FAQs on topics such as board development, consultants, databases, social entrepreneurship, Federal Form 990, financial management, fiscal sponsorship, fundraising insurance, Internet and telephone systems, strategic planning, technology planning and volunteer management. Go to: www.genie.org

March 16 - 22, 2008

Nonprofit Fundraising Web Resources

Hosted by the Michigan State University Libraries, this collection pf resources compiied by Jon Harrison, is intended as a starting point for those who are interested in learning more about foundations, fundraising, proposal writing, philanthropy and philanthropists, corporate philanthropy, international philanthropy, government funding, nonprofit organizations, nonprofit organization administration, planned giving, prospect research, and voluntarism, but only want to look at resources available on the web.  Go to: www.lib.msu.edu

March 9 - 15, 2008

What is the Role of an Attorney on the Board?

The latest issue of Board Café, published by CompassPoint Nonprofit Services, includes a brief article with excellent advice on structuring the role of an attorney on your board of directors. The article includes a listing of the advantages and disadvantages of having an attorney on the board and concludes with three tips for working effectively with an attorney on the board:


Do reference checks with boards on which the attorney has served before. Does the attorney bring the best of the profession to the board room?


When recruiting attorneys as board members, consider which types of issues your organization regularly confronts, and seek an attorney with expertise in that area.


Give the attorney (and the board chair) a copy of the Board Café article!

To view the full article, go to: www.compasspoint.org

March 2 - 8, 2008

An Introduction to Information Design

Visualizing Information: An Introduction to Information Design is a booklet written and designed to introduce advocacy organizations to basic principles and techniques of information design. It’s full of examples of interesting design from groups around the world in a variety of media and forms. It has tips, exercises, and even recommended free software packages to help polish up your graphics. This manual offers an introduction to information design. It is intended to provide NGOs with a useful and powerful tool for advocacy and research. The manual was written and designed by John Emerson, Principal at Apperceptive LLC. To download the full booklet as a .pdf file, go to:  apperceptive.com

February 24 - March 1, 2008

Nonprofit Information Technology (IT) Staffing Resource

Staffing the information technology (IT) function is frequently a challenge for nonprofit organizations. Financial resources are typically limited, and hiring managers often feel overwhelmed and under-educated when it comes to IT. Determining where IT should fit into the organization, how many IT staff people are needed, and what those people should be spending their time doing can be difficult decisions. In order to shed some light on these questions, the Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN) and the Nonprofit Times teamed up to create the Nonprofit IT Staffing Survey. The results of this survey will be presented in three parts. The first report, "Staffing Levels, Recruiting, Retention, and Outsourcing" focuses on the nature of IT staff and departments in nonprofits. Future reports will cover Salaries & Budgets and IT Management & Planning. To download the first report for free, go to: nten.org/research

February 17 - 23, 2008

Planned Giving: A Board Member’s Perspective

The purpose of this resource is to provide board members with an overview of the fundamentals of planned giving. Board members are critical to the success of a planned giving initiative, as they often can help set the stage with donors and support the staff in executing agreements. In fluid economic times, with volatile stock markets and income streams making unexpected swings, more organizations may rely on planned giving programs for meeting their financial goals. The need for maintaining and increasing the endowment ranks high on the agenda of most organizations. Few programs support this objective of long-term financial stability more effectively than planned gifts. To preview as a .pdf file, go to: www.grantthornton.com

February 10 - 16, 2008

Risk Management Advice

The Nonprofit Risk Management Center was established in 1990 to provide assistance and resources for community-serving nonprofit organizations.  The Center offers online advice, free technical assistance and risk management consulting. You can check out the Risk Management Resource Center for fact sheets on a range of risk management, liability and insurance topics. You can also email your question using an online form. In addition to free technical assistance to nonprofit organizations, the Center also offers affordable risk management consulting assistance and risk assessments. Go to: nonprofitrisk.org

February 3 - 9, 2008

Free Grantseeking Basics Webinar Series

The Foundation Center offers a webinar series on grantseeking basics at no charge including:


A one-hour overview of the funding research process for nonprofit organizations seeking grants from foundations, corporations, and grantmaking public charities


Introduction to Finding Funders: This session provides an introduction to one of the key online tools for finding funders, Foundation Directory Online Professional


Introduction to Fundraising Planning: This session will introduce participants to strategies for devising a fundraising plan that best reflects their organization’s needs and resources


Special Webinar Series for Nonprofit Startup Organizations: A special five-part webinar series for those considering starting a nonprofit organization or working for a nonprofit startup

Go to: foundationcenter.org

January 27 - February 2, 2008

Nonprofit Policy News

The Nonprofit Policy News, published by the National Council of Nonprofit Associations, is a free, monthly e-newsletter featuring federal & state legislation that impacts nonprofits. Each issue includes updates on federal and state policy issues that impact all 501(c)(3) organizations. Issues include budget concerns, advocacy rights, and oversight and accountability. There are also links to excellent advocacy and public policy resources. To view the most recent issue and to subscribe, go to www.ncna.org

January 20 - 26, 2008

The Evaluation Exchange

The Harvard Family Research Project's evaluation periodical, The Evaluation Exchange, addresses current issues facing program evaluators of all levels, with articles written by the most prominent evaluators in the field. Designed as an ongoing discussion among evaluators, program practitioners, funders, and policymakers, The Evaluation Exchange highlights innovative methods and approaches to evaluation, emerging trends in evaluation practice, and practical applications of evaluation theory. It goes out to its subscribers free of charge four times per year. Go to: www.gse.harvard.edu

January 13 - 19, 2008

New Online Fundraising Resource

The mission of Network for Good’s new online Learning Center is to provide nonprofits with free access to the best available web-based fundraising and nonprofit marketing resources. The Learning Center features hundreds of articles in six areas: Online Fundraising, Social Networking, Website 101, Email 101, Donor Database, Nonprofit Marketing and a weekly newsletter entitled Online Fundraising & Nonprofit Marketing Tips Newsletter. Much of the content comes from nonprofit professionals, coaches, trainers, bloggers, and consultants who are working everyday to improve fundraising and marketing effectiveness. Go to: www.fundraising123.org

January 6 - 12, 2008

50-State Policy Wizard

The Policy Wizard creates custom tables with information about state and federal policies that assist low-income families and children. In designing a table, you can select from a set of 14 policy dimensions. The 50-State Policy Wizard is maintained by The National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP), the nation’s leading public policy center dedicated to promoting the economic security, health, and well-being of America’s low-income families and children. Go to: www.nccp.org

Resource of the Week: December 30, 2007 - January 5, 2008

Nonprofit Law Resource Library

The Nonprofit Law Resource Library is maintained by Hurwit & Associates, a law firm based in Newton, Massachusetts. The firm represents over four hundred nonprofit and philanthropic organizations based in twenty-three states and sixteen countries. This law firm has a national specialty in nonprofit governance. The Nonprofit Law Resource Library has links to all states' charity oversight divisions and the rules for working in those states. There is also an excellent collection of templates for by-laws and articles of incorporation, sample organizational charts, board policies and more. Go to: www.hurwitassociates.com. The Nonprofit Law Resource Library can be found at the left margin.

To view 2007 Resources of the Week, click here.

To view 2006 Resources of the Week, click here.

To view 2005 Resources of the Week, click here.

To view 2004 Resources of the Week, click here.

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