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2014 Resources of the Week

 

December 28, 2014 - January 3, 2015

Hurwit & Associates' Nonprofit Law Resource Library

Hurwit & Associates' Nonprofit Law Resource Library contains information on a number of subjects pertaining to nonprofit law including nonprofit start-up issues, state filing and compliance, governance and board questions, mergers and affiliations, nonprofit entrepreneurship, charitable contributions and more. Go to: www.hurwitassociates.com
 

December 21 - 27, 2014

Funding Community Organizing: Social Change Through Civic Participation

Grantmakers who fund community organizing say it's the best option when you want to promote civic engagement and support lasting solutions to a community's problems. Yet many funders, concerned about the ability to measure its impact and effectiveness, hesitate to take up community organizing as a strategy. In this guide, funders and organizers discuss what makes community organizing unique and uniquely effective, how to manage grantee relationships over time, understanding the value of process, and the grantmaker's special role in fostering change. To download the guide, go to: www.grantcraft.org
 

December 14 - 20, 2014

Social Impact Assessment Portal

From McKinsey & Co.: Funders, social investors, nonprofits, and social enterprises are united by a common goal: social change. To reach this goal, the social sector must identify what approaches work — and why. Social impact assessment helps organizations to plan better, implement more effectively, and successfully bring initiatives to scale. The goal of social impact assessment is to drive improvements that increase the value of programs to the people they serve. Assessment also facilitates accountability, supports stakeholder communication, and helps guide the allocation of scarce resources. McKinsey has developed an online workbook to help you plan a Learning Driven Assessment. Created for leaders charged with determining the effectiveness of social-sector programs, this workbook is designed to support discussions between program and evaluation colleagues. This workbook helps structure an interactive, iterative process for a team of stakeholders. The process will occur over a period of weeks or even months. Is is suggested that you engage experts on assessment to help finalize and implement the Learning Driven Assessment plan you design using this workbook.  To access the workbook, go to: mckinseyonsociety.com
 

December 7 - 13, 2014

Harnessing Collaborative Technologies

Harnessing Collaborative Technologies: Helping Funders Work Together Better describes how many funders have begun to use technology to explore new ways of working together, from casual peer learning to joint funding and strategy development. This report provides information how new tools are changing the way funders collaborate. It is divided into three primary sections: Emerging technologies and the changing context for philanthropic collaboration; An overview of collaborative needs and tools; and, Recommendations for improving the collaborative technology landscape. And while no written document can actively keep pace with all of the continuous changes and developments in technology, the report includes profiles of a sampling of the tools that are now available to give a flavor of the wide diversity and tremendous potential of the new technologies to strengthen philanthropic practice and increase impact on public problems. While the focus is on funders, the tools will be very useful to nonprofit leaders wanting to increase the impact of their collaboration efforts. To download the free report, go to: foundationcenter.org
 

November 30 - December 6, 2014

Getting Social Media Right: A Short Guide for Nonprofit Organizations

The Bridgespan Group has developed a social media guide for nonprofits. "Getting Social Media Right: a Short Guide for Nonprofit Organizations" authored by Richard Steele Sivan McLetchie and Chris Lindquist is organized around a framework referred to as the “Seven C’s” of social media: Cause, Communication, Community, Collaboration, Costs, Capital, and Competition. According to the authors, by challenging yourself to ask questions around the Seven C’s, you can quickly begin to organize your thinking about social media, and plan or revise your approach so that your social media efforts create real value for your organization. The full data set – purged of any identifying information – survey, and framework are all available for download. Go to: www.bridgespan.org
 

November 23 - 29, 2014

Establishing a Nonprofit Organization

This comprehensive resource from The Foundation Center describes how to establish a nonprofit organization task by task, including board development, creating bylaws, filing for federal tax exemption, recruiting staff, and developing a fundraising plan. This tutorial, available in English and Spanish, describes 12 tasks you will need to accomplish as part of the process of establishing a nonprofit organization:
 

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File the certificate of incorporation

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Select individuals to serve on the board of directors

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Develop vision and mission statements

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Establish bylaws and board policies

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Obtain an employer identification number (EIN)

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Open a bank account and establish check signing procedures

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File for federal tax exemption

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Follow state and local nonprofit regulations

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Find office space and obtain office equipment

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Recruit staff and prepare a personnel manual

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Establish a payroll system and procure necessary insurance coverage

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Develop an overall fundraising plan

Go to: foundationcenter.org
 

November 16 - 22, 2014

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: www.bridgespan.org
 

November 9 - 15, 2014

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:

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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
 

November 2 - 8, 2014

Online Matchmaker for Nonprofits Seeking Pro Bono Help

The Taproot Foundation has created an online marketplace it hopes will become the Match.com of pro bono, linking skilled volunteers with nonprofits that need assistance in areas like marketing, database design, and strategic planning. The new site, Taproot+, allows nonprofits to describe projects needing help. Taproot Foundation employees will then review proposals and help improve any unclear project descriptions. People looking to share their skills can browse projects on the site. Some nonprofits ask for in-person help, while other projects can use volunteers working remotely. In some cases, Taproot will post the projects on sites run by partner organizations, like the LinkedIn for Volunteers, to help find the right volunteer. As the site grows, the group plans to work closely with other pro bono organizations, like NPower and DataKind. After a nonprofit and pro bono volunteer agree to work together, Taproot+ helps them plan the steps of the project and set deadlines for milestones, which are tracked on the site. Taproot has offices in five cities and has shepherded pro bono relationships for 13 years. The group hopes the new site will expand its work nationwide and significantly increase the number of nonprofits that partner with skilled volunteers. Go to: taprootplus.org
 

October 26 - November 1, 2014

Free Download Library of Nonprofit Resources

Simone Joyaux, a well known author and consultant to the nonprofit sector has compiled an excellent collection of resources organized in the following categories: board development, fund development, other nonprofit resources, commentary/essays, and podcasts. To access these free downloadable resources, go to: www.simonejoyaux.com
 

October 19 - 25, 2014

The Smart Chart

The Interactive Smart Chart is based on the Spitfire Strategies Smart Chart 3.0 – a planning tool that helps nonprofits make smart choices and develop high-impact communications strategies. This online version of the Smart Chart offers an interactive approach to the planning process. As you work your way through the Chart, you'll have several opportunities to evaluate your answers and ensure you are making the smartest choices. You can also stop and save your answers at any time, and come back and finish later. This allows you to finish the planning process in your own time – and gives you maximum flexibility so you can get input on your choices from staff, board members or other outside resources as needed. At the end of the process, you will have a fully completed Smart Chart that links your organization's goals to the many strategic decisions necessary for a successful communications effort. Go to: www.smartchart.org
 

October 12 - 18, 2014

CEO Succession Planning

Ensuring a smooth succession is the most critical responsibility for the Board of Directors and the CEO. Best practice succession planning gives the Board, management team, employees and shareholders confidence in the long-term future of an organization by reducing succession risk. This presentation by David Larcker, Professor, Stanford University Graduate School of Business and Director of the Rock Center for Corporate Governance describes the core components of the operational succession planning model. The presentation also identifies some of the myths surrounding succession planning. Go to: www.gsb.stanford.edu
 

September 28 - October 11, 2014

Powercheck

Community organizing can be a complex process. To be successful, it’s important to prepare for success – by understanding an organization’s readiness to engage and empower constituents. PowerCheck is a brand new, free tool available from Bolder Advocacy that makes it easy for nonprofits, evaluators, and funders to assess capacity to engage in community organizing, plan successfully, and track organizational capacity building progress over time. PowerCheck can help organizers – from the most sophisticated to beginners – better prepare for catalyzing community organizing efforts. For more information and to access this tool, go to: bolderadvocacy.org
 

September 21- 27, 2014

Succession Planning with Your Board

The Society of Human Resource Management has compiled tools and resources for board succession planning including the 10-Step Succession Plan for Board Leaders, Succession Planning Questionnaire, Board Roster Template for Succession Planning, Succession Planning Competencies, and more. The existence of these resources is a reminder that succession planning needs to include plans to ensure effective leadership transition within the board of directors as well. To access the Toolkit, go to: www.shrm.org
 

September 14 - 20, 2014

Linking Leadership Succession, Strategy, and Governance

Many writings stress the importance of a board’s thinking about leadership succession as its most critical task Succession is often intertwined with the state of the board’s functioning and organizational strategy. Similarly, working on governance is often triggered by succession and linked to strategy in terms of new competencies that need to be on the board. It is rare that one of these three can be the sole focus without consideration of the other two areas. The article "The Importance of Linking Leadership Succession, Strategy, and Governance" by Thomas Gilmore offers an overview of the challenges of sequencing these intertwined issues, and the imperative that they be thought of in a woven, recursive way across time rather than a simplistic, linear sequence. To download the article, go to: nonprofitquarterly.org
 

September 7 - 13, 2014

Nonprofit FAQ

The National Center for Charitable Statistics at The Urban Institute maintains the Nonprofit FAQ, a longstanding compendium of information for and about nonprofit organizations. New material is added and existing items are updated frequently. Go to: nccsdataweb.urban.org
 

August 24 - September 6, 2014

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: www.kc.frb.org
 

August 17 - 23, 2014

Social Innovation Fund Evaluation Plan Guidance

With the strain on both public and private resources in the wake of the Great Recession, funders started asking: “How do I know my investments are actually making a difference?” The Obama Administration’s answer to this question is what’s called “tiered-evidence programs,” and they’ve already been applied at the Departments of Education, Labor, and Health and Human Services. Tiered-evidence programs take the approach that there is a continuum of evidence, ranging from preliminary to strong, and that programs move along this continuum by conducting more and increasingly rigorous program evaluations – moving from tier to tier as they amass evidence. The Social Innovation Fund, one of the first of these tiered evidence initiatives, is committed to investing in evidence and evaluation that helps prove and improve promising models. In order to help organizations map their way forward, the Social Innovation Fund has created the Social Innovation Fund Evaluation Plan Guidance – a new document that presents a comprehensive evaluation design. The evaluation is based on Social Innovation Fund definitions and expectations, but it could be applied to a variety of organizations and programs. It’s part of the Social Innovation Fund’s “Knowledge Initiative,” which shares best practices to benefit and strengthen the sector as a whole.  To download the guide, go to: www.nationalservice.gov
 

August 10 - 16, 2014

Board Members Guide to Partnership Planning

This guide was authored by Dr. Ramya Ramanath and John A. Van Eyk. Partnerships may arise with the potential to allow nonprofit organizations to carry out their missions more effectively and efficiently. Board involvement is imperative when such an opportunity arises. Although the level of board involvement may differ depending on the complexity of the arrangement, yet its role in leading discussions on the potential impact on organizational performance is critical to all types of arrangements. The guide addresses some of the key factors nonprofit boards should consider when entering a partnership arrangement. This publication was created by the Johnson Center for Philanthropy. In partnership with the AIM Alliance. To download the Guide, go to: lodestar.asu.edu
 

August 3 - 9, 2014

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:

bullet

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.

bullet

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.

bullet

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

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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.

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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
 

July 27 - August 2, 2014

What's the Best Way to Raise Money?

If your fundraising efforts have you feeling constantly behind the curve, it's time to step back and lay the groundwork for a more sustainable approach. Looking for a good place to start? Check out the article "Just Tell Me: What's the Best Way to Raise Money? Choosing a Revenue Strategy" from Blue Avocado, which lays out why there's no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution to fulfilling an organization's funding needs. Go to: blueavocado.org
 

July 20 - 26, 2014

Consensus Building Guide

Robert’s Rules of Order is a fine way to run a formal meeting or a town hall vote, but too rigid for a business meeting where the agenda is to build consensus behind decisions. This is a freely available excerpt from the 1999 book, The Consensus Building Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide to Reaching Agreement, by Lawrence Susskind, Sarah McKearnan, and Jennifer Thomas-Larmer, and posted by the Public Disputes Program at Harvard Law School. This chapter, “Short Guide to Consensus Building,” provides a no-frills, step-by-step approach to running a creative, productive meeting, down to the level of how to invite participants who might be assuming a legal liability by attending. Go to: web.mit.edu
 

 July 13 - 19, 2014

Glossary Of Financial Terms For Nonprofits

The Nonprofits Assistance Fund has developed a comprehensive glossary of financial terms for nonprofits. To access the glossary, go to: nonprofitsassistancefund.org
 

July 6 - 12, 2014

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. Go to: www.youtube.com/nonprofits
 

June 29 - July 5, 2014

The Essential Guide to Social Media for Nonprofits

The Essential Guide to Social Media for Nonprofits by Kristin DeMint and Tammy Sproule provides you a primer for making effective decisions for your strategy whether you're new to the social media space or looking to improve your existing presence. Read the book to discover how to:

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Choose the right channel

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Gain followers and friends

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Listen to your audience and learn about them

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Be heard where you want to be heard

With The Essential Guide to Social Media for Nonprofits, you'll get practical tips that will get you that much closer to reaching your social media goals - and ultimately, your organization's mission. To download the guide at no charge, go to the website of Salsa at: go.chroniclefyi.com
 

June 22 - 28, 2014

Building a Field-Specific Leadership Pipeline

The Bridgespan Group recently helped a group of funders develop a more strategic approach to building a leadership pipeline inside the field of Jewish nonprofits. The report's findings and recommendations focus on this field, but the approaches these funders are taking to create an environment for success are worth consideration by other fields in the sector. For more information and to download the full Bridgespan report, go to: www.bridgespan.org
 

June 15 - 21, 2014

How to Design a Really Great Conference Session

Dusty Miller presents a six-step "formula" for an effective conference session. Learn why it is important to consider the needs and interests of your audience; how to prepare a "real" objective - one that defines results, not just the process; and how to select or design a key activity that will stimulate and engage your audience. For the online course on the topic go to: www.simulconference.com.  For the course transcript, go to: www.simulconference.com
 

June 8 - 14, 2014

Point K Evaluation Tools and Resources

The Innovation Network is a nonprofit evaluation, research, and consulting firm that provides knowledge and expertise to help nonprofits and funders. The Network has organized the Point K Learning Center. Point K's tools and resources build nonprofits' ability to plan and evaluate their own programs. This collection of tools and resources is available at no charge; free registration is required. Point K tools and resources include:

bullet Organizational Assessment Tool: A self-assessment survey and reporting tool that provides nonprofit leaders and stakeholders with a snapshot of organizational strengths and areas for improvement.
bullet Logic Model Builder: A step-by-step guide for articulating and connecting organizational or program goals, resources, activities, outputs, and outcomes.
bullet Evaluation Plan Builder: Transfers key data from the Logic Model Builder and moves from goal-setting to identification of evaluation questions, indicators, and data collection strategies for evaluating program outcomes and implementation.
bullet Point K Resources: The searchable resource database at Point K focuses on resources for evaluation and capacity building. Over 300 reports, articles, tip sheets, how-tos, and more are at your fingertips.

To access the tools and much more, go to: www.innonet.org
 

June 1 - 7, 2014

Community Collaboratives Resource Library

This collection of resources compiled by the Bridgespan Group, shares research that explores the keys to success of community collaboratives and recommends ways to drive more collective impact. It also includes a number of profiles of community collaboratives that have successfully addressed challenges in their communities, as well as three guides that can help collaboratives become more effective in their efforts. Go to: www.bridgespan.org
 

May 25 - 31, 2014

HandsOn Network

HandsOn Network, a Points of Light enterprise, is a network of 250 local volunteer centers around the world that seek to engage 21st century volunteers to use their time, talent, voice and money to create change in their communities. The HandsOn Network offers volunteer development tools and resources that are accessible, easy to implement and focused on impact. These resources and tools are based on:

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Principles of adult learning

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Practitioner-based best practices

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Interactive design

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Practical resources for innovation, action and impact

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Needs of the target audience

For more information about the resource library, go to: www.handsonnetwork.org
 

May 11 - 24, 2014

How to Establish a Good ED-Board Relationship

Bridgestar has developed a new resource "Starting Off on the Right Foot: How to Establish a Good ED-Board Relationship" that provides guidance on how boards and new executive directors/chief executive officers (EDs/CEOs) can lay a good foundation for an effective working relationship. The guide is based on interviews with CEOs and board chairs about the preliminary steps they took to ensure their relationships worked from day one. For a copy of the free guide, go to: www.bridgespan.org
 

May 4 - 10, 2014

Guide and Template for Fiscal Policies and Procedures

CompassPoint Nonprofit Services has developed a well-organized, time-saving template and accompanying guide to make it a bit easier for you to write or update your organization’s fiscal policies and procedures. We believe that the most important part of developing policies and procedures is that they are discussed, agreed upon, and regularly reviewed by both the decision makers in an organization and by those who will be implementing them on a day-to-day basis. There is no “one size fits all” template that will work for all organizations, but this template and guide offer a recommended structure for policies and procedures as well as some questions to guide you in considering what is best for your organization. Go to: www.compasspoint.org
 

April 27 - May 3, 2014

Special Events Guide

Network for Good has published a guide to planning and conducting large special events. “The Big Event: 5 Tips for Making Your Next Fundraising Event a Great Success”. The contents include: Set a goal that makes sense, Choose the right type of event, Secure corporate sponsors, Design a dynamic experience for your supporters, Assess what worked (and didn’t), and, Plan for next time and keep up your relationships. To download a copy, go to: www.fundraising123.org
 

April 13 - 26, 2014

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: www.boardstar.org
 

April 6 - 12, 2014

The Smart Chart

The Interactive Smart Chart is based on the Spitfire Strategies Smart Chart 3.0 – a planning tool that helps nonprofits make smart choices and develop high-impact communications strategies. This online version of the Smart Chart offers an interactive approach to the planning process. As you work your way through the Chart, you'll have several opportunities to evaluate your answers and ensure you are making the smartest choices. You can also stop and save your answers at any time, and come back and finish later. This allows you to finish the planning process in your own time – and gives you maximum flexibility so you can get input on your choices from staff, board members or other outside resources as needed. At the end of the process, you will have a fully completed Smart Chart that links your organization's goals to the many strategic decisions necessary for a successful communications effort. Go to: www.smartchart.org
 

March 30 - April 5, 2014

Interactive Collaboration Tool Finder

An interactive tool finder developed by GrantCraft, a joint service of the Foundation Center and the European Foundation Centre, presents seven distinct collaborative needs (including finding partners, designing strategies, assessing progress) and 17 types of tool functionalities (ranging from data gathering to project management to scheduling meetings) in an online matrix that facilitates intuitive exploration of available resources. This free resource helps users generate custom results that provide details on recommended solutions, including their cost; whether they are best for small-, medium-, or large-sized collaborations; how easy they are to use; and if there is a mobile-friendly version. Go to: collaboration.grantcraft.org
 

March 23 - 29, 2014

The Networked Nonprofit

The article by Jane Wei-Skillern and Sonia Marciano appearing the Stanford Social Innovation Review describes a new approach to long term partnership building. The authors suggest, with some compelling examples and arguments, that nonprofits that pursue their missions through networks of long-term, trust-based partnerships achieve more sustainable mission impact than would be possible through traditional approaches to organizational growth. Management wisdom says that nonprofits must be large and in charge to do the most good. But some of the world’s most successful organizations instead stay small, sharing their load with like-minded, long-term partners. The success of these networked nonprofits suggests that organizations should focus less on growing themselves and more on cultivating their networks. Go to: www.ssireview.org
 

March 16 - 22, 2014

Mission Planning Guide

With the help of Youth Service America, one of the country’s leading youth service organizations, Eric Greitens has developed a Mission Planning Guide for teachers, students, and volunteers who wish to plan and execute service projects in their community. This guide can be used as part of a school’s service-project requirements or for class projects. It can also be distributed to members of service clubs, religious groups, or any other youth service-oriented organization. To download the free guide, go to: Mission Planning Guide
 

March 9 - 15, 2014

Getting Social Media Right: A Short Guide for Nonprofit Organizations

The Bridgespan Group has developed a social media guide for nonprofits. "Getting Social Media Right: a Short Guide for Nonprofit Organizations" authored by Richard Steele Sivan McLetchie and Chris Lindquist is organized around a framework referred to as the “Seven C’s” of social media: Cause, Communication, Community, Collaboration, Costs, Capital, and Competition. According to the authors, by challenging yourself to ask questions around the Seven C’s, you can quickly begin to organize your thinking about social media, and plan or revise your approach so that your social media efforts create real value for your organization. The full data set – purged of any identifying information – survey, and framework are all available for download. Go to: www.bridgespan.org
 

March 2 - 8, 2014

The Beyond-the-Hype Potential of E-Learning

Based on a year of conversations with more than 100 leading thinkers, practitioners, and entrepreneurs, The Beyond-the-Hype Potential of E-Learning explores the state of e-learning and the potential it offers across all sectors of our economy—far beyond the confines of formal education. Whether you’re a leader, worker in the trenches, or just a curious learner, imagine being able to access exactly what you need, when you need it, in a format that’s quick and easy to digest and apply. Much of this is now possible and within the next decade, just-in-time learning will likely become pervasive. This report aims to inspire you to consider how e-learning could change the way you, your staff, and the people you serve transfer knowledge and adapt over time. The report has been produced by The Leap of Reason Initiative, an effort which seeks to inspire and support great leaders and funders to build great organizations for greater societal impact. To download a copy of the report, go to: leapofreason.org
 

February 23 - March 1, 2014

Sustaining Great Leadership: Succession Planning for Nonprofit Organizations

Sustaining Great Leadership: Succession Planning for Nonprofit Organizations by Tom Adams, is a free guide offering a 10-step approach to sustaining leadership in your nonprofit. This introductory guide describes how the board of directors can sustain effective leadership over the long term by planning now for the time that your executive director or other key leaders leave. Succession planning has become a catch-phrase for a variety of actions. At a minimum, good succession planning includes the development of positive language and attitudes about succession, good emergency backup plans, a succession policy, an organizational culture that encourages the growth of new leaders, and adequate preparation for the planned departure of an executive. The steps and tools in this briefing booklet will increase the odds that your organization will sustain effective leaders—and future success. To download the free guide, go to: www.transitionguides.com
 

February 16 - 22, 2014

Succession Planning Resources

Compasspoint Nonprofit Services offers a range of tools and resources for succession planning. CompassPoint has developed a number of downloadable tools in this important subject including:
 
bullet A sample template to provide guidance on writing an Emergency Succession Plan
bullet A self-reflection tool for executives who are questioning whether or not it's time to leave their positions
bullet The Executive Director Legacy Statement--a tool with which an executive can clarify what he or she wants to accomplish before they exit their job
bullet A Succession Readiness Checklist that can serve as the basis for the Sustainability Audit
bullet A sample staff survey for input on capacity building and leadership needs (for conducting the recommended Sustainability Audit)
bullet A sample board self-assessment survey for planning board development activities as part of the Sustainability Audit
bullet A list of stakeholder interview questions for gathering input from funders and other external supporters and colleagues (for conducting the recommended Sustainability Audit)
bullet A checklist of activities for planning and mining the learnings of an executive Sabbatical--a way of testing the bench strength of your organization.

To access this information, go to: www.compasspoint.org
 

February 9 - 15, 2014

Tools and Resources for Assessing Social Impact (TRASI)

TRASI is a project of the Foundation Center, developed in partnership with McKinsey & Co. and with input from experts in the field, to address the growing interest in measuring impact. The TRASI database of tools and resources includes information on approaches to impact assessment, guidelines for creating and conducting an assessment, and ready-to-use tools for measuring social change. You can browse over 150 tools, methods, and best practices in the TRASI database. Sort by name, sponsor, or approach type. For a complete overview of an approach, click on its name. For more information, go to: trasi.foundationcenter.org
 

January 19 - February 8, 2014

Writing Effective Job Descriptions

A clear and comprehensive job description is key to attracting candidates who are well suited to the position you're trying to fill. Before embarking on the process of writing a job description, however, you'll need to have developed a clear sense of the role in question, its responsibilities, and the qualifications that an ideal candidate would possess. Once your team has clarified these dimensions, you can begin to craft the job description. Besides offering tips for writing the job description, this article from Bridgespan provides an Organization Overview Sample to start your descriptions off on the right foot, an Email Job Announcement Sample to help you spread the word of your open position, and several Nonprofit Job Description Samples for a number of senior management roles. Go to: www.bridgespan.org
 

January 12 - 18, 2014

Theory of Change Facilitator Guides

The Center for Theory of Change has published two guides of facilitators to guide theory of change development in nonprofits. "Facilitators Source Book on the Theory of Change" by Dr. Dana Taplin and Muamer Rasic. This is a resource for experienced facilitators on facilitating the process of developing a Theory of Change. The second is "Theory of Change: The Basics" by Dr. Dana Taplin and Dr. Heléne Clark. This is a condensed basic primer covering key elements of the process of developing a Theory of Change. To download these and other excellent resources on this critical topic, go to: www.theoryofchange.org and scroll down.
 

January 5 - 11, 2014

8 Random But Useful Social Media Tips for Nonprofits

Here is a resource from Nonprofit Tech for Good: For nonprofit admins who do not have the time to regularly research social media trends, it can be a battle to stay ahead of the learning curve. In addition to the time required to create content for social media and manage social networks, new media managers need at least two hours weekly to research social media trends and best practices. For those nonprofits that allocate staff time, embracing early adoption is key to social media success. That said, here are eight timely and easy tips to help all nonprofits better utilize social media no matter their capacity. Go to: www.nptechforgood.com
 

December 15 , 2013 - January 4, 2014

Board Members' Guide to Partnership Planning

Today, more and more nonprofits are looking to partner with other organizations. Strategic partnerships offer benefits that range along a spectrum from simple joint programming ventures to full-scale mergers. The purpose of the Board Members' Guide to Partnership Planning is to serve as a reference for board members embarking on the collaboration journey. Many factors must be considered, and the following list shares 10 key elements critical to the success of any effective partnership. Boards are encouraged to use this list as a starting point for boardroom discussions (Note: The electronic version of this guide contains hyperlinks under each topic heading to additional resources for that subject area). Finally, this guide also contains a Partnership Checklist, a useful tool in tracking your progress through the partnership process. To download a copy of the guide, go to: www.asu.edu
 

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