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 January 2006


In this issue:

Live Help

Ritchie and Sisler McFawn Foundations Support Project Connect

Strengthening Families Funding

Financial Accountability Workshop

More Funding Opportunities

Ohio Nonprofit Excellence Awards

How Not to Spam

PC Tip

Register for Upcoming Classes

Training Schedule 






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Live Help!

Happy 2006!! Let this be the year of less frustration with technology!! Project Connect offers Live Help for staff of all Ohio nonprofits! If you are having problems with a Microsoft Office or Adobe product, simply go to and complete the form. Follow the directions, and then we'll be able to see your computer from our office. We can then walk you through the problem.

Cost is free for members (see for more information) or $15 per increment of 10 minutes for non-members.

Instead of spending hours of frustration trying to do it yourself, let us help you!


Ritchie and Sisler McFawn Foundations Support Project Connect

Info Line is pleased to announce that The Charles E. and Mabel M. Ritchie Memorial Foundation and Sisler McFawn Foundation have granted funding to Project Connect. These monies will go towards phase one of the implementation of our business plan, which focuses on increasing our capacity to serve more organizations. We truly appreciate their support!!


New Funding Opportunities ...
Ohio Strengthening Families Initiative
January 13, Seven Ohio Cities, 10:00 AM or 2:00 PM

In July 2005, GOFBCI received significant new funding to invest in a statewide initiative called the Ohio Strengthening Families Initiative (OSFI). The source of this investment is Ohio’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant and all investments must meet related federal requirements.

Ohio Strengthening Families Initiative will provide over 12 million dollars to support organizations in three critical areas:

  • Vulnerable Children

  • Ex-offenders and their Families

  • Healthy Marriages

Brief workshops will be held throughout Ohio (in Akron and Cleveland) on January 13 to discuss the opportunities and requirements of the funds. For more information, visit or send an email to .


OANO Workshop ...
What You Need to Know: New Financial Accountability Laws
January 30, The Cleveland Foundation, 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.

Effective January 1, new rules and regulations go into effect that may significantly impact Ohio's nonprofit organizations. Do you receive public funding? Contract with the government to provide programs and services to the community? Your organization may need to modify its accounting and reporting mechanisms to adhere to this new Ohio law.

Join OANO's legal experts as we look at who will be impacted by this new law, who is exempt, and what changes your organization will need to make to be in compliance.

  • Pre-registration: $20 for OANO Members, $40 for Nonmembers

  • On-site Registration: $25 for OANO Members, $50 for Nonmembers

Click here for more info or email Jennifer Eschbach at .


More Funding Opportunities ...
Governor's Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives

The Office of Faith Based and Community Initiatives has been charged with three main tasks:

  • Make it easier for faith-based and community organizations to compete for public funding

  • Encourage partnerships among and between public agencies, faith-based organizations, and community-based organizations who share a common mission

  • Measure the impact of these partnerships to reduce the suffering of citizens in need

Their website has a listing of funding opportunities for organizations which address addiction, at-risk youth, children & family, crime victims, education, ex-offenders, health, HIV/AIDS, homelessness & housing, human services, people with disabilities, research, and seniors. (

The office also offers lots of training and partnership opportunities. For more information, visit their website at or send an email to Candy McKenzie at .


OANO Announces Statewide Awards Ceremony to Recognize Ohio's Nonprofits!

Each year nonprofit organizations serve thousands in their communities and spend endless hours working on projects to help others and further their mission, that is why OANO is hosting the Ohio Nonprofit Excellence Award. The award recognizes creativity, execution, achievement, and overall excellence of a specific project or program completed by an Ohio nonprofit in 2005.

The award is open to any 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization located in Ohio. For more details, deadline information, and an application, please visit or contact Jennifer Eschbach at .


TechSoup Advice  ...
How Not to Spam

Here are some tips for keeping your organization's newsletters from getting marked as spam:

  • The CAN-SPAM Act requires senders to include an "opt-out" option that allows receivers to unsubscribe from your list. (See the bottom of this email for a sample out-opt.)

  • If users ask to be removed from a list, be vigilant about weeding their e-mail addresses out of your subscriber database. Nothing annoys people more than when they try to unsubscribe and nothing happens. That can lead to complaints about spam.

  • Always obtain consent before you start sending newsletters to people on your subscriber list. While the CAN-SPAM Act requires senders to include an "opt-out" option that allows receivers to unsubscribe from your list, "opt-in" is the most effective way to build a good relationship with your supporters.

  • When you collect subscribers' e-mail addresses via your Web site, don't pre-check the opt-in box for the subscriber. You want to be sure you get explicit, and not accidental, permission to send newsletters to your audience.

Good list-building practices are critical if you want your newsletters to successfully reach your audience. But no matter how clean your subscriber list, there's still the chance that your messages won't reach your audience. Both your organization's Internet service provider (or ISP) and your subscribers' ISPs may block your messages based on rules of their own, according to Nick Allen, CEO of Donordigital, a company that helps nonprofits use the Internet for fundraising and marketing. Major ISPs are also constantly tweaking the algorithms they use to block spam and they have no obligation to inform people of such changes, cautions Allen.

"If the same e-mail is going to lots and lots of people, it can be flagged as spam," said Cindy Cohn, legal director for the Electronic Frontier Foundation. The EFF has put together a white paper on best practices for noncommercial e-mail list owners to avoid being labeled a spammer. The digital rights group also helps nonprofits perceived to be sending spam clear their names.

Read the entire article

For your network guy/email provider: Make Sure Your Messages Aren't Flagged as Spam

Noncommercial Email Lists: Collateral Damage in the Fight Against Spam

Electronic Frontier Foundation



Amy's PC TIP:
Clean Up Data With Excel's Text to Columns Feature

Tired of repetitive cutting and pasting to get your data neatly into columns in Excel?  With Text to Columns, you can do a single paste, and then let your computer do the cleanup!

First, copy and past your data into Excel.  Then, select the column where the data starts (e.g. column A). 

Make sure you have enough blank columns for all of your data.  In the example above, the end result will require 3 columns, so B and C will need to be empty.  If they are not, simply insert two columns from the Insert menu.

From the Data menu, select Text to Columns.  The Text to Columns wizard will appear.

In the first step, tell the wizard how to find where the columns should be divided - if you have used commas, tabs, hyphens, or other special characters to mark the columns, use Delimited.  If all columns will be the same width, choose Fixed Width.  The  example is separated by commas, so in the first step, I chose Delimited.

In the second step, choose which delimiter you have used.  In this case, once I checked Comma, the lines in the preview window at the bottom snapped into place right where I will want them, with one exception.  The second item in my list had commas in the title, so it has pushed that one out an extra column.  It is important to make sure that your delimiter is unique and does not appear anywhere in your data except where the columns should divide.

If you have the option to bring the data in differently, i.e. delimited with tabs instead of commas, the best route is to start over with a different delimiter.  If you don't have that option, you can manually adjust the few that have issues after the conversion.

The third step allows you to format the cell (text, number, date, etc.) before the conversion.  You can skip this step if everything goes in as text, and of course you can always format them after the conversion, so it's up to you if you want to do it in the wizard. 

One you're done, click Finish and the data will separate itself out into columns.  Save your worksheet and get yourself a cup of coffee - you earned it!



Register for Upcoming Classess

Project Connect now offers classes "on demand": just call or e-mail to have your name added to the list, and as soon as we have enough folks registered, we'll schedule the class. This way, we can run whatever classes you need, when you need them!

Excel and QuickBooks, in time for year-end reporting!

Microsoft Excel will be offered Wednesdays starting January 4, from 9am to noon. (Please note: This date has changed!) Excel 1 covers the basics - getting to know the spreadsheet tools, navigating around the workbook, and basic formulas. Excel 2 covers formulas, and Excel 3 covers advanced tools. If you're interested in pivot tables and interactive charts (and if you're not, you should be!!), Excel 4 is for you!! Complete descriptions of each course are on our website,

  • Excel 1: Spreadsheet Basics
    1/4/06 - 9:00 AM - 12:00 Noon

  • Excel 2: Formulas
    1/11/06 - 9:00 AM - 12:00 Noon

  • Excel 3: Advanced Tools
    1/18/06 - 9:00 AM - 12:00 Noon 

  • Excel 4: Data Analysis Tools
    - 9:00 AM - 12:00 Noon

The Database Developers' Series (MS Access) is starting again soon

Missed it the last time around?  The Microsoft Access waiting list is filling up, and will be scheduled again in late February 2006. The first session will focus on identifying what needs to be included in a nonprofit-related database and how to structure it so that the database will be easy to use and easy to retrieve useful information.  Over the next 3 sessions, we build our databases, using forms, queries and reports to aid data entry and data extraction. Access 5 covers troubleshooting and database maintenance.  We recommend you sign up for the entire series, as each class builds directly on the previous one.  Complete descriptions of each course are on our website,

If you have always wanted to learn more about the database you're currently using, or think that creating one will improve how you handle information, please sign up! Send an email to and let us know you're interested.


FrontPage and Word Coming Soon!

Get on the list for MS Word and FrontPage for early 2006!  FrontPage is offered in three sessions, or sign up for the whole Web Developers' Series and get PhotoShop for the Web to create your own graphics and touch up those photos for Internet use.  Word is offered in five sessions, from beginning documents to advanced desktop publishing.  Complete descriptions of each course are on our website,


Don't forget - we also offer custom sessions. Just get a minimum of 8 people together, and we'll do a special session just for you.  You don't all need to be from the same organization, so tell your friends!

Reserve your seat now - call 330-315-1335 or e-mail .


Are you getting the best deals for your technology dollar?

Don't buy anything technology-related until you've visited these three websites first!! They offer significant discounts for nonprofits with Microsoft, Dell, CDW, Adobe, and more!


As always, we are interested in hearing from you to learn how we can best meet your technology and connectivity needs. Give us a call at 330-315-1335 or e-mail us at .


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