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It was and is a phased migration so you'll still be able to find old posts on the new site as we port over our most popular content. If you have any questions please let us know. Come check it out at www.SageWords.net.
We received over 350 entries to our Pay It Forward contest. The causes represented spanned several categories including animal welfare & wildlife, arts & culture, education, health & safety, and human services.
The reasons why people wanted to Pay It Forward were heartfelt and inspiring. From providing families in crisis with food, shelter and safety to rescue organizations that help abandoned, abused and injured animals. There were so many worthy causes submitted.
In the end we randomly selected two winners and they are …
Cordula, Excutive Director of the Alzheimer's Family Services Center (AFSC) wishes to gift AFSC with her pay it forward winning. The AFSC improves quality of life for families affected by Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia through specialized adult day health care, care giver support, and education services that families have come to rely on daily.
|Barbara wishes to pay her donation forward to the Cherry Creek Schools Foundation. The Foundation supports excellence in education for the Cherry Creek School District. Each year, the Foundation raises money to give grants to teachers throughout the school district for their innovative and creative ideas. The Foundation does great things for ALL the kids in this community. I would like to honor their efforts by contributing my $500 prize so the Foundation can make one more grant to a deserving teacher and her students.|
Congratulations again to our two winners and thank you for paying it forward every day!
We hope that you will participate in our Spring Pay It Forward giveaway. Join us on Facebook to learn of future grant opportunities.
It’s that time of year again, your biggest opportunity to raise funds is right around the corner. I know because I saw Christmas cards at Target this weekend (right behind the Halloween gear). Did you know that nonprofits typically raise 40% to 70% of their funds at the end of the year? Up to 22% in the last two days of the year, according to Rich Dietz of Nonprofit R&D.
Are you ready for the season of giving? Do you wonder how ready your peers are and what they do? If so, then participate in our Nonprofit Insights Assessment. Take the assessment today!
The questionnaire delves into tactics, technology, strategy, staffing, sources and much more. Use it to benchmark your organization and as a checklist for your year-end fundraising campaign. Everyone who participates will receive a copy of the full results via email. Hurry, the assessment is open now through Friday, September 30th.
If you need inspiration now, we put together several resources to help you prepare for the season.
Check out our free Year-End Campaign Planning Guide ebook. It’s full of helpful templates: a campaign calendar, email templates, “ask”copy and an end-of-year campaign planning sheet.
Download it here.
You can also attend one of our Year End Fundraising Webinars, we have two to choose from.
Year End Fundraising 101 – The Basics
September 21, 2011 2:00 – 3:00 PM ET.
Designed to give novices a good overview of Year End Fundraising. Basic tactics for planning and launching your Year End Fundraising campaigns, best practices, and tips.
Year End Fundraising 201 – Advanced Strategies and Ideas
September 28, 2011 2:00-3:00 ET
A discussion of more advanced strategies and tactics for your Year End Fundraising campaigns including: peer to peer fundraising, social media, drip marketing, online videos, and more.
Keep checking back for additional year end fundraising resources. We will be posting links to the webcast recordings and presentations as they become available on our blog.
Social Media and Community Manager
Being a partial geek (some might say “total geek”), I like to keep up with the latest Microsoft operating systems. I usually participate in the Beta program so that when the final release comes out, I already know my way around. In fact, on my home PC, I typically upgrade to the new version as my primary OS by the time the first release candidate comes out. As a “Support guy”, part of my sense of self worth is being an expert in the latest OS… even though I’m no longer the guy actually on the phone supporting our customers. [I know, I really should seek therapy for this.]
For those that don’t know, Microsoft just release the Windows 8 developer preview. It’s available to anyone at http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/home/br229518. WARNING: This isn’t even at the Beta stage yet. Don’t try this at home… or work. Unless you’re cool with the possibility of frequent crashes and data loss.
I’ve heard about the new “Metro” user interface; so I couldn’t wait to kick the tires a bit. I did a clean install at home on a virtual machine. (Thanks to PCWorld for directing me to Oracle’s VirtualBox. Instructions here: http://t.co/XqhDUMwY)
I haven’t done anything with Windows 8 yet except install it. Here are my first impressions of that:
• Very easy installation. Choose language, accept license, select drive on which to install, let it chug away and reboot a couple of times, choose a PC name, option to set preferences if desired, log in. On most screens, the default selection would be appropriate for most users; so it’s just an exercise in clicking Next.
• I was happy to see that the interface asking where you want to install Windows looks the same as Windows 7. It’s a simple UI for managing partitions (delete, create, extend) and formatting, if necessary. Most users won’t need this and will just click Next.
• The license agreement reveals some things I find interesting…
- If you use the built-in Windows Defender, it will automatically remove any “potentially unwanted” software rated “high” or “severe” after scanning… without asking you first. Hmm… I hope it’s not like that in final release. False positives cannot be completely eliminated. It’s just not realistic.
- Apparently, Windows 8 comes with its own anti-virus software now. Since Defender has been an anti-spyware app, I assume the anti-virus app will be Microsoft Security Essentials. If this will be part of the OS now, I hope it’s easy to disable so that I can use anti-virus software that’s more effective with no conflicts.
• You have the option of logging in with your Windows Live email address as an alternative to creating a local user account. In fact, that’s the default. If you don’t already have a Windows Live account, it allows you to create one on the spot. The advantage is that Windows Live will sync some settings across PCs you use, such as browser favorites and history (IE only, I assume), shortcuts, languages and passwords for the services you care about. That could be cool. Not sure if I want to send my passwords to MS though.
If I hadn’t been making notes along the way, I’m guessing the whole process would have taken about 15 minutes… 10-11 minutes of me waiting for the computer to do stuff plus another few minutes of me making choices and clicking Next.
Now on to actually using it and trying out the new Metro UI…
VP, Customer Support
Sage Nonprofit Solutions
Director, Product Marketing
Sage North America
For the past five years, Sage Nonprofit Solutions has sponsored the Nonprofit Times Power and Influence Top 50 Gala held at the National Press Club. The event recognizes the leaders, change makers and innovators of the nonprofit sector. This year over 200 nominations were submitted and the Top 50 selected. Social entrepreneurs, nonprofit techies and public servants made up a large portion of this year’s honorees.
It’s a rare event that brings together all of these individuals into one place and it’s wonderful to be a part it. The buzz and energy of the room kept increasing with each arriving guest as old friends met and new connections were made. The night was full of a spirit of collaboration, genuine discussions about the economy, the state of the charitable sector, and how we can work together to help solve our national problems.
Every year I am humbled, inspired, and moved by the work that these leaders do in their respective areas and this year was no different. Sitting between Holly Ross, Executive Director of NTEN, and John Seffrin, CEO of the American Cancer Society; it occurred to me that these two individuals touch thousands of lives through their missions, employees and volunteers.
But, what was even more humbling was when the President of the Nonprofit Times asked me to come to the stage, and presented Sage with a beautiful Quartz clock in recognition for our 5 years of service in supporting the event – and for all we do for the charitable sector.
No, Nonprofit Times – Thank You!
It is always a treat to be a part of the event, to spend time with you, your staff and all the honorees. I appreciate your reporting and the voice you have given to the nonprofit sector.
To all employees and volunteers of nonprofits – Thank You!
Your work is the glue that binds us together, gives us belief in a better tomorrow, and inspires us to give more than we get.
You can click here to read more about the The NPT Power & Influence Top 50 for 2011.
Start Thinking Like A Business, that’s the theme I heard over and over at the Texas Nonprofit Summit in Austin, Texas last week. With the current economic climate, every organization is facing diminishing resources, for nonprofits this means an increased demand for their services and fewer donor dollars. Many nonprofits are struggling to figure out how to do more with even less. Several of the sessions I attended called on nonprofits to think like a business while not letting go of their true mission.
Dennis Cavner from Innovation + and Lisa Fielder from College Forward presented their own case study on how using the mindset of a for-profit business seeking venture capital, a nonprofit organization can increase its chances of receiving funding. With the help of Innovation +, College Forward has learned how to produce a true business plan, define success metrics, and a plan for collecting this data over time – repeatedly. Business plans + success metrics help funders to get a clear picture of where their money will be going and how their dollars are being spent.
In her session “Best Practices in Nonprofit Impact Measurement”, Mary Jones spoke of philanthropy as an investment and these investors want to see SROI – Social Return on Investment. They want to see the impact their dollars will make if they decide to fund a particular organization or program. In order to do this, nonprofits must determine what resources and activities are needed in order to fulfill their mission, then what measurable outcomes will result from these resources and activities. A logic model is an excellent tool to walk an organization through this process and the end result gives potential funders a one-page summary of their proposed SROI. You should check out this presentation using the links below.
During his session “Top Trends in Technology That Affect the Future of Nonprofits” David Neff not only stressed the importance of nonprofits getting up to speed with the latest social media technology, but also of increasing the entrepreneurial spirit within their organizations. He proposes that every individual be encouraged to submit ideas and innovations that are taken through the same process that for-profit organizations review new proposals: review, business case, development & testing, and launch. By doing this, the organization avoids getting stuck doing the same thing over and over again and it will appeal to a wider variety of funders who appreciate processes that help an organization to grow and innovate.
While all of these presentations had very different overall topics, in the end they all came back around to the belief that following a more structured business model will only benefit nonprofits in the long run. It provides external accountability that appeals to potential funders, but it also helps organizations remain accountable to themselves and gives them the focus they need to achieve their mission. Because in the end, all of these speakers stressed, the mission of the nonprofit is the most important thing. Acting more like a for-profit business is just a tool to help them get there.
Did you pick up on the same theme? You can check out the presentations from the Texas Nonprofit Summit here. Let me know in the comments below. And, thank you to the folks at Greenlights and OneStar for hosting the event. I’ll be marking my calendar for September 20 and 21, 2012!
We recently submitted Grant Howe a.k.a. Geekbyte and Erin Shy a.k.a. eeshyx to present at NTEN’s 2012 Nonprofit Technology Conference (NTC). If you’re not familiar with NTC it is a huge nonprofit and technology event. All sessions selected for the final program are decided by you. That’s why we need your help! Below are the sessions we have submitted. How can you go wrong with a nerd roundup or a session featuring lessons learned from food trucks?
Grant Howe shown on the left, will continue his popular presentation Nerd, Geek and Gear Herding 2.0: The Next Roundup.
Erin Shy presents, Six Things Nonprofits Can Learn From Food Trucks
There are a few things to keep in mind when voting. Voting ends on September 23rd. Only one vote per IP address is allowed - please vote from your home or your mobile. Also, be sure to select the + to the right of each session description. That’s a vote “UP” for the session.
Please let us know if you have submitted a session and we will add it to our post here and tell our nonprofit network about it. Let's get the word out.
Thank you so much!
This week First Responders will help flood-stricken communities recover from Hurricane Irene in the Northeast, fight wildfires the size of Connecticut in Texas and continue to serve Americans at home and abroad.
This week Sage Nonprofit will be thanking First Responders, encouraging employees to use their annual day of volunteering in support of a 911 charity and matching donations to http://911day.org/, http://national911memorial.org/, http://voicesofseptember11.org/, and http://tributewtc.org/ to through the Sage Living Is Giving program.
We were inspired to do something to mark the tenth anniversary and remember 911 after discovering the 911Day.org website. The goal of the organization is to “honor and remember the 9/11 victims, survivors, and the many that rose in service in response to the 9/11 tragedy” by inspiring individuals and organizations to “perform good deeds”. They certainly inspired us and we are using the opportunity to create something good from a terrible tragedy. Krista Endsley, our SVP, captured it best when she wrote in a message to employees “Ten years later, remembering 9/11 still means reacting to it. I hope you will take the time to recognize what we together lost, and the difference we can make as a result of it.”
What will you do on 9/11 in Tribute?
Last Friday we launched our Pay It Forward Giveaway. Realizing it was a holiday weekend, we didn’t expect to see so many entrants so quickly. To date we are thrilled that 240 entries have been received! It’s super easy to participate and we hope you will submit an entry for your favorite charity.
The concept is simple: enter our drawing , tell us what organization you would like to give $500 to and why they deserve it.
We are using ShortStack's Facebook app to organize the contest. So, you need to log on and visit Sage Nonprofit’s Pay It Forward tab in Facebook. If you are already a Fan of Sage Nonprofit, simply fill out the entry form for a chance to win.
If you are not a Fan, click “Like” and you will be directed to our Facebook wall. Next, return to the Pay It Forward tab to complete the form. (See the red arrow on the left.)
You have until September 16th at 11:59 pm to enter. Pretty much anyone over 18 years of age can enter including Sage employees. Be sure to tell your friends and colleagues about the drawing. Charitable organizations can enter too by having their Facebook page "Like" the Sage Nonprofit page and using their organization's main email for example: firstname.lastname@example.org on the nomination form.
Best of luck!
Click here if you would like to see the official contest rules.
Over the years, I have been following the increasing number of nonprofits attending and presenting at SXSW Interactive. Last year’s conference perfectly blended innovation, high tech, start up and social good. Next year’s conference is sure to continue similar themes and provide plenty of opportunities for learning and networking.
If you haven’t had a chance to attend SXSW – now is your opportunity. SXSW opened their scholarship contest to anyone who is using technology for social good: citizen activists, social change agents, social-preneurs and civic minded citizens. Know anyone who meets the criteria? Then let them know about the scholarships and help spread the word!
The deadline for interactive scholarships is tomorrow, Friday, August 26th at 11:59 PM CT. So, let your networks know – today!
All that you need to do is submit a little information about yourself and a 300-word essays that answers, "Who is using technology or new media to do the most innovative work for good within their community?"
Here is a link to the website with more detailed instructions – best of luck!
Posted by Patricia Tynan, Social Media and Community Manager