Archive for April, 2016

5 (mostly free) Technology Tools Your NonProfit Needs Today

There are technologies which help us grow, which distract us from our goals, and which help us track our progress toward reaching our goals. Here are 5 tech tools that can help you stay focused and reach your organization’s goals. Google Analytics You don’t get website traffic, donors, advocates, clients, or volunteers just because you have a website.Google Analytics is a powerful tool that provides information about your website traffic, including how your webs visitors found your site and what pages they are visiting. This video is a great place to start learning. If you don’t already have Google Analytics set up on your website, follow the steps from Google. If you, or you staff don’t have the necessary skill set, PNP Staffing Group provides temp or project based staff support that can help you get Google Analytics setup. Google Drive No, I don’t own stock in Google, but I do put a lot of stock in their ever-developing tools! While not every Google product is a “must”, there are some that one simply cannot live without. Google Drive is one. Like Google Analytics, Drive is another free product that helps you work more efficiently. It is a cloud-based service…

Volunteering as a Pathway to Employment Report

Can volunteering be the difference-maker in your next interview? New, ground-breaking research from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) provides evidence of a relationship between volunteering and finding employment. The economic downturn that has plagued the United States economy over the last half decade has increased the need for pathways to employment for the millions of Americans struggling to find work. Government leaders, nonprofits, and news media have long provided anecdotal evidence that volunteering can increase employment prospects by helping job seekers learn new skills, expand their networks, and take on leadership roles. Despite this, there has been little quantitative research to date that has established an association between volunteering and finding a job. Volunteering as a Pathway to Employment, provides the most compelling empirical research to date

High Tech NonProfit Leadership Coaching

What if there was a way for nonprofit leaders to use their smartphone to receive leadership coaching? LeaderAmp is a revolutionary high tech mobile solution that provides eCoaching whenever and wherever you need it. LeaderAmp includes an online assessment, journaling, group coaching, and a development feature powered by your smartphone. A digital journal is included to capture situations and lessons learned, allowing you to revisit and monitor your growth. LeaderAmp’s high tech, high touch process is based on five principle steps: Commit Practice your leadership skills at least once a week using an artificially intelligent leadership coach—plus, actively participate in real-time group coaching with peers. Assess The “mobile self” and 360-degree computer-adaptive assessments are the shortest and most scientific instruments available. It adjusts for biases to ensure accuracy and precision. The expert system helps you select two areas so you can focus your developmental energy. Grow Use your smartphone to schedule at least one morning per week to receive personalized eCoaching. Practice the eCoaching suggestions throughout your day, and capture the lessons learned in a mobile journal. For best results, use your smartphone’s audio feature for fast and easy journaling. Celebrate LeaderAmp provides unprecedented accountability and transparency to help you…

How to Effectively Tell Your Story

“Once upon a time” Do you remember how, as a child, these words made you sit still and listen with anticipation? As human beings, we are hardwired to be receptive to stories. Effective storytelling is not simply recounting a series of events. Too many nonprofits don’t understand that the work you do cannot speak for itself—no matter how important it is. People will not see it in the same way that you understand it. You must first bring them into your world so they can experience it for themselves. “A good book has no ending.” – R.D. Cumming When was the last time you read a book that you just couldn’t put down? Great storytelling engages the human senses and draws you into the story, making you feel like you’re in the characters’ shoes. Your goal is the same when telling your organization’s story. You can then take specific steps to transform the audience into active donors and supporters for your cause. Focus on the donor. Know the attitudes or feelings that people have toward your organization and its mission. It will help you to determine what stories will potentially resonate with your audience segments and inspire them to donate….

Three Reasons Your NonProfit Needs a CTO

Many nonprofit leaders we know are so busy with the day-to-day responsibilities of managing the organization, that larger strategic needs often get pushed to the backburner. Technology needs fall victim to this far too often. If the hardware or software hasn’t died yet, it’s not on today’s ‘to-do list’. It’s 2016, and the way that organizations grow their awareness, funding, community, programs, and outcomes can all be tied to technology. Technology touches every part of an organization and our day. That means it should be the priority for someone in every organization, and that someone probably shouldn’t be you. Three big reasons why your nonprofit should hire a CTO now: Raising Awareness and Funds We’re not just talking about donors and potential donors, but those who need your services as well. Social media and mobile adoption rates are increasing at a rapid pace—and they are increasing across every demographic. Donors and clients are turning to the web to find organizations, ratings, and answers before reaching out to you. Your organization needs to be discoverable across multiple platforms, and provide meaningful information through user-friendly tools. A CTO will have the expertise to evaluate existing systems, understand your organizational needs, and develop…

5 Tips to Help When Job Hunting

Everyone offers advice when you are casually looking, or aggressively hunting, for a new job. Recruiters spend a lot of time with candidates, so we talked with the best. We’ve compiled 5 of the best tips we heard that can make a difference to your sanity while job hunting. Talk to people. Break out your rolodex, connect with online peeps, find school friends on Facebook, tweet some Instagram buddies, and see if they can assist you. It won’t matter the person, as long as you have a genuine connection and they will champion you. If you are genuine in your approach and ask for their insight and support, they will most likely be responsive and put you in touch with other contacts or colleagues. People like to help. Just remember to show interest in them too—don’t make it one-sided. Be creative. The adage is true: the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different result. Do your research before you start applying online. Find unique lists of good companies to work for, call them up, and ask to speak to HR. Find a good recruitment firm that specializes in your area of work—most…

Hoping for Event Longevity? Find Some GREAT Volunteers!

I ran my first half marathon at the 32nd Annual Kaiser Permanente San Francisco race put on by Pamakids Runners. With 32 years of experience and a good reputation, this event has a clear advantage and it never lacks volunteers. At each corner I rounded, there was a volunteer ready to cheer us on, hand out water, or scream out the mile split times. Although at times unorganized, 90% of the volunteers seemed enthusiastic and glad to be helping – and I sure was thankful! With a new nonprofit event, reaching out to groups and individuals for their time can be exhausting. People are extremely busy and selective about volunteering their time and an average organization loses 35% of their volunteers every year. So what is the trick to gain effective volunteers and ultimately retain commitment for events to come? Here are three factors that matter: Finding your volunteers. It is important to seek out groups and individuals who have an interest in the subject at hand. This type of volunteer is able relate to the participants and support and encourage accordingly. They also are more likely to reach out to friends and associates and ask them to volunteer as well. Groups…

10 Tricks to Avoid Nonprofit Burnout

Sometimes there’s a story we tell collectively. When nonprofit colleagues were asked for their candid suggestions on how to avoid burnout, they got right to the core. Having worked in the trenches in some way with each of these pros reconfirmed for me that there’s nothing like the camaraderie and resourcefulness of those who work in this sector. We can’t do it alone, but we can certainly get through the demands and unexpected challenges of this work with dignity, recognition, and zeal. 10 Tricks to Avoid Burnout: Stay on mission. Remind yourself of the organization’s purpose and keep your eye on the prize. A long-time development colleague shares that her team shares “mission moments” at each monthly staff meetings. “With all the complaints, hustle and bustle of the day-to-day work,” she says, “it brings us back around to ‘why we do what we do’. You remember the reason you are here and picked this job.” Protect your private time. It’s inherent–you will work seven days a week sometimes. “You have to be realistic about what kind of work load you can handle, and actually make sure you take time off, away from the job, to focus on friends and family,”…

4 Major Takeaways from #16NTC (The Nonprofit Technology Conference) 

Every year a crowd of #NPTechies (Twitter speak for Nonprofit Technology Professionals) gather at NTEN’s Nonprofit Technology Conference (NTC) to learn about the greatest technological advances available to help nonprofits become better at delivering on their mission.  This year’s conference, #16NTC, was held in San Jose and had an attendance of nearly 2,000. Here are four of the greatest takeaways:    Sharing. While much of the nonprofit sector gets criticized for working in silos and being resistant to collaboration, that’s definitely not the case here. This group, more so than any other professional association that I’ve been involved with, or reported on, welcomes collaboration and the opportunity to share their wins, obstacles, and observations. There is a genuine attitude that when one gains an understanding of a particular tech tool, there is a responsibility for that person to help others understand how they can use it for good. Data plays a very important role in an organization’s ability to advance. Gone are the days when your nonprofit could send an email newsletter to your entire database of donors. Donors expect more. If your organization wants to keep individuals donating and truly connect, a generic e-blast is not going to accomplish your…