Archive for April, 2010

Five “Must Knows” in 2010

Monday, April 19th, 2010 | Permalink

ClientTrack

ClientTrack hits the nail on the head as it offers a prescription for what’s ailing social service organizations. To quote Scott Anderson, PhD, “My intent is not to incite fear… but rather encourage a healthy fear… that will move social service organizations from potential complacency to concerted action, survival, and progressive sustainability.”

When it comes to management a simple school of thought is whether to react or to be prepared. Issues arise whether we want them or not; our options are to be ready for them or to wait and just react as needed. 2010 is a year for preparation, not for reaction.

Back to Scott and his “Must Knows” of which he has five for Social Service Organizations.

1) Social Service organizations are not likely to see an improvement in 2010 funding. Based upon research done by The Foundation Center funding for social service organizations will not be as favorable as other sectors in the nonprofit community.

2) Non-profits must implement fundamental changes in how they do business. Based on the Chronicle of Philanthropy, radical changes are needed to maintain and strengthen the nonprofit world in the face of economic upheaval.

I can’t agree with Scott more, funding trends are already changing, as I discussed in February of 2008, online donors have arrived and they are but one facet of the what nonprofits need to embrace.

3) Accountability and transparency are the new reality.

Again, I agree, and to say it as simply as possible, post it. The internet-age began years ago and the reasons for not having information available at the click of a button are fading away. Donors want to know how you are using their donations, being able to scroll through pictures is expected, and seeing a video of the organizations progress in the last quarter is the norm.

4) Non-profits must seek creative collaborations.

The cost of bartering is nothing yet helps both parties. Providing your talents to an organization that can offer you a service in return is a relief on the wallet as well as a solution to a problem.

5) If you don’t have a current technology solution, get the right one… quick.

Did I mention that I agree with Scott? Technology is our friend, as aggravated as it can make us, it is here to help. Organizations have come to be expected of a certain amount of online activity. This activity strengthens the transparent presence that Scott discusses in point three. It is difficult to avoid transparency when information, photos, and videos are made available to all.

Need help with adding technology to your organization, I’d be happy to start a conversation.

Old friends and new iPhone apps

Sunday, April 4th, 2010 | Permalink

VolunteerMatch Our friends at Volunteer Match whom we have discussed here have recently taken the next step in connecting with a new market of interested volunteers by being available in their palm of their hand. Smart phones, in particular the iPhone, allow for new custom software to be created and made available to a sea of cell phone users.

The free iPhone application for Volunteer Match can be downloaded here and allows iPhone users to connect and volunteer with causes/nonprofits that share their passions.

And Volunteer Match is not the only one.

Kiva

Another old friend that we discussed in a previous blog post is kiva who helps micro-finance entrepreneurs around the developing world.

This micro-finance system “alerts” interested donors of when new opportunities to micro-finance are available, and these “alerts” are now available on the iPhone. The application can be downloaded here.

The moral of the story is: stay connected, stay in touch, and interact with your donors/volunteers. Smart phones offer a free platform for engagement, don’t pass up the opportunity.