Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Welcome Formstack!

Formstack Logo

We are excited to welcome another sponsor focused on making nonprofits work better and more efficiently. Formstack launched in March 2006, in Indianapolis, and has rapidly grown to count customers in 110 countries around the world. What started as one guy trying to provide an easy online form solution has grown into a powerhouse for small organization growth. Everything they do at Formstack revolves around a principle they call S.A.F.E. In short, they strive to make sure everything Simple, Agile, Fun & Elegant.
How it works - Formstack is an easy-to-use online form builder that gives you the power to collect data, store that data, then take action on it. Formstack helps you create powerful online forms within minutes, allowing you to collect information, payments, registrations, etc., in one centralized location. All form submissions are stored in their secure database, ready for you to retrieve and create reports in a snap.

Simple - Easy drag-and-drop builder allows for quick publishing of any form. No need to call the programmers for help; you can do it all on your own.

Flexible - Whether you're collecting donations or selling your products online, Formstack's tools are customizable to your needs.

 - Starting at just $14 per month, Formstack provides you with an affordable set of tools that help you collect, engage and grow your customer base. Spend less time managing the books and more time marketing your cause.

The Formstack team is inspired by the livelihood of nonprofits, small businesses & entrepreneurs. Their mission is to provide individuals & organizations with tools to help grow & empower their work. For more information and a free trial, go to:www.formstack.com/how

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Tweaking Your Nonprofit Job Search

As we are involved in more and more searches for nonprofit leaders and review more and more resumes, articles on job hunting are jumping out at me. In the Indianapolis Business Journal this week, Bruce Hetrick shares his wisdom as a "Top Ten List" for both new graduates and experienced job seekers.

Bruce Hetrick's full article.

The second article was in USA Today this week from career columnist Andrea Kay who shares, "If your mom doesn't understand your resume or cover letter, a prospective employer won't either." Don't say "I deliver strategic solutions that support successful achievement of business objectives and goals."

Andrea Kay's full column.

My pet peeves:

- Submit in PDF form. Your fancy Word document looks very different when opened on another computer.
- Don't send your standard business resume. Nonprofits aren't impressed that you worked for a $300 kazillion corporation. Show how you have done what they would need from you by leveraging relationships and with limited resources.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Don't Risk It! Luncheon with Sikich

Are your organization's employees, programs, donors and technology safe?

Imagine having all of your organization's information, including your most treasured donors, stored in technology that was compromised. What would you do if you were unable to reach or locate employees, or your key programs were interrupted due to a disaster situation? When any type of situation occurs, key members of the organization have a responsibility first to the employees' safety, then to operations and finally to the financial impact. One of the top five issues facing non-profit organizations is disaster response planning, so take these steps to document an effective plan:
1. Prioritize processes. Separate each of your significant processes into one of three categories: Mission Critical (most important), Business Critical or Organizationally Important (least important). In doing so, you will prioritize the parts of your organization that will be addressed under the "Immediate Action" phase should a situation occur.
2. Determine recovery objectives. How long can you live without access to a particular system? Define what you consider a disastrously disruptive event and set the maximum amount of time you can go without access to your employees, a technology system or something else you need to run the organization effectively.
3. Plan for common incidents. Learn from your history when planning for common incidents. What types of situations have you dealt with in the past? If one is more relevant than the other, plan for that type of incident first.
4. Communicate the plan. Staff members at all levels need to understand their roles in disruptive situations. Prepare a document to communicate the plan and place multiple copies throughout the office. You know where the fire extinguishers are, right? You should also know where this disaster response plan is located. Key points to remember when documenting your plan include organizational information, environmental (technology) information, who communications what (including any applicable spokespersons), testing schedules and plan maintenance.
5. Test your plan. Your plan is not complete until you test it. Often times it is not possible to pull the plug on the entire organization, so start during slower demand times. Having a Plan B is always a good idea, as well.

Disaster response planning may look like an overwhelming and complex task, but it's essential. Learn more about this topic and how you can make your organization stronger during an upcoming luncheon at Seasons 52, Keystone @ Crossing, from 11:30am-1:30pm on March 20.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Welcome Foster Results, Inc!

We are excited to have Foster Results, Inc. joining our growing team of sponsors. From nonprofit organizations to small and medium-sized businesses, Foster Results provides outsourced accounting and bookkeeping solutions to clients worldwide. The Foster Results staff is more than general accountants - they specialize in day-to-day bookkeeping and accounting services as well as financial strategy. Their goal is to become an integral part of their clients' financial and operational teams as trusted advisors.

"We create customized solutions to conform to each individual customer's needs," says Foster Results President Jennifer Foster. "We also serve in a strategic capacity while taking complete responsibility for daily financial functions." For example, is your budget being efficiently managed today to keep your organization growing and thriving for years to come? Are your grants being tracked and reported effectively? Foster Results can tell you and work with you proactively to avoid financial challenges.

What is it like working with Foster Results?
- Foster Results works with clients remotely or on site - we customize our partnership according to your needs.
- Accountants are certified professionals with varied backgrounds and extensive experience.
- Each accountant manages clients carefully matched to their experience level, skill set, and personality.

Testimonial "I want to commend Foster Results, Inc. for their work to bring about order to the Christamore House financial reporting structure. This is truly a professional organization with a strong understanding of how not-for-profit accounting works. They have been great coaches in preparing us for our annual financial audits as well." William Scott, Executive Director, Christamore House

For more information about nonprofit accounting services and additional client testimonials, contact Beth Huffman at 317-399-8920, extension 2011, or visit www.fosterresults.com.