Aspiration Blog

Aspiration helps nonprofits and foundations use software tools more effectively and sustainably. We serve as ally, coach, strategist, mentor and facilitator to those trying to make more impactful use of information technology in their social change efforts.

evelyn
Sep 12, 2019

Our Fall 2019 Virtual Learning Sessions about Online Anonymity, Privacy, and Digital Identity

This fall, we will be offering a couple of Virtual Learning Sessions in response to requests from folks at this year's CA Nonprofit Technology Festival in Los Angeles. Thanks to everyone who submitted requests! Join us and learn how you can increase your anonymity and privacy online and how you can better manage and protect your organization's online identity.

heather's picture

Travel Reimbursements for Nonprofit Staff

I just got back from traveling to Boston for work and reimbursements have been on my mind. I wanted to share a reimbursement practice that I learned from the last nonprofit I worked for.

It's often a hardship for nonprofit staff to pay out of pocket for expenses while traveling so we implemented a policy to provide staff a per diem while traveling on behalf of the organization.

To figure out the per diem rate we used the domestic per diem rates set forth by the U.S. General Service Administration. These rates are broken down by location/lodging/meals and incidentals. The map on the website makes it easy to find a location and per diem amount for that location.  

heather's picture

Event Planning for Nonprofits

Another question that came up during my presentation at Craigslist boot camp was, "How do I find those event planning templates that you talk about during your 10 Nonprofit Operations Success Steps?" Well here they are...

Aspiration has become fairly well known in the nonprofit tech world for our unique event planning and facilitation methods. I think it helps that we have Allen Gunn a super and amazing facilitator leading our organization. (I'm not biased, really I'm not :) Anyway, we have created a set of event planning templates and materials so we can easily replicate our events. Nonprofits and Foundations even hire us to plan and facilitate events for them and its a lot of fun since we have streamlined the process.

heather's picture

Professional Development for Nonprofit Staff and Managers

I enjoy nonprofit conferences and workshops very much and look forward to professional development opportunities in the nonprofit sector. Some might say I am a conference junkie, so I try to limit myself to one conference or workshop per month.

In my organizational budget, I set aside professional development funds for staff members. In addition, if a conference is expensive, like $200 or more, I ask one of my vendors to sponsor me to attend the conference. For example, my insurance vendor sponsored me to attend the Risk Management and Finance Summit because it benefited him for me to learn more about how to prevent risk in my organization. Furthermore, sometimes I pay for the conferences on my own—like the nonprofit academic ones because that doesn’t really relate to the mission of my organization. :) 

Here is a list of conferences and workshops that I frequently attend.


heather's picture

Common Software Tools for Nonprofits

Yesterday I presented, "How to Improve your Nonprofit Operations in Under Two Months" at the Craigslist Foundation's Nonprofit Bootcamp.  It was a great event and in future blog posts I will share what I learned in the sessions that I attended.

I received a lot of questions during my session that I wasn't able to answer because I was pressed for time. One question that came up over and over again was, What are common software tools that nonprofits should be using for operations?

This is a tough question for me to answer because I don't want to offend any nonprofit software vendor for not using their tools. There are so many great tools out there! Also, because every nonprofit is different I think that every nonprofit needs to find the best software tools that work for them and go through a software selection process. I took at a variety of sources when choosing software like Idealware which provides nonprofit software reviews.

heather's picture

Free Furniture and Other Items for Nonprofits

Here are the places I go to get free or much discounted furniture for my nonprofit.

1. http://www.IReuse.com Provides all free furniture and other items for nonprofits. I created a wish list on their site, and have been able to get the majority of the items on my wish list.

2. Industrial Surplus Foundation Discounted Furniture and other items for Nonprofits. I filled out a small application and was able to purchase furniture at a huge discount for my organization, like desks for $20-$30 etc.

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