heather's blog

Working with Vendors/Consultants/Contractors

I have worked with a lot of vendors/consultants/contractors ranging from Copy Machine vendors, phone/wiring vendors,  to accountants, web designers, and more. So I thought I'd write a post about 4 steps I follow when working with vendors.

1. When researching vendors I get multiple quotes to make a comparison of prices and services and always ask for a list of nonprofit specific client references. Then I call the references. A lot of vendors say they work with nonprofits, however I like to verify that they have many nonprofit clients and those clients are happy with their work.

Bookkeeping Workshop

I attended a quickbooks bookkeeping workshop by Karen Schiller at Compasspoint www.compasspoint.org recently, it was very helpful.

Here are some helpful tips that I took away from the workshop:

1. When recording classes in Quickbooks you don’t have to record classes with asset or liability accounts.

2. Membership is a support service defined by the IRS.

3. Administration (or Management and General) expenses include: Bank Charges, Legal Fees, Accounting Fees, General overview of time spend managing the organization, and time spent negotiating govt. contracts.

Blogging about Nonprofit Operations and sharing resources

Since I started working at Aspiration, I have learned about how to blog for my nonprofit and some exciting new things have come about in the last month.

<p class="MsoNormal"><span>1. Thanks to NTEN <a href="http://www.nten.org/">www.nten.org</a> I have been able to start a Nonprofit Affinity Group. <a href="mailto:NonprofitOperations@groups.nten.org">NonprofitOperations@groups.nten.org</a> This e-mail discussion group is an exciting outlet for me to share Nonprofit Operations tips and participate in nonprofit operations discussions.&nbsp; </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span>2. I also have also had the opportunity to get more active with the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network (YNPN) <a href="http://www.ynpn.org/">www.ynpn.org</a> and post Nonprofit Operations resources to the members only resources section of their website. I just joined their membership committee and took on a new role as list maven.&nbsp; &nbsp;</span></p>

Benefiting from Compumentor

I worked as Operations Manager for Low-Income Families' Empowerment through Education (LIFETIME) for two and a half years.  LIFETIME is a constiuent run organization that helps low-income families pursue their higher education and training goals and graduate out of poverty. 

I was fortunate to be able to speak at Compumentor's staff meeting http://www.compumentor.org a couple of months ago and share about my experience as an Accidental Techie using their services. Below is my personal experience with Compumentor and their services.

1) Compumentor Tech Support:

Bulk Mailing Made Easy

  <p class="MsoNormal">It must be Fundraising mailing time!&nbsp; I&rsquo;ve received several questions this past month about the dreaded bulk mailing process.&nbsp; A couple of years ago I discovered the software www.Postagesaver.com.&nbsp; It literally saved me time and money for my organization. For $25 you can download this software, then easily upload your mailing list (from excel) into it and it creates a sorting guide as well as prints out the necessary forms for the post office.&nbsp; </p>  

Types of Insurance for your nonprofit

<p class="MsoNormal">When I started working for Aspiration I went through a process of making sure that we had the necessary types of insurance needed to protect us as a nonprofit organization.&nbsp; It is interesting how many people I talk to who are interested in forming a nonprofit who don&rsquo;t think they &ldquo;need&rdquo; insurance or it isn&rsquo;t a priority to get insurance. &nbsp;</p>  <p class="MsoNormal">I always knew insurance was important, however I didn't realize how important having insurance is until I attended the Nonprofit Risk Management and Finance Conference in San Francisco, September 2005, and was shocked to hear statistics presented from the Insurance Alliance of California about the number of law suites against nonprofit organizations! </p>

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