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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.

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.


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.

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.

Carnival of Nonprofit Consultants #9-On Nonprofit Operations

This week I'm hosting the Carnival of Nonprofit Consultants with the topic being Nonprofit Operations. Here are the 7 nonprofit operations posts of the week.

1. Kivi Leroux Miller from Nonprofit Communications gives us Three Tips for Working Well with Printers.

2. Ken Goldstein from the Nonprofit Consultant Blog provides helpful advice to nonprofits about using Donor Care and Privacy especially with their mailing lists.

3.  Another issue that nonprofits should be aware about are the New Rules Regarding Unsolicited Faxes sent by Nonprofits which Gene Takagi describes in his Nonprofit Law Blog.

4. Jeff Brooks from the Donor Power Blog describes the importance of nonprofits to allow their donors to designate their giving in his post called Nonprofit Diseases: Malignant Accountants.

5. Celeste from Studio 501c tells us about the PR 2.0 Essentials Guide in her post--a free guide is a handy tool for nonprofit public relations.

6. Harry Joiner of MarketingProfs:DailyFix expresses that your business card is a tiny direct marketing piece in his post Building a Better Business Card.

7. In my Nonprofit Operations Blog, I describe 3 Human Resource Management steps that I follow in my nonprofit.

Thanks for all the great posts!  

Three Human Resource Management Tips for Nonprofits

Here's an exerpt from my Nonprofit Operations Toolkit about three Human Resource steps I take in my nonprofit.

1. I keep the organizational personnel manual in compliance with state employment law.

2. I created procedures for hiring new employees, an orientation and training manual for new employees, and a step-by-step procedure for training those new employees.

3. I keep employment records up to date and created a procedure for the standard way information is stored in the employment files.

The items I track in the employment records include: employee attendance, disciplinary warnings, vacation requests, employment hiring forms, and benefit enrollment forms. 

This information comes in handy if an employee dispute arises or if I am called before the local Unemployment Insurance Board for a hearing.


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