Conference/workshop notes

Brown Bag Lunch Discussion-Mass E-mail for Nonprofits

Wednesday we had the first nonprofit operations brown bag lunch discussion here at the Tech Center--which I think went really well.

The topic that everyone wanted to talk about was nonprofits sending out mass e-mails to their clients, constituents or donors. 

John Kenyon a technology consultant participated in the discussion and provided some helpful examples of affordable mass e-mail providers for nonprofits:

We also discussed how sending out mass e-mails by your regular e-mail provider is not recommended. The general progression that nonprofits seem to follow is, first they use a free e-mail service first like Google groups, then progress to something that costs $15-$20 a month, like Email now or NPO Groups, and then if the nonprofit wants additional features like a database then they choose something like CiviCRM or Democracy in Action.

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.


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.

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