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Fundraising

Millennials: Ready, Willing, and Able to Serve on Your Board

By | Accounting, Fundraising | No Comments

Here’s How to Recruit this Dynamic Generation to Service

Experts predict that within 10 years, Millennials (those born between 1982 and 2002) will comprise 74% of the workforce. These young people are the first generation to grow up with computers, a world connected by the internet, and all the changes that have rocked both the for profit and nonprofit worlds. Smart, independent, and service-minded, they are also ready and able to serve on the Board – if you know where you look. Here’s how you can find and recruit top Millennial talent to your Board.

The Five Traits of Millennials

In order to know where to look for Millennials, you have to understand what makes them tick, or what motivates and inspires them. There are five notable attributes of the Millennial generation:

1. Multitaskers: Millennials are quite capable of juggling multiple responsibilities at once. Don’t assume that your Millennial volunteers can’t handle a full-time job and more volunteer work. They’re experts at multitasking and proud of their abilities in this area.

2. Connected: Millennials love social media and its ability to help them remain connected to family, friends, and interests. They’re heavy social media users and that makes them great at gathering tribes for a cause. That also means you can find them hanging out on their favorite social media sites!

3. Team-oriented: Millennials love to work on teams and are great at collaborating. They engage easily with others on a team.

4. Work-life balance: Millennials know the importance of work-life balance. They grew up often with both parents working and a full schedule of activities. They’ll work hard, but they’ll also work hard at their volunteer work too.

5. Honesty and transparency: Millennials need to feel like you are being open and honest with them. They need to feel listened to and valued.

Recruiting Millennials to the Board

Recruiting Millennials to your Board starts with their volunteer work at your organization. Examining the five characteristics above, it becomes clear that Millennials are interested in volunteer work and will prioritize their work-life balance around things they’re passionate about. Millennials are volunteering for causes they promote and like to be part of a team working towards the common good.

Look around your nonprofit for Millennials who may be volunteers now. These are the people who your organization has helped or who know the organization well. Even though they seem busy, don’t be afraid to ask them about their interest in a Board position. Remember, Millennials are also multi-taskers.

Some ideas for recruiting Millennials to your board include:

* Find Board members from within your organization. They may be hiding in plain sight!

* Promote a Board “meet and greet” on social media where Millennials gather for information.

* Identify or create pathways for Millennials to grow throughout the ranks of volunteers so that they acquire a good combination of skills and experience to serve on the Board.

* Consider bringing a group of Millennials in together so that one single person doesn’t feel like an outsider.

Millennials are a hard-working and responsible generation. They may not work in exactly the same style as the previous Generation X or Baby Boomers did, but they bring an enormous amount of talent and experience into any organization. Learning to work with them is a skill that will serve your nonprofit in good stead. Learning how to recruit them to your Board will help your nonprofit grow and prosper.

Welter Consulting

Welter Consulting bridges people and technology together for effective solutions for nonprofit organizations. We offer software and services that can help you improve and streamline your accounting practice. Please contact Welter Consulting at 206-605-3113 for more information.

Improve Communications with the Right Accounting Software

By | Abila, Accounting, Fundraising, MIP Fund Accounting | No Comments

The right accounting software for your practice can help you improve communications among teams. Although it sometimes feels as if fundraising and accounting departments at nonprofit organizations are on opposite sides of the fence, software can be your bridge to connect them both so that they’re on equal footing. When both find they are getting what they need, relations between the two groups improve and productivity soars.

What Causes Miscommunications?

In every relationship, there’s a chance of miscommunications. But between finance and fundraising there tends to be many miscommunications. Some of this stems from not understand what each party does in the organization at large. There are some things that each group would like you to know about their work.

Fundraising wishes that finance could…

* Respect how challenging fundraising can be.

* Understand that to make money for the organization, you must spend money.

* Trust the process of donor relationships to come to fruition and provide funds for the organization

* Be more flexible with deadlines, requirements, and requests.

* Appreciate the effort that goes into fundraising.

And finance wishes that the fundraising team could…

* Respect that their job is complex and demanding, often dictated by legal requirements that have no flexibility.

* Seek their expertise and help in accounting and finance matters.

* Provide information proactively so that finance can do its job easily.

* Learn basic accounting practices so that we “speak the same language.”

* Respect and adhere to deadlines.

It’s easier to come to consensus when mutual respect underscores the relationship. Knowing what the other party needs, why they need it, and how your actions impact their work can go a long way towards creating mutual respect and clear communications.

Similar Challenges Face Fundraising and Finance

Although the fundraising and finance teams each perform different functions in an organization, they face similar challenges. Data helps both do their jobs better and provides a mutual starting point for much of their work.

With the right data, each team can work more effectively. Finance no longer has to chase down information from fundraising, and fundraising can access information without pestering finance. The two can also collaborate on many projects using shared data sources.

Yet both seem to experience similar challenges when it comes to data and information. Ways in which both departments can help each other overcome their shared challenges include:

* Collaborate on budgets and tracking.

* Improve reports and reconciliation of financial information.

* Jointly plan and set goals.

* Establish frequent, timely communications.

* Identify ideal processes and procedures.

* Integrate fundraising and accounting software.

Resolving the Challenges

The right software can help you resolve such challenges. Cloud-based systems make sharing data easier. Software such as MIP Fund Accounting and software for fundraising, grand management and other tasks provide a good starting point.

Fundraising and finance may often feel like competing teams, but they should be both rooting for the home team, or working towards their company’s overall goals. By understanding one another’s work, sharing data, and experiencing the benefits of shared data and systems, the two teams can work more effectively and help your nonprofit achieve its mission. Earn CPE credit and dive deeper into this topic by attending our free webinar, How to Bridge the Communication Gap between Fundraising and Fund Accounting. You can also take a look at the complete listing of upcoming training and webinars, including the free Nonprofit Enrichment Series.

Welter Consulting

Welter Consulting bridges people and technology together for effective solutions for nonprofit organizations. We offer software and services that can help you improve and grow your accounting practice. Please contact Welter Consulting at 206-605-3113 for more information.

Nonprofit Fundraising Success: Trends that Work

By | Fundraising, Nonprofit | No Comments

Fundraising is often a challenge for nonprofit organizations. The following nonprofit fundraising trends can help you achieve your fundraising goals and boost your margin.

Four Trends in Nonprofit Fundraising

1. Show specific results: Donors want to see specific results from their investment, so

make sure you ‘speak the language’ they want to hear. The more you can demonstrate that donations are contributing toward the achievement of the desired goal, the more you’ll please your donors. Use different communications methods to share the results: Videos, pictures, stories, articles and more.

2. Personal communications: Personal communications cements the relationship between donor and nonprofit even further. Sending personalized reports, emails or notes to major donors, using the specific results mentioned above and emphasizing the importance of the relationship, offers an incentive for donors to keep giving. Personalization is much more than customizing the salutation field on a donor letter – it’s a comprehensive approach to donor communications that keeps your donor’s need for information and contact first and foremost.

3. Tie financials directly to mission goals: Every nonprofit has its own mission and goals in place to reach that mission. Aligning your financial strategy to those goals, demonstrates to your donors that you are maximizing their investment in your organization. Explain to donors that you are utilizing time and money saving business strategies and software in administrative functions, so that donation dollars are directed toward meeting agreed upon goals.

4. Keep abreast of changing demographics: Changing demographics may require different communications methods or styles. As young people increase their philanthropic activities, your donor outreach strategy should include social media campaigns, text messages and more. Learn your donors’ demographics, utilizing that information to improve donor relationships, which is necessary for fundraising success.

Managing Donor Relationships is Easier with the Right Nonprofit Software

Software that tracks donations and includes data from various campaigns can help you select the most efficient channels for future communications. The right software also facilitates donor contact, enhancing personal relationships and future donations.

Welter Consulting is a Seattle-based Authorized Abila Partner and Certified Trainer, helping nonprofits select and implement the best fund accounting, grant management, and fundraising solutions for their organizations. We offer software such as Abila MIP Fund Accounting, Abila Fundraising, grant management and many other software selections that can help your organization become more productive and efficient.

Bringing Fundraising and Finance Together with Nonprofit Accounting Software

By | Accounting, Fundraising, Nonprofit | No Comments

Working Together Can be a Challenge

 

You play for the same team, but somehow you feel like cross town rivals.  This sometimes happens between the fundraising and finance departments of a nonprofit. You sit across from each other at meetings, but it doesn’t feel like you are on the same team.  In reality, you are all working towards the same common goal. Accounting software for nonprofits can help merge these two departments onto the same team. It’s easier to work together when you understand the roles of each department.

 

It’s Not Easy to Walk in Someone Else’s Shoes

 

When thinking about your finance and fundraising departments remember the old saying, “You don’t know what it’s like to be someone else unless you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.” When it comes to fundraising and finance, there are things that each department wished the other knew about their work and concerns.

 

Fundraising wishes that finance could…

  • Understand the challenges and process of fundraising;
  • Accept that you have to spend money to make money (or get donations);
  • Help us maintain good donor relations;
  • Offer us some flexibility – things aren’t always black and white in our world.
  • Respect that fundraising isn’t easy.

 

And finance wishes that the fundraising team could…

  • Understand the fact that finance’s job is complex and time-consuming;
  • Accept help from experts in finance.
  • Help us do our jobs better by providing us with information we need.
  • Offer to sit with us to learn some basic accounting practices.
  • Respect deadlines.

 

It’s often easier to come to consensus when you understand and respect one another’s positions in a situation. Knowing what the other ‘team’ wants can help you step closer to a compromise, and to support each other’s vital roles in an organization. One way to share information is through accounting software for nonprofits, which can help both teams step closer to one another through shared information.

 

Different Departments, Similar Challenges

 

Although finance and fundraising reflect different departments with varying needs, both seem to experience similar challenges when it comes to data and information. Ways in which both departments can help each other overcome their shared challenges include:

 

  • Collaborate on budgets and tracking
  • Improve reports and reconciliation of financial information
  • Jointly plan and set goals
  • Establish frequent, timely communications
  • Identify ideal processes and procedures
  • Integrate fundraising and accounting software

 

Software for nonprofits is a great tool that can help both departments communicate, collaborate, and plan together.  Various software packages including Abila MIP and others can work independently or together to provide data sharing among teams, timely updates and more. Cloud-based solutions ability to be accessed anywhere that there is a web connection makes it easier for fundraisers who travel to visit donors.  They can see and update accounts from the road, which in turn, will help the finance department do their jobs better.

 

The right accounting software for nonprofits won’t solve all of your internal struggles, but it can help to get fundraising and finance on the same team.  This will be a win win for all the players involved.

 

Contact Us

 

Welter Consulting makes choosing the right accounting for nonprofit software easier.   At Welter Consulting we are committed to finding you the most affordable technology, the most powerful solution, and providing expert support. We are dedicated to assist you in achieving your mission by leveraging technology and superior reporting. If you’re ready to cross the bridge to empowering technology, effective nonprofit solutions, and superior technology – let’s begin! We would love to talk to you about your specific needs.  Contact us today or call 206-605-3113.