The Commons – Our Blog
News, Tips, & Insights from Staff & Guests
Welcome to The Commons, 501 Commons' new blog, where we'll be sharing:
- How-tos, tips, and tricks from nonprofit tech, finance, HR, and other areas
- News and updates about upcoming events, programs, and services
- Thought-provoking pieces around topics, such as skills-based volunteerism, nonprofit management, and more
- Stories from clients about the impact of 501 Commons' programs and services
Plus, we invite your comments! Add your thoughts to these posts, so our blog truly becomes "The Commons."
Want to experiment with new ideas in Salesforce but don't want to ruin your existing database? "Sandboxes" are test spaces where you can try out new things like objects, fields, workflow processes, and page layouts without making a single change to your current configuration. Not all sandboxes are the same, to it's important to learn the differences before setting up a new one.
For many nonprofits, donors are the backbone of their fundraising efforts. Without the generosity of individual gifts, lots of organizations would not be able to fully advance their missions. Just in case your organization needs a refresher on how to best thank its donors, we provide you a few helpful resources that will guide you toward becoming even better stewards of your supporters.
2015 ushered in a tremendous amount of growth for 501 Commons. We raised more money than ever to support free and affordable services to nonprofits across our state. Through our contracted services, action-based cohort programs, consulting projects, and free resources on our Statewide Nonprofit Resource Directory, more people than ever are being touched by our organization. We'd like to thank the volunteers in the Executive Service Corps for making 2015 an impact year!
Apply by February 15 to join the 2016 VIP Manager Corps (VMC) cohort program so that your organization can receive a temporary boost in staffing to help you more effectively recruit, engage and retain high-value volunteers. The program runs from June through October. At the end of the process, your nonprofit will receive the resources, training and support necessary to become stronger stewards of volunteers.
Civic-minded youth ages 11 to 25 have the opportunity to make an impact in their communities through "Youth Voice, Youth Choice," a new City of Seattle initiative that allows youth to decide how to spend $700,000 of the City’s budget that is allocated toward community-building grant opportunities. The first of seven gatherings is Jan. 28 at Meridian Center of Health at 10521 Meridian Ave. N.
After receiving more than 38,000 comments from the general public, the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service decided to withdraw a proposed rule change that would have permitted, but not required, nonprofits to file a return that would include the social security numbers (and other information) of donors who contributed gifts worth more than $250. Congratulations on making your voices heard!
Nonprofits in the state of Washington that made a New Year's resolution to strengthen their organization in 2016 can count on 501 Commons to provide a broad range of expertise and hands-on assistance to make that a reality. We will offer a diverse lineup of cohort programs, direct services, consulting help, and free resources this year that can help make 2016 your most successful year yet!
Documentation is important when planning, implementing and improving upon a technology project. Unfortunately, both process and technical documentation tend to get pushed to the side by organizations. We provide a compelling case for why you should write your own documentation, how you can use it for maximum benefit, and helpful tools to get you started.
DemandTools is a data quality and data cleansing tool that is free for any 501c3 nonprofit organization that uses Salesforce for their database needs. Able to handle just about any database management task you might have, DemandTools is free to download if you provide them your 501c3 letter. We recommend, however, you consult a Salesforce expert to ensure you are able to use the tool properly. Learn more!
We are passing along a message from BoardSource, an online resource for nonprofit board leaders. We are asking that you provide the IRS valuable feedback about a drastic new rule change that would require some nonprofits to collect their donors' social security numbers. Our position is that this change will make donors more hesitant to give and would cost nonprofits heavily in the need for additional cyber-security measures.