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The Commons

Our Blog of News, Tips, & Insights

Our Blog of News, Tips & Insights

Welcome to The Commons, 501 Commons' blog, where we share:

  • How-to's, 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."

Plymouth Housing Group: HR Trainings for Managers

Published Mar 02, 2016 11:10 AM

Plymouth Housing Group’s mission of securing permanent and supportive homes for homeless adults, combined with their wide array of wrap-around services, means they rely heavily on their managers' wisdom and compassion. PHG approached us to seek ways they can better support their managers, so we designed for them a series of 12 HR manager trainings to help bring their staff leaders and employees closer together.

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How Boards Can Evaluate ED/CEO Performance

How Boards Can Evaluate ED/CEO Performance

Published Feb 23, 2016 02:55 PM

It's important for the board to conduct an annual evaluation of the ED/CEO, but what's also important is how that review is done. The board should focus on evaluating the organization's performance and using surveys that don't judge the executive's personal characteristics. Read more about what resources are available to boards who wish to find a comprehensive and effective way to evaluate the executive.

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Salesforce Sandboxes: What They Are and How to Use Them

Published Feb 18, 2016 08:50 AM

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.

Salesforce Sandboxes: What They Are and How to Use Them - Read More…

Helpful Resources: Thanking Donors

Published Feb 05, 2016 11:05 AM

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.

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A Look Back at 2015

Published Feb 02, 2016 08:51 AM

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!

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VIP Manager Corps: Want to Grow Your Volunteer Program?

VIP Manager Corps: Want to Grow Your Volunteer Program?

Published Jan 26, 2016 02:05 PM

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.

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Youth Voice, Youth Choice Offers Seattle Youth the Opportunity to Make an Impact

Published Jan 25, 2016 02:27 PM

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.

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Treasury and IRS Withdraws Proposed Nonprofit Gift Substantiation Rule Change

Published Jan 21, 2016 11:20 AM

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!

Treasury and IRS Withdraws Proposed Nonprofit Gift Substantiation Rule Change - Read More…

Wishing You Success in the New Year!

Published Jan 19, 2016 09:35 AM

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!

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The Case for Writing Your Own Documentation

Published Dec 28, 2015 02:50 PM

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.

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