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Summer 2018 Top of Mind Newsletter

Newsletter for Specialists in the Nonprofit Resource Directory

Announcing Learning Connections!

Promote your professional development offerings

Working with Leadership Development Partners, 501 Commons has developed a new resource for nonprofit professionals. Learning Connections includes a free searchable online catalog for professional development opportunities throughout the state of Washington; including trainings, individual or group coaching, networking events, certification/degree programs, conferences, and internships.

Our popular Featured Training & Networking Events calendar in the Resource Directory will remain exclusively reserved for Resource Directory partners, while the Learning Connections catalog is open to anyone. Being listed in both locations gives your company extra exposure at no extra cost! In addition, offerings by Directory Partners are noted in Learning Connections with a special symbol to bring attention to the fact that you are a recommended and approved Directory Partner.

You can get a sneak peek at the website today at 501commons.org/learn. We will publically launch this in mid-September, so get your workshops, continuing educational opportunities, and classes listed in our new Learning Connections catalog before Friday, September 7!

To start, create your account so you’re in our Learning Connections system. Then, add or update your catalog listings as needed. Once your information is submitted online, we’ll post it to the Featured Events calendar too.

We hope this catalog will help people find learning opportunities and that this will encourage you and other providers to develop more opportunities in rural communities and design offerings intended to help people of color, immigrants, and those from other marginalized communities pursue or advance their nonprofit careers.

Please contact Lucinda if you have any questions about Learning Connections.

Recommend outsourcing for improved operational capacity

Since many of your clients are budgeting for 2019, encourage them to consider the benefits of outsourcing key operations. If they’re searching for affordable accounting and bookkeeping, IT infrastructure services, database administration, or human resources services, refer them to 501 Commons or other providers of these services listed in the Resource Directory.

Contracting for professional expertise offers a clear advantage over combining these roles into staff positions. Staff often do not have the needed expertise and there are significant legal and organizational risk associated with these operational areas.

The monthly costs for contracting with 501 Commons are very low. On average, financial services cost $300 per month. Organizations can work with an HR Partner for about $700 a month. Imagine the peace of mind an executive would gain from contracting out for IT infrastructure managed service (including help desk support) for about $600 a month or database maintenance for just $150. Rates change depending on the scope of work, but nonprofits generally get these quality, industry-standard services at nonprofit-friendly prices.

Our clients rate the 501 Commons staff they work with a 3.8 out of 4. An amazing 100% of HR and Finance clients and 97% of Technology (IT and Database) clients said they would work with 501 Commons again!

Recommend your fellow Resource Directory specialists too! Your clients can find needed skills and expertise with our easy-to-use search tool.

Welcome new Resource Directory specialists!

We’d like to welcome the following companies that – after reviews and reference checks – have been added to our referral network.

  • Evan Woods at Olympic Analytics – Olympic Analytics provides research, training, and consulting services to nonprofits, labor unions, and governmental agencies. Through its work, the company assesses the effectiveness of nonprofit programs, supports union organizing and community-member empowerment, and provides insight on campaign best practices. Its work also builds staff and community capacity by teaching practical, technical, and research skills.
  • Tandem Editing – Tandem Editing delivers comprehensive editorial support and project management to nonprofit and policy organizations, global health and development institutions, academic researchers and professors, educators and school districts, and others on a wide range of topics. The firm also edits resumes and application materials for funding proposals and nonprofit career development.
  • Treadwell – With the right planning, configuration, and implementation, database software – like Apricot and ETO from Social Solutions – can be a powerful tool for nonprofits who have case management needs. Treadwell’s extensive experience in project management, training, strategy, HMIS, workflow development, and reporting ensure that Apricot or ETO is customized to the nonprofit or government client and staff are trained in its efficient use.

Remind your clients to register for Day of Caring ASAP

Remind your clients that they can get back-burner projects accomplished by registering ASAP for the United Way of King County’s Day of Caring! See UWKC’s Day of Caring Organization Resource Guide for a list of FAQs, suggested project ideas, helpful tips, a downloadable volunteer waiver, and more. Volunteer can do hands-on work like playground clean-up or contribute their professional skills to projects like research, finding information to improve database records, preparing job descriptions, writing marketing copy, etc.

This year, Day of Caring is on Friday, Sept. 14, 2018. Projects must be 4-6 hours in length and take place between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.

Consider volunteering your team to participate as well!

Direct questions to dayofcaring@uwkc.org.

Board training workshops return on Sept. 25

Board members want to make a positive contribution to the organization(s) they serve but often need to learn about governance and the nonprofit sector in order to be most effective in their role. Encourage your clients to have their board members sign up for notices about 501 Commons' Board Training Series.

The 2018 fall lineup is made possible by the contributions of our expert trainers – Jacobson Jarvis and Roam Consulting are Directory partners! – who've designed sessions that are for board members, executives, staff who work with the board, and individuals who are considering joining a nonprofit board.

Sessions are held at Pacific Tower from 9:00 a.m. to noon in Seattle, but attendees from other counties are welcome! Organizations with budgets under $1 million receive a discount.

Quick Hits

Upcoming events and opportunities

Quarterly Policy Advisory Call
Presented by Washington Nonprofits
Wednesday, Sept. 5
12:00 to 1:00 p.m.
Conference call (via Adobe Connect)

Join Washington Nonprofits for their quarterly discussion of current policy issues that are impacting the nonprofit sector, both nationally and locally in the state of Washington. As people serving the nonprofit sector, your voice is vital to cultivating a policy environment that supports our sector.

Share your technology expertise

501 Commons is looking for people with a good understanding of nonprofits who can share their technology expertise by designing and delivering a 501 Talks Tech workshop in Seattle or by webinar.

Our popular 501 Talks Tech series is focused on improving how the nonprofit sector uses technology. Sessions are 60-80 minutes when in-person at Pacific Tower or 45-60 minute for webinars. Topics should cover a low-cost solution or tool that nonprofits will find practical. 501 Commons staff will be responsible for all event logistics, including publicity and communications, providing light refreshments, and printed materials.

This is a great opportunity to promote your brand and get your business in front of a new audience. Learn more about volunteering your tech expertise or email Megan if you have any questions.

Expand your "wheelhouse"

Do clients or attendees sometimes ask you questions about matters that are “outside your wheelhouse?” Encourage them to visit the Nonprofit Resource Directory to access:

  • Tools & best practices – thousands of pages of content covering nearly 30 areas
  • “Best of the Web” links – websites we've found to be helpful
  • Venues map – affordable or free locations for meetings, retreats, and events
  • Training & networking events –learning opportunities provided by Directory Partners
  • Nonprofit listserv – the place to crowdsource for information, post a job, and more