Yes, it is partly because I love the food, family and football — but it also is a time each year when I reflect on all my blessings. Like many people, the end of the year is when my mailbox overflows with correspondence from numerous worthy organizations. Those solicitations are well timed, since I do make the majority of my annual donations in the next few weeks. Making those gifts always makes me feel good, but I don’t typically give much thought as to why.
Recently a friend forwarded me a link to a graduation speech given by Nipun Mehta, who started a non-profit called ServiceSpace. The speech includes a great message about the importance of giving, receiving and dancing!, and it made me think more about the value of generosity – not just for the recipient, but for the giver as well. His quote from the Dalia Lama put it best: “Be Selfish. Be Generous.” It is in giving that we receive.
The message certainly applies to supporting nonprofits financially and by volunteering, but it also applies to our interactions in the workplace, as friends and as members of a community. Mehta’s speech has inspired me to try to give more, thereby receive more, and to dance (or at least smile) more, and I hope by sharing it, you may be equally inspired.
Recently the Training Department completed three separate Regional Classes for our DonorPerfect clients. Back in October, we visited Dallas, Texas where Kelly Ramange worked with 25 DonorPerfect clients. In November, Tom Heitzenrater was on location in Los Angeles and Arlene Berkowitz was in the Big Apple, New York City.
These one-day classes provide our users with the opportunity to learn about numerous DonorPerfect features, as well as the opportunity to interact and share best practices with other DonorPerfect users.
We’ve completed all classes for 2013 but please check back in early 2014 for the new year’s schedule.
This article was written by Sam Stortz & Nathan Relles of SofterWare, Inc.
The saying “There’s no such thing as a free lunch” is just as valid today as it was when it originated some 80 years ago. It implies that even if you do receive something for “free,” someone, somewhere along the way, is paying for it. However, the world has changed a lot since the 1930s. So much so, that some people are beginning to believe that maybe you can get something for nothing.
The recent book Free, by Chris Anderson, distinguishes between “21st century free” and “20th century free”. 20th century free is seen as giving something away for free to create a demand for another product that is, of course, not free. An example can be found in the late 1800s and early 1900s, when saloons would give away free food for any drink purchase. You were allowed to consume as much food as you wanted as long as you purchased a single drink. The catch, however, was that this “free food” was often high in salt (peanuts, crackers, etc.) which meant that the more free food you consumed, the more likely you were to buy another drink. Not so free after all.
Susan L. Axelrod, CFRE, PFR, presented her thoughts and tips on “How to Run a Successful Capital Campaign” on October 24.
Susan approached the task of presenting advice on a popular topic in the form of tips. Below are some of the significant ones:
One of my favorite times of the year is always the week of our DonorPerfect Community Network Conference. Getting together with a couple hundred DonorPerfect customers is a lot of fun! Throw in a bunch of our staff members, the industry experts who present some of the workshops, and our business partners who join us every year and it is truly a one-of-a-kind event.
For a change, I didn’t present a workshop or moderate any panel discussions this year, so this year was slightly different for me compared to the past three years, even though I still had some “official” duties to attend to during the week. In some ways, I got to experience it in a way that is much more similar to our customers that attend. I got to participate in several sessions led by our staff that covered a lot of useful features in DonorPerfect, as well as some previews of upcoming improvements to the program. I also attended a couple of sessions, led by some fantastic speakers that work with the nonprofit community, on subjects as varied as social media, nonprofit legal issues, and best practices for acknowledging donors in order to improve donor retention. And, those are just the sessions I made it to during the week. I couldn’t get to every workshop I wanted to see; there were just too many of them on a wide variety of topics. But, one thing they all had in common was also one of my favorite things: seeing so many of the attendees really gain some knowledge that they would be able to put into use as soon as they got back to their office.