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Business Briefs February 2014

By The NonProfit Times - January 31, 2014

Travel And Bidding Married In New Deal

Mitch-Stuart Inc. (MSI) and GiveSmart US announced a strategic partnership to match fund­raising travel and experience packages with bidding technology used at special events, auctions and others venues. The firms will also introduce their products and services to each other’s clients.

MSI has helped nonprofits raise more than $1 billion through travel and experience packages, according to the firm. GiveSmart provides a comprehensive service that assists nonprofits in creating a simpler auction process through a variety of bidding and silent auction tools. The bidding technology allows auction attendees and guests to bid on items via their own mobile devices and/or through GiveSmart’s onsite “con­cierge” bidders.

“We’re excited to partner with GiveSmart and introduce our clients to their breakthrough technology,” said Stuart Paskow, CEO of MSI. “We’ve helped more than 10,000 nonprofits raise a collective $1 billion+ through the years…and with this potential added resource, our clients will benefit even more,” he said.

“This is truly a win-win” for everyone,” said Bob Treash GiveSmart’s key strategic relationships officer.

“One of the most important keys to our success as a travel and experiential resource has been our devotion to first-rate service,” said Michelle Cohen, president of Mitch-Stuart, Inc. “Give Smart has also committed itself to top client service — so it is indeed the perfect fit.”


Good360 Awarded $850K For Disaster Recovery Tool

Good360 in Alexandria, Va., was the only nonprofit to take a prize in the Verizon Powerful Answers Awards. The organization won in the sustainability category for its Disaster Recovery360 platform, an online portal that will help ensure that the long recovery process for disasters in the U.S. and abroad will be met with the right goods at the right time.

Good360, awarded $850,000 for its innovation, is creating a circle that includes companies, charities and individuals working together to make giving simpler, more efficient and more effective. The Disaster Recovery360 portal is the nonprofit’s latest push in that effort.

Nonprofits working in disaster areas will be able to request the right goods during different stages of a disaster, and enable donors — corporations and philanthropists — to fulfill these critical needs at the appropriate time.

“Sixty percent of goods donated during disasters end up in landfills because the majority of donations arrive in the first six weeks of a disaster. They are often items that are not needed at that time, but may be needed months or even years down the road to recovery,” said Good360 President and CEO Cindy Hallberlin. “Disaster Recovery360 is not just about environmental sustainability. It is about sustaining lives and communities long after the initial concern for a disaster is over.”

The mobile application can use Verizon’s 4G LTE network to connect to the portal, as well as be hosted on Verizon’s cloud solution. Good360 will use its existing logistical capabilities to deliver goods to designated nonprofits working to get affected communities back up and running. For more information about the finalists and judges, visit Verizon Powerful Answers web site.


YFU USA Moving To Historic Bread Factory

Youth For Understanding USA (YFU) will be returning its national headquarters to Washington, D.C., this fall after an 11-year absence. The new office space at the historic Wonder Bread Factory is centrally located and will play a pivotal role in a new era for the 62-year-old nonprofit.

During the past year, YFU has committed to developing and implementing a new vision, commencing with the creation of four YFU Centers of Excellence. This new physical space at Wonder Bread will promote strong collaboration amongst these units and allow increased opportunities for community engagement.

“YFU has a rich legacy built over more than six decades of excellence in cultural exchange, but we cannot simply rely on our past if we are to develop and expand our programs to provide the best possible experiences and opportunities,” said Michael E. Hill, YFU President and CEO. Occupying nearly 32,000 square feet, the new headquarters will provide YFU the opportunity to become a part of the local community, and offer an easily accessible location for visitors and staff.  NPT


YWCA USA Joins ‘Million Women Mentors’ Initiative

YWCA USA is partnering with the “Million Women Mentors” (MWM) initiative, which launched last month during National Mentoring Month, in Washington, D.C. The initiative will support the engagement of one million science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) mentors — male and female — to increase the interest and confidence of girls and young women to pursue and succeed in STEM degrees and careers.

Million Women Mentors is a collective effort of more than 40 nonprofit, media, education and government industry partners and nine corporate sponsors. “The YWCA USA is pleased to collaborate with the Million Women Mentors initiative in order to strengthen STEM programming for girls and young women across the country,” said Dara Richardson-Heron, M.D., CEO of the YWCA USA. “In 1997, we developed a program called TechGYRLS to address the evident and significant gender gap in girls’ interest and skills in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math.”

During the past 10 years, growth in STEM jobs has been three times greater than that of non-STEM jobs. While women comprise 48 percent of the U.S. workforce, just 24 percent are working in STEM fields — a statistic that has held constant for nearly the last decade, according to the YWCA. While 75 percent of all college students are women and students of color, they represent only 45 percent of STEM degrees earned each year.


Sponsored Podcasts

Welcome to the Raise & Engage podcast, a filters-off series for nonprofit professionals hosted by Blackbaud's straight-shooting expert Danielle Johnson Vermenton. During this open-mic session, you’ll hear honest advice to help YOU do more for your cause.

Episode 6: The Power of ‘No’ at Work|| daniellejohnson-76

You have a job description, but on any given day, you're probably doing dozens of things outside the scope of that description. Combine that with the challenge of a fast-paced environment and the shifting priorities of funders, colleagues, and board members and it’s easy to fall short of doing your best. By being mindful of your limitations and capacity—and saying “no” when your plate is full—you can actually do more for your cause. In the sixth installment of the Raise and Engage podcast Danielle Johnson and Robin Anderson discuss the power of saying “no” at work.

Episode 5: Professional Development: Getting Un-Stuck|| daniellejohnson-76

In the most recent episode of Raise + Engage, Danielle is back with Brian Reich from little m media to discuss how nonprofit professionals can stay motivated and energized in their day-to-day roles. Brian shares his experience working with nonprofits and the lessons and tips he's learn from and shared with them over the years, including tips for avoiding a professional rut, creating forward momentum in your career and pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone. If you're considering making a career move or want to ensure you're on the right path, you won't want to miss this inspo-packed episode!

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Episode 4: Apps and Hacks to Stay (Mostly) Sane, is all about tips, tricks and tools for sanity. Blackbaud’s own interactive product marketer, Julia Lenz, joins host Danielle Johnson to share some high tech. (and no tech.) productivity tips to help nonprofit professionals stay sane in the crazy world of philanthropy.

Tune in to hear:

  • Tips for how to spend the first 30 minutes of your day
  • The benefits of 15 minute meetings
  • Why notebooks are still relevant to a successful organization
  • Ideas for better managing your inbox
  • Why you should take lunch outside the box
  • ...and much more!
Don’t forget to visit the #NoFilterNonprofit Hub afterwards to download our newest tip sheet10 Productivity Hacks for Nonprofits.

Episode 3: Tech. Connection: Solutions, Strategy, and Staff || daniellejohnson-76

Episode 3: Tech. Connection: Solutions, Strategy, and Staff In episode 3 of the Raise + Engage podcast, Danielle Johnson is joined by Chris Geady and William DaSilva, two IT experts in the nonprofit space, to talk technology integration for NPOs: when you need it, when you don’t, and how to do it successfully.

Tune in to hear:

  • When to say NO to integration
  • How to set your strategic plan before even looking at technologies
  • Ways to get your entire team on board
  • The importance of identifying a project lead
  • The RFP process - how it should and should not go
And William shares a story about a nonprofit that may or may not have still been using a typewriter. You don't want to miss this one!

Episode 2: From Socially Awkward to Socially Awesome! || daniellejohnson-76

According to Danielle Johnson, straight-shooting host of the Raise + Engage podcast series, if your staff members aren’t the number one advocates for your cause on social media, you’re failing. In the most recent episode, Danielle is joined by Blackbaud’s own social media guru Madeline Turner to discuss overcoming social struggles and creating a social ambassador program at your organization. This entertaining and insightful duo dishes on the importance of making your social media presence human, making the case for a formal social program to leadership, how University of Michigan turned a one time social media campaign into a long term social program, and how Madeline's mom unknowingly became a social ambassador on #GivingTuesday.

Episode 1: Corporate Culture & Development: Shake It Up! || daniellejohnson-76

In the premiere episode of Raise & Engage, Danielle is joined by three straight-shooting nonprofit rock-stars: Jodi Smith of Sanford Health Systems, Veronica Brown of Chicago Public Library Foundation and Ali Burke of Southlake Regional Health Centre Foundation. The group talks organizational culture, problem employees, why its important to celebrate and how to shake things up this year and build a better more authentic team that gets stuff done!


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