Sparkrock Blog

6 Proven Strategies for Recruiting and Retaining Talent in Human Services

by   Meghan Holmes on 08.08.17

In 2016, the turnover rate for Direct Support Professionals rose to a staggering 51%. Although there are admittedly many barriers that human services agencies face when it comes to recruiting and retaining employees, this number is extremely high. And with over half of most agencies’ staff being replaced every year, it becomes not only increasingly expensive to replace employees (the average turnover cost at $3,000-$5,000 per employee), but there's also a direct impact on existing staff who are burdened with an increased workload and on the clients who receive a lower quality of care.

Topics: Workforce Management , Workforce , Operations

5 Signs your ERP System is Failing your Nonprofit Organization

by   Cait Abernethy on 08.04.17

As a nonprofit, you're looking to put every dollar towards your mission. So, it’s likely that when you were first starting out you chose a finance solution that wasn’t too costly or complicated and fit your basic needs. But as your organization grows, tools such as Accpac or Quickbooks may no longer be robust enough to handle the increasing complexity of your budget management or reporting requirements. If you're still using one of these smaller finance and accounting systems, take a second to ask yourself these questions:

Topics: Finance , Technology

The 4 Main Barriers Human Services Face with Recruiting and Retaining Talent

by   Meghan Holmes on 07.24.17

Workforce recruitment and retention in the Human Services industry is at a crisis level. Organizations are reporting staff vacancies of 20% and an astonishingly high average turnover rate of 51%. This leaves us all wondering - what's stopping qualified talent from working (and staying) in human services? 

Topics: Workforce Management , Workforce , Operations

Calling All Innovators: Share Your Industry Knowledge at Fuel Good 2018

by   Nikki Trinnear on 07.19.17

Fuel Good is the gathering for innovators and thought leaders that work behind the scenes at Nonprofit, Education, and Human Services organizations. Your hard work in Finance, Human Resources, Payroll, Operations, Program Delivery, and IT helps to "fuel" the good at your organization. 

We're looking for individuals who would like to present a session at Fuel Good 2018, and by doing so you can share what you know and impact your peers like never before. Think about all of the reasons you want to attend Fuel Good—the networking opportunities, our great parties, but mainly to learn from those in your industry. By presenting your industry best practices, tips and tricks, or personal learning stories of how you’ve overcome challenges, you open up the conversation and create a better learning environment for everyone.

Topics: Sparkrock

Sparkrock Announces Business Associate Membership with OASBO

by   Melissa Alvares on 07.18.17

Sparkrock is pleased to announce our Business Associate membership with the Ontario Association of School Board Officials (OASBO), whose over 1000 members represent all aspects of business operations in school boards across the province.

"OASBO and Sparkrock both share the mission to enable Ontario school boards to collaborate, share best practices and take advantage of new innovations to improve operations." stated Colin Dickinson, President of Sparkrock, "We are excited about our membership and how we can continue to work with K12 School Boards across Ontario enable them to serve their schools, teachers and students with less effort, stress and expense."

As part of its business associate membership with OASBO, Sparkrock will be featured on OASBO's website, and will participate in all of the association events.

"It’s rare to have such a strong solution provider that genuinely cares about its customers. It’s a long term partnership that we both very much benefit from." said Alecia Lantz, Superintendent of Business at Bruce-Grey Catholic District School Board, Sparkrock customer and OASBO member.

Topics: News Release

Does your Human Services Agency need a Digital Transformation?

by   Melissa Alvares on 07.12.17

I recently came across a great article written by Open Mind's Founder, Monica Oss around Digital Transformation. Open Minds is a premier market intelligence and management support firm specializing in the health and human service sector and serving individuals with complex needs.

First off - what do we mean by Digital Transformation? Yes, the phrase sounds like something an expensive management consultant came up with, but at the core it's really just about the change an organization experiences when they apply new digital technology.

Topics: Technology

Fundraising with YouTube? Here are 10 Features of a Great Creative Strategy

by   Cait Abernethy on 06.30.17

Move over funny cat videos and the double rainbow guy, nonprofits are becoming major players in the YouTube ecosystem! These organizations have amassed over 4.6 billion views since the start of the YouTube for Nonprofits program, and there are now over 25 thousand nonprofit partners using the platform to further their causes and do good in their communities and the world.

Topics: Fundraising , Outcomes-Impact

How to Think Like a Funder When Planning Your Technology Project

by   Dhebi Hay on 06.29.17

Technology is changing fast, and having the most up-to-date internal technology system is a sure-fire way to help your nonprofit organization keep up with the times. However, this beneficial technology can often come with a pretty hefty price tag, and nonprofits don’t always have the resources available to afford the cost.

Topics: Fundraising

6 Ways Applicant Tracking will Elevate your Hiring Process

by   David Popovich on 06.26.17

In order to deliver high quality services to the individuals they serve, Human Services agencies must similarly attract high quality talent to add to their teams. But finding the right person to join your organization can be a daunting task, and managing each step in the talent acquisition process often takes more time than anticipated. Between coordinating human resources, hiring managers, and upper management - the task can quickly become a behemoth. Skipped processes, broken communication channels, missing information, and lost applications can significantly impact the speed and success of your hiring process.

Topics: Outcomes-Impact , Workforce , Technology

Five Must-Ask Questions When Interviewing a Direct Support Professional

by   Stefanie Gause on 06.21.17


Stefanie originally wrote this post for the Nov/Dec Issue of ANCOR LINKS.

It takes a lot of work and skill to become a great Direct Support Professional. It also takes a lot of work to hire a great Direct Support Professional. The interview is the most important stage of the hiring process because it's where you see if the individual has the personal touch needed to effectively care for your organization's clients. To help ease the hiring process at your organization, we've made a list of the 5 must-ask questions in a Direct Support Professional interview:

Topics: Workforce

5 Brilliant Tips to Avoid a Cash Flow Crisis at your Nonprofit

by   Nicola Dickinson on 06.20.17

Last year, 450 Toronto-area Goodwill workers were locked out  due to a "cash flow crisis" that led to a shutdown of the long-standing charitable organization, delivering a devastating blow both to staff and those who rely most on the non-profit organization.

The question is: why did this venerable Nonprofit, which earned $28.1 million - including more than $4 million from the province of Ontario - in 2014, collapse so suddenly? Goodwill CEO Keiko Nakamura did not provided clear answers, so we can only wonder what may have caused some of these issues.

Since we work with many Nonprofits - helping them leverage the latest in technology to manage their finances effectively - we've decided to pull together 5 ways that your Nonprofit can make sure you don't experience a "cash flow crises" of your own:

Topics: Finance