Sparkrock Blog

Cait Abernethy

Cait Abernethy
Cait Abernethy is the Marketing Coordinator at Sparkrock and is excited about marketing trends, enthralled by technology of all kinds, and is interested in the ways local actions can have a global impact.
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Recent Posts

3 Trends that will Impact your Nonprofit’s Approach to Workforce Management in 2017

by   Cait Abernethy on 05.15.17

It’s hardly a secret that the nonprofit sector has long underinvested in its most valuable asset—its people! Over the last decade, this problem has gotten worse, not better.

Topics: Workforce Management , Workforce

How to Create a Volunteer Handbook

by   Cait Abernethy on 05.02.17

People volunteer for an endless variety of reasons. Many people want to gain experience, acquire new skills, meet new people, or expand their network of contacts as a way to get a new job or start a career. Others just want to give back to their community, help a friend, or promote a worthwhile activity. They do it because it makes them feel good. It gives them what some describe as a "private smile."

Even though volunteers are willing to give a great deal of their talents and free time, they are an asset that is largely underutilized. If your organization is thinking about developing a volunteer program but don't know how to create a volunteer handbook, look no further. Here are six important sections to make sure you include in your handbook:

Topics: Workforce Management , Workforce

Guide to Hiring an Exceptional Executive Director at your Nonprofit

by   Cait Abernethy on 04.26.17

Hiring an executive director is one of the most important actions that the governing board of a nonprofit agency will take. The board depends on its director to achieve the agency’s purposes and objectives within the constraints of its budget on a day-to-day basis—not an easy task to accomplish year in and year out. Also, the working relationship between the director and the board, the staff, volunteers, clients, funding organizations, and other service agencies can significantly influence the agency’s effectiveness and reputation in the community. But finding a great Executive Director can be a tricky process as they are senior positions, but tend not to be as well paid as in the private sector, meaning that hiring someone who is in it for more than just financial compensation, someone who is in it because of passion, is critical.

 

Topics: Finance , Outcomes-Impact , Workforce Management , Workforce

How to Make Tough Decisions about Technology as a Nonprofit Leader

by   Cait Abernethy on 03.14.17

Technology is tough, but we all need it. Embracing it is pretty much an essential part of any organization. This is especially true when it comes to nonprofits. Database management, office and marketing automation, scheduling, reporting, etc., can all be massive time savers for a capacity-strapped organization. But the upfront costs and time delays of finding the right solution, and implementing it properly, can be daunting.

Topics: Outcomes-Impact , Technology

Why Employee Turnover is Off the Charts (and How to Manage It)

by   Cait Abernethy on 03.10.17

Human Services are just that—human. They’re run for people, by people. That’s why the high staff turnover rate (24.26% in Child Welfare Services alone) in these types of organizations has critical implications for organizational effectiveness and human well-being. 

According to a study published in the Journal of Social Work it appears that there are five major reasons why support workers and frontline staff are choosing to leave human service organizations (and subsequently putting more work onto the remaining staff’s plates).

In order to fix a problem, you first need to identify what it is. So, while this post does highlight a number of problems, it also offers a solution. By recognizing these issues, Human Services can adapt within their orgnizations to become even more effective and continue to deliver the life changing services that improve our society.

Topics: Workforce

How to Get your Constituents to Follow You on Social Media

by   Cait Abernethy on 03.08.17

It’s impossible to deny the ubiquity of social media platforms - it seems that everyone and their dog has a social media account of some sort these days. The reality is the that having a strong online presence has become important, and this is especially true for nonprofit organizations - whose causes rely heavily (and sometimes entirely) on their supporters. Since many nonprofits already have to deal with tight budgets and limited staff, social media isn’t always high on their priority list. However, while effective social media requires constant time and effort, the attention that your cause can garner along with the connections you can make with your audience are a worthwhile tradeoff.

Topics: Fundraising

Ontario K12 School Board Improves Reporting through Recent Upgrade

by   Cait Abernethy on 02.23.17

Their Mission

The Huron-Perth Catholic District School Board has nurtured the development of students and families since 1847, and are fervently committed to high standards for achievement in teaching and learning.  They are very proud of the quality of instruction within all schools and their commitment to inclusive learning spaces that provide differentiated opportunities for growth and development.

Introducing our New and Improved Sparktivists Program

by   Cait Abernethy on 02.08.17

Sparktivist

[spark-tuh-vist] noun

1. An especially active, vigorous advocate for Sparkrock

This special program is designed to reward our activists – more than ever before – for sharing their experiences and expertise, referring colleagues, and helping us create and spread great content.

Topics: Sparkrock

Nonprofits are the Real Change Drivers in our World

by   Cait Abernethy on 02.06.17

We're going to come right out and say it - Nonprofits don't get the credit they deserve.

Topics: Sparkrock

Announcing the Winners of the 2017 Customer Awards

by   Cait Abernethy on 02.02.17

Drum roll please…

We’re proud to announce the official Winners of the Alliance 2017 Customer Awards! 

Topics: Sparkrock

How to Map Out Your Nonprofit Software Selection Journey

by   Cait Abernethy on 01.11.17

Researching and selecting a new software solution for your organization is no small feat.

Statistics show that accounting software is only replaced every seven to ten years – it’s not something that a Finance Director does frequently. Likely, a lot has changed since the last time your organization considered new solutions – new regulations, additional sources of funding, dramatic changes in technology and software delivery, and an explosion of new choices.

To help you through the process, we’ve identified five phases of Nonprofit software selection process or journey to help Finance Directors as they prepare and research.

Topics: Finance , Technology