Sparkrock Blog

WannaCry: Make sure your organization's systems are safe

by   James Faw on 05.15.17

At Sparkrock, we help Nonprofit organizations to continually leverage technology in order to more effectively deliver on their mission. However, the more you use technology to enhance productivity, the more vulnerable your organization becomes to things such as malware attacks.

Topics: Technology

Searching for a Single Truth: 3 Problems Solved by an Integrated Finance System

by   Meghan Holmes on 05.08.17

We know building financial reports for your organization isn't a fun task, especially when your data is stored in different systems. Having information in multiple systems means you now have to gather and compile financial results and budgets from different sources and then import that data back into your finance system for reporting. This can create a lot of unnecessary headaches for you and your finance team.

Luckily, there's a better way to handle your day-to-day finance activities that will ease your pains and provide you with a single source of truth - the one financial dashboard to rule them all (as Frodo might say).

Topics: Finance

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

Sparkrock Announces new Integration to eBASE Software to better serve the K12 School Board industry

by   Melissa Alvares on 05.01.17

Sparkrock and DMS Technologies Inc. are excited to announce they will soon have out of the box integration between their solutions. 

Topics: News Release , Sparkrock , k12

Sparkrock is being recognized as a Great Place to Work® for the 2nd year in a row!

by   Melissa Alvares on 04.28.17


Topics: News Release , Sparkrock

Guide to Hiring an Exceptional Executive Director at your Nonprofit

by   Sparkrock on 04.26.17

We recently discovered that this content had been posted here without acknowledging the original author or copyright holder since April 2017.  We took quick steps to remedy the situation and apologize unreservedly for that misuse.

Its content was authored by Margaret Henderson and Kurt Jenne in 2000 as the article “Hiring a Director for a Small Community-Based Nonprofit Agency: A Step-by-Step Guide.” It was copyrighted and published in Popular Government magazine by the School of Government, UNC Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA. The content is available in its original form from the School of Government.

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

Sparkrock Announces Corporate Partnership with RCPA

by   Melissa Alvares on 04.24.17

Sparkrock is pleased to announce a corporate partnership with The Rehabilitation & Community Providers Association (RCPA), who represent Pennsylvania providers of health and human services committed to effective, efficient, and high quality care.

With more than 300 members serving well over 1 million Pennsylvanians annually, RCPA is among the largest and most diverse state health and human services trade associations in the United States.

RCPA provider members offer mental health, drug and alcohol, intellectual and developmental disabilities, brain injury, medical rehabilitation, physical disabilities, and aging services through all settings and levels of care for individuals of all ages.

"The RCPA works tirelessly to be the voice of the Human Services sector with legislators, state administrators and other officials to move forward industry issues." stated Colin Dickinson, President of Sparkrock. "Sparkrock also shares this industry commitment by creating software to help Human Services agencies serve more people with less effort, stress and expense. We are excited to work together with RCPA and all their member agencies."

Topics: News Release

Two Key Benefits of Investing in a Social Enterprise

by   Nicola Dickinson on 04.20.17

Nonprofits can raise funding in a variety of ways – from donations to grants to loans to issuing community bonds. However, there can come a time in a nonprofit’s growth where these sources alone are not sufficient or sustainable enough to fuel their programs.

When this happens, there aren’t too many other options for nonprofits to consider. Unlike for-profit organizations, they do not have the choice of planning to increase sales revenue to fund growth. Or do they?

Topics: Fundraising , Outcomes-Impact

SAVE THE DATE: Fuel Good 2018 is an event you don't want to miss!

by   Melissa Alvares on 04.06.17

We are excited to announce that we've finalized our location and dates for Fuel Good 2018. Our annual conference will take place from February 6th - 9th 2018 at One King West Hotel in downtown Toronto.

Topics: Sparkrock

What's Keeping Nonprofit CFOs Up at Night?

by   Melissa Alvares on 04.03.17


In many ways the stress on Nonprofit CFO's is a lot more than their For-Profit counterparts. This is because any finance scandal in the Nonprofit world means that public funds are at stake and, more importantly, the people that were supposed to be helped with those funds do not get served.

Even though there have been some eye-catching headlines in the past with regards to reporting and misuse, in general finance professionals in the Nonprofit sector are highly skilled and have a strong sense of values. Many are also extremely innovative because with limited funds they tend to re-invent traditional business models in order to maximize the money they have to fund their mission.

In a study by American Nonprofits, more than 900 individuals who characterized themselves as CFOs or equivalents were surveyed about their job. Here are some of the key findings related to what's keeping them up at night:

Topics: Finance

Say Hello to Sparkrock's New Customer Success Center

by   Meghan Holmes on 04.03.17

PDF user guides are so last year.  Well, at least that's what we think.  

Topics: News Release , Sparkrock