Sparkrock Blog

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

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

5 Ways Nonprofits can Prevent and Manage a Data Security Breach [Part 1 of 2]

by   Meg Wilson on 03.31.17

Part 1 of 2 Part Series on Risk Management for Nonprofits – Data Security

We are awash in a sea of data and still learning to swim. Nonprofits, like corporations, are taking in more information than ever before, and sometimes more than they know how to handle. The risk of a privacy breach is on the minds of many of the nonprofits we speak with, and if it isn't, it should be - the consequences of a breach can be severe. Attacks, and in particular ransomware attacks, are on the rise in Canada and recently they have begun targeting nonprofits, hospitals and higher education institutions. Nonprofits in particular are especially vulnerable seeing as they retain large amounts of sensitive donor, client, employee, and financial information but may not have large budgets for data security.

Topics: Technology

De-Stressing Schedulers: Taking the Weight off Their Shoulders with Technology

by   Stefanie Gause on 03.23.17

Originally published in ANCOR's Links Issue #1

Topics: Workforce

5 Questions Every K12 School Board Should Ask their Technology Provider before Purchasing Software

by   Nicola Dickinson on 03.21.17

Ontario school boards do everything they can to keep their employees happy and create safe and effective learning environments for their students. At the same time, these boards operate with limited administrative budgets, so every penny counts and being productive is very important. This means that choosing the right technology partner for your Finance, HR and Payroll needs can be a daunting task. It takes a lot of time to evaluate vendors and trust that the company pitching you a solution is the best one for you. That’s why we’ve pulled together a list of the 5 most important questions you should ask any solution provider before purchasing their software:

Topics: Finance , Technology , k12

4 Ways to Deal With Trump's Cuts to Human Services

by   Melissa Alvares on 03.16.17

We recently read the Washington Post's article on What Trump Cut in his Budget - and with an 18% cut to funding to the Department of Health and Human Services, we know that many of our customers are going to be affected. 

Topics: Outcomes-Impact

Sparkrock Culture Code

by   Melissa Alvares on 03.15.17

All of us at Sparkrock have spent the last year thinking about what it means to work here. What personality traits do we look for in employees? How do we work with each other? What do we value most? We thought about what statements we use around the office, and how we explain our jobs to our friends and family.

We had discussions at town hall on these topics and took notes on all the conversations. From that we created our brand new Sparkrock Culture Code and we're excited to share it externally with all of you.

Topics: Sparkrock