Sparkrock Blog

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

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

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 generosity can help you manage your teams better

by   Cait Abernethy on 11.22.16


With Giving Tuesday and the holidays just around the corner, we – as well as many of the clients we work with – have generosity at the top of our mind. And while generosity to others during this time of year is certainly important, it’s also important to remember to be generous within our workplaces as well. A workplace where staff and team members are listened to, appreciated, supported and praised is a workplace where people want to give their best, where people’s ideas and creativity can unfold. Generosity helps to foster this creativity and helps to boost morale and performance as well as mental and emotional wellbeing among employees.

Topics: Workforce

4 Critical Features of an Effective Case Management Solution

by   Chris Carre on 11.08.16

With demand for social services increasing, organizations are feeling the need to improve their case management capabilities by partnering with a case management solution provider. These solutions allow organizations to effectively manage client data, efficiently track and report on client outcomes, and ultimately provide greater quality of service. When selecting a solution for your organization, there are many features that are important in order to serve your clients effectively. The following are 4 features that are essential to a case management solution in order to ensure the highest quality of care and program delivery:

Topics: Workforce

Top Tips for Graduate Recruitment on a Budget

by   Cait Abernethy on 09.12.16

Here at Sparkrock, we’re always on the lookout for new talent. This can come in a number of different forms such as experienced industry professionals, those looking for a career change (bringing with them a wealth of experience from other industries), or recent university graduates. We, as well as many of our clients, have found that graduates are not only a great way to fill entry-level roles in an organization, but they also bring a fresh perspective, enthusiasm, and are determined to work hard to progress their careers.

Topics: Workforce

6 Reasons You'll Love our Improved Timesheets Module

by   Gaya Keshavan on 08.24.16

As part of our commitment to constantly improve our ERP solution to increase our clients’ productivity, the product team has worked to enhance the functionality of our Timesheets module. The Timesheet module, which is located in the Time Entry portal, is a tool that streamlines and automates time entry and payroll processing tasks by enabling employees to complete their time entries online and then submit them to their manager for approval. This improved version, which includes additional features, a different look and feel, and an improved user experience, will save your end users a significant amount of time and effort when tracking and logging their hours.

Topics: Workforce

Bridging the Gap: How to Balance an Intergenerational Workforce

by   Nikki Trinnear on 08.16.16


I’m sure you are well aware of the trends in workforce demographics and how they are changing. What you might not realize is the magnitude at which this is happening. Every day in the United States, 10,000 Baby Boomers retire—a pattern that is predicted to continue for the next several years. Now, before you dismiss this as another article telling you how to attract the ever elusive Millennial to fill the gap in your Human Services workforce, read on. This blog post is going to dive deeper into the characteristics of both seemingly opposite demographics, and give some valuable tips for balancing your new intergenerational workforce.

Topics: Workforce

4 Ways Human Services Agencies can Reduce their Onboarding Costs

by   Stefanie Gause on 08.03.16

Many organizations in the developmental services/community living field have been experiencing a funding freeze for over a decade now. With increasing demands on services, competition from for-profit service providers, and the sky-rocketing costs of real estate, food, fuel, and wages, these organizations need to find ways of doing more with less without compromising the quality of their services.  

Topics: Workforce