Rebel Saffold III is a blogger featured and keynote speaker and has served in numerous technology leadership roles for private and public organizations. He is also a blogger, speaker and nonprofit operations consultant. He has a specific passion for utilizing nonprofit technology to exceed the goals of organizations. Rebel has served in numerous technology leadership roles in organizations nationally for over 15 years. His unique approach to putting people before technology tools and using data-driven decision making to support leadership in making strategic decisions to accomplish the mission of the organization has helped numerous organizations create innovative solutions to business problems. His leadership and his ability to leverage his education and experience, has resulted in Lebertech growing into a successful and sought after business partner
The Evolution Of The Database Manager In Non-Profit. Running My Business With The Two Backpack Approach. When I started Lebertech, it was a priority to design the company to be operated based in no physical location.
Now this post isn't going to be about "The Cloud". The purpose of this post is to explain my approach to operating a small business in a constantly evolving environment. I've developed what I call "the two backpack approach". This consists of operating out of two backpacks depending on the day, and what goals I need to accomplish. Reporting: The Power Behind Successful Business Operations. My passion for data obviously comes from my educational background (go Bears!)
, but I have to say, the real reason I love data so much is because of the power that exists when you transfer it into information. When data is processed, organized, structured, or presented in a given context so as to make it useful, it becomes information. What that high level technical explanation means is data is power! We've all heard the phrase "information is power", well if you boil that down it truly means data is power.
So many organizations approach making decisions based on conversation or what they remember (or think they remember) from previous experiences. Basing your decisions on data is what sets successful and sustainable organizations apart from those who are not. Once you have data, then you can begin to use tools to transform data into reporting on your initiatives. If you're not measuring what you're doing, how do you understand if what you're doing is effective? A Flood of Small Business Owners Are Coming! We live in a world a lot different from the days when my parents worked a job for 30 years, and retired with a great retirement.
I was speaking with a good friend, Michael Scott, about this a few weeks back. He mentioned how he was reading an article on the changes in the American workforce, how things have dramatically changed based on the last economic downturn, and how we all have no faith in the system and its ability to maintain what we feel are priorities in life. With these feelings and the newly implemented Affordable Care Act taking affect, huge numbers are considering the small business and self-employed venture. The fear of no longer having heath insurance personally or for the family is something that has handcuffed many to corporate life. Those cuffs have now been removed! Developing Prospect Pools With In House Data Mining. We have a client that is just excited about fundraising and moving forward the mission of their non-profit, which is the perfect model for us.
Currently, we provide IT support for their desktop systems and website, but have discussed growing into non-profit consulting and data management support when revenue reaches a point where it's an option. After being away from my Blackbaud products for almost 6 months after I left my former employer, I'm always looking for a chance to experiment with their awesome tool. I Heard This Dude Say: Anyone Can Master Raiser’s Edge! During my first visit to BBCON (which is the annual conference put on by Blackbaud, the makers of The Raiser’s Edge, my favorite fundraising software!)
, I had the opportunity to attend a number of the sessions offered by staff and other experts in the field, which was pretty awesome for my first time. I remember one session specifically hosted by two gentlemen. Importing CampusCall Data Into The Raiser's Edge. The use of Phone-a-thon in a fundraising organization is priority to truly engage and grow your unrestricted dollars.
We've had the opportunity to work with a number of Phone-a-thon software solutions used in the non-profit industry. The challenge we have seen is that in most case the data and information collected in these software solutions are stored in that separate system. Beyond actual gifts or pledges recorded in the central content management system for the organization, other data points remain in the phone-a-thon software never used for intelligent decision making by organizational leadership. Working with one of our clients who recently made the transition from Banner to the Raiser's Edge as their fundraising technology product, we developed a solution to not only address their immediate need of calls being made but also collect the previous 9 years of calling.
Best Smartphone For Non Tech Savy. Now I'm one that has embraced the use of technology from the start.
I remember being at the bleeding edge of smartphone technology when I had and used my Pocket PC. Truly understand and accept technology is here to stay and they have to accept it they are trying hard to evolve into this new world. Just last night they called me all excited because they just got Samsung Galaxy's and wanted to set them up. We went through the process of setting up and linking their google accounts and using the Play Store. Now their up and running and I'm getting more Skype calls from them than I can handle... How The Fad of "Social Media" Has Hurt The #Nonprofit Industry. Over the last few years I have noticed this strong trend in the industry I have such a passion for in the area of professional development.
Over the last 3 years I have attended numerous non-profit conferences throughout the country. During those conferences I started to notice a trend in myself. I began to attend less and less of the sessions that were offered. Now some of this could have been based on having too much fun the night before, but in most cases it was based on the fact that the sessions at these nonprofit conferences are focused on this "Fad" of social media.
I even look on nonprofit technology sites such as NTEN and Nonprofit Tech For Good and their post are so focused on Social Media and Social Media platforms. If you've read some of my other blog posts you know the love I have for Blackbaud and their products, based on how the tools they offer have such a an ability to make change in the operation and success of an organization. How To Backup Your WordPress Website To Google Drive For Free. In my world as a techie, dealing with website glitches can be a challenge.
I was reminded of this last week when a client of mine called to say that his website had mysteriously gone offline, temporarily disappearing into the ethers of the World Wide Web. But the beauty of having these hiccups occur occasionally is that it represents an opportunity to discover new things about technology. ....and about me. My first (self) discovery was that I have an obsession: It's called, "Rebel gets a rush of adrenaline from ensuring that the data on our client websites have been properly backed up. " Yep.... this brotha is "backup" OCD to the max about the fifteen or so sites I host and support. So when I received that client call at 8:17 am while still gathering myself from a restful slumber, there appeared to be no need for panic.
TRANSLATED: This means that they no longer had any of the website data and content. Or so I thought.... Deep breath....But. Are You Celebrating Your Accomplishments? "There's a party goin' on right hereA celebration to last throughout the yearsSo bring your good times and your laughter tooWe gonna celebrate your party with you.
" Lyrics from the Kool and the Gang song, popularized in the 70s and 80sAfter over a week and a half of troubleshooting snarls, failed attempts, and halfway successes, including addressing 90,000 record overwrites of constituent databases for organizations that we support, it's time to celebrate! Oh what an interesting seven days it's been - lots of Red Bull, coffee, and long nights.But we've accomplished our goal. And everyone appears to be happy.I got an email from the Vice President with the video below from Kool & the Gang [chuckles] saying "Celebration.
" Pretty funny, huh? Nonprofit Rebel's: Preparing For The First Google Hangout. Create non-constituent records over full constituent records in the Raiser's Edge. This subject has been a constant conversation since my first interaction with the Raiser's Edge, and I just can't seem to understand why it continues to be such a controversial topic. I can understand years ago when RE was a different system or possibly there was an issue with storage space for databases, but why in the world would you even create a non-constituent records?
Listed below are 5 reason why full organizations decide to create non-constituent records over full constituent records: Storage Space: There is this concern out there for non-technology people who think that by adding more records to your database will mean that you will run out of space on the server you run RE from. Wrong, storage space right now is something that should not be taking into consideration when making this decision. Why You Always Hating On The Raiser's Edge Events Module? I've started to notice a trend in the challenges with Event Management through some of the organizations I work with. The clients that actually have the events module from Blackbaud actually prefer to not use it and try to get it accomplished with other coding and working with the event in two different places, Excel and The Raiser's Edge. I'm talking about organizations doing dual entry of data from RE to Excel, maintaining all reporting for an event in a spreadsheet saved on a network drive with the world able to access it scares the heck out of me.
Now I'll admit that I have only had the opportunity to work with organizations that have attempted to use it with little success, nothing where the organization had never used it before. Now this is a national organization, and I'm looking at the mail lists from last year and all I see are major actor, musicians, etc. Great Opportunity: Denver Shared Spaces Internship. A partner of our Denver Shared Spaces is looking for a Denver Shared Spaces Intern. Check out the details below: Organizational and Business Development Internship. Campaigns, Funds and Gifts In Raiser's Edge. A major opportunity a lot of organizations miss out on when using the Raiser's Edge, is taking advantage of all three level of what I would call gift structured reporting. Gift structured reporting is using all three record types that touch a gift to the organization.
The three record types are Campaigns, Funds and Gifts and in that specific order. I high suggest always thinking of reporting and working backwards when creating any set of data. Think of them like buckets of information, that you want to group sets of data into which you would then like to be able to pull sets of data out of that bucket. By using the record types associated with gifts (Campaigns, Funds and Gifts), you allow yourself the ability to build a set of data into an information system that you can use most RE standard reports to provide leadership with the information needed to make intelligent decisions. RE Gift Records: So You Entered A Cash Gift, But You Don't Actually Have The Funds?
To Start A Business, You Need Some Blind Naivete and Overwhelming Self-Confidence. I have to say that since I started Lebertech over 2 years ago now, I started it based on the fact that I was exhausted with organizational politics and simply wanted to be in a role where I could make companies and organizations be successful by using technology. Since that time, Lebertech has made a number of pivots on what the mission of the company is. After software development, web design, business consulting, non-profit consulting initiatives we have reached a mature level of operations and truly understand where our passions are. Twitter: Deleting the Lebertech Account. Your Killing Me, Stop Exporting From Query In The Raiser's Edge. Suggestion To Eliminate Salutation Problem In The Raiser's Edge.
Your Doing It All Wrong: Managing Funds For Your Events in Raiser's Edge. Now events are such a major use of resources in a lot of nonprofit organizations. There are in some cases an entire FTE (full-time employee) dedicated to managing events for an organization. Where I see organizations focus so much attention on is managing the Raiser's Edge Events module and not focus on its integration with Fund Records, and managing the financial side of an event. Shadow Databases: Creation Rules To Live By (Yes, It's OK To Create A Shadow Database) (Part 1 of 2) CASE STUDY: The Raiser's Edge or Quickbooks: What's The Priority. The Transition: eTapestry to Salesforce Step 3. How Do You Manage Divorced Records In The Raiser's Edge. Raiser's Edge Best Practices: Queries - Favorite Fields. The Raiser's Edge Best Practices: Tables - Code Table Maintenance.
Battleground: The Raiser's Edge - Opponents: Executive Director vs. Database Manager (2 of 2) AASP Statement of Ethics. This Is Chess Not Checkers. Managing Class Notes In The Raiser's Edge. Android or Gmail User? You Need To Know About This Google Authenticator. Top 5 Ways Small Business Can Use Evernote. Which Project Management Software Works Best for Small Business? Top 4 Password Management Software for Small Business. The Top 3 CRM Systems for Small Business. Why SnagIt is the Best Screen Capture Application. Why you need to try Parallels Desktop in MAC. GIMP Free Graphic Design Software for Small Business. Dropbox vs Google Drive. How to Manage Social Media Account by Hootsuite or TweetDeck. Snagit An Excellent Screen Capture Tool. The Top 5 Benefits of Email Marketing. Spotify or Pandora? Raiser’s Edge Consulting. The Best Backup Solution for Your Wordpress Website.
Microsoft OneNote vs Evernote: What's The Right Tool for You? Raiser's Edge Data Integrity System. A Quick Tip: Putting Two Names On One Record In The Raiser's Edge. What Is Microsoft Edge and What's So Cool About Its Potential. Notepad: Where Data Goes To Die In The Raiser's Edge. Looking For Resources For Prospect Research Success? Want To Know What You Need To Setup An Event In RE and NetCommunity? Raiser's Edge Data Integrity System. Lebertech Blog Posts on the Raiser’s Edge. Raiser's Edge Training. Data Request Forms. Raiser’s Edge Database Audit. Raiser’s Edge Consulting. Our Solutions. Nonprofit Document Library. Elite Training Program for Raiser's Edge. Raiser’s Edge.