Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Relationships 101: Working With Consultants

Idealware: Helping Nonprofits Make Smart Software Decisions
March 2015
Nonprofits often get by with versatile staff members and a lot of help from reliable volunteers. But sometimes you need a level of expertise or experience only a consultant can offer. Whether you're looking to implement a new system, replace an existing one, or customize software for your organization's particular needs, a consultant can help you think through your options, facilitate implementation, and work with your team to make sure everyone is up and running with your new technology solution.

However, if you've never worked with a consultant before, it can be challenging to know how to communicate with them and how to understand internal and external roles. How can you navigate this relationship to ensure that your organization gets what it needs, the project runs smoothly from start to finish, you stay on budget, and everyone feels good about the process.

Like all good relationships, it takes work. Our friends at TechSoup asked us to write an article guiding organizations through the process of establishing and maintaining those relationships. Read "How to Find, Hire, and Collaborate with Technology Consultants" for free here.
Other Resources
Last year we worked with ongoing partner SYNERGY: UJA-Federation of New York and Synagogues to research and write a white paper about how synagogues can use data-driven decision-making to transform their congregations. We’re pleased to announce that this free report is available today. While the report itself is specific to synagogues, we believe there’s overlap with the nonprofit sector as a whole, and lessons to be drawn for how all organizations can and do use data. Download “Data Maturity for Synagogues: Incorporating Data into the Decision-Making Culture" for free. 
We’ve got articles in the works on data migration, board portals, Content Management Systems for libraries, and more. We're also finishing up research for a number of reports, including a Consumers Guide to Case Management Systems and case studies about large nonprofits' performance management and what small organizations can learn from their examples. 
Upcoming Training
Our research doesn't just inform our articles and reports--it informs our training, as well. Find the full list here, or join one of those listed below. 
Jumpstart Your Social Media Strategy
Three 90-minute webinars, Wednesdays March 18 to April 11:00pm - 2:30pm Eastern. $95.00. Are you making the most of your social media presence? It’s not enough to be on one or two platforms. You need a strategy that can help you convert “likes” into a stronger voice, more donations, and activism that makes an impact.
Read more or register >>>
Visualizing Your Data Through Dashboards
Thursday March 19, 2015, 1:00 - 2:30pm EST. $40.00. 
Your senior staff and board of directors can benefit from the ability to view high level metrics for your organization, but it’s not obvious how to easily pull it all together. We'll outline what has worked for other organizations to define the metrics that should be tracked, strategies for compiling data from different systems, and possibilities for putting it all together into a visual dashboard.
Read more or register >>>
Six Reasons Why Infographics Matter
Tuesday April 7, 2015, 1:00pm - 2:00pm, Eastern. FREE. 
Why infographics? If you’ve never created one, they can seem daunting and expensive. However, when you find the right data and have the right story to tell, your Infographic can reach a wide audience and make a big difference in your community and beyond. Join us for a free webinar as we look at the six reasons why people love infographics—and why you might consider adding them to your communications mix.
Read more or register >>>
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If you know someone else at your organization or another that might benefit from our resources, let them know how to find us.
Have questions or concerns about Idealware? We love hearing from you—drop us a line at info@idealware.org, or email one of our staff.

Thanks for all you do to support nonprofits and Idealware. We’ll see you next month…

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