Tag Archives: Purple Vision News

We’ve taken the pledge – pledge 1%

Fear not, this is no pronouncement of our support for the temperance movement (though ask us after our Christmas Party and we may say differently).   This is about why we’ve chosen to Pledge 1% and what it means to us.

Read about Pledge 1%

About the Pledge

Pledgeonepercent is – in a neat and tidy nutshell – all about corporate social responsibility.  Giving back.  Being active members of the communities we live in.  It is a philanthropic movement to encourage businesses of all sizes to be good citizens as well as good employers.

Essentially, you can pledge four things

  • Equity – this is the polite way of saying cash.
  • Product – if an organisation has a software product, offering 1% of that product for non-profits to use is included in this
  • Time – the simplest metric of all – staff days or time.
  • 1/1/1 – all three of the above elements.

Why we’ve taken the Pledge

Purely and simply, we’ve taken the pledge as we believe it fits with our values and ethos as an organisation – where we are now and where we started from.  Doing the right thing and being on our customer’s side are critical to who we are and what we do, and what makes us ‘purple’ as a team.  Making sure we stay focused on our part in the world matters to us.

Of course, we could just have got on with doing our bit without signing a pledge.  Many organisations do.  We’ve chosen to sign up so that we can be counted as part of the movement, and help others to look at and consider the pledge too.  Collective impact of a movement is easier to measure – and with measurement comes the evidence of what the programme is achieving.  And thus encourages more organisations to take part in something meaningful.

How we set about doing it.

Applying to participate is the easy bit.  Understanding how our team – a group of strong individuals – want to use that time a little more complicated.

Mike, our Chief Operating Officer and organisational development specialist, opted for a staff survey to gather opinion and ideas about the kind of benefits the team would expect to gain, and also look at the initiatives we could consider as a team.

Collating the feedback was enlightening.  Not least because it revealed the extent to which staff are already freely involved in giving of one kind or another.  Most importantly, it revealed more of the spirit that sits in the Purple Vision team and the passions that drive individuals in their daily lives.

The majority in the team asked the organisation to steer away from collective activities that involved politics or religion, but these are of course a strong personal preference for many and our relationships at work are already respectful of any boundaries that these two areas can create – so it felt like a natural ask from the team and one we are happy to accept.

Our collective endeavours will focus on areas where we have identified a shared concern or passion.

What it means for us

We’re keen that Pledge 1% is real and meaningful for the Purple Vision team, so this may be all you ever learn of our Pledge.  It’s really important for us that this isn’t about PR, but this is about doing the right thing to be members of our society and community.

Mainly, we’ll give our time as individuals, but probably for one day a year, we’ll work on a project as a team together.  Quietly, without pomp, but with a lot of purpose.

For some of us it will be a continuation of the kind of things we’ve already been doing.  For others a chance to explore opportunities that we may not have had before, to participate, understand and learn.

1% is a small step in the right direction.

Of course, in an ideal world, companies would be able to offer more than what sounds like a humble 1% to achieve meaningful and impactful social change.  1% sounds small.  1% time is 3 staff days a year – that also doesn’t sound a lot on paper.

But look two things here.

  • We’re a small company and 3 days a year is a lot of potential work time. So it is a sacrifice for us to make at an organisational level.
  • For our team of 20, 3 days each is 60 days a year. 2 calendar months a year of time, or 480 hours in working time

We know we can make a difference in that time.

More info:

  • If you’d like to know more about Purple Vision’s approach to Pledge 1%, give us a ring and ask to speak to Mike, or send your enquiry via our web form.
  • To sign the Pledge for your organisation, visit the website: – http://pledge1percent.org/

Pledge 1%

Fundraising Tag

No, not a new game,  but maybe it could be?  Antonina Romanova, our german-speaking lead consultant headed to Germany for Purple Vision recently… 

Fundraising Tag

Over 300 representatives of non-profit organisations gathered in Potsdam and Dresden in September for Fundraising Tag. Fundraising Tag PotsdamOrganised by fundraisingmagazine.de, and supported by sponsors including Purple Vision, the days offer a mix of sessions, workshops and networking time.

A fairly standard format, but for us the exciting element was that it was in German and would give us an
opportunity to learn more about our fast-expanding customer base in Germany.

We saw these events as not just an opportunity to share our knowledge and experience but also to learn the needs and and requirements of German organisations and get a deeper  understanding of the technology and tools they use and problems they face in their day-to-day activities.

We’ve all got something in common … 

All non-profits, regardless of where they are in the world share some common factors, but it’s the specific requirements that determine best practices, internal processes, applications and solutions.  These will always be different as they depend on range of factors including market, political and economic situations as well as regulations at a market and government level too.

Of course the other major factor influencing the people, processes and technologies in non-profits around the world is the vision, mission and strategy of the organisation – which will vary widely.

In the exhibitor area of the event we were interacting with Fundraising Day attendees. We shared our experience in non-profit industry, explaining how a proper strategy and a vision in combination with modern technology solutions can lead them to a more successful fundraising and brand recognition. Together with Account Managers from Salesforce.org Christiane  and Lisa, we showed a number of people the power that Salesforce offers non-profit organisations.

Some of the common questions about Salesforce were related to various functionality modules, such as  donation management, contact management, digital marketing, event management, grants, volunteers, data protection and, of course, costs.

A number of people were excited to hear that Salesforce.org grants 10 free licenses. However, a couple of people noticed that if you need a higher number of licenses, than they become quite expensive. I should mention that Salesforce licenses are heavily discounted for non-profit organisations. But them being not entirely free means that resources are actually invested into the product development.

Network and Learn

But Fundraising days are not just about representatives from non-profit organisations talking to the exhibitors who offer various solutions and services. Fundraising days are also about learning and networking. There was a number of sessions and seminars that attendees could attend. Each seminar was dedicated to a specific area or functionality.

fr-tage-1For example, a Purple Vision speaker Klemens Karkow was talking about fundraising for small and medium clubs and associations.

Some other speakers were sharing their knowledge on how to build a successful partnership with corporate sponsors, how to better understand donors, how to work with major donors and how to benefit from social media and e-mail marketing. Each seminar provided not just a lot of content but also gave attendees an opportunity to ask their questions and get answers from the experts.

I have also attended one of the seminars. You can never know everything and I decided to use this opportunity to improve my industry knowledge. I attended a session on Practical Tips or How to Make Friends from Enemies.

It was very interesting to hear all the tips, related to organisation and contact donor journey communication. There were, however, a couple of aspects that made me think on how to bring together time proven best practices and the tendency of donors becoming more and more digital. One of the things mentioned by the presenter was that a research showed that if you send donors handwritten Thanks You letters within 7 days after the first donation, a chance to receive the next donation within 12 months is 16% higher than if you thanks them by email or print a letter and send it per post. I agree that for certain groups of donors, this will be the right approach. But if an organisation wants to attract younger donors, it should also consider other ways. And that’s were a marketing journey with 1:1 communication comes into play.

See you next time! 

I found Fundraising Days to be a great experience for non-profit organisations that could learn best practices, talk about consultancy and technical solutions to exhibitors and discuss their problems and successes with other non-profits.

2016-09-08-dresden-fundraising-tage-2At the same time it was a fantastic opportunity for Purple Vision and for me personally as it allowed us to get a better understanding of our current and future customers on the German market and learn about other solutions offered within it. As we are an independent consultancy, we should keep looking and investigating what tools are available in order to be able to offer our clients the best options.

See you at the next Fundraising Day!

 

 

Antonina is one of Purple Vision’s Lead Consultants for non-profit projects.  As well as being a Salesforce whizz, she also speaks Russian and German (hence being asked to help our German clients) and loves dancing.  She’ll be attending the next Fundraising Tag days in March. 

Solar panels to Salesforce Non Profit Starter Pack in 2 easy days

Solar panels to Salesforce Non Profit Starter Pack in 2 easy days

Alongside Africa’s motto is ‘opportunities not aid’, and this ethos extends through four key projects – micro-finance, craft activities, a street children programme and a child sponsorship programme.

Problems and solutions

Managing a charity in the UK and Uganda doesn’t come without challenges, but on this trip, Lawrance set out to solve one that has been holding them back.

The teams in Uganda and UK naturally need to work together very closely.  One of the issues has been sharing data and progress reports.  These not only inform donors of progress on projects but helps to ensure transparency.

The solution – Salesforce Non Profit Starter Pack – was clear. But the way to achieve it wasn’t quite as simple as we’d hope – the Ugandan team work in a location where electricity is not always available, internet connections patchy and IT skills and funds limited.

But one thing is in abundance in Uganda – sunshine.   And so a team of willing volunteers set about installing a solar panel in the Ugandan office location so Lawrance could provide the power and hook up routers for the internet. Only then could he start to install Salesforce, using the donation from the Salesforce Power of Us programme.

In the end, it took just two days to get the basic Salesforce system in place and copy over data from the legacy Access database. For Lawrance who holds Salesforce Admin certifications and is a consultant for Salesforce.org Impact partner Purple Vision this was the easy part!

Bringing bright hope

Lawrance tutors Alongisde African Uganda case workers in the use of Salesforce

Plans are already in place to expand the use of the system to record daily attendance of children at Amasiko and to use it to manage Alongside Africa’s micro-finance programme too.

This work can be carried out from both the UK or on-site in Uganda making Salesforce an extremely flexible solution, and enabling the charity to keep supporters up to date with the valuable contributions they make.

The rest of us felt a bit bad that our holidays had been spent in less worthwhile pursuits!

 

 

Follow the Alongside Africa story via www.alongsideafrica.org  and find out what else happened during Lawrance’s latest trip via the blog pages.