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Showing posts from 2014

Happy Holidays from the SmartSimple Team!

Trees are trimmed, presents wrapped, cookies good to go! While our team is getting ready to celebrating with our families, we haven't forgotten our SmartSimple community needs us, too!

This holiday season, we’re offering the following hours from our Support Desk to serve you through this merry season. Holiday Support Hours: Monday, December 22 8 am - 9 pm EST (Regular Hours) Tuesday, December 23 8 am - 9 pm EST (Regular Hours) Wednesday, December 24 8 am - 5 pm EST Thursday, December 25 Closed Friday, December 26 8 am - 5 pm EST Monday, December 29 8 am - 9 pm EST (Regular Hours)

SmartSimple Shares the Holiday Spirit!

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Bright lights, festive music and glittering parties abound at this time of year. But for many families, the holiday season brings more stress than joy. It’s hard to think about buying presents for your children when you’re not sure if you can both pay rent and put food on the table. Fortunately, there are organizations like Holiday Helpers and their Adopt-a-Family program, and once again, SmartSimple is taking part by providing a traditional Christmas to a family in need.
“It’s been such a rewarding experience for us, being able to give an entire family not just presents but the entire holiday experience,” says Sarah Jane Nicholson, Relationship Manager at SmartSimple and coordinator of the Adopt-a-Family initiative. “We get a wish list from the parents for every member of the family, so we know we’re giving them and their children what they really want. It’s so much more personal than just providing the necessities. We get to give the fun stuff too!”
Since 1996, Holiday Helpers has …

2014 Wrap-up – Highlights of SmartSimple’s Upgrades

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As 2014 draws to a close and the New Year approaches, the SmartSimple team wanted to share our favorite new features from this past year. While it’s not easy to narrow down the best of the best, we think the following five are worth an honorable mention:
Arcadia X In May, SmartSimple brought you Arcadia X, the next generation of our Arcadia interface and our alternative to an icon-based portal. Arcadia X gives System Administrators a new way to build personalized, role-based portals with features like tab-based navigation, list views, enhanced filtering and searching options. Change permissions, add portals, lock down, grant access and reassign as you see fit – it’s all up to you!

We did a little tweaking of the interface in November, making it even more intuitive by moving the menu tabs to the top of the page and grouping them.
Simplify Integration Over the summer, SmartSimple’s GMS360o was the first solution to go live with Simplify.
Simplify, from GuideStar and the Technology Affini…

SmartSimple now a GSA Supplier to the United States Government

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SmartSimple is pleased to announce that we are now a United States Government General Service Agreement (GSA) Advantage supplier.
What is the GSA Advantage? GSA Advantage is the United States government’s online superstore. Their website provides access to millions of products and services from thousands of contractors and suppliers. Being listed on this site lets all levels of government – from federal to municipal – know that SmartSimple is an authorized supplier. This ensures government agencies can take advantage of pre-negotiated prices while enjoying the security of dealing with a GSA approved source.
What does it mean for SmartSimple? Being a GSA Advantage supplier means we’re part of a short list of pre-approved companies providing services for any government agency looking for a grants management software solution. It makes us a much more attractive option to potential government clients.
What does it mean for SmartSimple clients? GSA Advantage status gives SmartSimple an adde…

SmartSimple 2014 Year in Review Webinars

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Join SmartSimple founders Michael Reid and Keith Yau as they recap and showcase their favourite SmartSimple enhancements from the past year, as well as changes to SmartSimple as a company. 
This interactive half hour webinar will highlight what changes we've made to help improve your processes and how you interact with your communities. You'll also have the opportunity to learn and discuss what we did in the past year and hear about our exciting plans for what we have in store for you in 2015.
Tuesday, December 9th @ 1pm ESTFriday, December 12th @ 10am EST
Visit our Events page to register!

Bienvenidos, Hoşgeldiniz, Croeso, Welcome! – SmartSimple is a Positive Space

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There are a lot of things that make SmartSimple a great place to work. We make cool software, we collaborate with awesome organizations, and we have super smart people from all over the world who make our offices dynamic, creative environments.
It takes a variety of people to create a space that’s inclusive and unified, and that includes welcoming new Canadians to our head office team in Toronto. A number of our employees are new to Canada, and there are things we like to do at SmartSimple – not just as an employer but as people – to ensure everyone feels welcome and valued.
For starters, when you visit the offices at 111 Peter Street, you’ll see a plethora of international flags proudly displayed in the reception area. These flags represent where we all originally hail from, and include places like India, China, Barbados, Greece and Morocco among them.
The other thing you’ll notice is we also have a sign by the door identifying us as a Positive Space.
Being a Positive Space doesn’t…

Gathering, Analyzing and Acting – SmartSimple at TAG

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The SmartSimple team broke out the sun block and headed to the annual Technology Affinity Group (TAG) conference in Turnberry Isle, Miami, from November 10th – 13th. This four day event brought together experts from foundations, not-for-profits and technology suppliers to network, learn and share industry best practices.
The theme for the 2014 conference was Data: Gather, Analyze, Act!, and the agenda featured sessions on how foundations and other organizations are using technology to improve the granting process.
“The conference was a great opportunity for everyone to gain insight and ideas,” says Brian Lai, Business Analyst at SmartSimple. “Discussion topics included business process improvement, security and information management. TAG also provided an app for all attendees, making it easier to track when and where events were happening, and included options to register and confirm attendance.”
Our President, Cameron MacLean, was invited to speak at the Plenary: Simplify Update s…

The Latest and Greatest – SmartSimple Introduces our November 2014 Upgrades

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Welcome to your final round of SmartSimple upgrades for 2014! These latest enhancements will be accessible to our SaaS clients as of Thursday, November 20, 2014.
Please note two of the features are on-demand options, easily configured by your System Administrator.
Updated Functionality for Maximum Word/Character Limit Users could always see what the content limit was before they started, how many words or characters they had left and when they have gone over the word or character limit for a particular field.
We’ve now enhanced this feature to display how many characters/words over the limit you have gone. The character/word limit will still be enforced once you hit “save.” 

Additional Visibility Options on Company/Contact Custom Fields This field improvement gives you more control over custom fields on user and company profiles. You can now easily determine and configure what company categories and user roles each field will be attributed to.

Enhanced Arcadia Interface We’ve also made…

A Successful First Community Conference in Chicago!

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On Wednesday, November 5, 2014, SmartSimple hosted our first community conference in Chicago. Held at the offices of the Chicago Community Trust, the day was jam-packed with informative and interactive sessions involving both the SmartSimple team, current clients and people looking to learn more about what we’re all about.
“I was really excited to see a full house,” says Sarah Harris, Operations Manager at SmartSimple. “We’d never done anything like this outside of Toronto, Canada, so we were thrilled at the level of interest!”
The purpose of the conference was twofold – it gave our team the opportunity to have face-to-face discussions with current and prospective users, and it provided a networking opportunity for those in the Chicago granting community, opening doors and making introductions. “It was great that the people who came out were not just interested in what they could lean and share with us, but also interested in looking for ways to stay connected to each other outside o…

GMS360° – Your Solution for Community Foundation Management

Community foundations are registered charities that fill a vital role in the growth and prosperity of our neighborhoods. Donations are collected, then distributed, to other registered charities to fund social welfare initiatives that improve the lives of local residents.
Many different groups of people work with community foundations; grant applicants, donors, volunteers, program managers, board members and more, and the needs of each of these groups is unique. From funding applications to financial distribution to managing fundraising events, it’s a lot to keep track of.
Fortunately, SmartSimple has the perfect solution, and we call it GMS360o.
GMS360o provides community foundations with one, highly personalizable platform to manage all their administrative processes. Our GMS360o software will accommodate any foundation, no matter how big or small.
Our clients use GMS360o to coordinate a multitude of tasks. At the center is a flexible fund management tool that gives users the power …

SmartSimple Attends the Conference Board of Canada’s Corporate Social Responsibility Conference

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On October 29th and 30th, the SmartSimple team took part in the very first Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Conference. Hosted by the Conference Board of Canada, the event took place at the Hilton in Toronto, Canada. The theme for this inaugural event was Delivering Meaningful Impact.
“We really enjoy attending events like this,” says David Resnick, Director, Strategic Initiatives and Product Placement, “We always appreciate the opportunity to share the power of SmartSimple with organizations looking to easily manage and run their CSR activities. Plus, it’s great to speak to our existing clients and hear about how well SmartSimple is working for them.” Also in attendance from SmartSimple’s Toronto team were Sarah Jane Nicholson, Relationship Manager, and our new Inside Sales Manager, Alvin Thompson.
This summit gave participants the chance to learn, explore and discuss best practice strategies for companies of all sizes, helping them to implement corporate sustainability strate…

SmartSimple at the 2014 Fall Conference for Community Foundations

From October 19th until October 22nd, our SmartSimple sales team got to hang out with the movers and shakers of the community foundations world at the 2014 Fall Conference for Community Foundations.
Symbolically hosted in Cleveland, Ohio – the birthplace of the community foundation – by the Council on Foundations, this conference celebrated 100 years of people working together to create dynamic local neighbourhoods. First conceived as a notion by Frederick Goff in 1914, his ground-breaking initiative, the Cleveland Foundation, was developed to inspire people to take charge and develop communities they were proud to call home. Since then, millions of people around the world have become active in improving and building their neighbourhoods, from Germany to New Zealand and from Mozambique to Egypt.
Alas, this year’s event marked the final Fall Conference for Community Foundations, so we’re glad we were able to attend. The SmartSimple booth, located on the second floor of the Cleveland C…

A Pinch of This, and a Dash of That – The SmartSimple Recipe for Board Support

As a Software as a Service (SaaS) provider, SmartSimple regularly fields requests and queries from clients looking to improve efficiencies and streamline their work. These calls offer great insight into features we consider adding to improve our products for everyone, and are often the basis of our bi-monthly upgrade offerings.
For example, one of our Grants Management GMS360o solution users called, asking if there was a way they could use SmartSimple to help administer their board management process. They were using another program – which wasn’t ideal – and wondered if there was something we could do to help.
Presented with a new opportunity to “wow” a client, we decided to see what kind of solution we could provide.
We already had all the ingredients needed to build board books in GMS360o via the Universal Tracking ApplicationTM (UTATM). No new coding was needed, just a little mixing and blending (then bake at 375o until golden…) to configure what our client needed.
After a bit o…

Communing with the Chicago Community

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On Wednesday, November 5, 2014, SmartSimple will hold our very first Community Conference in Chicago, Illinois (a special thank you to the Chicago Community Trust for hosting this inaugural event)!

Why a Community Conference?
SmartSimple Community Conferences are an opportunity to meet, share and learn. More than just a platform for us to show what’s new, we open a dialogue with attendees about how our software makes work smarter and easier for them, learning from each other to ensure we’re creating the products our clients really need, with features they really want.

This is a unique opportunity for people to provide Input, and conversation during demonstrations is actively encouraged. These discussions give us real input from real users, and are often the basis for upgrades and enhancements to our software.

We’ve been holding conferences for years in Toronto, but with so many of our clients based in the U.S., we wanted to “share the love” with our neighbours to the south, while gain…

Stepping Back to Jump Forward

Every so often, one of our clients brings us a challenge that’s not only interesting but, like dropping a pebble in a pool of water, has a ripple effect that benefits the entire SmartSimple community.
Take, for example, a request from one of our major retail clients. We’ve been working with this organization for many years and across several initiatives. Recently, they came to us with an interesting conundrum, giving us the opportunity to see what kind of innovative solution our team could come up with.
As a foundation-based charity, they needed the ability to provide not only unique branding, but distinct entry points into the same copy of SmartSimple.
The reason?
Multiple funders were contributing resources to one major initiative, so the website could not be branded for any one company. Because their partners were also well recognized brands, there was a need to somehow create several “aliases”; distinct entry points into the same instance of SmartSimple, but appearing to the dono…

“Standing on the Shoulders of a Giant” – Alan Turing, the Father of Modern Computing

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When you visit the newly renovated SmartSimple offices in Toronto, Canada, you’ll notice a series of murals featuring historical moments in computing. One in particular depicts the man considered by many to be the father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence, Alan Mathison Turing.
Born June 23, 1912 in London, England, Turing’s genius was apparent early on in his childhood, and by the time he was 13-years-old, he discovered a particular interest in both math and science.
Turing attended King’s College at the University of Cambridge. In 1934, he delivered a paper, On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem (a German term meaning literally “decision problem”), citing the notion of a machine capable of computing just about anything. This became the central concept for modern day computers.
After Cambridge, Turing studied mathematics and cryptology at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. After receiving his Ph.D. in …

Learning Together – ORCID’s Research Funding Webinar

Most organization use more than one tool to meet their operational requirements. It takes a balance of several tools that seamlessly integrate to create a complete solution.  That’s why SmartSimple – as a provider of research management software – was excited to attend a recent webinar presented by ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID), a fellow member of the research management community.
By linking up with organizations like ORCID, we provide applicants and researchers with options such as the ability to import their profiles directly into SmartSimple, ensuring accuracy and saving time.
The webinar, hosted in conjunction with the Health Research Alliance, was entitled Why Research Funders are using ORCID Identifiers. This informative session focused on how funders are using ORCID identifiers in their workflows and systems, and featured presentations by leaders at private and public funding organizations in the U.S. and Europe.


Webinar: Why research funders are using ORCID ident…

September 2014 Upgrades – What’s New, What’s Cool!

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The SmartSimple Development Team has some great system-wide upgrade features for the fall (or spring depending on where you are in the world)! Upgrades will go live for most clients on Friday, September 26th. Visit our Wiki for full details:
SmartFolder Interface – We’ve brought you a cleaner, more contemporary view of your SmartFolders, making it easier to find and identify sub folders in your system. Scheduling Conflict Alert Feature – Be notified of scheduling conflicts before you book your next meeting or event in your SmartSimple calendar. The scheduling conflict feature alerts you instantly if someone you’ve invited is already booked for that date and time. You’ll still be able to include them in the event, but you’ll have the advantage of knowing if they have a previous engagement.
Web Page View in a Light Box – Now users have the ability to launch a web page view in a light box (a view that highlights images in a new window) rather than a pop-up window. The light box option mea…

Mountains, Salmon and Dog Sled Racing – SmartSimple goes to Alaska!

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In early September, 2014, SmartSimple Project Manager, Madhulika Sharma, journeyed to Anchorage, Alaska, to provide two days of on-site training for one of our newest clients, The Rasmuson Foundation.
This is our first client in the great state of Alaska, and Madhulika the first SmartSimple employee to venture to the far north. The Foundation’s Statement of Work (SOW) was completed in early 2014, and full implementation should be completed by the end of October, 2014. Madhulika was invited out by the Foundation’s CEO, Ian Dutton, to provide on-site end user system administration training. “I was very happy to meet Ian,” said Madhulika, “and I was thrilled to find out he’s a fellow cricket player! He’s shared the field with many legends of the game, and it was great to find we had a common interest.”
The goal of the first part of the Foundation’s training schedule was to create super users to handle the administration of the system, allowing the Foundation to be self-sufficient. Over …