Wednesday, September 24, 2014

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

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.
SmartFolder View Before
New SmartFolder View
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.

Conflict Alert feature shows who has another appointment.
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 means you see a clean, clear presentation, and you never have to worry if your pop-up blocker is on when you want to open a page in a new window.

Previous Pop-up View
New Light Box View
Arcadia X – Arcadia X is the latest SmartSimple portal enhancement. Now it’s even easier to configure personalized portals without needing to know any specialized coding such as html, CSS or JavaScript. In addition to greater flexibility, Arcadia X gives your portals a modern look and feel.

Example of an Arcadia X Portal
Number Validation – Our enhanced number validation option gives you the ability to select the number format – percentage, integer, comma, decimal or currency – and the relevant currency symbol in a specific field. This upgrade also provides the ability to round any numeric value up or down based on your chosen precision. Select whole numbers, single or multiple decimals, nearest ten, hundred or thousand – it’s all up to you.
Previous Numbering Option View
New number validation feature offers personalized options.
As always, you can visit our Wiki for full details on this month’s upgrades, and be sure to check our webinar schedule and video library on YouTube for guided tours and demonstrations of all the new features.

Monday, September 22, 2014

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

Madhulika Sharma with the Rasmuson team
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 the two days, Madhulika introduced a team of administrators to SmartSimple’s GMS360o software, giving them their first real taste of how much the platform could do to help streamline and manage their granting process.

“Since the Foundation funds projects all over the United States, they’re going to be taking their SmartSimple software with them wherever they go. They were so excited to see what SmartSimple could do for them and so appreciative that I went to train them personally,” added Madhulika.

The trip – and the training – were a great success. “Madhulika was excellent! We are all so grateful she came up to visit work with us,” said CEO Ian Dutton.

Madhulika also enjoyed her time, and plans very definitely to return to Alaska. “Everyone was wonderful, so friendly and welcoming,” she said. “It’s just so beautiful there. No matter where you are, you see mountains all around you. It’s definitely a place I would recommend everyone visit – I’m taking my family there for a vacation next year!”

About The Rasmuson Foundation

The Rasmuson Foundation awards grants to both organizations located in Alaska that serve the local community and to individuals for projects, fellowships and sabbaticals. Grants are awarded for projects that focus on artists, performers and community organizations from within Alaska and throughout the continental United States. To learn more about them and the work they support, be sure to visit The Rasmuson Foundation at www.rasmuson.org

Friday, September 19, 2014

SmartSimple on the Road – The Volunteer Canada Conference Wrap-Up

Todd Lapin, Director of Strategic Accounts for SmartSimple, recently attended Volunteer Canada’s Annual Business and Community Engagement Forum in Ottawa, Canada. “This was the first time SmartSimple took part in this conference, and after an amazing two days, I’m pretty sure it won’t be the last,” said Todd.
 
Todd had the opportunity to meet a variety of industry professionals, sharing experiences and providing demonstrations of how SmartSimple helps companies streamline their employee matching gift and volunteering processes. “It’s always great when I introduce someone to our software for the first time, then see the excitement on their faces when they realize what it can do for them,” he said.
 
Todd also had the chance to attend a noteworthy presentation hosted by Stephanie Robertson, President of SiMPACT Strategy Group. She spoke to attendees about the future of volunteering in Canada and outlined some of the challenges companies are facing today.
 
“It’s clear there is an increased focus on volunteering programs in corporate culture. It’s a hot trend now, with employees looking to support local charities and not-for-profits by volunteering their time, sometimes during regular business hours,” continues Todd. “The problem companies face is programs aren’t well monitored or adequately communicated to their employees, making it difficult to properly manage resources.”
 
The presentation outlined an increasing need for better tracking, better metrics and improved monitoring of time and activities. With nearly half of companies surveyed for the presentation citing volunteering as a part of their flagship or signature giving program, there is very definitely a need for the kinds of software SmartSimple offers.
 
“Since each of our software platforms can be personalized to meet the needs of any company, there’s a real opportunity for us to help them by providing the technology that supports their priorities for both employee giving and volunteering. We provide managers with the tools to create a clear framework to communicate philanthropic opportunities to staff and encourage them to participate. We also provide the tools that help analyze and manage charitable activities, while giving employees clear guidelines on how they can take part,” said Todd.
 
Next up, SmartSimple will be attending the 2014 Fall Conference for Community Foundations, hosted by the Council on Foundations in Cleveland, Ohio, from October 19 – 27, 2014. We look forward to seeing you there!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Corporate Volunteer Engagement in Canada’s Capital



For the first time ever, SmartSimple is taking part in Volunteer Canada’s Annual Business and Community Engagement Forum in Ottawa, Canada, on September 9th and 10th, 2014.

The conference offers workshops for business leaders, academic researchers and practitioners in the public, private and non-profit sectors. It’s a great opportunity for industry professionals to showcase and explore practices, models and tools that strengthen community engagement and employer-supported volunteering in Canada.

Todd Lapin, SmartSimple’s Director of Strategic Accounts, will be running things at the SmartSimple booth, introducing participants to our solutions for volunteer management, employee giving, grants management and more. Drop by and say hello, or email sales@smartsimple.com to arrange a personal discussion with Todd.

Be sure to also check out the GrantsManagement section of the SmartSimple website for details on our GMS360o software and other solutions.

We’ll be following up on our experiences at the conference during a webinar on September 18th, 2014 – stay tuned for the complete details. We’ll be posting information in the next couple of weeks.

If you’re looking to gain insight into corporate philanthropy from industry leaders, this is the conference for you! Check out all the details on the Volunteer Canada website.

Hope to see you there!