Thursday, April 30, 2015

Getting the Most out of SmartSimple - Webinars

Did you miss our first two webinars in our Getting the Most out of SmartSimple series? Check out the links below to see what you missed.

Be sure to check out the events page on our website for upcoming webinars in May.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Get Your Data Out of your System and Onto the Map!

One of the biggest challenges our granting clients – and, indeed, many organizations – face, is access to current, reliable data on the web. While many maintain their own databases of statistics, trends, contacts and the like, there’s been no reliable central location where information on who is funding what and where, leading to something akin to a scavenger hunt when looking for details on regional giving.

Back in October, 2014, the Forum of Regional Associations of Grant Makers and the Foundation Center came together to create a partnership, aimed at improving the quality and effectiveness of grant making through the strategic collection and sharing of data.

And thus, Get on the Map was born.
Get on the Map’s goal is to create platforms and systems for collecting and translating data into intuitively searchable information via an interactive mapping tool. Specific areas of focus include:
·         Philanthropic Data: Encourage members of regional associations to centralize and standardize giving data. This data will be accessible to all members through an interactive map, helping inform funding decisions and tracking trends.
·         Philanthropy Research: Templates for research reports will be available so information about regional giving can be more easily and efficiently published and shared, providing regionally focused funders with critical information about funding patterns in their communities.
·         Philanthropy Tools: Data visualization, benchmarking, and knowledge management tools will provide regional associations with continuous access to comprehensive data on the work of their member foundations, empowering users to gain valuable insight from the information.

Twenty regional associations participated in the kick-off, sharing data from more than 2,700 organizations. That translates to over $38 billion in grants across the United States. The Get on the Map campaign encourages funders to share information through the Foundation Center's eReporting system.

Participants receive a free interactive map of their own grants, and regional associations will be able to provide access to a map of their members' giving data, creating a national picture of what is being spent where, and in what areas of interest. Administered through the Foundation Center's powerful Foundation Maps platform, the maps provide open access to information about the activities of fellow funders.

Interested in learning more? Check out the Get on the Map toolkit for everything you need to get yourself started, including an informative series of webinars to help guide curious funders through the process of joining this amazing online community.

Learn more about SmartSimple by visiting our website, checking out our YouTube videos, requesting a demo, signing up for our newsletter, or attending one of our upcoming webinars.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

A Very Successful Community Conference!

Mike Reid welcomes our guests.
SmartSimple’s 4th Annual Community Conference took place on Wednesday, April 15th, and, thanks to our clients, it was a great success.

The beautiful conference room at the Cathedral Centre.
“What a wonderful day!” says Sarah Harris, Director, Client Support and Operations. “It was so good to see so many familiar faces and so many new faces as well this year. All the sessions were well received, and there were some great conversations. I’d like to thank everyone on the SmartSimple team who helped out for the day, in particular Paul Dimerin, who did most of the organizing for the event.”

Eric Lauer talks Versioning.
“This was the best turnout we’ve had so far,” adds Paul Dimerin, SmartSimple’s Marketing Coordinator. “The Community Conference is the perfect opportunity for both our clients and our team to put names to faces, and take some time to get to know each other.”

Cameron McLean and Keith Yau address the room.
The day was filled with active discussions and interactive presentations. In particular, the ever popular Town Hall, where the floor is opened up to the clients for questions, comments and ideas, was extremely engaging. “The Town Hall is my favorite session,” continues Sarah, “It gives us a window into exactly what our clients are thinking, feeling, and are curious about when it comes to their SmartSimple system. This is where we get to really learn what we can do to enhance our software and improve the overall customer experience.”

“I’d also like to thank the staff at the Cathedral Centre for their help during the day,” adds Paul. “They ensured everyone had everything they needed – from chairs to coffee – and made both our team and our clients feel welcome.”
Attendees take notes during the conference.

A final thank you to all our clients who made time to join us. We’re already looking forward to next year’s conference, and
hope to see you there!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Counting Down – The SmartSimple Community Conference is One Week Away!

With just days to go until the 4th Annual SmartSimple Community Conference, the entire SmartSimple team is gearing up and getting ready for a great day of collaboration, learning and networking.

“Our annual community conferences are all about our clients,” says Sarah Harris, Director, Client Support and Operations.  “We really look forward to these events as an opportunity to not only share what we’ve been doing to enhance the SmartSimple experience for our clients and their communities, but an opportunity for us to get the valuable input and feedback that we use to shape the future.”

As well as sharing new features and enhancements, this year’s attendees will have the first peak at our new customer care package, rolling out in the next few months. “We’re always looking at new initiatives that improve our relationship with our own community,” continues Sarah, “anyone can create a software package; it takes a special kind of company to acknowledge that it’s people – not technology – that make a product great.”

There are still a few spaces left, and we’d love to see you. Registration ends on Friday, April 10th, so be sure to sign up through our registration page and let us know what sessions you’d like to attend.

You can find all the information you need on our past blogs:

Discover the Power of Collaboration – find out about our new format for this year’s conference, how the day will run and all about The Cathedral Centre, our beautiful venue for the day. We’ve even included some local sights to check out if you happen to be in the city for a couple of days.

How to Get There, Where to Stay – this post covers all the details on how to get to the conference, where you can park, public transit and local hotels.

Meet the Presenters – curious to know which SmartSimple experts will be hosting what sessions? Find out who you’ll meet and a bit about the people behind the software.

If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact Paul Dimerin either by email or by phone at 866.239.0991 Ext.126. We look forward to seeing you on April 15th!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The SmartSimple Annual Community Conference – Meet the Presenters

SmartSimple’s 4th Annual Community Conference in Toronto, Canada, is coming up fast, and we’re glad to see so many of our clients are making the trip to spend the day with us.

Getting There
Check out our last blog post for full information on how to get to the conference, places to stay and finding parking.

Our Annual Conference is a great opportunity for SmartSimple users to interact directly with our team. Not only will we share information on what’s coming for the rest of this year, this event is also a chance for us to hear directly from our clients.

“We learn so much at these conferences,” says Sarah Harris, Director, Client Support and Operations. “While we do host these events to share our expertise and knowledge about the future of SmartSimple, we also love hearing directly from our clients about changes in their industries, ideas for future upgrades and get feedback on how recent enhancements are working for them.”

So, who will you be hearing from on April 15th? Here’s a brief introduction to the people that will be sharing their knowledge with you:

Mike Reid
Mike Reid – Mike is our Chief Operating Officer and co-founder of SmartSimple Software. SmartSimple was born in 2002, the brain child of Mike and Keith Yau, our Chief Technology Officer, in Toronto, Canada. Their goal was to help organizations connect with their communities and streamline administrative processes. Mike is also currently a Mentor with Futurpreneur Canada, helping young entrepreneurs realize their goals. He will be hosting our State of the Nation and Town Hall sessions with Keith and Cameron.

Keith Yau
Keith Yau – Our Chief Technical Officer and co-founder along with Mike Reid, Keith keeps the engines of SmartSimple running. Responsible for all oversight of our platform development team, he is a graduate of the University of Hong Kong and has a plethora of technical knowledge and experience. Keith will be speaking during the State of the Nation session in the morning and the Town Hall in the afternoon alongside Mike and Cameron.
Cameron McLean
Cameron McLean – SmartSimple’s President, Cameron McLean, has been with us for more than six years. He’s a seasoned IT professional, currently responsible for creating, planning, implementing, and integrating our strategic direction. Join Cameron for both our State of the Nation and Town Hall sessions, along with Mike and Keith.

David Resnick
David Resnick – David is our Director, Strategic Initiatives & Product Marketing, and has been with SmartSimple for nearly five years. An MBA graduate of Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada, David is an expert strategic developer and market researcher. He will be co-hosting the Product Roadmap session with Chin.

Eric Lauer
Eric Lauer – With a strong background in implementation, support, system administration, team management and customer service, Eric is SmartSimple’s Director of Customer Experience. His goal is to ensure our clients know SmartSimple is their trusted partner, ensuring they’re making the most of their grants, research and claims management systems. Join Eric for back-to-back morning sessions on Customer Care and our new Versioning feature.

Chin Chuah

Chin Chuah – As SmartSimple’s Systems Controller, Chin is responsible for the management of our infrastructure and oversees the development processes. A graduate of the University of Toronto in Toronto, Canada, with a Bachelor of Applied Science (BASc) in Computer Engineering, Chin will be leading the Product Roadmap session in the afternoon with David.
Mark Bridger

Mark Bridger – Mark acts as both our Web User Interface Lead and Graphic Designer. He has expertise in user interface and user experience testing, website design, graphic design, illustration and training. Mark has been with SmartSimple for more than four years and is an integral part of the Platform Development Team. Join Mark for our Arcadia X demonstration, hosted alongside Karim.

Madhulika Sharma – Madhulika is a Project Manager and Implementation Team Lead. During her
Madhulika Sharma
nearly seven years with SmartSimple, she has also held positions as an Application and Support Training Specialist and an Implementation Specialist. Madhulika holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Delhi and her Masters in Computer Applications. She will be hosting the Case Management Hour in the afternoon.

Dr. Teresa Clarke
Dr. Teresa Clarke – Dr. Teresa Clarke holds a PhD in Structural Biology from the University of Calgary and a B.Sc. from McMaster University, both in Canada, and is our Director of Research
Solutions. Teresa was a long time SmartSimple user before she joined the organization two years ago. She is uniquely positioned to ensure that SmartSimple continues to bring about solutions that truly assist our clients. Join her session on how to make the most of Panel Manager.

Karim Fahmi
Karim Fahmi – Karim is SmartSimple’s Pre-Sales Technical Analyst, and recently celebrated his second year with us. Having earned his BA in Information Technology from York University in Toronto, Canada, he is an integral member of the sales team, contributing to the formulation of strategies and technical approaches, including planning for pre-sales campaigns. He and Mark will be demonstrating updates to our Arcadia X platform.

You’ll also have the opportunity to meet other members of the SmartSimple team, and we all look forward to talking with you. There’s still time to sign-up, but spaces are filling up fast! Visit our registration page to register for sessions.

If you have any questions, please also feel free to contact Paul Dimerin either by email or by phone at 866.239.0991 Ext.126. We look forward to seeing you on April 15th!