Wednesday, June 22, 2016

SmartSimple is selected as an Inaugural Partner in Amazon Web Services Government Competency Program

The SmartSimple team is excited to announce that Amazon Web Services (AWS) has selected SmartSimple to their newly launched AWS Government Competency Program. This brand new program includes a number of well-known organizations like Accenture, Trend Micro, Lockheed Martin and Unisys.

Amazon Web Services powers hundreds of thousands of businesses in the cloud. Their customers are located in 190 countries around the world and include a wide array of businesses, including entertainment, travel, manufacturing and IT companies.

The AWS Competency Program recognizes Amazon Partner Network (APN) partners who have shown not only a high level of technical proficiency, but a proven track record of customer success in specialized solution areas.

“By achieving recognition in this prestigious program — and as the only Canadian organization to do so for Government Competency — SmartSimple has demonstrated we’re an organization that offers mission-critical solutions to government agencies on AWS, and showcases another way we differentiate ourselves in the SaaS marketplace,” says Alex Wong, Marketing Manager at SmartSimple. “And we don’t just work with governments; we also provide solutions to Fortune 100 and 500 corporate foundations, and other large organizations.”

Partners selected to join the AWS Competency Program have proven they have a strong overall AWS practice and demonstrated technical prowess within a particular area of competency. Customers in these industries can be assured they’re working with highly qualified service providers, as all partner products and solutions are validated by internal AWS teams.
2016 AWS Public Sector Summit in Washington DC (June 20-23)
SmartSimple has already met the high standards outlined by AWS to work with their FedRAMP-approved GovCloud, a service that helps support U.S. government clients’ strong compliance requirements.

“Just last year, SmartSimple achieved the level of  Advanced Technology Partner. This means we’re among the Independent Software Vendors (ISVs), SaaS, PaaS, management and security vendors that offer software solutions in conjunction with AWS,” continues Alex.

“It’s an honor for us to be recognized once again by AWS for our work, and we look forward to a long and rewarding relationship with our friends at AWS,” concludes Alex.

To request a demonstration of our solution for governments, please visit our website or contact our sales team via email or toll-free at 866.239.0991.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Trending and Transparency - The State of the Granting Industry

Enter the term “trends in granting” into Google and you’ll get back 38,700,000 results. You’ll find a wide range of documents, including reports from well-respected organizations, blogs written by grantmakers, case studies and fact sheets.

That’s a lot of information, and few have the time to sift through it all. Yet grantmakers need to keep up to date on the latest trends to learn what will be a short-term fad and what’s going to impact how they award funding in the future.

How is the granting space changing?
We did some digging ourselves and discovered three major topics of note that all revolve around the predominant theme of transparency in the granting industry.

This is thanks to a range of factors, including the prevalence of smart technology and social media that has lead to the growing use of digital media to share outcomes. This topic is heavily influenced by the millennial generation moving into more senior, decision-making roles. We’re also seeing an increasing focus on more business-like impact reporting of granting outcomes to show the clear impact of funding activities.

Outcomes Based Granting and Impact Reporting
“This is a quickly growing trend in the foundation world. Foundations are looking at ways to track not just their data but also the nonprofits they serve. They want to be very clear about what their dollars are doing,” Danette Peters, the founder of Onyx Consulting and long-standing member of the Grants Managers Network says in relation to this important topic.

The Evolution of Annual Reporting and the Relationship Between Foundations and Nonprofits
While traditionally, foundations would publish an annual report that covered money in and money out, now more information is being sought that digs deeper than just dollars spent.

Rather than simply focusing on amounts awarded, boards and funders are looking for a deeper understanding, such as what changes in the community you serve benefited? What was the impact of those funds on people’s lives?

According to a recent article in the Huffington Post, “Nobody gets an A for effort anymore. You get an A for impact.”

“The general trend is moving towards greater donor involvement and transparency” Haifa Staiti, Manager, Client Services, Grantbook Inc. Haifa is a grantmaking and philanthropy specialist with over 10 years of experience working with large foundations.

The Millennial Impact
Those born between 1980 and 2000 have a unique approach to workplace management and engagement as well as philanthropy, so foundations would do well to pay attention to this generation as they move up the corporate ladder, according to the 2016 Deloitte Millennial Survey.

“Millennials do a lot of online research before they donate so they can quickly confirm if the cause they are looking to fund is legitimate and the money will go towards something they care about,” says Sandra Liberty, senior consultant at Smartech Consulting. Having worked in the nonprofit world for nearly 20 years, Sandra has experience in a diverse range of organizations including healthcare, education and security.

This is why, according to an article in AdWeek, larger charitable organizations are starting to rethink their strategy, moving away from traditional mass marketing and workplace giving to crowdfunding and social media initiatives to woo this generation of donors.

What granting leaders need to know
Collaborative relationships are being actively developed between foundations and nonprofits and nonprofits and their donors. Impact reporting will also continue to be a major focus, and organizations are developing strategies to entice millennials to engage with them.

How is this happening? Are foundations and nonprofits willing to change how they work together? Are millennials truly going to make long term changes to how the industry is managed and fundraises?
Are you prepared for the next shift?
Combined with impactful statistics from reports produced by Deloitte, The Bridgespan Group, and the Foundation Review Center for Effective Philanthropy, learn what else our experts have to share by downloading our white paper.