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5 Tips that Can Make Your Nonprofit Fundraising a Success

Nonprofit Fundraising Tips

Nonprofit fundraising should be easy, considering you are working towards a noble cause. The problem is there are thousands of organizations like yours vying for funds whose cause is just as noble. In order to stand out from that crowd, start getting creative with your fundraising efforts and you will quickly see your goals being met.

Make Your Fundraising Events Competitive

It is very hard to resist participating in an event that highlights your skills or shows off secret talents. This could be a cooking challenge, talent show, karaoke, or any type of sporting event. If you are able to create the right amount of hype around the competition, plenty of people are going to come out to watch as it unfolds, making generous donations in the process.

Holiday Spirit and Generosity

This is the time of year when people are feeling most generous. You can organize a group of volunteers who will expertly wrap presents for a small donation. If you have the right number of motivated volunteers you can even offer holiday shopping services. Or put on a holiday production or talent show, requesting a small admission fee.

Look Beyond Dollars

Donations of goods and services are equally as valuable as money. Ask business owners for donations of their products that can then either be sold, raffled or used as an incentive in fundraising events. Services from professionals are another great incentive. This method is often used in auctions, where the highest bidders are rewarded with handy man services, in-home cooking and other unique and extravagant services.

Utilize Kids to Gather Donations

Nothing tugs at the heart string harder than children. Recruit child volunteers, empower them with the knowledge of what your fundraising cause is for and how it will help people, then set them loose. Children can be a part of team to collect and raise money, request participation from friends & family and can also be active participants in shows or competitions where you request a donation for admission.

Thank Your Donors

At the heart of any nonprofit fundraising is gratitude. As the person who is actively working on raising money, it is up to you to show appreciation to your donors. You can do this easily by using their contact information. Enlist the help of a mass notification service like DialMyCalls to send text messages to your donors, thanking them for participating and letting them know what your efforts were able to accomplish. This will make it easier to get them to participate again at your next charitable event.

Nonprofit fundraising can be a success once you begin to think creatively. Look at your target donor and come up with ideas that will both inspire and entertain them while encouraging donations to your organization.



4 Tips That Can Help A Storage Facility Achieve Higher Profits

Storage Facility Tips

Reality television may make running a storage facility look like a party, but the real reality is that it is a business like any other where profits can be lost quickly if you are not diligent. Owners of storage facilities who follow these 4 easy to implement tips will soon find that they can meet their true profit potential:

Hire the Right Staff - Although customer interactions are limited with storage facilities, customer service is still highly important. Make sure that every member of your team is outgoing and friendly, with a running knowledge of how your operation works. Each staff member needs to have the knowledge to answer all customer questions about storage room sizing and pricing consistently. This may involve ongoing training, but your efforts will be well worth it.

Focus on Sales - Your business relies on converting phone inquiries and walk-ins into renters. Having a knowledgeable and friendly staff is the first step in increasing sales. Giving them incentives to make the sale is the next. Track new customers and reward the employees who recruiting the most each month. Also become more aggressive in your marketing. Offer a free month's rent to customers who bring in referrals, market your facility online, and make your building stand out with balloons and banners. Even the most skilled employee won't be able to do much if you are not driving people to your door.

Be Considerate of Your Current Customers - One problem that may be plaguing your business and disrupting cash flow is the collection of rent. Aggressively enforcing rent payments will only ensure that existing customers pack up their storage items as fast as possible. Instead, you can use automated tenant reminders through a mass notification service like DialMyCalls, where an SMS text message can be sent to all of your opted in customers a few days before rent is due. This is a less expensive and far less time consuming option than sending mail reminders or even e-mails. For customers who are late, you can send another message reminding them that they missed their payment. You can also send out messages to encourage current customers to participate in your referral program to get a free month's rent.

Keep Your Facility Clean and Updated - How embarrassed will a customer be if they were to recommend your facility only to have their friend balk because it is cluttered and dirty? You are responsible for housing people's personal items and prized possessions and your grounds and the storage boxes should reflect that. Make the appearance of your storage facility a priority every day by keeping the landscaping maintained, parking lot free of debris and walkways & empty storage containers clear of dirt, dust and cobwebs.

The business of storing people's property is a highly competitive one, with long lists of facilities found online. In order to be profitable in this business you need to set yourself apart from everyone else with the right staff, a great sales approach and a commitment of continued friendly service to your existing customers. Start with these steps and you will quickly see your storage containers filling up, and your monthly profits rise.



A 4-Step Guide to Running an Enjoyable and Safe Retirement Community

Retirement Community Tips

The population of the United States continues to get older as the average life expectancy continues to rise. It is estimated that in just 15 years, senior citizens will make up 20% of the total population. Overseeing a senior housing or retirement community puts you in a unique position of being able to help these seniors continue to enjoy a high quality of life, surrounded by their peers. Now out of the work force, seniors have adjustments to make in their daily lifestyle, and you have the power to help make that adjustment a pleasant one.

By following these four tips, the seniors inside of your retirement community can enjoy their golden years in a healthy and fulfilling environment:

Provide Comfortable Housing Choices

Senior housing needs differ from the rest of the population in subtle ways, and you can be subtle in accommodating them. Avoid stairs on the property, and where they are absolutely necessary make sure that you install sturdy handrails. Use faucets that are pushed on rather than turned, and make sure to have handles to help maintain balance in the shower or tub. All homes should have plenty of light sources, especially in work areas like the kitchen.

Create a Sense of Community

In a retirement community it is up to the administrators to plan events and have activities available that bring the members together. Many of your residents are struggling with a feeling of not knowing what to do, now that they have left the work force. Hold classes on topics of interest, such as learning how to live on a fixed income, or the benefits of holistic medicines. Also have classes and lessons on less serious subjects, such as cooking, dancing or even ways to improve a golf game. Engage with your community to find out what types of activities interest them, and then take the steps to ensure that they are readily available.

Mind the Health of Your Residents

You also want to ensure that your community members and their family feel secure about your retirement facility. Have emergency call buttons installed in each home and in areas where the seniors spend a good deal of time. Make sure that you have systems in place that will bring emergency medical assistance into your community quickly. Keep updated records of all members that includes important health information and contact details for relatives. This way, in the event that an emergency does arise, you can quickly get in touch with the closest family member using an emergency notification service such as DialMyCalls.

Stay Involved

The biggest contribution you can make to a retirement community is to be a part of it. Make sure that you and all of your staff members are taking time to interact and engage in the community. You are the leader, and your community will follow your lead if you are always available to provide assistance, encourage interaction between residents and listen and act on ideas on ways to make your senior housing community more inviting.

Retirement is a stage of life that not everyone is overly enthusiastic about reaching, but with the right environment, seniors can learn to love it. If you take the time to create entertaining activities and encourage your members to participate, a strong sense of community will naturally develop. With that comes better mental and physical health for all of your senior residents.



New Widget Offers Recording Playback On Your Own Website

You now have the ability to add your latest DialMyCalls recording directly into your website with our brand new embeddable widget. Once you have sent out a broadcast through your account, visitors of your website are able to play back that message right from the embedded audio payer on a designated page of your choice.

 
DialMyCalls Recording Widget
 

Who Can Use The Latest Recording Widget?

Anyone with a DialMyCalls account has access to our brand new recording widget. Embedding the widget does require your own website - the widget is not able to be embedded into an email.

 

How Do I Use The Latest Recording Widget?

Once you have established an account with DialMyCalls you are going to want to decide where you will place the embeddable player at on your website. After selecting a location you will now need to copy/paste the embed code into your site. Log into DialMyCalls and then click on "My Account" -> "Integrations" -> "Embeddable Widgets" -> "Shows My Latest Recording".

 
Embeddable Recording Widget
*Click Photo To Enlarge*
 

A sample player will be displayed along with the code for the player - copy/paste the embeddable code into your website and you are ready to go. Upon sending out a voice broadcast from your account the audio player will update and that recording will be available to play for all of the visitors of your website.

 
Embeddable Recording Widget Sample
*Click Photo To Enlarge*
 

Why Should I Use The Latest Recording Widget?

The brand new embeddable recording widget gives you one more format in which folks can hear your important messages. In addition to sending out your recording via phone call and email you can direct visitors to your website for a daily, weekly or monthly update using the embeddable audio player. Make sure that no message goes unheard by utilizing our brand new widget on your website today! Check out our sample below to see how the widget looks when embedded into a website.

 

Latest Recording Widget Example - Sports Team Website:

A sports team can utilize the embeddable recording widget to keep coaches, players, and parents on the same page regarding upcoming games, cancellations, league registration, or other special events. Once a broadcast is sent out our widget can be placed on the team's website. From that point on the recording will automatically update whenever a new broadcast is sent out through DialMyCalls. This allows the coach to direct all of the coaches, players and parents to that particular page to check for weekly updates.

 
Sports Website Latest Recording Widget
*Click Photo To Enlarge*
 

For more information regarding our brand new latest recording widget, please visit the official Embeddable Widgets page. If you have any additional questions, you can contact us 7 days a week!

*The recording only updates once a broadcast is sent out through DialMyCalls - creating a new recording in your account does not update the embeddable widget, it has to be created and sent as a broadcast.



6 Survivor Tips For Teaching Summer School

Summer School Tips

While most teachers take the summer off to enjoy a well deserved break, there are those who brave the heat and disgruntled students. For these daring teachers, trips to the beach are only for the weekends, as their weekdays continue to be filled with lesson plans. If this is your first summer taking on desk duty, try these tips to help you survive:

Remain Upbeat - While it may be difficult to roll out of bed to an alarm clock knowing that your colleagues are still sleeping in, it is important that you keep a positive attitude when teaching summer school. Your students are likely to be more distracted than usual, but if you enter the class each day with a big smile and bursting with energy, that attitude will soon become infectious, making it a more positive experience for everyone.

Plan Lessons that Take Advantage of the Season - There is no reason why all classes have to take place inside of a classroom. Add some lessons to your curriculum that will be enhanced by trips outdoors. You can make Shoeless Joe the required novel to read and then let the students build their own field of dreams that they are able to play games on during their summer school session. Taking the kids outdoors once in a while will help in keeping them from staring wistfully out the window during your other lessons.

Keep Class Simple - To ease some of your work rely more on class discussions and participation for grading criteria than large projects and assignments. This means that at least when you go home in the evening you can enjoy an outside barbecue instead of grading papers.

Hang Back on Homework - If you are allowed, try to avoid sending work home with the kids. They are not going to like it anymore than you would. Instead, be upfront with them about the daily expectations and let them know that as long as the lesson plan goals are met, they will be free to enjoy their afternoons laying around the pool.

Encourage Parent Participation- Summer school is meant to empower kids who are struggling with their classes. By involving the parents you are ensuring that they understand their kid's special needs and can offer your own tips and advice on what can be done to help at home. At the very least, you should be sending the parents weekly e-mail alerts on the progress that your class has been making.

Be Flexible - It is summer after all, and your class size is likely considerably smaller than normal. Let conversations follow their own course, allowing the students to make their own discoveries. Put the students into even smaller groups and encourage them to work together on research. Summer school gives you the chance to show kids how they can learn even more from one another.

It may not seem like it right now, but teaching summer school is a rewarding experience. This gives you a chance to work closer with students who need it, with lesson plans that are a lot less stringent than what you are used to during the normal school year.



5 Technology Tools to Help Teachers Make Their Lives Easier

Technology Tools for Teachers

Teachers can use all the help they can get, whether it be from parents pitching in with supplies, or technology that helps to make their daily responsibilities easier. Taking advantage of modern technology gives teachers more time to focus on education and their students. The internet provides a wealth of useful tools for teachers that offer help in taking care of daily tasks and should be used as a vital part of their classroom.

Here are 5 educational tools that possess a variety of features that every teacher could use to make life easier:

10 Minute Lesson Plans - Creating lesson plans takes up the limited free time that a teacher has. 10 Minute Lesson Plans works quickly with a lesson plan builder that takes you through each step. This is a free service that you only need to register with in order to create, save, print, and even email your lesson plans. For more information regarding this specific educational tool, please visit www.10minutelessonplans.com.

1st Class GradeBook - This downloadable software is an intuitive program where you can enter student grades from tests and quizzes where they are tracked along with attendance, and other pertinent information. This allows you see a student's progress at school with a quick glance and better still, parents and students can login to see their own results as well. They offer a free trial for teachers to see just how much easier the software will make their job. For more information regarding this specific educational tool, please visit www.1st-class-software.com.

PhoXo - Teachers can liven up their classrooms with ease using this free software from PhoXo. Use the image editor to make illustrations to enhance lessons, unique awards or certificates, and posters to adorn the walls of your classroom. Free to use, PhoXo will provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to create useful and appealing images for your students. For more information regarding this specific educational tool, please visit www.phoxo.com.

DialMyCalls - Keeping up communications with parents can be time-consuming and stressful. Or you can use a school notification system to send them updates as SMS text messages right to their cell phone. This gives you the option of sending individual messages or a classroom update to the entire class. As a teacher you can sign up for a free basic account, or convince your school that the automated communication service would be beneficial for everyone. For more information regarding this specific educational tool, please contact us.

Question Writer - Create customized quizzes and tests in just minutes, using one of Question Writer's templates. This is an award-winning software that is downloaded onto your computer, where you can create quizzes and tests to be taken online or printed for in-class use. Results are available online, by email or downloaded in an Excel format. You get a 30 day free trial to see how this program will make teaching easier for you. For more information regarding this specific educational tool, please visit www.questionwriter.com.

A teacher excels in their position when they are given the time needed to interact with all of the students in their classroom. With the help of the 5 technology tools discussed above, they are able to accomplish tasks easier, freeing up that precious time to enrich their students and provide a valuable education experience.

*Aside from DialMyCalls, we have no affiliation with any of the companies mentioned above. Should you have any inquiries or problems regarding one of the tools included in this list, please contact them using the link provided.

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