Richard Davis, Chairman and CEO of Avectra, shares his news and views from inside Avectra, well as the association and nonprofit world at large.

Memorial Day is nearly here and that can only mean one thing – summer’s here! And so we begin to enjoy all the wonderful things about summer: great weather, outdoor pools, picnics, baseball, golf, vacations… Oh wait, vacations – that’s a double-edged sword. Everyone likes (and needs) to have a chance to get away to relax and recharge but for the people back at the office it can mean extra responsibilities, a heavy workload, and sometimes utter confusion.

Many of us now work with smaller workforces and sometimes I come across associations that have only one person (usually in Membership or IT) who has a complete and deep understanding of their CRM. Clearly that person never gets a vacation! Or, perhaps, the office doesn’t have one centralized system housing all their data, but different databases (or Excel spread sheets) where different departments enter and maintain (probably different) data. That’s when you really wish you had the Power of One working for you.

With all of your member or donor data in one system, updates are entered in one place, saving numerous hours of staff time. There’s also a much better chance that your data is clean, current, and consistent. And that brings me back to the vacation dilemma – more people in your organization will know how to use your “one” system, so everyone gets a turn at enjoying a worry-free vacation.

And if any (or all) of your staff need training on your Avectra Social CRM before, during, or after Summer, we can help. We offer SWAT training days held at our offices or, if you prefer, we’ll bring our trainers to you. For example, last week we had an Avectra trainer conducting a SWAT day for a group in Michigan (see photo below).

Speaking of training and education, our recent presentations on our exclusive member/donor metrics tool, the Avectra A-Score™, at the AFP and NTEN conferences last month generated a great deal of interest. If you would like to learn more about them we have information and resources on our website.

Another fundraising concept we’ve been championing at industry events and via webinars, is crowd-contributing. If you missed our presentation on IdeaStarter™ when it launched at AUDC in March, or during presentations at AFP and NTEN, you can learn more about it by taking part in an upcoming webinar.

Building on the strength of crowd-funding, IdeaStarter is an exciting new way to raise more than just funds to get your project underway. It’s suitable and available to anyone with an idea they want to get started – an established organization with a special project or annual campaign, a local volunteer group, or an individual.

It can be all too easy during the summer to relax just a little too much and allow your mind to stagnate. What’s the perfect way to keep your mind active, while at the same time gaining some insights and new knowledge you can put to work at your organization? How about learning about a new industry trend, or taking a fresh new look at something already established. We have many resources from whitepapers and webinars to infographics and blog posts just waiting to be downloaded or accessed on your tablet to look at on a plane, train or beach.

And these days, industry events don’t pause for summer, and neither do we. Please visit our website for the current schedule of which nonprofit events and association events we’ll be attending in the upcoming months. Industry events are such a great time to catch up with old friends and meet new ones, as well as learning of the latest trends. I hope to see you at one soon.

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 Participants at our recent SWAT Day in Michigan.SWAT Smaller