3 Reasons to Consider Follow-Me Print

Follow-Me Print allows users to send a print job to a central queue and then walk up to any printer and release their job. Here are some reasons to consider implementing this:

  1. You don’t have to figure out what printers are close to a user. People are usually set up to print to machines that are close to their desks. If you are moving towards a hybrid office and people won’t have dedicated desks anymore, not only is it not practical to set them up to print to every device but they will also likely have difficulty figuring out which printer is close to them.
  2. Protect private information. If employees are printing pages with “private” or “personal” information, to comply with New York State’s SHIELD Act, those print jobs can’t be left out for anyone to claim accidentally and must be disposed of properly.
  3. Waste less paper. The days where you are throwing out reams of paper of unclaimed print jobs will be gone—the trees will thank you.

We can help you implement follow-me print using Papercut software or HP’s Access Control. Call 718-785-8243 ext. 3 or click on the button below to schedule a conversation to see how we can help

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Solutions Experts

Cerini Connection – Workplace Trends

Since the start of the pandemic, many companies have adopted a hybrid model, meaning that it is time to revaluate your space and how it is used. Join us as we talk to Paul G. Wolf, Co-Founder & President, Denham Wolf Real Estate Services. In the conversation we will cover:
• What does your office need to look like to ensure all people feel comfortable and health concerns are addressed
• How has your space changed and how to use it most effectively
• At what point should you revaluate your lease and best practices to do so

Compensation Programs and the Great Resignation

Compensation Programs and the Great Resignation

As a direct result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, 2022 finds us facing high inflation rates. We’ve seen prices rise 7% – in everything from cars and housing, to gas, food, and furniture. It is the largest 12 – month increase in inflation that we’ve seen in 40 years. According to CNBC, “Employers had it easy over the past decade. Inflation has lingered between 1% and 2%, while pay raises have increased between 2% and 3% during the same time.” This means employers have to adjust their compensation strategy in response. Additionally, while attempting to counteract the current inflation rates, we are still facing “The Great Resignation.” 4.3 million people quit their jobs in December 2021 alone.

How much will rising inflation and the Great Resignation influence compensation this year? How can employers balance employee expectations with employer interests and fiscal sustainability? Lastly, what strategies can employers use to create meaningful compensation packages? These questions are answered in this week’s Astronology®.

Inflation and The Great Resignation – Balancing Employee Expectations and Employer Interests

Like inflation, employee expectations are at an all-time high. The COVID-19 pandemic created a shift in priorities for most people. Employees want lots of things, including higher pay, more job flexibility, and better child care. Employers are responding to these priorities by reviewing and adjusting benefit options – specifically, including or adjusting remote work features.

In order to remain competitive in a hot market and to account for inflation, Willis Towers Watson anticipates employers paying an average 3.4% raise to their employees this year. Despite this expected increase in wages, inflation is still taking a toll on an employees’ “take – home pay.”

Recognizing this, employers need to focus on a total rewards strategy when deciding to use variable compensation to reward employees. Doing so will help an organization balance employees’ needs and expectations with the organization’s interests, budget, and plans for growth. The Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) explains in a December 2021 article, “Variable-pay incentive bonuses, which are one-time cash payouts that do not affect base pay, are projected to significantly increase compared to last year, with 1 in 4 employers saying they will have an overall bonus pool more than 10 percent higher than last year…While the current labor market is driving some increases in pay, employers are concerned about economic uncertainty and therefore are looking to other vehicles such as incentive pay to reward and retain workers in this tight labor market.”

Sounds good. But is that all? What other strategies can employers take?

Four Strategies to Consider

Along with some form of variable compensation, here are four strategies that employers can consider to create an overall compensation strategy with a focus on total rewards:

  1. Prioritize Hourly Pay: In recent years, we’ve seen movements to adjust the national minimum hourly wage to at least $15 per hour. We’ve also seen many states respond to this movement by adjusting their minimum wages to gradually meet this limit. Certain companies such as Costco and Target have already set their own minimum wage to meet or go beyond $15 per hour. This indicates that prioritizing and uplifting hourly pay is a popular strategy. “With unprecedented levels of churn in the labor market, wage growth at record pace, and increasing external scrutiny, now is the time to focus on hourly pay strategies,” states Lauren Mason, senior principal at Mercer’s business division.
  2. Take a Segmented Approach: In order to address gaps in competitiveness, consider a segmented approach. Offer higher wages to both new staff and high – performing current employees in critical business segments. Another group to consider are those whose pay levels are below market rates. Now would be a great time to consider bringing their pay rates to the proper market rate (or even slightly above). In fact, an overall review of your organization’s compensation structure can elp you identify such weak areas. Astron Solutions has 23 years of experience helping organizations identify and address such issues. Why not request more information today?
  3. Consider the Overall Employee Experience: Employees are burnt out and exhausted from the pandemic. As an employer or leader in employee experience now is the time to examine reasonable and impactful ways to support staff’s unmet needs. Adding resources that could help employees navigate pandemic – related burnout can be considered indirect compensation, contributing to an employee’s total rewards.
  4. Be Transparent in Communicating Your Pay Strategy with Employees: In addition to providing supplemental benefits to round out an employee’s total rewards, equally important is communicating the total value of their employment. Aon noted in one of their blog posts, “Communicating total rewards is important; employees can be tempted to leave their employer for very little increase in actual salary and sometimes what you find is that they don’t appreciate the wider picture of how much their benefits are truly worth.” Employees that have access to a total reward statement have a transparent view of their overall package and thus will be motivated to stay. Move beyond traditional “boring” benefit communications and find ways to share the full reward.

Compensation Consulting: The Ultimate Guide (+ Top Firms!)

Compensation Consulting: The Ultimate Guide

When it comes to employee compensation, there are rarely any easy answers. This is true for organizations of all shapes and sizes—whether you’re scaling up your operations and experiencing employee retention issues or simply auditing and re-evaluating what you offer your employees.

The difficulty lies in the fact that compensation needs are ever-changing. In order to stay competitive and hire the best talent (and retain those employees), you have to keep an eye on the economy and the job market for similar positions. Plus, compensation needs can change over time. For example, schedule flexibility has become a top priority for employees due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and employers have had to adjust their compensation strategies to respond to that priority.

For many organizations, the best solution to compensation issues is to turn to the advice of a third-party expert—a compensation consultant. Investing in compensation consulting services can result in a stronger, more sustainable compensation strategy for your organization that can help you recruit and retain the best employees. But how do you get started?

In this guide to compensation consulting, we’ll answer this question by delving into the following:

Before investing in compensation consulting services, it’s critical that you explore your options. If you’re ready to learn more about what compensation consultants do and to begin researching various firms, this is the article for you! Let’s begin.

Click through to learn more about Astron Solutions' compensation consulting services.

Why Your Approach To Employee Compensation Matters

Developing a clear strategy for how team members are compensated for their contributions is essential. It lays concrete groundwork for growth and reflects your organization’s values, mission, vision, and priorities in a more tangible way than just a mission statement. A strong compensation strategy gives your employees insight into why their contributions are valued, not just how much they’re valued.

This is even more important during times of uncertainty and crisis. With a global pandemic and mass social movements affecting your employees’ everyday lives, it’s worth it to take a closer look at how you compensate them for their contributions.

After all, the United States has seen a recent surge in turnover so historic it’s been termed “The Great Resignation.” According to SHRM, 4.5 million people resigned in November 2021 alone. Navigating The Great Resignation isn’t easy, but refreshing your approach to compensation is an effective way to strengthen your retention strategy during this time. Let’s explore the role that compensation consulting can play as you improve your compensation approach.

Compensation Consulting: What Does a Consultant Do?

Some organizations may hesitate to seek valuable assistance from a compensation consultant simply because they are unsure if a compensation consultant can provide value to their operations. The core role of a compensation consultant is to evaluate an organization’s current approach to compensation and suggest actionable and sustainable changes that can increase employee satisfaction and improve retention, all while helping the organization to remain as efficient as possible with its money.

There are a number of services a compensation consultant might provide to fulfill this role, including:

  • Evaluation and Development of Compensation Strategy and Policies: A compensation consultant will meet you where you’re at. They’ll take a look at how your organization has handled compensation so far and then help you design a strategy that will ensure compensation packages and policies are aligned with your larger organizational aims and strategies.
  • Job Evaluation Plan: Compensation consulting involves looking at individual roles as part of the organization as a whole. With a job evaluation plan, a compensation consultant can help you address each role’s relative value at your organization to ensure that every employee is compensated fairly.
  • External Market Analysis: Some organizations struggle to offer competitive pay when hiring, while others end up overspending on compensation. Through external market analysis, a consultant can help you find the middle-of-the-road solution that will get the top talent applying to your organization and keep you within your budget.
  • Creation of Incentive/Variable Compensation ProgramsIf employees at your organization receive commissions on sales or bonuses after a successful quarter, your compensation consultant can help you weave these more complex compensation methods into your larger strategy and create sustainable programs.
  • Performance ManagementOrganizations increasingly base compensation on performance. When you work with a compensation consultant, they can assist you in establishing performance-based pay and the policies associated with it.
  • Executive CompensationWith multiple elements to monitor and maintain (base salary, short-term and long-term incentives, perquisites, etc.) executive compensation is complex and, at times, controversial. Consultants help organizations take an approach to executive compensation that will satisfy your executives, employees, and other stakeholders.
  • Employee Communication: Employees value transparency, especially when it comes to compensation. The best compensation consultants will ensure you clearly lay out your new and improved strategy and create a plan to field questions and concerns.

We also recommend looking for a compensation consultant who can see beyond the hard numbers and take a total rewards approach to compensationA total rewards approach means viewing how your organization compensates its employees comprehensively.

This includes direct financial compensation and traditional benefits like insurance and retirement funds and also encompasses indirect compensation elements like flexibility, performance recognition, career development opportunities, and even internal culture. This holistic approach can lead to better employee performance and productivity and help your organization stand out to job candidates.

A total rewards approach and the services listed above are the strategies a compensation consultant can bring to the table to help you improve how your organization handles compensation. When hiring a compensation consultant, make sure you carefully consider the specific strategies they offer and how those strategies suit your specific needs.

Compensation Consulting: How to Hire a Consultant

Finding the right compensation consultant is more of a marathon than a sprint. There are a few steps you’ll need to take to make sure you’re getting the best assistance for your organization’s specific needs. These steps are:

This graphic outlines the seven steps to hiring a compensation consulting.
  1. Review your needs. The first thing you need to do once you’ve decided you want to work with a compensation consultant is to identify what you need help with. Does your organization need help with designing competitive executive compensation packages? Are you interested in offering new non-financial benefits to entry-level employees?
  2. Discuss with your organization’s leaders. Your business or nonprofit leaders, HR team, and other top-level management should all be on the same page before you hire a consultant. This will not only help ensure you’re working within an agreed upon budget, but will also prepare everyone to work with your consultant to get the most out of your partnership with them.
  3. Outline some guidelines. Your guidelines for your consultant should include a general budget, an estimated time frame for the partnership, and an estimated start date.
  4. Begin your research. Don’t just go with the first compensation consultant you find on Google. You’ll need to thoroughly research your options! This can include getting recommendations from professional colleagues, reading through online lists of the top recommended firms (like the one below!), and checking out different consultants’ work experience.
  5. Draft an RFP. RFP stands for request for proposal. When looking for a compensation consultant, you need to communicate your needs and guidelines to your consultant with this written document. This will give the consultant the information they need to decide if your organization could truly benefit from their services and give them material to build a proposal. Make sure you review this document with your organization’s leadership.
  6. Compare the candidates. After doing thorough research, narrow down your potential consultants to a short list. Reach out to them, introduce yourself, and submit your RFP. Don’t forget to choose a date for them to submit their proposal to you.
  7. Make your pick. Once you receive the completed proposals from your candidates, review them with your team. Then, you can pick your consultant and start working together!

Hiring a fundraising consultant requires due diligence. But like any big investment, the process of choosing the right compensation consulting expert will pay off in the end when you partner with the right person or firm. For a more comprehensive look at this process, check out our guide to hiring a compensation consultant.

Compensation Consulting: 14 Top Firms For Any Sector

Now that you’re familiar with the services a compensation consultant can provide to your organization and how to go about hiring one, it’s time to take a look at the top compensation consulting firms. Our list highlights experts who specialize in particular sectors or niches:

  1. Astron Solutions – Best Full-Service Compensation Consulting Firm
  2. RealHR Solutions – Best Compensation Consulting Firm for Organizations Who Are Scaling Up
  3. Compensation Advisory Partners – Best for Large Corporations
  4. FW Cook – Best Consulting for Executive Compensation Strategy
  5. Johnson Associates – Best Compensation Consulting for the Financial Sector
  6. Semler Brossy – Best Compensation Consulting for Transitional Periods
  7. NFP Compensation Consulting – Best Compensation Consultants for Corporate Benefits
  8. Mercer – Best Compensation Consulting Firm for Global Executives
  9. Alliant – Best For Health Benefits Design Consulting
  10. Pearl Meyer & Partners – Best Compensation Consultants for High-Growth Startups
  11. HR Works – Best Compensation Consultant for Affirmative Action Plans
  12. Compensation Resources – Best for Board Equity Compensation Consulting
  13. Brio Benefit Consulting – Best for Benefits-Focused Consulting Needs
  14. The VisionLink Advisory Group – Best for Variable Compensation Plan Design Consulting

In each section, we’ll provide an overview of the firm’s compensation consulting services as well as more information on what makes them stand out in their space.

No matter what sector you’re in, there’s a compensation consulting firm that can bring relevant experience to your organization and help you develop the best possible strategy for long-term growth and retention. Let’s get started!

1. Astron Solutions – Best Full-Service Compensation Consulting Firm

Overview of Astron Solutions

Astron Solutions is a full-service human resources and employee compensation consulting firm that’s been helping businesses and nonprofit organizations for over 20 years.

We believe that simplifying compensation and human resources processes is the best way to keep your organization’s big picture goals in focus. Our fully customized approach has guided a wide range of organizations, helping them boost employee engagement and retention with optimized compensation strategies that address all of their employees’ and executives’ priorities.

Contact Astron Solutions to learn more about their compensation consulting services.

Astron Solutions’ Top Employee Compensation Services

As a full-service compensation consulting firm, Astron Solutions has experience providing a wide range of employee compensation services for businesses and nonprofits. These include:

  • Total rewards consulting for base compensation strategy. We believe that a total rewards approach to compensation is the most effective way to create sustainable improvements for organizations. This is true if you’re rethinking your strategy for any reason, whether it’s due to the direct effects of recent disruptions or you want to combat ongoing retention and engagement issues.
  • Custom surveys that provide actionable information about total rewards needs in your organization. With customized surveys, we can collect and analyze data about industry trends and what your employees need and want from their compensation packages. Plus, you can rest assured that the collected data is secure, as we value confidentiality and ensure that our surveys meet legal antitrust requirements.
  • Specialized strategy development for executive and sales-based compensation. Executive and sales-based compensation can be particularly complex pieces of your broader strategies. Astron Solutions can walk you through developing and updating these programs, making sure to cater to the unique needs of your employees and culture.
  • Incentive and variable compensation program development to address specific goals. We can help you develop incentive and variable compensation plans that drive engagement for organizations of any size. By working closely with your team, we can create custom strategies tailored to your specific goals and constraints.
  • Policy development guidance to help HR departments effectively administer their new compensation programs. Once you’re done designing the best compensation strategy for your organization, you then have to implement it. When you partner with us, you receive guidance from professionals to ensure the new programs are successfully implemented and that all team members are on the same page now and down the line.

Why This Compensation Consulting Firm Stands Out

Few compensation consulting firms offer as wide a range of services to as wide a range of organizations as Astron Solutions. Astron Solutions is a leader in compensation consulting for small to mid-sized businesses and nonprofits. Oftentimes compensation consulting services (and their price tags) are targeted only towards large businesses, whereas Astron Solutions is equipped to help no matter your size.

Our customized approach is well-suited to tackling today’s unprecedented challenges, as well. From COVID-19-related challenges to internal cultural shifts and employee engagement issues, compensation strategy plays a significant role in shaping how your organization can adapt to change. We’ll help you focus on big picture goals while also adapting to the real-time challenges you face.

Contact Astron Solutions to learn more about our compensation consulting services.

2. RealHR Solutions – Best Compensation Consulting Firm for Organizations Who Are Scaling Up

Overview of RealHR Solutions

RealHR Solutions was created in 2005 with the primary objective of helping organizations (both nonprofit and for-profit) meet their business goals.

This firm understands the growing pains that come when organizations scale up their operations and prioritizes efficiency and positive internal culture to help your organization become more competitive in the marketplace.

Contact RealHR Solutions to learn more about their compensation consulting services.

RealHR Solutions’ Top Services

RealHR Solutions offers a wide variety of solutions for growing organizations. Specific to compensation, they offer the following:

  • Compensation philosophy development
  • Compensation structure and practice design
  • Benchmarking for current external market compensation and benefits offerings

Why This Compensation Consulting Firm Stands Out

RealHR Solutions knows that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for issues related to scaling up your organization’s operations. They emphasize understanding your starting point and providing solutions that truly fit your organization’s needs, whether that means taking a business partner role or helping with one-off projects.

This focus on unique, sustainable solutions catered to your organization helps RealHR Solutions stand out from the crowd as the compensation consulting firm for growing businesses and nonprofits.

Contact RealHR Solutions for more information.

3. Compensation Advisory Partners – Best Compensation Consulting for Large Corporations

Overview of Compensation Advisory Partners

Founded in 2009, Compensation Advisory Partners is a leading compensation consulting firm for large and multinational corporations.

They focus on offering independent and expert advice tailored to the needs of complex organizations, with an emphasis on analytics and strong standards of corporate governance. Compensation Advisory Partners works side-by-side with boards and management teams to develop custom strategies that fit within the large-scale internal structures that already exist in large businesses.

Explore CAP's website for more information on their executive compensation consulting services.

Compensation Advisory Partners’ Top Services

Compensation Advisory Partners offers a range of consulting services for corporations looking to refine their compensation strategies. Their top services include:

  • Compensation strategy development
  • Competitive market research and comparisons
  • Annual and long-term incentive plan design
  • Compensation committee organization and support

Why This Compensation Consulting Firm Stands Out

Compensation Advisory Partners’ focus on providing real-time and data-driven insights is particularly well-suited to the needs of large corporations. They regularly conduct proprietary studies on pay and design best practices, helping them better understand their clients’ spaces and emerging best practices.

These insights, coupled with their years of experience in the field, makes them a leader for large-scale businesses and multinational corporations that need to update their compensation programs.

Reach out to Compensation Advisory Partners to discuss your needs.

4. FW Cook -Best Consulting for Executive Compensation Strategy

Overview of FW Cook

FW Cook is an executive compensation consulting firm that was founded in 1973. Their long history in the space gives them a real advantage when it comes to aligning compensation strategies with a client’s long-term goals.

Focused solely on executive compensation, the firm provides expert insights to the compensation committees, boards of directors, and management teams of large businesses.

Explore FW Cook's employee compensation consulting services for more information.

FW Cook’s Top Employee Compensation Services

Although FW Cook only provides consultation for executive compensation, their offerings within this category are fairly broad. They include:

  • Executive compensation strategy development
  • Incentive and equity plan design
  • Non-employee board member compensation strategy
  • Executive severance and transaction assistance

Why This Compensation Consulting Firm Stands Out

FW Cook takes their role as a legacy leader in the space of executive compensation consulting seriously. They emphasize taking a fully independent and compliant approach while working cooperatively with large organizations to design programs that will address all their big-picture goals.

Their guidance has helped countless businesses refine their compensation strategies and adapt to changing economic environments for decades.

Contact FW Cook to learn more about their services and approach.

5. Johnson Associates – Best Financial Sector Compensation Consulting

Overview of Johnson Associates

With over 20 years of experience in its space, Johnson Associates is a leading compensation consulting firm for large and multi-national financial services firms.

Their deep knowledge of the financial sector gives this firm an edge in providing up-to-date recommendations tailored to the specific needs and cultures of their clients. They provide custom-designed compensation programs for a constantly changing industry.

Compensations consulting for financial services firms from Johnson Associates is a top choice.

Johnson Associates’ Top Employee Compensation Services

Johnson Associates offers a range of typical compensation consulting services in addition to more finance-centric offerings. These include:

  • Executive compensation program design and feedback
  • Emerging market trends and issues analysis
  • Annual, sales-based, and long-term incentive development
  • Stock option valuation and transaction oversight

Why This Compensation Consulting Firm Stands Out

There are plenty of top compensation consultants who provide expert advice and strategy recommendations to large businesses, but Johnson Associates have proven themselves a leader in a particularly fast-paced niche.

Their deep institutional knowledge of the financial sector, up-to-date insights into new trends and regulations, and sensitivity to market cycles make them a top choice for firms in this space.

Contact Johnson Associates for more information on compensation consulting.

6. Semler Brossy – Best Compensation Consulting for Transitional Periods

Overview of Semler Brossy

Semler Brossy is a leading consulting firm founded in 2001. Although they focus on executive compensation consulting, Semler Brossy offers a number of other business consulting services for larger businesses across a wide range of industries.

Semler Brossy’s services are particularly effective for organizations undergoing significant transitional periods, including mergers, acquisitions, IPOs, and executive successions. Their team’s guiding principle is “creating clarity from complexity,” meaning their insights can really shine during your most complicated times.

Explore Semler Brossy's website for more information on their employee compensation consulting services.

Semler Brossy’s Top Employee Compensation Services

Semler Brossy provides a wide range of consulting services for large businesses, including executive compensation guidance. These services include:

  • Full compensation strategy development
  • Compensation strategy for transaction and turnaround periods
  • Strategy development for CEO and executive successions
  • Specialized incentive design for key employee populations during transitions

Why This Compensation Consulting Firm Stands Out

Semler Brossy stands out among the crowded field of executive compensation consulting because their expertise is perfectly suited to help businesses through some of the most difficult periods they experience.

Plus, this consulting firm prioritizes building lasting relationships with their clients. With yearly check-ins and regularly-scheduled program assessments, Semler Brossy can support your organization through a complex transition and then actively help you stay prepared for the next one, too.

Reach out to Semler Brossy for more information.

7. NFP Compensation Consulting – Best Compensation Consultants for Corporate Benefits

Overview of NFP Compensation Consulting

NFP is an insurance broker and consulting firm. Their consultants specialize in creating tailor-made benefit plans for employees and executives. They prioritize people first and stick to a high ethical standard.

Keeping your bottom line in mind, NFP has the experience that can help you with everything from designing retirement plans to staying on top of legal compliance.

NFP is the best compensation consulting firm for corporate benefits.

NFP Compensation Consulting’s Top Services

NFP knows that managing all of the moving parts of HR is a huge challenge for many corporations. This is why they offer a wide variety of services, including:

  • Compensation market benchmarking and strategy design
  • Job description development, recruiting, and interviewing
  • Payroll processing
  • Workplace compliance management
  • Call center services to field employees’ benefits questions and concerns

Why This Compensation Consulting Firm Stands Out

NFP Compensation Consulting stands out as a firm that can help your organization fill its HR gaps. If your in-house team is stretched thin, NFP can step in and help you keep moving forward.

With years of experience establishing best practices for organizations in a variety of industries, NFP can offer sound insights for clients working in any space.

Contact NFP Compensation Consulting for more information on their services.

8. Mercer – Best Compensation Consulting Firm for Global Executives

Overview of Mercer

Mercer is a global consulting firm that helps clients all over the world better manage their employees and streamline operations. 

Global executive compensation can be tricky, as it involves salary, benefits, bonus programs, equity options, and much, much more. Mercer aims to ease those challenges. With expertise and connections to national and international resources, Mercer can help you plan an executive compensation strategy that is fair, motivating, and grows as your business does.

To learn more about Mercer’s compensation consulting services, check out their website.

Mercer’s Top Employee Compensation Services

Mercer’s compensation consulting offerings are fairly comprehensive, with a variety of services for organizations and businesses of any size. Here are some of Mercer’s services:

  • Plans to attract, retain, and motivate executive employees
  • Alignment of executive pay with your organization’s unique strategic needs
  • Maintenance of compliance with regulatory and shareholder guidelines

Why This Compensation Consulting Firm Stands Out

Mercer stands out as a compensation consultant firm because they have special services dedicated to global benefits management. Compensating your executives can already be difficult to navigate, and when they’re all over the world, it’s that much harder.

By partnering with Mercer, you have access to their dedicated team of 9,000 experts specialized in executive compensation and the complexities of the global economy.

Contact Mercer for more information on their services

9. Alliant – Best For Health Benefits Design Consulting

Overview of Alliant

Alliant is a group made up of creative and experienced professionals who want to help other organizations and businesses navigate the current economic climate. 

Alliant consultants know that benefits play an especially important role in driving retention and engagement, especially during times of change. They’ll assist your compensation efforts every step of the way, providing resources and technology to help you create and implement the best plans for your team.

Learn more about Alliant’s compensation consulting services on their website.

Alliant’s Top Employee Compensation Services

Alliant understands that a compensation strategy with fully fleshed-out employee benefits generates long-term value for organizations of all sizes. That’s why they offer the following variety of consulting services:

  • Health and productivity program guidance and development
  • Benefits program administration
  • Industry benefits benchmarking

Why This Compensation Consulting Firm Stands Out

If your organization is struggling with designing your employee health benefits program, Alliant is the consultant firm to go to. Alliant understands that cultures that promote healthy lifestyles drive long-term employee value.  

This firm will work with you to create customized health benefit programs based on your employees, culture, and budget. With Alliant’s highly experienced team of clinicians and wellness consultants on your side, designing your health benefits will be a breeze.

Contact Alliant for more information on their services. 

10. Pearl Meyer & Partners – Best Compensation Consultants for High-Growth Startups

Overview of Pearl Meyer & Partners

Equipped with over 30 years of experience, Pearl Meyer & Partners has helped thousands of clients improve and optimize their employee compensation strategies.

Pearl Meyer & Partners has positioned itself as a thought leader for growing organizations, like high-growth startups. With their consulting services, your organization can create a compensation plan that thrives in today’s fast-paced environment.

Learn more about Pearl Meyer & Partners’ compensation consulting services on their website.

Pearl Meyer & Partners Top Employee Compensation Services

Pearl Meyer & Partners know that there’s no “one size fits all” best practice when it comes to developing your own compensation strategy. Instead, they aim to develop partnerships with clients in order to best understand their needs. Pearl Meyer has the following services:

  • Executive and employee compensation plan creation and feedback
  • Communication guidelines for announcing compensation programs (and future updates) to both internal and external audiences
  • Checklists for pre-IPO companies considering an audit

Why This Compensation Consulting Firm Stands Out

High-growth startups experience typical compensation challenges but at a much larger scale and faster pace than many young companies. Pearl Meyer’s consultants have years of experience with early-stage companies in various periods of growth and will be able to help you address any concerns you have.

Further, Pearl Meyer has worked with both public and private companies. This consulting firm has the insight to help any organization apply a long-term lens to its compensation strategy. With this expertise and guidance, you know your organization is set up for success.

Contact Pearl Meyer & Partners for more information on their services. 

11. HR Works – Best Compensation Consultant for Affirmative Action Plans

Overview of HR Works

HR Works is made up of human resources professionals who have served all types of clients for 28 years. HR Works aims to help your business or organization minimize HR risks and increase employee productivity through a variety of compensation consulting services.

One of HR Works’ primary focuses is affirmative action compliance. While not all organizations require an affirmative action plan, it is highly recommended. It’s especially important when it comes to your organization’s inclusion and diversity policy, an essential component of your compensation strategy. With years of experience and 100% technical compliance in OFCCP audits, HR Works closely works with you to develop your own affirmative action plan.

Check out HR Works’ website to learn more about their compensation consulting services.

HR Works’ Top Employee Compensation Services

HR Works knows how important a healthy company culture is to the wellbeing of your business, especially when it comes to affirmative action. Here are some of the top services they offer:

  • Affirmative action plan preparation
  • OFCCP audit support
  • Consultation and affirmative action plan implementation
  • Federal reporting assistance

Why This Compensation Consulting Firm Stands Out

It’s crucial that your organization has a solid affirmative action plan in place, especially for your internal work culture and employee wellbeing. 

HR Works provides affirmative action outsourcing services for whatever needs you have, from determining if you even need a set plan to implementing best practices for your own organization. With this dedicated support, HR Works ensures that every facet of your compensation strategies are sound and approved

Contact HR Works for more information on their services. 

12. Compensation Resources – Best for Board Equity Compensation Consulting

Overview of Compensation Resources

With over 25 years of experience, Compensation Resources specializes in providing emerging and mid-sized organizations with comprehensive compensation and human resources consulting services.

Often working with the boards of organizations and businesses alike, Compensation Resources can help your organization come up with creative and pragmatic solutions to any of your board compensation issues.

To learn more about Compensation Resources’ consulting services, explore their website.

Compensation Resources’ Top Employee Compensation Services

Compensation Resources has earned a reputation for providing sound business advice and consulting services to a number of their clients. Here are some of their top services:

  • Board member compensation plan review and design
  • Executive compensation evaluations
  • Stock option and board equity strategies

Why This Compensation Consulting Firm Stands Out

A pain point many larger organizations might have is determining how to compensate and engage their board members. Compensation Resources has specific abilities that aim to support programs focused on board member pay, retainers, and equity compensation. 

Compensation Resources aims to provide thoughtful, independent counsel to ensure that your board is fully engaged and invested in your organization’s growth.

Contact Compensation Resources for more information on their services. 

13. Brio Benefit Consulting – Best for Benefits-Focused Consulting Needs

Overview of Brio Benefit Consulting

Brio Benefit Consulting was founded in 2004 to help combat two pain points: the frustrating reactive approach to employee benefits and the lack of education that employees receive about their benefits.

Brio helps nonprofits and businesses alike identify the holes in their benefits strategies and creates sustainable solutions that help employers offer great plans to their employees.

Check out Brio Benefit Consulting's website to learn more about their compensation consulting services.

Brio Benefit Consulting’s Top Services

Brio Benefit Consulting has a unique and streamlined process that is focused on helping organizations satisfy their employees’ benefits needs. Their top services include:

  • Discovery meetings to gain a deep understanding of the organization’s needs and culture
  • Customized blueprints built for each organization that serves as a road map for their strategy
  • Software that helps organizations track their progress

Why This Compensation Consulting Firm Stands Out

Brio is all about benefits. Plus, their unique process reflects their belief that you don’t have to sacrifice your budget to offer great benefits your employees want. They track and measure eight KPIs to help maintain this balance.

Because of their emphasis on keeping up with current benefits trends and employee wants and needs, Brio Benefit Consulting stands out as a top compensation consulting firm that organizations can look to for real solutions.

Contact Brio Benefit Consulting for more information on their services.

Overview of The VisionLink Advisory Group

Created in 1996, The VisionLink Advisory Group is a pay design company that helps private employers design performance-based compensation strategies that satisfy employees and promote growth.

They specialize in designing variable compensation plans and offer consulting support and software for managing your strategy.

Check out The VisionLink Advisory Group to learn more about their variable compensation consulting services.

The VisionLink Advisory Group’s Top Services

VisionLink’s approach to compensation plan design centers on performance and aligning employee and employer values. Their offerings include:

  • Incentive plan design geared toward rewarding annual and long-term performance
  • Total rewards audits and structuring to help you compete for top talent
  • BonusRight, a tool that helps you create, communicate, and manage your company’s bonus plan

Why This Compensation Consulting Firm Stands Out

VisionLink wants you and your employees to be on the same page. This firm believes in helping you create variable compensation plans that will empower you to find and retain employees who are truly invested in the success of your business.

VisionLink made our list because they believe that above all, value-sharing between employers and employees can drive sustainable growth, which is reflected in their services.

Contact The VisionLink Advisory Group for more information.


Compensation strategy is vitally important for businesses and nonprofits of every size and industry. Remember, employee compensation programs and practices should reflect an organization’s long-term goals and priorities.

While developing an employee compensation program that addresses everything can be a challenge, compensation consulting firms are always available to guide your team through the process.

Look for partners with plenty of experience and a wide range of services in your specific space. Most importantly, look for a compensation consultant who understands that your strategy and program must lay a foundation for sustainable growth.

Interested in finding more resources on compensation consulting and human resources best practices? Continue your research with these articles:

Click through to contact Astron Solutions and get started with their compensation consulting services today!

How Shredded Paper Is Recycled

How Shredded Paper Is Recycled

How Shredded Paper Is Recycled

Many of our customers ask us what happens to their documents after they are shredded. 100% of the paper we destroy is recycled.

How Do Recycling Shredded Documents Help The Environment?

Recycling paper after it is shredded saves both energy and resources. By recycling one ton of paper we
save 17 trees, 7,000 gallons of water, and 463 gallons of oil

How is Paper Recycled?

After Time Shred Services destroys your documents they are taken to a recycling center where they are
placed into a bailing machine to make large paper bricks so they can be transported to paper mills.

Once at the mill the bails are broken down and placed in large machines called pulpers. This mixes
the paper with water and chemicals that are heated to break down the paper into pulp fibers. The mixture
is pressed through a screen to remove adhesives and other remaining contaminants.

Next, the paper will be spun in a cone-shaped cylinder to clean it and remove the ink. At this point, the
pulp is sent through a machine that sprays it onto a conveyor belt. Water will drip through the belt’s screen, and the
paper fibers will start bonding together. Heated metal rollers will dry the paper, and the paper will be put onto large
rolls, which can be made into new paper products.

There Are Different Grades of Paper

Newspaper or paper towels is lower grade paper because it has already been recycled numerous times,
while printer paper or writing paper is higher grade paper. The grade of paper is determined by fiber
length, which shortens after each recycling process.

After being recycled multiple times, the fibers become too short to make new paper and will need to be mixed with new fibers.
As a general rule paper can be recycled seven times.

There Are Five Basic Paper Grades

1. Old Corrugated Containers – These are boxes and packaging.

2. Mixed Paper – This is a general category that refers to things like mail, catalogs, phone books, and magazines.

3. Newspapers – Paper mills use newspapers, to make more newsprint, tissue, toilet paper, and other products.

4. High-Grade Deinked Paper – This quality paper consists of things like envelopes, copy paper, and
the letterhead that has gone through the printing process and had the ink removed.

5. Pulp Substitutes – This paper is usually discarded scraps from paper mills.

Staples & Paper Clips

The equipment at paper mills that recycle shredded paper is designed to remove things like staples and
paper clips, so you don’t need to remove them before your documents are destroyed.

Sticky Notes: If your local recycling program accepts mixed paper, it will most likely accept sticky notes.
Paper mills that process mixed paper are able to remove adhesives. To be on the safe side, check with your local program to make sure sticky notes aren’t a problem.

How Much Paper Do We Us In The United Stated?

In the United States, we use 680 pounds of paper per person per year. That is 85,000,000 tons of paper per year.

Call Time Shred Services today to securely destroy your documents and help the environment.

2022 Nonprofit Trend Report Overview

2022 Nonprofit Trend Report Overview

As we move deeper into 2022, many of the issues that have impacted the sector in 2020 and 2021 continue to affect us in 2022. The Covid pandemic doesn’t appear to be ending anytime soon, Nonprofits are faced with the Great Resignation, supply shortages, cyber security threats, and lack of funding. If Nonprofits are fully aware of the issues they are facing they can hopefully get ahead of them and make the most of 2022.

IMPACT OF COVID:

The Coronavirus continues to take a center stage and it will for most, if not all of 2022.

  • Change in WorkForce: 55% of all employees want a hybrid work model, it is what they have become accustomed to over the last 2 years, so nonprofits need to relook at their structure to determine if this is possible and how they can continue to ensure that these employees are effective remote.
  • Vaccination/Mask Policies: Organizations will need to continue to monitor the ever-changing regulatory environment and remain compliant as employees’ and constituents’ safety remain a top priority.
  • Start and Stop of services: We expect there to continue to be the need to be flexible to ensure that everyone is able to pivot at a moment’s notice, especially after we all just witnessed the aggressive nature of the omicron variant. We are predicting to see more of a return of services to pre-pandemic levels by the 3rd or 4th quarter.

THE GREAT RESIGNATION:

19 million US workers quit their job between April and September 2021. Causing remaining team members to be carrying more responsibility than they were in the past. To combat this and retain employees we must look at multiple things:

  • Developing Strong Leadership: Employees are not as connected to an organization as they once were, they are instead connected to their team and leadership. It is important to look at your leaders and ensure that they are working effectively with their teams.
  • Flexible work schedule: People’s priorities have shifted to more of a focus on work-life balance, family, travel, etc.
  • Prioritize your people: Employees are looking for added benefits and a priority on mental health.
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: This needs to be more than policies, it should be part of your organizational DNA.
  • Increased Salaries: Nonprofits can expect to have to provide raises of at least 3-6%.

FUNDING:

Nonprofits need to develop budgets and contingency budgets, being ready to react quickly. CARES Act funding has dried up and with inflation, organizations should expect a potential rise in cost. Plus, with volunteerism down 66%, those services you once had volunteers for, may now require you to hire staff for. As a result, it is increasingly important to relook at your fundraising strategy:

  • Using SMS marketing strategy as opposed to email, we are seeing text messages have a 99% open rate, while emails have a 33% rate.
  • Make your website mobile-friendly, we are all spending more and more time on our phones and less and less on our computers. You need to work to ensure that people can easily make donations from their phones.
  • Make it easy for people to donate with apps like PayPal, Apple Pay, and Google Pay.
  • We will see a continued rise in Crypto Currency donations. Last year, on giving Tuesday $2.4 million in crypto was donated, which is 583% more than the previous year’s Giving Tuesday. Don’t miss out make sure you are set up to receive crypto donations.
  • Be personal. Don’t just reach out for end of year giving, form meaningful relationships with your donor’s and increase monthly giving.
  • Make asks relatable. People want to have an idea of what impact their money is making (examples: a book in the hand of a child, housing for a month, etc.).
  • Expect technology to continue to play a big role in events going forward. Have streaming options and text communications throughout your event to make sure everyone can be a part of it.

CYBER SECURITY:

We are all seeing an increase in Cybersecurity issues. According to the Institute for Critical Infrasturuce Technology, 50% of nonprofits have experienced a ransomware attack. In order to protect the data of your volunteers, constituents, and donors it is important to take these threats seriously. Nonprofits should look at options for cybersecurity training to ensure their employees are aware of what to look for and how to avoid these threats.

WORKSPACE TRENDS:

In the last 2 years we have seen a shift in how we use our space, clean our spaces, capacity of space, etc.

  • Space will need to be more malleable to meet the changing needs of the organization on a day-to-day basis.
  • Re-evaluate office space, on average, office space cost $5,000 per person per year. Relook at your space … do you need it all? Can you renegotiate your lease to downsize?
  • With hybrid schedules office staff is constantly rotating and people will most likely not have permanent desks anymore, this will increase the need for disinfection and will require more durable furniture.

With us being a little more than a month into 2022, we see things continuing to change and pivot. If the last two years have taught us anything it is that anything is possible. So continue to be flexible as we move forward.

Check out our full Trends Report Here and see what professionals in the nonprofit sector see as the upcoming trends in fundraising, office space, marketing, technology, and more.

This article was also featured in our newsletter NFP Advisor Vol. 25

Kenneth R. Cerini, CPA, CFP, FABFA

KENNETH R. CERINI, CPA, CFP, FABFA

Managing Partner

Ken is the Managing Partner of Cerini & Associates, LLP and is the executive responsible for the administration of our not-for-profit and educational provider practice groups. In addition to his extensive audit experience, Ken has been directly involved in providing consulting services for nonprofits and educational facilities of all sizes throughout New York State in such areas as cost reporting, financial analysis, Medicaid compliance, government audit representation, rate maximization, board training, budgeting and forecasting, and more.

5 Steps to Developing a Digital Accessibility Playbook

Developing a Digital Accessibility Playbook

WITH ACCESSIBILITY LAWSUITS ON THE RISE, FOLLOW THESE STEPS TO LOWER YOUR ORGANIZATION’S RISK.

Do you truly understand your organizations responsibility to provide accessible digital content for people with disabilities? Digital accessibility is something many businesses are aware of, but most haven’t addressed. No matter the type of organization you are, it is likely that a decent chunk of your customers and employees want or need accessibility. Almost 60 million Americans (or 1 in 5) have a declared disability. People with disabilities shop, read, engage, and work just like everyone else, so why wouldn’t they need access to your digital environments?

Over the past decade, one of the most concerning legal trends for organizations in the U.S. has been digital accessibility lawsuits. It has been especially prevalent in certain states; California, New York, and Florida. The complaints included organizations having websites or documents inaccessible to screen readers, or video content not captioned and audio described. As a result, there is an urgent imperative for organizations to proactively make their digital content accessible or suffer the financial and social consequences associated with these lawsuits.

For organizations trying to avoid the risks of maintaining inaccessible digital environments, there is already a well-established playbook. Following these five steps is paramount for any size organization to avoiding costly litigation.

1. CREATE A PLAN

First and foremost, organizations should check with their legal counsel to ensure that accessibility is a priority, and that a comprehensive compliance plan and accessibility policy is developed and made available to the public. The compliance plan should include steps to assess and remediate accessibility for websites, apps, documents, and videos, along with a dedicated, accessible method of contact for users who are experiencing accessibility issues. In conjunction, internal IT teams or vendors should be consulted to make sure they are aware of their responsibility to make digital environments accessible, and that the accessibility plan includes training for those teams.

2. ASSESS CURRENT DIGITAL ASSETS

Most organizations with web properties should have their sites and applications audited for accessibility by an outside organization to get a baseline of what is needed. The ensuing reports will help guide future training and remediation efforts and will prove crucial in prioritizing work.

3. TRAIN & EDUCATE TEAMS

Whether the accessibility fixes will be done by internal IT teams, the current IT vendor, or a digital accessibility focused vendor, organizations should ensure that those responsible for making them are well-versed in digital accessibility: what the issues are, what changes need to be made, and how to implement them.

4. MAKE CHANGES & REASSESS

Once the accessibility issues have been identified and teams have been trained in how to fix them, organizations should begin making changes prioritizing the most trafficked pages and documents to have the greatest immediate impact. Once the issues have been addressed, it is strongly recommended to have those sites and apps checked for usability by stakeholders.

5. ENSURE CONTINUITY OF ACCESSIBILITY PLANNING

Digital environments will ostensibly keep changing. As such, organizations must make sure that accessibility is continuously considered in any digital iterations, to avoid falling back out of compliance.

As far as digital accessibility goes, it’s not a sprint, but a marathon. A partner can help you develop a playbook that ensures ongoing compliance, which will reduce liability and maintain an inclusive environment. With a growing focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), efforts are expanding more than ever to include disability. This expansion means organizations need to be conscious of meeting all accessibility standards, including digital media.


Michael Caprara

Chief Information Officer

The Viscardi Center


This article was also featured in our newsletter NFP Advisor Vol. 25

Addressing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Addressing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Every organization, whether nonprofit or for-profit, is influenced by structural racism. Every organization, therefore, has a responsibility to address diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Structural racism is the historical and ongoing racial discrimination, segregation, and marginalization of Black people – African Americans in particular – that is typically instigated or sanctioned by government. From slavery through today, it affects every aspect of life in America, especially where we live, where our children go to school, what jobs are accessible, and what opportunities are available for Black people in contrast to White people.

Underlying structural racism is the false notion that race provides a justification for treating people differently based on their race. But race is a social construct. All humans are 99.9% genetically similar. Racism is simply a concept created to divide society – and its resources – in ways that favor one group over another. Over time this racial hierarchy, designating Black people at the bottom and White people at the top, encompasses everyone. Through the decades, some populations have been designated as “not White” or not White enough and may experience disparate treatment and outcomes like Black people.

As President of the Long Island-based civil rights organization ERASE Racism, I often address diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) at public events, specialized workshops, and other training sessions that we conduct. In the context of structural racism, diversity refers to the presence of people who are not White (i.e., from different races and life experiences); equity refers to whether or not resources and power are available equally for White people and People of Color; inclusion ensures that all people experience fair treatment allowing them to feel welcome and attain outcomes that concretely and accurately reflect their abilities, efforts, and performance in the workplace and other settings.

One of the common misconceptions, I find, is that many people believe that addressing DEI is something organizations should do only if they have a “problem” – if they have been called out publicly for a specific deficiency. Similarly, addressing DEI is often seen as optional or requiring occasional attention.

But structural racism affects us all, so we all have a responsibility to address its implications in our organizations and communities. Defeating structural racism requires that we address DEI broadly in all its facets, and that takes concentrated effort and determined attention.

For organizations as well as businesses, some areas of policy and practice require special attention if one is centering racial equity in efforts to implement DEI. Personnel is a prominent area in which racial discrimination often takes place. One must look especially at the following:

Are the job requirements and candidate qualifications defined in ways that minimize racial bias?
What efforts are made to expand the pool of qualified candidates to include People of Color?
Are hiring and promotion policies and practices evaluated to minimize bias?
Who is conducting the interviews, and are they appropriately educated about DEI and implicit bias so that the hiring process is likely to center racial equity?
How attractive is the workplace to a diverse pool of candidates?

Leadership is another area that needs attention. How diverse are the senior staff and the Board of Directors? Too often an organization or company will think that minimal diversity is sufficient and that it will thus deflect criticism, but that raises further problems: First, it deprives the organization of the perspectives and insights that come from greater diversity. Second, it puts an enormous burden on one or two people, while seemingly setting limits on the organization’s commitment to diversity. Third, having one or two People of Color in a particular role may give an appearance of diversity but may not enable equity and inclusion to be achieved.

The interactions that an organization or company has – with customers or the public at large – are another area that often needs work.

Who are the customers, and how diverse are they?
What assumptions are made about the customers?
How are their needs being heard and met?
Do all customers and clients have access to the same products and services?

Every organization and business should make a true commitment to addressing diversity, equity, and inclusion. It’s vital that each entity considers the record of the industry in which it functions as well as the record of its own organization and commits to achieving real progress in DEI.

Engaging on these issues does not imply a failure but rather demonstrates courage and persistence. Structural racism affects us all. No one is free of its consequences. That’s why everyone needs to actively remove the structural impediments to racial equity, including those policies and practices that appear to be race-neutral but in fact produce disparate treatment or disparate impact for People of Color. Achieving diversity, equity, and inclusion is good for every business and organization, and it’s the right thing to do.


Elaine Gross

President

ERASE Racism

Elaine Gross is President of ERASE Racism, the civil rights organization based on Long Island.


This article was also featured in our newsletter NFP Advisor Vol. 25

SOURCING LONG-TERM SUPPORTERS AT YOUR NEXT EVENT: 4 TIPS

SOURCING LONG-TERM SUPPORTERS AT YOUR NEXT EVENT

By: Kelly Velasquez-Hague at OneCause

You’ve worked hard to encourage many of your supporters to attend your nonprofit’s fundraising  events. With the help of your digital marketing campaign, personalized phone calls, and targeted online ads, your RSVP list grew longer than you could’ve imagined.

But true donor connection and engagement needs to extend beyond your event. So the million dollar question is, how can you convert them into long-term supporters?

According to The 2021 Giving Experience study by OneCause, 64% of attendees rated their experience as excellent and 34% rated it as good. Your event gives your nonprofit a starting point to deepen engagement and forge stronger relationships. Think about it — attendees have already expressed an interest in supporting your mission via your fundraising event. They are primed to continue their support if you put in place the right stewardship strategies from the start!

Sourcing long-term supporters at your next event might seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Follow these top tips to leverage  your fundraising event to foster long-term relationships with supporters:

    • Make a good first impression. 
    • Perfect your messaging. 
    • Ensure it’s easy to donate. 
    • Keep in touch.

Sourcing and retaining long-term supporters is one of the most effective ways to generate sustainable donation revenue for your cause. And those potential regular supporters are right in front of you at your events. Let’s get started!

1. MAKE A GOOD FIRST IMPRESSION.

Whether your supporters are repeat, first-time, or lapsed supporters, you need to make a great first impression. A good first impression extends past the first few minutes of your event and should be part of your planning for the entire event. Everything matters, from your registration setup, to your event communications, to how you thank your attendees afterwards.

When it comes to making a good first impression, be intentional. Think about ways to make the supporter experience seamless, fun, and grounded in your mission. Use these strategies to give attendees an experience to remember:

  • Personalization: Potential long-term supporters want to feel valued by your organization. Give them a personalized experience. On your emails, invitations, and communications, use your supporter’s first name rather than a generic “Dear Donor” greeting. Go a step further and try to learn a bit about select first-time attendees so you can identify ways to form a meaningful connection at your event.
  • Organization: A well-organized event conveys professionalism and trustworthiness, and helps your mission shine. Be sure to keep organization and a seamless experience at the center of your planning. This is especially important if you’re hosting a a hybrid event, with two distinct guest experiences (remote and in-person). To keep your hybrid events running smoothly, check out this OneCause hybrid fundraising guide.
  • Appreciation: Your attendees have taken time out of their busy schedules to support your nonprofit, so be sure to create ways to show appreciation, throughout your attendee experience. Dedicate time during the event to express gratitude and create  personalized thank you moments.

Remember, a well-organized and personal event will leave a strong, lasting impression. Whether you’re hosting an in-person, hybrid, or virtual event, start  your planning process in advance to give you and your team enough time to prepare a great first impression.

2. PERFECT YOUR MESSAGING.

Cultivating a personal relationship with your attendees is important, but the relationship won’t stick unless your attendees connect with your mission at your event. Whether your event is about raising awareness about your cause or encouraging donations for a campaign, perfecting your messaging is crucial. To strengthen your messaging:

  • Align your tone with your brand: The tone you use in your messaging builds your brand. Be sure that the way you talk about your nonprofit, cause, and mission all have a consistent tone, brand voice, and strengths-based language.
  • Tie messaging back to your mission: Your mission should be at the heart of everything you do. In your marketing materials, communications, and event information — do one thing: tie everything back to your mission!
  • Emphasize donor impact: Your supporters want to know their contributions make a difference. Throughout your event, show how long-term support can drive impact and improve lives. Be sure to use concrete examples and impact statements. 

Your messaging creates depth for your supporters — it’s what ignites their passion for your cause and creates a memorable experience. By spending time crafting a powerful mission message for your event, one that resonates with your audience, you can deepen your connection with short-term attendees and start building long-term supporters relationships.

3. ENSURE IT’S EASY TO DONATE.

Supporters, whether they’re one-time or recurring donors, value ease and convenience. Our Giving Experience study found that 64% of donors contributed to a nonprofit because “it was easy to do.”

Start with your donation form. Look at it from the donor’s perspective. Ask yourself:

  • Is it easy to use?
  • Can you complete it from your phone?
  • How many steps does it take from start to finish to complete a donation?

Streamline your donation form as much as possible, especially if you’re directing virtual attendees to your website to donate. With the right fundraising software, you can customize your donation form to create a seamless giving experience. Remember your donors are consumers in real-life too. They want their giving to be as easy as their online shopping experience. So be sure your donation form delivers!

When customizing your donation form, have  a pop-up or other option asking if donors would like to become recurring donors. Include a blurb on  how recurring donors can deepen the impact of your mission. Simple, powerful recurring donation requests can encourage supporters to commit to your cause long-term.

You can get supporters more involved by actively encouraging them to explore matching gift opportunities. Perhaps their employer will match their donation on a monthly basis. Many supporters have no idea about the availability or power of matching gifts. Using matching gift software, you can quickly help supporters verify if their employer matches donations.

In the end, whether your event is virtual, hybrid, or in-person, a streamlined donation process will help your cause increase the chances of converting supporters from one-time gift givers towards more impactful contributions.

4. KEEP IN TOUCH.

Once you’ve formed a connection with your donor at the event, you need to sustain the relationship with effective communication. Regularly communicating with your supporters, even if they’ve only donated once, will demonstrate that you value every contribution and might encourage them to donate more frequently.

Here a few meaningful ways to stay in touch with your supporters:

  • Send your annual report: Your annual point is an ideal place to show donors the impact of their contributions. Consider creating a digital version of your annual report to send out to all of your donors so they can see what your nonprofit has been up to.
  • Offer connection opportunities: You could also keep in touch with your supporters by sharing different ways for them to get involved beyond donating. Send information about signing up for volunteer opportunities if your supporters have previously expressed interest in getting more involved. 
  • Encourage peer-to-peer involvement: Don’t forget to highlight potential peer-to-peer fundraising opportunities! For instance, if you’re hosting a 5K run, encourage your donors to solicit donations from their friends and family members to support their participation in the run. Create templates and other marketing materials to help your supporters effectively connect with their network.

While you don’t want to overwhelm your supporters with communications, it’s important to stay in contact with them throughout the year and to connect with them in meaningful ways that extend beyond a donation ask. Find ways to communicate, share, and invite them into your mission. This creates long-term value for both your supporters and your nonprofit.

Long-term supporters are the backbone of your organization, and their contributions help sustain your work towards your mission. By connecting with supporters at your event and then following up on those relationships afterwards, you can source and keep more supporters for the long-term. Happy Fundraising!

KELLY VELASQUEZ-HAGUE

events@poweredbyprofessionals.com

FEBRUARY NPP SPOTLIGHT QUESTIONS

Jonathan Forgash

Queens Together

NRH: Jonathan, we are so excited to welcome you and Queens Together to the  Nonprofit Resource Hub and our growing community! We all want to get to know about you and your organization. Let’s start off by having you tell us a little bit more about Queens Together and its mission?

JF: Alison, thank you for the opportunity to be a part of the Nonprofit Resource Hub. We are excited to join the community. Queens Together started when COVID19 shut down NYC. We began fundraising on social media to pay for an idea that would help restaurants pay bills, keep employees on the job and provide meals to those suffering job loss or infirmities due to COVID. We call this system “Plating it forward.” Our long term goal is to be a “Last mile” support network for restaurants and communities. The Queens Together mission is “Restaurants supporting each other in business and feeding communities in crisis.” I am very proud of what we have accomplished to date. 

NRH: Now, can you tell us about yourself? How and why did you choose this organization to work with?

JF: Sure thing. I am a long time Astoria Queens resident with a background in food service, sales and marketing. I co-founded Queens Together with the original intention of starting the first small business restaurant association in Queens. We had been working on the idea since the fall of 2019 and had been planning on applying for our 501c3 in July 2020. COVID squashed those plans but we realized we were perfectly positioned to do the “Plate it forward” concept. We were already part of the food community and had the “last mile”, “boots on the ground” connections to make this idea work locally across the borough. Honestly, it was also a morale booster for everyone involved. We were doing something useful in the face of so much loss. 

NRH: Tell us what your goals are for your organization this coming year?

JF: Our goal for 2022 is to become a fully funded non profit organization, build our restaurant association membership and CBO partnership network. There are 6,000 food businesses in Queens and the goal is to create “One borough, One voice” to powerfully support one another. This combined network of restaurants and CBOs will support one another in good times and lead our food relief efforts in bad times. 

NRH: Tell us about one success story you are really proud of.

JF: In the fall of 2020 we received $15,000 in funds for food relief. Queens Together organized 1500 meals for families and individuals living at shelters across Queens. We paid our teams of restaurants to prepare warm meals and our volunteer force to make deliveries to the shelters. Meals were cooked and delivered to all by 3pm the same day. It was an inspiring undertaking and everyone stepped up to make it happen. This is the power of community in action. 

NRH: What do you find to be the biggest challenge to working in the nonprofit industry (or with your organization in particular) since the start of the pandemic?

JF: We are so new to this that we are really invisible to the nonprofit world and more importantly, to the organizations and elected officials that fund groups like ours. Don’t forget, we started from nothing. We have had a fiscal sponsor since April 2020. Our 501c3 status did not arrive till May 2021. We are still an unpaid volunteer force. It will take time to become a permanent, useful organization in our community. 

NRH: Aside from increasing awareness and donations, what is one area of your business you would love assistance with?

JF: People and promotion! The best people for growing our advisory team and adding staff members, when funding allows. Promotion, to help get the word out to restaurants and CBOs. The more that join the stronger our voice and ability to help. 

NRH: What program initiatives do you have scheduled for this coming year and how can the NRH community get involved to support you?

JF: The first initiative is to add restaurants and CBOs to our networks. This will allow us to connect resources to our restaurants and build food relief infrastructure with our community leaders. Membership for both networks are free. Our new website will be up and running by late February 2022. 

NRH: What are you most looking forward to as a new Nonprofit Partner with the NRH?

JF: The opportunity to meet and learn from others. 

NRH: Is there anyone you would like to connect with that, perhaps, we could help make an introduction for you?

JF: Kathryn Garcia. She knows how to get things done and could be a big sister to our community based food relief programs. 

NRH: We encourage all of our Members and Partners to work on building our community and relationships within. How can we get in touch with you? What is your preferred method of communication?

JF: Email, text, phone.

NRH: Is there anything else you would like to share with the NRH community?

JF: The silver lining of COVID has been working with people who simply wanted to step up and do something positive during the pandemic. Everyone offered their skills and time to make this work happen. The power of “community in action” has shown me that anything is possible. 

* Please add any other important information you would like to share including 

  links to your blog posts, white papers, etc.

Queenstogether.org

IG: qns_together

FB: Queens Together