What Did COVID Teach Your Volunteer Programs?

What Did COVID Teach Your Volunteer Programs?

COVID served as a sort of stress test for many volunteer programs. Could they survive without in-person activities? Could you adapt them to the new circumstances?   Most important – Were there changes you made that you’re adopting permanently? At WaterGrass we convened a discussion on the topic.  (WaterGrass is an organizational database that among other […]

Read More

Volunteering at Scale

Baird Straughan, 7 Feb 2022 We started WaterGrass to help organizations manage growing volunteer programs with limited staff, and the Milwaukee Riverkeeper has achieved that in spades.  Along the way, they illustrate some basic principles of large-scale volunteer programs, and illuminate a new challenge for us. In our webinar How One Organizer Led 218 Events […]

Read More

Know Your Database Culture

Installment #1 of the Nine Database Best Practices. Carl Paulsen, WaterGrass   Databases provide us with the tools to make our jobs with nonprofits easier.  Or at least that’s what they SHOULD do.  The trouble is, a database is like any other tool; it works best when in the hands of a skilled craftsman.  In […]

Read More

Finding Your Database Maven

Finding Your Database Maven

Baird and Carl with thanks to the many mavens we have learned from.  At WaterGrass, we’ve watched a lot of organizations grow.  The successful ones maintain consistency in their database and get really good at using the data to generate donations and engagement from their supporters. They can do that because their data is entered […]

Read More

Are Online Volunteer Waivers Legally Valid?

Are Online Volunteer Waivers Legally Valid?

Baird Straughan, April 2021 Online waivers speed up event registration, reduce paperwork, and liberate organizers so they can concentrate on the event itself and the people attending.  Nevertheless, some of our client organizations worry that if an accident occurred, courts wouldn’t respect a waiver that’s not on paper.  What’s the truth? Short answer: At present, […]

Read More

Good Enough Data Security for Small Organizations in the Age of Mega-Hacks

Good Enough Data Security for Small Organizations in the Age of Mega-Hacks

Baird Straughan, March 2021 At WaterGrass we aspire NOT to work in data security.  Our client organizations are relatively small, unlikely to attract persistent hackers.  For financial transactions, we use the secure connections of much bigger players – Salesforce, Click and Pledge, iATS.  We advise clients to keep credit card numbers and other sensitive information […]

Read More

WaterGrass & UNH Paul School Partner to Extract Lessons from Fundraising and Volunteer Data

WaterGrass & UNH Paul School Partner to Extract Lessons from Fundraising and Volunteer Data

Great news! It’s been 12 years since we founded WaterGrass, and along the way we’ve gathered some 200 organization/years of anonymized data on donor and volunteer behavior. There’s surely a lot to learn in it, but we’ve been too busy developing new features to really dig as we’d like to. Now Dr. Phani Kidampi of […]

Read More

UNH Masters Students to Analyze WaterGrass Data for Best Practices

Great news! One of WaterGrass’ goals has been to analyze our anonymized, aggregate data in order to learn about trends and best practices for individual fundraising. From our analysis we’ve learned things like: Organizations with formal membership programs raise more per donor than organizations which don’t. The median donor gives to WaterGrass a little less […]

Read More