For some people, riding a bike is merely about transportation. Not for me. Aside from the exercise that cycling provides, I often have my most compelling insights while in the saddle. At times, riding becomes a metaphor for life.
One path that I ride frequently travels east from downtown Denver toward the Cherry Creek Reservoir. A few miles into the ride, I pass under a roadway, execute a full 360-degree turn, and confront my nemesis: a 3-foot pole in the middle of the path; it’s there to prevent cars and other motorized vehicles from driving onto the trail. Read More
Creating an Affordable Social Media Program
Now more than ever, donors expect nonprofits to be transparent, impactful, and relatable on a human level. Changes in our society’s day-to-day habits have prepared supporters to make quick, visual, and emotional connections with your organization. The question is – Do you have a clearly defined social media strategy and are you posting relevant content, consistently? For nonprofits that rely heavily on donors to give for emotional reasons, this is even more critical. For those of you saying “we just don’t have the resources”, we want to suggest a new approach. Read More
Canopy Advisory Group Gives an EDGE to Consultant Community
New Platform Addresses the Needs of the Growing Independent Workforce
According to a recent NPR/Marist poll, one in five jobs in America is held by contract workers, and within a decade half the American workforce could be contractors and freelancers. Canopy Advisory Group, a consulting firm that matches high-level advisers with employers who require specialized expertise, is offering EDGE, a new, premium service that supports independent consultants’ practices.
“We listened to feedback from our consultant advisers and reviewed market and behavioral trends to determine how Canopy could most effectively meet the expressed needs of our team. The opportunity to collaborate with other highly skilled colleagues was at the top of their list.” Read More
Startup PR Do’s and Don’ts
I began my career in journalism, writing about technology trends for a healthcare magazine long before the dawn of cell phones--much less social media. As a young reporter, there were times when I easily fell prey to the savvy PR person. I once attended a large industry conference, and was invited to briefing after briefing which I dutifully accepted upon the urgings of my boss. One of those briefings was followed by a fancy dinner. I was one of three reporters present, and we were giddy with all the attention. After three courses and some expensive wine, I went back to my hotel room and realized what I had just done. I had sold my soul to a vendor. I felt obligated to cover the company in my conference coverage; I never made the same mistake again. Read More
Advisor Spotlight: Julie Ennis, Marketing and PR Consultant
What was the most impactful marketing strategy implemented during your corporate career?
At General Mills, I was working on a business that had been steadily declining (along with the rest of the category). I led a six-month project to explore multiple hypotheses on what was driving the decline, including doing some fascinating consumer immersion work. The result of the project was a new messaging strategy that increased advertising ROI by 41% and stemmed the declines we’d been seeing in the business. Read More
Hunting Unicorns in the Gig Economy
Once upon a time, every worker in an organization had a specialty. The person in charge of personnel didn’t do marketing; the accounting team didn’t do project management; and the CEO didn’t lead team-building initiatives at employee off-site meetings.
Then the pendulum swung, and suddenly, everyone was expected to perform ‘other duties as assigned’ without batting an eye. Copywriters were expected to become social media gurus and recruiters felt more like psychologists, vetting personality traits and administering a variety of mental acuity assessments. Video producers and editors are now expected to perform both roles, earning them the combined title of ‘preditors.’ In fact, earlier this week I staffed a television news interview for a client with a local TV station and the reporter (who is also the anchor) acted as his own cameraman, expertly positioning lights, cameras, and interview subjects. Read More
Advisor Spotlight: Sam Bugg, Marketing and PR consultant
What work did you complete for the American Cancer Society?
I was a community liaison and fundraiser at the American Cancer Society (ACS). As Senior Manager, I led a team to raise $1 million annually through 25 grassroots fundraising events called Relay For Life. Funds went to ACS research, education, advocacy, and patient services.
How do you use your uniques interests in science and technology to differentiate yourself from others working in your field?
I approach everything I do with a scientific mind. This makes me curious, consider information objectively, and to strive to always improve. I differentiate myself as I'm trained in both science and communications, being able to serve as a translator between the two fields. I can take complex, technical information and translate it to easy-to-understand formats for various audiences. Read More
Advisor Spotlight: Nonprofit Consultant, Barbara Berv
How has your past professional experiences enabled you to better satisfy your current client’s needs?
My experience as a fundraiser and as the executive leader of a high-level development teams has been valuable to clients interested in improving their fundraising results. My advice has helped my clients identify the strengths of their organization’s mission, staff and board to make their fundraising more effective. I can help my clients more effectively engage important supporters inside their organizations, identify new supporters and increase support from current donors with the goal of furthering the mission of the organization.
How were you able to turn your passion into a career? Read More
Data Analytics: You don’t have to be big to do Big Data
Some leaders of small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) may think that they don’t need advanced analytics: they are doing just fine, thank you, with reports and basic dashboards. Besides, they don’t have the resources to leverage data, or don’t need analytics.
From my experience, they should reconsider: reports only look in the rearview mirror. Modern, forward-looking tools and techniques are more accessible, powerful and affordable than ever. Businesses are to the point that they can’t afford NOT to do data analytics – especially because their competitors probably are.
If you’re not sure how to get more out of your data, and then how to reap the benefits, this series of blogs may be helpful to you. Read More
Canopy Consultants Offer One-Two Punch for Client
“With the help Canopy and its talented consultants, we were able to bring rigor to our financial processes, allowing us to make better decisions for our investors.” —Daren Schmidt, managing partner, Allante Properties, LLC.
Founded on the heels of the Great Recession, Denver’s Allante Properties has burnished its reputation as a multifaceted real estate firm that aggregates private investors to fund acquisitions and developments of apartment communities.
In 2016, the firm determined it needed a more streamlined approach to its finance system to ensure that there would be no gaps in how staff at the corporate office managed cash flow and accounting processes with its subsidiaries and project entities.
“We’re a small company with big projects, and our finance and accounting system was not where we wanted it to be,” says Daren Schmidt, managing partner, Allante Properties, LLC.
The firm engaged Canopy Advisory consultant Jennifer Almquist — whose expertise lies in solving complex issues concerning corporate finance, accounting and finance reporting — to take a deep dive into Allante’s existing finance and accounting processes, and make several high-level recommendations for a more efficient operation to support the company’s strategic objectives. Read More