Blog

New year, new features

The holidays are over, but things are about to get better. Over the next few months, we will be releasing several new features and enhancements to help you make this year your most productive yet. Here are 3 major updates you can expect from Akubo in 2019:

An all-new email editor. With a fresh drag-and-drop interface, you’ll be able to create, design, and preview your emails more easily and quickly — no HTML skills required.

Akubo Chat. A faster way to provide support: We’re working on a live-chat app integration that lets you talk directly with our customer support team directly from your Akubo platform.

Akubo Donor Connect. A portal where your donors or customers can track their own giving history and print receipts or invoices.

We’re also working on a new set of enhancements for the Events feature, giving Payments a design makeover, and boosting Akubo’s platform security.

Our team is always on the lookout for more ways to make Akubo easier and more effective than ever, and we’d love your input. Send us your feedback and suggestions at support@akubo.com.

Staff Spotlight: Renita

 

This year we decided it’s also time for you to get to know our team a little better. For the first staff spotlight, we’d like to (re)introduce you to one of our senior software engineers: Renita! She’s a familiar face to many of our clients in Metro Manila and one of Akubo’s longest tenured members.

 

Name: Renita Pioquid
Job title: Software engineer
Has been in Akubo since: June 2013

 

Tell us about your career so far. What did you do before you came to Akubo?

Right after college I worked as an IT instructor for 6 months in Aklan (June – November 2008). I left Aklan in June 2009 and applied for a software developer position in a small company in Makati. I left my second job to look for an opportunity to better enhance my skills and that’s when I joined Akubo.

What projects do you work on?

I started working on adding client enhancement requests in Akubo, including the events and memberships feature, and working with another software engineer to completely modify the look and feel of Akubo.

What do you like about being a software engineer?

I think it’s being able to have a chance to use technology to help others.

Tell us about a typical day at work.

Coffee jump-starts my day, then I spend the first few hours making sure I don’t have any unopened emails in my inbox (I hate seeing unopened email notices in my inboxes. Haha), then I plot my schedule for the week so I can easily track my available dates in case a request for product presentation or client visit / meeting pops in. The remaining hours of the day are spent either in development, meetings / visits / sales presentation, and working with other developers.

What’s the most rewarding part about being in Akubo / being a software engineer?

There was this one time when I had to train members of a government office and at the end of the training one of the bosses said, “You’re really good at what you do.” To be appreciated by people you work directly or indirectly because you’ve made their work a little easier / faster (through technology) is I think the best reward.

What do you look forward to learning?

 I think being adaptive to new technologies is a good to have skill when you’re a software engineer. In the future, I wish to jump into mobile app development since most users now have access to cellphones. Easy access to smart phones tends to push most service providers now to have a corresponding app available for their services/products.

How do you balance client expectations with your workload?

I tend to set priorities, making sure that urgent needs are tackled first and client expectations are met on time.

What’s the key to managing / completing a project successfully?

Following a development life cycle (SDLC) is key. In every project it is always vital to start with defining the requirements, planning and design before building a product. And always perform thorough testing or series of tests before deployment.

What do you find most challenging about your work? How do you deal with it?

 I think I still find doing multiple roles challenging. It often confuses me to switch between tasks, so what I did is to divide my work week between development, sales, tech support and office work. I also use apps like Apple Calendar and Trello to manage schedule and deadlines.

How do you define success?

Success for me is doing things that make me and the people I love happy and things that help others.

What is your philosophy in life / motto / mantra?

To always see things positively.

Tell us about three career lessons you’ve learned so far.

  1. To know when to speak and when to listen
  2. To always keep an open mind, and
  3. To never stop learning.

What does Akubo mean to you?

Akubo is family and friendship. Family because it is supportive and gives you opportunities to help you grow as a person and as a software engineer. Friendship because over the years, I was able to meet real friends in Akubo.

 

Bonus questions!

Favorite movie: The Age of Adaline

Comfort food: Blueberry cheesecake

If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Blue. It’s calming and it reminds me of the color of the sky and the ocean.

If you could swap places with someone else for a day, who would it be? Mark Zuckerberg, I wanted to know what a day in Facebook is like. 

On Failure

teambuilding-on-failure

Last Tuesday, our team set aside office work and gathered for a teambuilding seminar.

Unlike our previous activities, however, we spent the day reviewing the basics of sales and exchanging insights about our performance. It was about time that we had this kind of discussion together, as it is a great opportunity to recharge and make sure we are all moving in the same direction as a company.

One of our main topics was this generally pesky concept called failure. You know, when sometimes a situation does not go the way we expected or planned them to? When this happens, we normally ask ourselves: why did it (we) fail? What else, what more, could we have done? What did we not do? What if we did this and not that? Questions, questions.

We all have different opinions about failure. Some people view it as a loss, usually financially, or as a sign of weakness. Others believe that it does not even exist at all. That failure is, supposedly, just a state of mind. However you choose to look at it, I think we can agree that failure is inevitable. Everyone goes and continues to go through it — in their career, relationships, various areas of personal growth. It is necessary, especially if we aim to be successful, and it should not stop us from working harder. We can learn from what went wrong and we will do better next time. There will always be room for improvement, like there’s always room for dessert.

Below are some lessons from the team that might motivate yours as well:

“Keep in mind the reason for our failure.”

“Don’t wait for a memo to give you a wake up call.”

“There’s no excuse for rudeness in the workplace, no matter how wrong they are or how right you are.”

“Failure to prepare is preparing to fail.”

“Cramming does not work for everyone. Know your priorities.”

“Learn when to suck it up, and when to let go.”

Source: Blog

Akubo Tip: How to Merge Contacts

Merging duplicate contacts can be a time-consuming task as you transfer all the update information from one contact to another and delete the duplicate contact.

For this article, we will help you how to merge contacts.

On the main page of Akubo, click the menu icon on the Contacts tile. Then click Helpful Lists, go to Find Duplicates > by Name.

 

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You will see the list of duplicate contacts. If all the information are the same and you don’t have to merge, you can select the contact and click Delete. But if you have to merge contacts, you’ll have to export the contacts, merge them in Excel, and import it back to Akubo. Here are the steps on how to do it:

1) If the duplicate contacts are not yet in group, then it is suggested that you grouped them. On the listing page of Duplicate Contacts, select all contacts then click Add to Group. Create a group of duplicates.

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2) On the main page of Akubo, click Others, then Import & Export.

3) On the Export drop down menu, choose CONTACTS to CSV.

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4) For contacts to export, choose the group with duplicate contacts. Then choose the fields you want to be included in the exported file. Don’t forget to choose ‘Contact ID’ and ‘Group’.

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5) Click Export.

6) You can open the file on MS Excel and you can start merging the information of contacts. When you import back the contacts to Akubo to make it easy to identify which contact to delete, add a group under the Group column. Use comma as a separator.

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7) After you merge the contacts on Excel, go back to the main page of Akubo. Click Others and ‘Import & Export’.

8) Under the Import drop-down menu, click UPDATE CONTACTS using Excel or CSV file.

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9) Click Choose file and select the exported file that you updated, then click Upload.

10) Next step in matching the columns of the spreadsheet with the fields in the database. Matched columns will be in green.

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11) On the Import settings ‘Merge by checking these columns’, select Contact ID.

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12) Click Import.

13) To delete contacts, click the menu icon on the Contacts tile and click Groups. Select the ‘delete_contacts’ group and on the listing page, select all the contacts then click Delete.

Source: Blog

5 Fundraising ideas for nonprofits

fundraising-ideas

1. Host a walkathon

Even if your organization does not focus on healthcare, you can never go wrong with promoting a healthy, active lifestyle. For added fun, make it a themed walkathon: let participants do the race in costumes, or have them bring their pets. If hosting the walkathon is too expensive, you can opt to sell merchandise like shirts or put up a snack kiosk at the event instead.

2. Do an art auction

Auctions are a great way to raise funds for a cause, promote budding artists, and find great pieces of artwork. You can organize auctions for paintings, sculptures, decorative art pieces, and other handicrafts.

3. Partner with a restaurant

Organize a joint fundraiser to bring more customers for the restaurant and to earn a percentage of the profits for your organization. It can be a cafe, a hotel, a pastry shop, or preferably a family restaurant — since this fundraiser works best if you have a wide network of contacts: your extended family, your officemates, church group members, or classmates.

4. Cut/Shave for a cause

Hair donation may not seem very common in the Philippines, but it is not unheard of. Participants can pledge to shave their heads or beards, or even just cut off several inches of their hair in a ponytail, to raise funds or awareness for an organization.

5. Create and sell

A straightforward fundraiser—many young adults in particular would love to buy customized crafts like journals, bottlecap keychains, handmade soap, desk calendars, water bottles, and even tie-dye shirts!

Akubo Tip: Import & Update Import Contacts

Adding numerous contacts into a database is a difficult task as well as cleaning your database. A lot of time should be dedicated just for that task. In Akubo, you can import your contacts from an Excel or CSV file as well as doing an update import. Below is a sample format of the Excel file.

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1. On the main page of Akubo, click Others, then Import & Export.

2. On the Import dropdown, select CONTACTS from Excel or CSV file.

3. Click Choose File to find the file from your computer that you want to import. Click Upload.

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4. Next is matching the columns of the spreadsheet with columns in the database. The matched columns will be in green.

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If your file contains duplicate names, you can check on the setting that will not allow duplicates to be imported. You have the option to check for duplicates by: Name/Organization, Email, Both Name and Email, or Custom Field.

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You can use the setting Assign Country to set a country value only if there are no other value in the Country column in the spreadsheet or if all the contacts are from the same country.

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If you want to add the new contacts to a specific group, you can use the setting GROUP: Add all imported entries to the group. From the drop-down menu, you can select an existing group or create a new one.

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5. Click Import.

 


If you’re cleaning your database, you can do an update import by exporting the contacts and after updating them in MS Excel, import it back to Akubo.

1. Export the contacts first. On the main page of Akubo, click Others, then Import & Export.

2. On the Export dropdown menu, select CONTACTS to CSV.

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3. Select the contacts you want to export. You can select all contacts, by group or by individual contacts.

4. Next, select the fields you want to include in the exported file.

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Note: Don’t forget to check Contact ID. The Contact ID will help Akubo identify each contact when you do an update/import.

5. Click Create CSV File (MS Excel), then Export.

6. After editing the contacts in MS Excel, import it back to Akubo. On the Import & Export page, click on the link UPDATE CONTACTS using Excel or CSV file under the Import dropdown menu.

7. Click Choose File, and the select the file you wish to import. Then click Upload.

8. Next step is matching the columns of the spreadsheet with the columns in the database. Matched columns will be in green.

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9. When merging/updating contacts, you can merge by the following options: Name/Organization, Email Address, Contact ID, Both Name and Email Address or by Custom Field.

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Note: When choosing the column to check for merging, it must have a unique value. Example is if you select email address then there should be no contact in the database that has the same email address listed on the spreadsheet. If there are duplicates, Akubo will not import the contact until the duplicate is removed. It is suggested that you use Contact ID since it is unique to each contact.

10. Click Import.

Akubo Tip: Tracking your donors

You may have some donors in your database who haven’t donated since 2014, for example, or some who haven’t donated at all. Now is a good time to get in touch with them through a mailer.

In Akubo, you can view a list called Lapsed Donors: it’s a list of donors who have donated before, or have not given since, 2014. For this tutorial, we will get the list of donors who haven’t donated since 2014 and even those who have never donated to your organization yet.

Continue reading “Akubo Tip: Tracking your donors”