Friday, February 27, 2009

Corporate Simulation of Aidmatrix In-Kind Technology

On February 16th a team of 29 Accenture employees participated in an Aidmatrix simulation for their annual Service Day event. The Accenture District of Columbia office provided a large selection of volunteer opportunities for their employees to give back to the community. One of these opportunities was a virtual simulation event coordinated by Aidmatrix and several key Accenture people.

Mike Seifert, CEO in Residence, Aidmatrix, presented an overview of the national disaster relief network and how the states work through Aidmatrix technology to coordinate donations and needs between donors and relief agencies. Then, I reviewed the disaster scenario - a hurricane (yes, in February) had hit Washington DC and that this team of Accenture employees had been selected to manage the disaster relief efforts through the National Donations Management Network, powered by Aidmatrix. Members of the group were assigned their roles as donors, administrators, or nonprofits and they began sharing transactions through the network. After 30 minutes of intense activity and communication, the group came together to discuss results and provide valuable feedback to us at Aidmatrix. We will utilize this professional information when developing future technology enhancements.

I want to thank Sean Burke, Scott Zailer, and Lauren Ross of Accenture for their invaluable efforts in making this event possible.

Daniel David, Program Manager

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Corporate Social Responsibility DNA

Last night, I attended the American German Business Club meeting in Munich where Fritz Lietsch, the publisher for Forum-CSR International (, presented on corporate social responsibility. He talked about the growing awareness for corporations of their social responsibility – from environment to fiscal responsibility. There were 2 points that he made that I thought were key. The first was the CSR cannot just be a buzz-word for the marketing and PR department to use, but rather must be based on actions. That actions must come before words – do something and then talk about. Many corporations talk about it but do not do anything. You need to do it because it matters – not because you think it helps your image and bottom line (but ok if it does). The second key point was that this must become part of the corporate culture – embedded in their DNA. He also discussed how Germany lagged behind US in thinking about CSR but that was changing.

For me, the corporate DNA struck home. I spent most of my career at Texas Instruments in Dallas where being a good corporate citizen ranked equally, or close, to making profit. TI always took it seriously and did not do it for marketing purposes.

After the meeting, I talked to many of the attendees – both Americans and Germans. To my surprise, many did not ‘get’ what the presentation was about and how it impacted them. They had no idea what they could or should do. Later, I remembered then that as a college graduate in my first job at NCR Corporation, that I saw all the paper that was thrown out – and personally bought some recycle cans to use and took the paper to the recycling center every Saturday. This was back in the early 70’s before recycling was popular (and before I understood corporate hierarchy). I hope they are still recycling now – and it is part of their DNA.

Corporate culture changes are not just top down. We can all play a role in changing the corporate DNA. I challenge myself and others to look at how our company could be a better corporate citizen and how to make corporate social responsibility part of our company’s DNA. What can you do?

Shari Temple, Managing Director - Aidmatrix Europe

Friday, February 20, 2009

5 Ways to Check a Charity

Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine recently published an article entitled “Five Ways to Check a Charity”. With the challenging economic times and an increasing number of people in need, it’s important for donors to have a high degree of comfort that the nonprofit organizations they support are going to be excellent stewards of their donated dollars. Read on to see how Aidmatrix stacks up on each point:

1.“Look at Spending Priorities – Aim for Organizations that spend at least 75% of their programs on budget.” Aidmatrix well exceeds this guideline, spending a staggering 97% of income on domestic and international programs to deliver humanitarian relief through technology.

2.“Evaluate Accountability – Be sure the group has a well-defined mission and the organizational structure to support it.” Aidmatrix’s mission is to get the right aid to the right people at the right time. More than 35,000 leading corporate, nonprofit and government partners leverage our solutions to mobilize more than $1.5 billion in aid annually, worldwide. We were also included in the Better Business Bureau’s Charity Seal Program for meeting the standards of Charity Accountability. Read more.

3.“Beware Red Ink – Charities must file a Form 990 with the IRS.” Aidmatrix avoids red ink – our annual expenses do not exceed annual revenue. You can view Aidmatrix’s 990 here.

4.“Gauge the cushion – A charity can better withstand hard times if it has 6 month’s to a year’s worth of working capital.” Aidmatrix is consistently building new relationships with corporate, government and NGO partners who will help bring efficient humanitarian aid to those in need, which makes us well-positioned to withstand challenging economic environments. Aidmatrix is in keeping with the Kiplinger article’s savings standard by having adequate cash on hand at all times.

5.“Review the Charity’s Annual Report – Look for the word ‘unqualified’ in the auditor’s note, which indicates that the auditor has signed off on the charity’s finances without reservation.” The word “unqualified” appears in Aidmatrix’s 2007 Annual Auditors’ Report in the Summary of Auditors’ Results Section, Page 18, bullet 1. You can view Aidmatrix’s Annual Report here.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Techxans CIO Conference

Keith Thode, COO of Aidmatrix, spoke at the Techxans CIO Conference this morning. To see the video taping, click here. Click on "February 18th". You can skip all the way to 10:52 to 10:56 to see Keith talking.

Techxans is "the single largest Technology Executives Network in Texas". They bring technology executives together for collaboration and partnership. Aidmatrix was honored to be a part of the panel. For more information about Techxans, click here.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Lone Star Association of Charitable Clinics

Surrounded by the East Texas Pines, the members of the Lone Star Association of Charitable clinics had their annual conference in the Woodlands, Texas. Over 45 free clinics were able to take a day off from serving the uninsured to learn new ideas in the free clinic world. After many other valuable classes in development, fundraising, and health clinic management, the group met for lunch and heard the message of FreeClinicLink™, Aidmatrix's medical relief program.

The presentation began with a general inquiry to the audience of who has heard of FreeClinicLink™. About half of the audience raised their hand and those people were asked what they thought of the solution. Shouts from the audience included “we love it,” “you guys are great,” “it has saved us so much,” and “thank you thank you thank you.” Many of the clinics who were not using the program flooded the booth after the presentation in efforts to save their clinic what the average clinic saves - $80,000 a year. It reminded me how valuable this program is to millions of people across the country, and it reaffirmed how much of an impact the program can make in local communities to the uninsured.

Brad Watts, Texas Program Manager

Want to find out more about the program? Click here.