Forecasting Demand for Andson Services

by Anthony McTaggart

Its the beginning of 2015, and that means that corporations - both for profit and nonprofit - have to report to both shareholders and board members.

I was engaged in a conversation with an engineer at a public corporation recently, where he (and soon, I) was upset about the potential for, and complete lack of forecasting that was going on for production of their product line. Initially, I said to myself "Why aren't they forecasting?" That quickly changed to, "Wait, why aren't WE forecasting?"

Forecasting demand is required for most businesses - but may be overlooked in the nonprofit sector. It’s the analysis of past performance in one’s organization, combined with data that alludes to demand for future products, performance, or markets. In essence, it can be a beautiful symbiosis of art and science, one that usually takes time to hone and eventually master.

Some of us are so busy in the day-to-day that we often don’t plan ahead for what's to come. That can lead to two things: Either we have unsustainable growth that causes unplanned budgetary expenditures, or we get into the "No" mode - where we couldn't possibly grow since we have no time to plan where that funding or partnership might come from. How are we to serve a rapidly growing community if we don't plan for it?

Every window in my office is used as a whiteboard

Going forward for the 2015- 16 school year, we as an organization will be looking at 55% of our programming, in terms of budget and locations, being attributed to pre-existing, in place programming; 25% will come from new funding, meaning new locations. For the other 20%, meaning new business, we will be engaging in real demand forecasting. What this entails, is paying attention to data across the Valley: population growth, new communities, new partner locations (like where a new library or Boys & Girls Club are planned), trends in test scores, and areas of general concern in the community.

This isn't difficult, but it does take meaningful dialogue and time - now is the time to start within your own organizations.

If you think you don't have someone that can do this, you might be pleasantly surprised. Look no further than your Development and Marketing team. Mixed with some programming staff, you can have a forecasting team built and deployed by the end of February! Great Development staff have their ear to the ground and are always identifying new resources. This is learned behavior and can be taught. Great Marketers are used to deploying new collateral quickly, and creating a following. Great programming staff can quickly engage in feasibility analyses to conduct new programs.

Our team is amazing, and we are willing to help! Please contact us if you want to grab a coffee and discuss how to become better at forecasting. It would be a wonderful feeling to know what the next year of partnership holds. We look forward to sustainability and planned growth going forward for both our organization, and yours.

Cheers, Anthony

Students and Donors....Take Advantage of this Program!


Interested in working with nonprofits or building connections with them? Or do you just want to build up your leadership skills and experience (something that will look really, really good to future employers)?

Or are you someone who is looking to donate to a nonprofit, but you are unsure of which one and don’t have the time to research?

Then UNLV has the program for you.

Have you heard of Grantwell (a graduate level course offered at UNLV)?

As it states on UNLV’s website, the mission of this program is “to provide graduate students a laboratory for applying the nonprofit management expertise acquired in the classroom to real-world projects.”

Grantwell provides graduate students with real-life experience in working with nonprofits and donors and builds up valuable skills that students will exercise in the workplace.

The steps of the program are simple – the client and Grantwell students establish what the client is looking for in an organization to donate to. The Grantwell students submit Requests for Proposals to various nonprofits. The selected nonprofits submit proposals. The Grantwell students then submit their recommendations to the donor (after much research), and the donor then selects a nonprofit based on those recommendations.

UNLV adopted the program from Brigham Young University in 2013, and it presents such a great opportunity not only to our community, but also to our young adults, that our very own Executive Director here at Andson Academics, Anthony McTaggert, is one of Grantwell’s board members.

Anthony is ecstatic about Grantwell and the opportunities it provides to so many.

“Grantwell is an amazing combination of donors and students working together to support the best candidates in the community. I can see this program lasting for years to come, and being an important piece of grant funding in Southern Nevada. I know the importance of these types of life experience courses,” he said.

To take advantage of this unique opportunity and learn more about the program, please visit http://www.unlv.edu/ncli/grantwell.


Letter from Leadership

Dear Friends,

I am delighted to share the news of our progress and the remarkable milestones we have accomplished over the last few months. As one of the leading organizations providing Academic and Financial Literacy Education to the children and youth of Southern Nevada, we deliver a full range of unique and innovative learning programs across the valley.

For the past few years, our fundraising efforts have been quite minimal. In many ways, we have been shy about asking others for money before proving results. But April catapulted our philanthropic quest to a whole new level as Andson joined the selected group of charities that benefit from the Annual Governor's Black-Tie Invitational. With a wonderful gift of $80K, the Southern Highlands Charitable Foundation is fueling our work to equip students with the tools they need to achieve intellectual growth and academic success.

May marked the completion of the 2012-2013 school year. Eight months in which over 2,500 students across the Las Vegas Valley received supplemental education through our Academic Assistance program and tailored Financial Literacy classes. We graduated approximately 800 students in our Homework Help & Tutoring program with notable improvements of one to two grade levels in all areas – these students enjoyed pizza parties and received certificates of achievement! Simultaneously, almost 2,000 students from kinder to high school seniors at three different public schools learned the basics of personal finance and money saving habits.

May also marked the installation of a diverse and fully functional Board of Directors. Armed with a new president, secretary and treasurer, we are prepared to embark on a strategic planning process that will allow us to grow sustainably, deepening in breadth and impact. Moving into the summer season, we all look forward to continuing our efforts in education by delivering a summer reading program and hosting Andson's Back to Class Bash on Saturday, August 3rd – sponsored by St. Rose Dominican Hospitals and the Southern Highlands Community Association.

On behalf of the Board of Directors and Staff, we would like to thank you for your friendship and hope that you will consider joining our various initiatives – together we can make a difference!

Kindest regards,[spacing amount=20]

Sonia McTaggart-Anderson Founder and CEO