community

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

Gordon McCaw Elementary School

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Gordon McCaw Elementary is one of Andson’s newest sites. Andson has agreed to maintain their funding so students can finish out the year in their after school programs. The school will soon to be transitioning into a magnet program. Not only will they be implementing our after school tutoring, but we will be assisting them in the process of finishing out their original curriculum before they begin the shift into new classroom material. This exciting new material will be centered on STEAM curriculum, which stands for science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics. Andson will be at McCaw on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:30-4:00 p.m. with seven teachers and one support staff. These CCSD certified instructors will be helping grades 2-5 with homework and will provide small group tutoring. After this academic portion, students are provided a meal by Three Square, and then participate in a self-selected enrichment activity. During these times, the tutors will also be encouraging students to participate in setting goals for themselves to track their progress throughout the tutoring.

Unique to McCaw Elementary is the School of Mines. Current principal, Jennifer Furman-Born took us on a short tour and proudly told us all about it. What started as a paper mache project in 1998 has turned into quite an attraction. Teacher Janet Bremer along with then principal, Janet Dobry shared this vision. Today, with the help of community partnerships, students all over the valley can experience a simulated mine and learn about Nevada mining and history.

For more info on the McCaw School of Mines, please visit www.mccawschoolofmines.org.

Faces of the Future

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As you know, our goal at Andson is to improve academic achievement and financial literacy among at-risk youth in Southern Nevada. For the past four years, we have been delivering programs that help kids learn the skills they need to succeed in today’s world. Our  upcoming  Faces of the Future breakfast is a unique and inspiring opportunity to bring together community members who would like to learn more about us, and make a difference in our  students’  academic success!

On May 21st, at this one hour breakfast we will share information, expertise, and insights, while addressing the importance and need for supplementary educational programs for our at-risk students in Clark County.  Amongst our elite speakers that morning will be Nevada State Treasurer Kate Marshall, Superintendent Pat Skorkowsky, and Steve Schorr, who currently serves on the Governor's Task Force on Early Childhood Education!

We are honored to have these enthusiastic speakers attend our breakfast and are eager to hear what they have to say!

GiVe

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We at Andson believe in actively participating in our communities outside of work. Despite our busy fast-paced lives, it is vital that we take time to look outside of our own little bubbles and into the world beyond, making sure that we give to others.

Our Academic Program Director, Leslie DeVore is one such example of how we strive to incorporate giving into our lives.

Starting in 2007, Leslie and a group of women in Green Valley formed a group known as GiVe, merely a group of friends trying to make a difference in their community one gift at a time.

Their mission is to “inspire, educate and encourage women to take an active role in the community by pooling their charitable gifts to improve the lives of Henderson residents.” Once a month they give a gift to recognize someone, to help out someone, or to further a worthwhile project.

In April they chose to donate $600 to Andson to be used for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Henderson! This money will go toward hiring CCSD teachers and tutors, as well as purchasing academic supplies.

Andson is among the many organizations and charities that they have generously gifted, including HopeLink, Basic High School Special Needs, and Candlelighters.

Groups like GiVe show how easy it is to just take a moment and give back to others. We should all take part in striving for a better tomorrow.

National Financial Educators Day

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Tomorrow, April 25th, is National Financial Educators Day, and our own Co-Founder and Program Developer Anthony McTaggart is one of the two educators being recognized in Nevada on this day! How exciting!

According to the National Financial Educators Council website, this day celebrates, “…those individuals who are working to improve the financial capabilities of people in their communities.”

Therefore, this day not only recognizes “traditional educators,” but anyone who participates in educating others about finances!

We want to especially say thank you to everyone tutor, aide, volunteer, concerned parent, and donor out there who has helped our mission of educating youth in Southern Nevada about financial literacy.

To learn more about this as well as ways to get involved and make an impact in your community, go to http://www.financialeducatorscouncil.org/

Andson's Founder/CEO Being Honored at "Moms Rock"

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As Mother’s Day approaches, we proudly  announce that Andson’s Founder/CEO, Sonia McTaggart-Anderson, will be honored at the 10th "Moms Rock" Mother’s Day Tea & Brunch, hosted by St. Jude’s Ranch for Children. The fun filled event will be held on Saturday May 10th, at the JW Marriott Resort & Spa, benefitting Child Focus, a program of St. Jude’s Ranch for Children.

Join us as we continue in our quest towards improving the lives of thousands of children across the valley.

For more information, please contact Veronica Huening at:    VHuening@STjudesranch.org

 

Project Connect on Friday

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We’re having another Project Connect this Friday! What’s even more exciting is that it’s not only a Project Connect, but it’s also a tutor appreciation party!

As we’ll be springing into summer soon and the semester will be wrapping up, we want our tutors, and all of our supporters, to know how much we appreciate them.

So we hope that you will all make time to come down to McFaddens at Town Square, because starting at 4 o’clock we’re all going to eat, drink, connect, and celebrate!

We can’t wait to see you there and hope that you’ll have time to stop by.

So be there at the square!

Miracle Mile Money

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Well, we got oodles and oodles of wet coins from the Miracle Mile Shops, $3,031.01 to be exact! Thank you Miracle Mile for choosing us for March’s donation of coins from the fountain and indoor rainstorm at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino!

Also, we want to give a shout out to each and every one of you who took the time to toss your coins into the fountain and contribute to our cause!

We received six five-gallon buckets full of coins (and other interesting odds and ends).

We can’t wait to put this money to use in our Adopt-A-Student Program, and we’re sure the kids can’t wait as well.

10 Ways to Be a Better Person

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Our CEO and founder Sonia McTaggart-Anderson recently attended a Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida Board meeting the other day, and she thought something was so awesome that she wanted to share it. She was in the audience when twin middle school brothers, Jasian and Jakeson, gave an eye-opening presentation.

It was titled “Jasian & Jakeson’s 10 Ways to Be a Better Person.”

  1. Look at yourself in the mirror every morning before you go out the door and give yourself at least one compliment that you actually believe. Even “Your sweater looks nice today!” will work.
  2. Make an effort to be especially polite and kind to people throughout the day.
  3. If you don’t understand something, ask. Don’t let the conversation move forward without you being on board because you’re too embarrassed to admit that you didn’t understand the first time around. Remember there is nothing wrong with asking nicely to repeat something.
  4. Allow the little acts of rudeness that people enact on you throughout the day to serve mostly as a reminder not to do them yourself.
  5. Offer to help someone so they don’t feel like they have to burden you by asking.
  6. Always be clean and respectful when using public places instead of making a mess for both the custodian and the person who follows you to clean up.
  7. Donate to the homeless around you once in a while. Offer to buy them a meal, or give your spare change, or bring them a cup of coffee when it’s cold.
  8. Tell people when you like them, and remember that being rejected is not the end of the world. Also, be kind when you reject people.
  9. Make more of an effort to talk to and learn from your elders.
  10.  Go out of your way to do something nice at least once a day, in a way that may never prove beneficial to you in the long run. Even if you just let someone go ahead of you in line when they are pressed for time, it’s worth the tiny bit of effort it takes to do.

Wow.

How many adults do you know who live by these rules, or even try to?

How many adults do you know who live by even one of these rules?

Do you follow any of these rules?

Although adults often think kids are the ones who should learn from them and their experiences and mistakes, maybe they should take a step back.

Honestly, we could really learn a lot from kids.

 

We're Proud of Our Kids!

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Last week was Opening the Door to Education National Boys & Girls Club week, and boy did we have a blast at the Silver Pines Boys & Girls Club on Monday, March 24th! After Homework Help and Tutoring, the Andson kids decorated “smart cookies” with help from Andson tutors.

Awards were presented to several students for showing academic and behavioral improvement on their 2nd trimester report cards.

We are so proud of our kids’ improvement and the increasing progress that they are making!

We are excited about the future because we get to continue to watch them grow.

 

Project Dinner Table

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Imagine this. You’re outside, at one of the most unexpected and random places imaginable for a dinner party. You look to your left and then to your right, and all you see is both sides of a seemingly endless table, seating up to 200 guests. You take a deep breath – inhaling the fresh air - and glance up, peering at the twinkling stars overhead, and then proceed to dive into the divine dinner placed before you. This event is called Project Dinner Table. According to its mission statement, its purpose is “to create meaningful and adventurous experiences around the dinner table celebrating local food, community and philanthropy.”

There’s a catch though – you must be willing to dine under the stars.

Project Dinner Table (PDT) has chosen us to receive a charitable gift at their Season 5 kick-off on April 12th!

Project Dinner Table hosts fun events like this where it gives charitable gifts to nonprofits throughout the year! To learn more about it and how to become a member or volunteer, visit http://www.projectdinnertable.com/.

Fundraise By Playing at Wet 'n' Wild

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What better way is there to start the summer off than by going to Wet ‘n’ Wild!? Kid or adult, there are few who would object to spending a smothering summer day in Vegas in the refreshing water wonders of the park.

However, who would object to spending a day basking in the sun and playing in this water park while raising money for two local non-profits, Communities In Schools of Nevada (CISN) and After-School All-Stars (ASAS), at the same time?

Wet ‘n’ Wild is hosting the first ever Splashdown For Kids that will take place on the weekend of April 26-27. All of the proceeds will go toward these two organizations, who are both partners of ours that we work closely with.

Tickets will be $20 if purchased ahead of time online, but $35 at the door. All children two and under will be free.

To learn more about this as well as the promo code to use, please visit http://new.pitchengine.com/pitches/49a6fed5-2280-42eb-aead-cb0e6b80a003.

Come support our partners who work as hard to build up our community as we do!

 

Cox Contributes to Our Mission

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We want to say thank you to yet another generous company that is supporting our cause with a donation! We are one of 28 local nonprofit organizations that has been awarded from the $168,000 Cox Charities donation this year on March 18th.

This is the seventh grant cycle for Cox Charities, and since it began it has awarded nearly $1 million to local organizations.

The cool thing is that the donated funds come from their own employees’ contributions and their own fundraisers, including their annual Cox Employee Golf Tournament.

We are grateful to be one of Cox’s recipients this year, and we look forward to the great things that we will be able to accomplish with our portion of this money!

 

 

 

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

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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.

 

Site Tours

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It’s important to us here at Andson that we do not just repeatedly tell you over and over what an impact we make in our community. We’d also like to show you so that you can see for yourself and not just take our word for it. Therefore, in an effort to show first-hand the life-long love of learning that is being instilled in our kids and the difference that we are making, on March 5th we had our first of two site tours this month for Andson’s Board and Advisory committee members.

Our goal is to show them exactly what we do during our Homework Help and Tutoring programs and how vital it is for children to receive this one-on-one and small group attention.

The tour was at the Kish Boys & Girls Club, and there was a great turn-out. We are so grateful for all of the community partners that attended, and we are excited for our next site tour on March 25th!

If you would like to see our tutors in action and the work we are doing, feel free to email us for more information!

A Passion for Learning

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Holly, a kindergartener at our Southern Highlands location, took matters into her own hands this week when she grew impatient waiting for tutoring to begin and lead the other kindergarteners into the tutoring room early. Her explanation to her tutor was merely, “Sorry Ms. Elias, we just couldn’t help ourselves.” She and the others then proceeded to sit down and waited for their tutoring to begin. Holly’s mother says that Holly is always so excited to go to tutoring and so sad when she has to leave.

If through all our efforts and hard work we ended up inspiring this little girl and the other kindergarteners to the point where they get excited to learn, then our goal here at Andson is met, though our work is only just beginning!

This is our reward – when we see students not only learning and understanding their work, but also developing a passion for learning.

A few of our other Southern Highland students’ family members have also told us that their children are excelling in their school work.

Third grader Elliot’s mother said that she loves the tutoring program and that Elliot’s math grade has gone up tremendously.

Fifth grader Patrick’s grandfather says thank you Andson and that Patrick has learned to enjoy math and is continuously improving his math skills.

Fifth grader Marae’s mother says that Marae is always excited to go to tutoring and that she has not seen her daughter that excited to learn before.

Here’s to reaching out to even more students!

Who knows, maybe there’s a future teacher or two among these kiddos.

Now that would be awesome.

 

Miracle Mile Shops Support Andson

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What would you do if you were given oodles of wet coins? Well, we know what we’d do with them!

That’s why we have some exciting news as we have become the recipients of a very generous donation!

The Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino are collecting donations for us this month. As part of their Caring, Giving, Changing community campaign, all change that is tossed into the Miracle Mile Shops’ fountain and indoor rainstorm throughout March will be donated to us for our Adopt-A-Student program.

Thank you Miracle Mile Shops for your generosity and support!

We are so grateful and would like to also thank everyone else who is supporting us. We could not fulfill our mission without you.

To learn more about this donation and these shops, please visit www.MiracleMileShopsLV.com.

Project Connect Social Hour This Thursday!

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This Thursday, Feb 27th will be our first Project Connect of 2014! Original invitation

It's a informal way for Andson to connect with friends and supporters at our offices in Southern Highlands.

We'd love for you to join us - RSVP here.

Our office is located at 11920 Southern Highlands Parkway, STE 101 Las Vegas, NV 89141

Please contact us at 702-785-0020 or info@andson.org for any questions.

Nevada College Kickstart Program

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According to Nevada State Treasurer Kate Marshall, “Research has found that children with a college savings account are up to seven times more likely to attend college than those without an account, regardless of family income, ethnicity, or the educational attainment of the child’s parents.” According to research, it doesn’t matter how much money is in the children’s accounts, but just the fact that the children know that college is something to save for is what makes so large of an impact on them. Fascinating!

That is why today Marshall participated in an exciting new beginning of a program that will immensely benefit many children as she launched the Nevada College Kick Start Program at Walter Bracken Elementary School.

The concept is to provide an initial $50 deposit in a college savings account for students. That is how the seed of anticipating a college education is getting planted in these children.

This is not only happening in Las Vegas, but all over Nevada. Another incredible part of the program is that it is funded from program manager fees paid to the state, not from tax payers’ wallets.

Here’s to watching those seeds grow!