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These are just some of the projects that Sage Foundation is honoured to support:

In the worst natural disaster to hit the US since Hurricane Sandy in 2012, communities across Louisiana were hit by over 2ft of rain in 48 hrs.

Just because water starts to go down, doesn’t mean the problem goes away. The Red Cross have over 90 response vehicles in neighborhoods distributing relief supplies. Local officials estimated more than 110,000 homes have been damaged.

Sage colleagues wanted to support the community. Patty McGowan led the way, giving her 5 days volunteering time as a Red Cross volunteer. Sage Foundation have helped further, awarding a disaster grant of $10,000 to the organization.

“I know what it’s like to need a smiling face”

Patty volunteered with the Red Cross for two weeks because, “They are there to help when people are devastated. I know what it’s like to need a smiling face when you feel lost”.

That’s because when she was six, Red Cross volunteers - just like Patty now - helped her family when their New Jersey home was flooded after a dam broke.

“Everyone in my neighborhood lost so much. Adults were sorting through the mess and the Red Cross brought us food and water.  It was a relief; one less thing to worry about when everything they worked so hard for was gone”.

That is why Patty had to act.She knew devastating trauma lingers.She says, “That is why it mattered to me, that is why I needed to take action”.

“I told him it was ok. He can do it”

Patty admits she felt the pressure. But it was a responsibility she took on with pride. She knew what she was doing mattered.

“When I started to visit the shelters, that was heart breaking at first, but so satisfying. When I was able to help find people a place to live, money, clothes, food, or just listen. Everyone knew I was there to help and I would stop at nothing”.

She recalls one of the many people she was able to support.

“I worked with a man who had just become a single dad. He felt like he couldn’t make it; he couldn’t be what he needed to be. I told him it’s ok to be scared, telling him he can do it and giving him the confidence he needed just to make it through the next hour”.

“We handled everything and anything that came in”

For the first week, Patty worked with FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) and local partners getting immediate relief out. She would take calls from residences, working with Emergency Operation Managers to ensure help got to the neighborhoods that needed it the most.

Starting the day with exercise to keep her focused and resilient, the team meeting at 7am set priorities.Patty recalls, “Then we went at it, handling everything and anything that came in”.

In the second week, Patty went on the road meeting people and spending every moment she could at a shelter.

In the shelter, she knew the hours were worth it.

“A man came into the shelter two weeks after the flood. I sat with him and he told me he had lost everything. He was sleeping in a tent, he was diabetic and didn’t have any more medicine. We immediately got him his medicine and made sure he didn’t have to stay in the shelter. I gave him food, hygiene products and clothes. The hug I received was a hug I will always remember”.

“I was able to concentrate on what I was doing; my manager had my back”

Grateful is the word Patty keeps returning to. It was an extraordinary situation she found herself in, but one where she was using familiar skills.

“I am so grateful that I had this opportunity, there were not many people my age volunteering, and when I explained that Sage had given me 5 days, people were surprised.I was afforded an opportunity many people just aren’t”.

“At Sage, troubleshooting and getting problems resolved quickly and efficiently is a huge part of my job. Thinking about the outcome of each step is another aspect of my job. This is exactly what I did in Louisiana, just different problems, but thinking about the outcome and the results”.

Patty also knew she had the support of those closest to her at Sage. Her manager gave his consent for Patty to volunteer after she got the call from the Red Cross.

“Because I had the support of my line-manager and colleagues, I was able to concentrate on what I was doing, knowing they all had my back”.

Now back with her team and delivering for Sage, Patty has a clear message for all colleagues:

“Sage offers us days to help our community. When you take them and use them for something you’re passionate about, there is no better way to look after your mental health and resilience than that”.

Nonprofits are businesses. They just sell ideas, not products. Sage Foundation partner, Literacy Action sells the idea that every adult – no matter their background, economic circumstance, or access – has the right to an education.

Founded in 1968 as a part of the Civil Rights Movement in Atlanta, Georgia, Literacy Action teaches literacy, life, and work skills to undereducated adults. Students range in age from 16 to 86, hail from 13 Atlanta-area counties and 37 countries, and manage jobs and children at home.

More than 2,000 adult learners enroll each year to build their skills and move ahead. About 80% of students enter Literacy Action’s programming at a third grade level or below; its efforts raise educational level, enhance employability, and empower parents. Literacy Action develops economically and socially viable adults every day.

Over 90% of Literacy Action’s $2.3 million annual operating budget comes from philanthropy, and Sage Foundation is proud to be counted among its supporters.

But successful nonprofits need more than donations; they need technological solutions to move their mission forward.

That is why Sage has today launched its award-winning, real-time Sage Live accounting solution for nonprofit organisations at Dreamforce. The Sage Live Nonprofit solution will help thousands of charities benefit from cutting edge technology and donated software through Sage Foundation.

Building on market and customer experience, Sage wanted to do more to support nonprofits. With tightening budgets and a need to diversify funding streams, charities big and small need to make their money work harder to go beyond just the financial compliance of tracking, budget reduction and auditing.

The Sage Live Nonprofit solution, built on the Salesforce1 platform has been designed specifically for nonprofits – just like Literacy Action - to give them access to cloud accounting technology and tools tailored to their needs, including; balance sheet, Statement of Financial Activities (SOFA) reporting, general processing and fund management capabilities.

Literacy Action are the first nonprofit to benefit from both the Sage Live Nonprofit solution and a software donation from Sage Foundation. The charity is using the software to already improve effectiveness and realize efficiencies that maximize donors’ contributions. Combined with their Salesforce platform – where they use the Nonprofit Starter Pack – Literacy Action has been able to take its financial management to a new level.   

“It’s important for us to have a single view of what’s happening across the organization at any given moment. Sage Live makes this incredibly easy. It’s intuitive and, because it’s real time in the cloud, we know it’s always accurate,” said Austin Dickson, Literacy Action’s Executive Director. “Using Sage Live has not only made our finances much easy from a workload perspective, but the platform has helped us build a foundation on which we can grow the organization to scale. That’s thrilling.”

Sage Foundation will provide every eligible nonprofit, charity or social enterprise with two donated Sage Live user licenses, and further licenses will receive a 50% discount. Check your eligibility for donated and discounted software.

Join @Sage Foundation on Twitter and follow the #DF16 #SageLive conversation.

On Mandela Day in South Africa, their country’s citizens are asked to donate 67 minutes of time to give back to their communities. Sage employees took this call to action to heart, organising a volunteer day with Afrika Tikkun, a charity that works towards a future where today’s children and youth are tomorrow’s productive citizens. Sage employees dedicated the day to working with children in Diepsloot, an impoverished area north of Johannesburg. Diepsloot has a high youth unemployment rate, and is lacking in child development programs. When combined with the socioeconomic status of the area, the residents there experience a breakdown in family structures and struggle to see a better future. In partnership with Afrika Tikkun, Sage employees bonded with the children through fun and educational activities.

“How do you measure the smile on a child’s face when they live in such abject poverty, and for one morning, we help them forget that?” said Joanne van der Walt, Sage Foundation Programme Manager for Africa. “I’m so pleased that we came together to experience the joy of volunteering and make a difference in the lives of these children.” Volunteers hosted a Career Readiness workshop, supporting Afrika Tikkun’s “cradle to career” model of support. During the workshop, employees from Sage spoke about managing a personal brand on social media, developing a winning CV and how to succeed in a job interview. In addition, Sage volunteers helped children aged 4-to 8-years-old decorate cupcakes with icing and candies, adding a sweet and creative aspect to the day. “We will definitely volunteer with Afrika Tikkun again,” said Joanne. “It was the perfect way to help those in need on Mandela Day, and our employees loved the experience of working with children.”