Neon CRM set to host first ‘capacity building’ camp


By Kristin Schultz

Gazette Reporter

Queen (and David Bowie) nailed it. It does seem like we are “under pressure.” There is pressure to achieve at work, at home and even in leisure.

It seems we always need more — more time, more resources, more volunteers, more awareness, more activism.

For those involved at any level with nonprofits, more is what keeps the doors open. To get more volunteers, more resources, more engagement, nonprofits cannot just rely on the fact that they “do good” or “help the schools.” Just like no business becomes successful through good intentions and hoping, nonprofits (including PTOs; booster organizations; veterans, animal and children’s organizations as well as industry-based nonprofits) can also employ industry best practices for greater impact.

Neon CRM is hosting its first Capacity Camp at the Electric City Innovation Center on Oct. 19. The half-day event will feature two sessions, one on strategic branding and the other on technology and fundraising.

According to the National Council of Nonprofits: “Capacity building is whatever is needed to bring a nonprofit to the next level of operational, programmatic, financial, or organizational maturity, so it may more effectively and efficiently advance its mission into the future. Capacity building is not a one-time effort to improve short-term effectiveness, but a continuous improvement strategy toward the creation of a sustainable organization.”

That is to say that capacity building is growing an organization so it can advance its mission. That’s what Capacity Camp aims to do.

“People will walk away with knowledge about how to best design a nonprofit website, plan special events, and hone their fundraising skills,” said Tim Sarrantonio, Niskayuna resident and nonprofit consultant for Neon CRM. Attendees will also receive a book to take back to their organization or board and share.

After the sessions, Great Flats Brewing and Bombers Burrito Bar will be on hand, serving up dinner and drafts during a networking session, while local musician Maurizio Russomanno strums and sings.

Sarrantonio said the camp is well-suited for anyone who is involved in a nonprofit and wants to see it grow: board members, volunteers and nonprofit professionals.

“Anyone who wants to connect with peers and learn about marketing and event planning as well,” he said.

Tickets are available online for $10. The money raised will go to scholarships to help up-and-coming nonprofit professionals.

“Not a dime goes to my company,” Sarrantonio said. “We’re here to build community.”

For more information, contact Sarrantonio at or go to the Eventbrite page and search Capacity Camp for information and tickets.

Neon CRM plans to host additional Capacity Camps in Chicago and New Orleans.