Robert Weiner

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New book: “Advancement Services: Enhancing Fundraising Success”

Robert Weiner

CASE has just published the third edition of its guide to Advancement Services. I'm honored to have written two chapters.

An Eleven Step Program to Cure Shiny Object Syndrome

Robert Weiner

NTEN just published of mine called " An Eleven Step Program to Cure Shiny Object Syndrome " (technically, they reprinted an article that AFP will publish this summer). My co-conspirators were Dahna Goldstein , Marc Baizman , and Tracy Kronzak. Best Practices IT Management Nonprofit Management Nonprofit Technology NTEN

Blackbaud kills off Common Ground

Robert Weiner

Yesterday the news was that Blackbaud had laid off 50 employees it acquired when it bought Convio in May. In what was said to be an unrelated development, they also announced the departure of Gene Austin, the former CEO of Convio. The official word is that Common Ground (CG) will be supported through March, 2014. But not in a good way.

Preventing Fraud on our Online Giving Pages

Robert Weiner

Vered Siegel , Manager of Development Services. Children’s Home + Aid. Kirsten Williams , Associate Director, Gift Services. University of Oregon Foundation. The Scams. The credit card scam/fraud attempt that many nonprofits have experiences starts with a very large online gift from an unknown donor. This is where the nonprofits come in. AOL, Yahoo!,

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Training on your new database

Robert Weiner

A question was posted to a listserve for nonprofit techies looking for tips on training staff on a new database. discussed training at a high level on page 13 of this chapter from CASE's Handbook of Institutional Advancement. Not everyone can train. It's an art. Train the system administrator thoroughly at the start of the implementation project.

Creative credit card donation scam

Robert Weiner

A friend forwarded the following description of a scam aimed at a well-known college. Fortunately, they didn't fall for it. The next day, we receive an email from the donor with the following info: the $9,000 gift amount was a mistake, it should have been $900. Comments. As if we didn’t have enough to do right now!

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On the value of donor database ratings

Robert Weiner

A colleague forwarded the following email from a vendor and asked how I think a potential buyer should respond. I've redacted the message to anonymize the vendor: Dear _, I thought you might be interested in a recent analysis of low cost fundraising software, conducted jointly by independent organizations Idealware and N-TEN.

Lame spams of the day: Your AT&T bill

Robert Weiner

I see the occasional fake AT&T message all the time, but got 15 variations on this theme today. Looks like a baby spammer playing with a new toy. Senders included: Kristi Leal (support@irs.gov). Sally Moser, Jody Grace, Loretta Bragg (all at alerts@irs.gov). Subjects included: Your AT&T bill is ready to be viewed. ld}{ld} 08/06/2012.

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Robert on the (Internet) radio

Robert Weiner

We'll be talking about how people and processes can be the real culprits behind technology problems. Nonprofit Radio Panel.

Reigning in shadow databases

Robert Weiner

The following story, posted with permission, was sent to the FUNDSVCS list in response to a question about how to reign in schools and departments at a university that keep their own shadow databases of contacts. There are still quite a few of them out there, but we are slowly bringing them into the fold! We do NCOA, wealth and deceased screenings.

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Spam of the Day: So and so wants to connect on LinkedIn

Robert Weiner

It was only a matter of time. I've started receiving phishing messages that look like LinkedIn connection requests. So far the text has been identical.

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Robert in the news(paper)

Robert Weiner

I was interviewed for two articles that were published recently. The NonProfit Times ran the story The Evolution of Donor Management And Its Fundraising Future , which deals with how technology is transforming the way nonprofits interact with donors, particularly online. And the Chronicle of Philanthropy ran 'But It's Free!'

Pinterest and privacy

Robert Weiner

I was planning to check out Pinterest to see what the buzz is about, but their privacy policy gives me the creeps. I can only sign up by linking a Pinterest account to my Facebook or Twitter account. The description on the Twitter link page says this allows them to: Read Tweets from your timeline. See who you follow, and follow new people.

Year-end donation processing

Robert Weiner

As the calendar year draws to an end, charities (and ideally, donors) are focused on year-end donations and tax deductions. Here are a few scenarios for U.S. charities to keep in mind. Note: I am not a lawyer. When in doubt, contact an attorney who specializes in nonprofit law or contact the IRS for a ruling. ). Which tax year are they each for?

Lame spam of the day: USPS Delivery Confirmation

Robert Weiner

Like the American Airlines spam , this one didn't bother to include any graphics to make it look official. Further, it shows plainly that the link goes to www.usps.com.ww062.com (note that the domain is ww062.com). Some scammers are just lazy. Sender: auto-notify@usps.com. Subject: Delivery Confirmation. Label Number: 7007 3912 0928 2345 2874.

Consumers Guide to Low Cost Donor Management Systems

Robert Weiner

Our friends at Idealware and NTEN have released their Consumers Guide to Low Cost Donor Management Systems. The guide presents detailed comparisons of 33 donor databases that cost less than $4,250 in the first year. Full disclosure — I contributed to the report and am one of the consultants listed.). The guide is available for free here.

CTK Foundation’s "Heart and Soul" Grants

Robert Weiner

The CTK Foundation just opened its 2011 Heart and Soul Grant Award Program. They'll be awarding over $25,000 in grants to nonprofits, charities and voluntary organizations of all sizes in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand. Here's where it gets fun (or tricky). Your organization could win: read more. TechSoup

Controlling data entry

Robert Weiner

A member of the PRSPCT-L listserve (for prospect researchers) asked "What do other institutions do to regulate or “police” data entry work, specifically when you have multiple users with authority to make updates?". It's a tough problem. Here are a few approaches (other than locking down data entry): Policies. You need clear data entry standards.

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Thinking about a donor database selection workshop

Robert Weiner

I'm planning a new workshop on selecting donor databases, focusing on the question, "Why is this so friggin' complicated?" How do you get down to one?

More nonprofit software mergers and acquisitions

Robert Weiner

Last year the big news in my industry was Blackbaud's acquisition of Convio and the merger/acquisition of Datatel and Sungard Higher Education (now called Ellucian). 2013 is off to a bang with Accel-KKR's acquisition of Sage's Nonprofit Solutions Group and iModules acquisition of Harris Connect. for the foreseeable future.”

Lame spams of the day: everyone wants to send me money

Robert Weiner

Here are some of the "loan offers" that have landed in my spam folder. None have attachments, links, or graphics. One used a blue font, the others were plain old black Courier. The subject lines were blank in every case. The senders included: kelly loan offer (web.office20026045@att.net). Alreford Ltd (web.0123345667785@att.net). Do you need loan?

Lame spams of the day: LinkedIn phishing

Robert Weiner

The recent theft of passwords from LinkedIn prompted me to post these spams masquerading as messages from that firm. The first one made no attempt beyond the Sender name to look like it came from LinkedIn. The others made a minimal attempt to look like a LinkedIn message and all look like they came from the same source. CURRENT STATUS: CANCELLED.

Blackbaud’s acquisition of Convio is a done deal

Robert Weiner

Blackbaud completed its purchase of Convio. The next adventure starts today, as we wait to see what the future holds for their various systems. Advancement Services Databases Donor Databases Email Marketing Fundraising Nonprofit Technology Online Fundraising Software

Blackbaud – Convio merger expected to close this week

Robert Weiner

The Department of Justice signed off on Blackbaud's acquisition of Convio last week, and it looks like the deal will close this week. This is just the beginning of the story. expect that it will take at least several months, and probably several years, before the dust settles and we know what's left behind. We'll see. How's your crystal ball?

Predictions for Nonprofit Fundraising Technology in 2012

Robert Weiner

NTEN published my somewhat snarky predictions for nonprofits' use of fundraising technologies in 2012. My overall predictions are that most things will be pretty much the same as last year (and 2010 and 2009, etc.): many nonprofits will struggle with out-of-date systems. No surprise -- many will also lack the funding to replace them.

Spam of the Day: “McDonalds invites you to The Free Dinner Day”

Robert Weiner

Sender : I love McDonalds (helping@mcdonalds.com). Subject : We are fond of you and thus invite you for free helpings. Attachment : Invitation_Card_37021.zip. Hello. McDonalds invites you to The Free Dinner Day which will take place on 25 June, 2011, in every cafe of ours. Free Day’s menu! Angus Chipotle BBQ Bacon. Chicken McNuggets. And remember!

Firefox error: sec_error_untrusted_issuer

Robert Weiner

I picked up some malware recently and one of the many annoyances it caused was problems with Firefox's security settings. When visiting secure (https:) web sites Firefox would say "the connection is untrusted." Even when I could get past the errors I would only see a plain text version of the secure page: no images, no buttons, no formatting.

Want your product covered in Idealware’s Donor Management report?

Robert Weiner

Idealware is updating its 2009 report on low-cost donor databases. The survey deadline is Feb. 4, 2011, so don't delay. Donor Databases Software

Going from Accidental Techie to Technology Leader

Robert Weiner

I just wrote a guest blog post for NTEN on the topic of moving from an accidental techie role to a leadership role. Last July, Holly Ross wrote that it was time to retire the phrase "accidental techie". She said, "it's not very nice to call anyone an accidental anything. agreed, but only to an extent. part of what they do.

Lame Spam of the Day: Lehman Brothers Centre for Women 2008 Newsletter

Robert Weiner

But the real clincher is that the subject line says it''s a newsletter from March, 2008. To: Subscriber. Newsletter London experience. World impact.

Discussion of Donor Data Retention

Robert Weiner

A few months ago I wrote a post on the topic of whether nonprofits should delete old donor records. The same topic came up recently on the APRA''s listserve, PRSPCT-L. The original question: My organization is working on a data retention policy and wondering if others have insights to share. Does this make sense to others? Not giving?

Lame spams of the day: so many ebills

Robert Weiner

I got two dozen of these this morning, which may be some kind of record. alets-no-reply@serviceemail6.citibank.com. alets-no-reply@citibank.com.

Should You Delete Donor Records?

Robert Weiner

I was recently contacted by the vendor behind a new cloud-based donor management system with this question: We have noticed that our clients have become much more conscious about archiving/deleting old donor/prospect records because our pricing model is based on the number of records. My response: I am opposed to deleting donor records.

Lame spams of the day: Your score apparently changed!

Robert Weiner

I got a bunch of these this week. don't know what happens if you click the links, but they look like malware delivery vehicles. Browse your score fast!

Lame spams of the day: Support Center

Robert Weiner

This batch of spams looks like Facebook messages -- same colors, fonts, and formatting, and they have a "Go To Profile" button. Sample: Spam

Maybe It’s Not Your Database, It’s You

Robert Weiner

I'm working on an article with the title, "Maybe It's Not Your Database, It's You." Here are my thoughts so far. What am I missing? Walt Kelly.

Lame spams of the day: Fake Amazon and PayPal receipts

Robert Weiner

I got a big batch of these today. They're similar to the fake Amazon HDTV receipts I wrote about in September. This site says they lead to malware.

Lame spams of the day: Fake UPS and FedEx delivery notices

Robert Weiner

My inbox has been polluted by a rash of these this week. They're so badly formatted, it's hard to believe anyone would fall for them.

Lame spam of the day: Intuit GoPayment

Robert Weiner

Hey, spammers: how about deduping your mailing lists? I got 22 of these on Monday. This article says they're malware delivery devices. Payment.

FAQ 2

Lame spam of the day: FDIC Transactions stopped

Robert Weiner

I got a dozen spams today claiming to come from the FDIC. Here are details on the exploit. Are they hoping to randomly hit banking staff? Urgent!