Robert Weiner

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. It includes a high-level overview of common features, comparisons and summaries of the systems they reviewed, recommendations for which systems might be suited to a variety of nonprofit scenarios, and a directory of consultants who can help you select a database.

Predictions for Nonprofit Fundraising Technology in 2012

Robert Weiner

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 many nonprofits will struggle with out-of-date systems.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

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

Robert Weiner

Idealware is updating its 2009 report on low-cost donor databases. If you're a database vendor and want to be considered, fill out the survey at [link] I assume their criteria will be similar to what they used last time, which was a starting cost of less than $4,250 in the first year and at least 100 active clients (see the report for the full criteria). The survey deadline is Feb. 4, 2011, so don't delay. Donor Databases Software

America’s Giving Challenge 2009

Robert Weiner

The contest runs through November 6, 2009. The latest round of the America's Giving Challenge is on. This is a national competition to encourage people to use their personal and social networks to help win cash for their favorite nonprofit. The Giving Challenge is not focused on how much money you can raise, but on how successful you are at getting people to donate to your cause. The goal is to get as many unique daily donations as possible (minimum of $10), to your cause each day.

Matching Gifts Best Practices 2009

Robert Weiner

SupportingAdvancement.com has published the results of their 2009 survey on how nonprofits are handling corporate matching gifts --their fourth such survey. Over 60% of respondents reported raising over $20,000 in matching gift income in 2009. The responses came primarily from academic institutions, but also included significant numbers from healthcare, religious, and social service organizations.

Results of CASE’s 2009 Online Giving Survey

Robert Weiner

Those of you who fundraise for educational institutions or are interested in how they're raising money online should check out the results of the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education's 2009 survey on online giving (PDF). Some highlights: read more.

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Convio’s 2009 Online Fundraising Benchmark Report

Robert Weiner

Convio has released a new online fundraising benchmark report that is based on data from 600 of Convio’s nonprofit clients from January 1, 2008 to December 31, 2008. The study reports: Positive year-over-year growth in all of the key areas of online success. Compared to 2007, results for online fundraising were up 14 percent, email file growth was up 28 percent, and Web site traffic was up 20 percent.

Social Media for Revenue or Volunteers? Maybe Not

Robert Weiner

The survey is based on responses from about 200 mid-sized nonprofits (defined as having revenues between $1 and $5 million annually) between July 2008 and March 2009.

Taking Advantage of a Crisis

Robert Weiner

Target Analytics' Index of National Fundraising Performance for the first quarter of 2009 had nothing but bad news. All key metrics declined for the index as a whole for the first quarter of 2009 as compared to the first quarter of 2008.

What’s in Your Data Ecosystem?

Robert Weiner

Our friends at NTEN have launched a survey to examine nonprofits' data ecosystems. Your first question is probably "what is a data ecosystem?"

Email Bounce Codes Decoded

Robert Weiner

If you send mass email messages, you probably see a lot of bouncebacks that look like this: Remote host said: 550 SC-004 Mail rejected by Windows Live Hotmail for policy reasons. So what the heck does bounce code "550 SC-004" mean?

Creating Strong Passwords

Robert Weiner

The recent theft of confidential documents from Twitter's Google Docs account points out the dangers of insecure passwords. NTEN's blog discusses the details of the break-in and lessons we should learn from it. The chief lesson: good passwords are key to good security. .

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Twitter Hacking and Cloud Security

Robert Weiner

The front-page headlines read " Hacker steals Twitter's confidential documents ," but the real story isn't about Twitter — it's that the stolen documents were stored online, "in the cloud." This could happen to any nonprofit or company storing data this way.

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Optimize Your Web Pages

Robert Weiner

Do you know about Google's Website Optimizer ? It's a free tool that allows you to test how different versions of the same web page perform.

Nonprofit Technology 601

Robert Weiner

Heather Carpenter’s Nonprofit Leadership 601 blog posted a list of resources for people who are new to the field of nonprofit technolology. This post lists books, reports, Web sites, blogs, and conferences that nonprofit techies — and not just those newbies — should know about.

GivingUSA Reports a Drop in 2008 Giving

Robert Weiner

The good news from the annual GivingUSA report (PDF) on U.S. philanthropy is that total giving for 2008 was estimated to have exceeded $300 billion for the second year in a row, for a total of $307.65 billion. But, unfortunately, most of the news was bad.

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Do New Online Donors Give Again?

Robert Weiner

A new study released by Blackbaud’s Target Analytics division suggests that first-time online donors do not become recurring donors.

Cn U Raise $ Via Txt?

Robert Weiner

Following up on Elliot’s blog post, How Important Is Mobile Giving? ,

Downadup Worm on the Rampage

Robert Weiner

Internet security firm F-Secure has estimated that more than 3.5 million computers have been infected with the Downadup worm , a malicious program.

Lame spam of the day: Amazon cancelation

Robert Weiner

1 "Retentive"; 2009, Deluxe Edition. Lame lame lame. This doesn't look remotely like an email from Amazon. And of course it's not for a product I ordered. Would someone really click this?

Converting Fresh Leads into Donors

Robert Weiner

When: Thursday, October 1, 2009 at 2 p.m. CARE2 is holding a webinar on strategies for successfully welcoming, cultivating, and converting new leads into donors. Holly Ross of NTEN will moderate a panel with Heidi Hess of Children's Defense Fund and Greg Zelder of the California State Parks Foundation.

Digital Wallet Helps Prevent Phishing

Robert Weiner

I've use a digital wallet for years to keep track of my passwords (I use. Roboform. ). Recently I found that it serves a purpose that hadn't occured to me: phishing prevention. Here's the deal: I got a message from a friend with a link. Without thinking too much about it, I clicked on the URL and was taken to a fake Twitter homepage asking me to log in. Roboform knew this wasn't a real Twitter page, and so wouldn't log me in. That made me realize that I was being scammed. Thanks, Roboform.

The Idealware Research Fund

Robert Weiner

Our friends at Idealware (a nonprofit technology resource provider) have created a new fund to support their research. Many of Idealware's reports have been funded by foundations and some have had corporate sponsorship (and some are commissioned by TechSoup.org too). As you probably know, neither foundation nor corporate support is a reliable funding source these days.

Adding Google Voice to My Web Site

Robert Weiner

I just added a Google Voice widget to my web site (on the Contact Us page). When a caller clicks the icon s/he is prompted to enter a name and phone number. Google Voice calls that number, then connects the caller to me as a free VOIP call. Very cool. The hardest part was figuring out how to embed the code on my site. I first tried pasting it into the editor, but it showed up as raw HTML code.

Online Alumni Communities in the Age of Social Media

Robert Weiner

I received the following email from a listerve. The topic of closed alumni communities versus social media is on the minds of a lot of university staff, so I'm posting this along with my response. I'd like to hear from anyone who is using the social networking function of Blackbaud Net Community. We are purchasing Net Community for some of the other things it offers, and we're trying to decide if we should pursue social networking through it or use Facebook, etc.

Schools using social media but not for fundraising

Robert Weiner

I spent the last 3 days at the CASE District VII conference, for schools in AZ, CA, Guam, HI, NV, and UT.

LinkedIn Discussions Are Spam Magnets

Robert Weiner

I'm a member of several LinkedIn discussion groups, but my participation is lukewarm at best. One of the biggest problems is spam--the noise is drowning out the signal. There doesn't seem to be a way for moderators to review messages before they're posted or for participants to flag spam for review by moderators. As a result, one of the groups I belong to includes the following off-topic messages: Vacancy advertising on the UK's leading job boards from only £99.

Deadline July 1: $100,000 Drucker Award for Nonprofit Innovation

Robert Weiner

The Drucker Institute at Claremont Graduate University has posted the application for the 2009 Peter F. Drucker Award for Nonprofit Innovation. The Drucker Award is given to a social-sector organization that demonstrates “change that creates a new dimension of performance. In addition, the judges look for programs that are highly effective and that have made a difference in the lives of the people they serve.&#.

Clueless Charity PR

Robert Weiner

I got a press release today from a PR firm promoting its client's plans to raise $1,000 for Thanksgiving meals and $5,000 for families in need at Christmas. While these are certainly laudable goals, I had a strong negative reaction. First, the message is spam. I have no connection to, and have never heard of, the charity or its PR firm. Second, is this news? What's special about a charity raising money for families in need at the holidays? Why would any media outlet pick this up?

Using Facebook Causes to Promote Your Nonprofit: October 13 Online

Robert Weiner

What: Another in The Chronicle of Philanthropy 's series of online discussions: How to Use Facebook Causes to Promote Your Nonprofit Group. When: Tuesday, October 13, at 12 noon, Eastern time. Where: [link]. How Much: Free. Description: read more.

Win $5K for Charity Through Creative Pitching

Robert Weiner

The Chronicle of Philanthropy isn't known for giving away money, but for talking about how to get it. They've come up with a contest to benefit a few lucky nonprofits. Here's the deal: read more.

Feed My Inbox — RSS feeds by email

Robert Weiner

Diff'rent strokes for diff'rent folks: I like to get information by email. I prefer listserves over online forums and email to IM. And I don't like having to look at a web page/feed reader every day to find out whether anything new has appeared on an RSS feed. I want information to come to me -- I don't want to seek it out. I'm testing a solution that will deliver RSS updates to me via email: Feed My Inbox I'm starting with a few sites I want to track, but that are only updated occasionally.

Free Digital Storytelling Online Event

Robert Weiner

My friends at TechSoup asked me to pass along info about their upcoming digital storytelling event. Looking for an innovative and compelling way to tell your organization's story? From September 30 to October 21, TechSoup will host a free Digital Storytelling online event including expert roundtable discussions, nonprofit case studies, online discussions, live chat, and a community challenge with a final screening awards ceremony in the virtual world of Second Life.

Donor Tracking vs. Business Intelligence

Robert Weiner

The Nonprofit Times recently published an article called Is It Donor Management Software Or Business Intelligence. It discusses what Laura Quinn calls the "movement from merely tracking data to an emphasis on using it strategically to make business decisions." " This vision of donor management software is nothing new. I've heard countless organizations describe their donor databases as "roach motels" or "data vaults" -- the data goes in but it doesn't come out.

Develop Your Social Media Strategy with NTEN

Robert Weiner

What: NTEN is holding an online workshop on social media using a Choose Your Own Expert format. They've gathered a group of nonprofit social media experts to help you devise a solid organizational strategy and learn the secrets of a variety of social media tools. After an opening plenary by Beth Kanter, you'll choose one of 4 breakout sessions: read more.

Analysis of the CASE Online Fundraising Survey

Robert Weiner

Steve MacLaughlin at Blackbaud has written an analysis of the CASE Online Fundraising Survey. No surprise -- he focuses on the high number of responses that said they "don't know" or "don't measure" and cites the maxim "If you can't measure it, then you can't manage it." " His analysis is at [link].

New Survey: America’s Nonprofits in Danger

Robert Weiner

Just 16% anticipate being able to cover their operating expenses in both 2009 and 2010. 93% of lifeline organizations that provide essential services anticipate an increase in demand in 2009. I wonder what a a longitudinal study would reveal about questions like “We are concerned about meeting next month’s expenses,&# “We are concerned with meeting expenses for 2009,&# and “(We only have) enough (reserves) to cover 1 month of expenses.&#

Editable List of Donor Databases

Robert Weiner

Over the past few years I've been compiling what turned out to be a huge list of donor databases. The entries came from a variety of other lists and from customer satisfaction surveys done by Campbell Research, NTEN, and Idealware. Once I posted the list I started getting requests to add links to vendor websites, tags, and comments. Now the good folks at Aspiration have taken my list and put it into the Social Source Commons wiki. read more.

Nonprofit Survival 101, Planning for Tough Economic Times

Robert Weiner

When: January 29, 2009 3:30 - 5 p.m. OneWorld.net is offering a workshop on what nonprofits can do to survive the current tough times. What: Nonprofit Survival 101, Planning for Tough Economic Times. Eastern Time. Where: Washington, DC though participants can also join by phone. Cost: Free for OneWorld partner organizations, $60 for others. Description: read more.

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Editable List of Donor Databases

Robert Weiner

The good folks at Asipration have taken my list of donor databases and put it into the Social Source Commons wiki. What's more, they added descriptions, logos, and links to the vendors' sites. Very cool! You can go directly to the list at [link] or preview it below