Robert Weiner

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 many nonprofits will struggle with out-of-date systems.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.

SF Fundraising Day 2010

Robert Weiner

San Francisco's Fundraising Day will be happening June 16 at the downtown Marriott. Once again I have the honor of co-chairing the Technology Track with Michael Stein. We've programmed sessions on online fundraising with Madeline Stanionis, social media with Jeff Patrick, database selection with Eric Leland, and an open discussion session with me and Michael on whatever tech topics the attendees bring. Early bird rates end on April 15, so sign up at www.afp-ggc.org/frd2010.

Trending Sources

C3 Announces 2010 In-Kind Donation and Grant Program for Nonprofits

Robert Weiner

Applications are being accepted for $2,500 in-kind donations of audio, video, and web conferencing services from C3 Conferencing. C3 will also provide complimentary training as needed. In addition to the in-kind donation, C3 will provide a $2,500 cash grant to be used for the purposes of enhancing communication.

Roundup of 2009 Online Giving Stats

Robert Weiner

Convio released their 2010 Online Nonprofit Benchmark Study in March, based on results from nearly 500 clients. I t's the season for a slew of reports analyzing last year's online giving results.

Phishing scam of the day: U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change lottery

Robert Weiner

It's not unusual to get phishing scams in the form of lottery "winnings" or that appear to come from legitimate businesses or nonprofits (see the Habitat for Humanity job offer scam ). But this scam is more creative than most.

Nominations Closing Soon for $10,000 Pizzigati Prize

Robert Weiner

Nominations will be accepted through February 1, 2010. The winner will be announced this April at NTEN's 2010 Nonprofit Technology Conference in Atlanta. The Tides Foundation is accepting nominations for the annual Antonio Pizzigati Prize for Software in the Public Interest. The prize will award $10,000 to an open-source software developer whose work is helping nonprofits succeed. From the announcement: read more.

Chosing a donor database

Robert Weiner

I get a lot of emails like the following from small nonprofits: We desperately need to get a new donor database and most of them are totally unaffordable!! Looking at the Idealware Low Cost Database report , I find that there are so many considerations that it is quite complicated to make a choice. I am tending towards (system x) because it would seem to match what we need right away, and we could afford it.

Jay Love leaving Blackbaud

Robert Weiner

Jay Love, the founder and CEO of eTapestry (and before that, of Master Software), is leaving Blackbaud to become CEO of Social Solutions: [link]. I spoke with Jay yesterday and he says that Blackbaud is committed to etapestry and will continue to invest in the product. Time will tell.

Resources from the Compasspoint Panel

Robert Weiner

Yesterday I spoke on a fundraising panel at Compasspoint's Silicon Valley/Peninsula Nonprofit Forum and mentioned a variety of resources. Here they are, with links: Donor Retention. AFP's Fundraising Effectiveness Project: [link]. The Agitator’s post “No New Donors!&# [link]. Attracting New Donors. “Homer Simpson for Nonprofits: The Truth about How People Really Think and What It Means for Promoting Your Cause&#. Ebook: [link].

Cities Acting Like Nonprofits

Robert Weiner

I just spoke on a fundraising panel at Compasspoint's Silicon Valley/Peninsula Nonprofit Forum. One takeaway: some California cities are finding that they need to raise private funds to make up for cuts in State and local funding. This means thinking and acting like nonprofits. The city department in question has no board and no staff who know how to solicit donations.

Getting RSS Feeds Via Email

Robert Weiner

There are a few RSS feeds I don't want to miss. I have an RSS feed reader but I often go for days without looking at it. The surest way for me to be sure see new items is to have them delivered as email messages. Some RSS feeds offer email subscriptions, but most don't. However, I found a way to do this even for feeds that don't offer email delivery by playing with these instructions for setting up a Google FeedBurner subscription for one's own web site: [link].

The Limits of “Free” Software

Robert Weiner

I received an email newsletter today with the following pitch for a web-based donor database (perhaps you can guess which one): The Cloud offers you constituent relationship management (CRM) software that's less expensive, easier to maintain, more accessible, more intuitive, and with greater flexibility and capacity than you've ever seen before. How much would you pay for such a system? Would you believe me if I told you.you can get it for free? Yup, free.

Thoughts on Software RFPs

Robert Weiner

I received the following email from Keith Heller , a database consultant who works with Raiser's Edge and Common Ground clients: We’ve been involved with responding to many RFPs over the years and I have a general inquiry that is in your bailiwick. I often see RFPs that are quite lengthy and well-considered, and looking for a system that has huge strategic value to an organization, but the required turn-around time to respond to the RFP is very short – often only 2 or 3 weeks.

Separating Personal and Professional Lives on Social Media

Robert Weiner

Do you "friend" your co-workers, clients, or service recipients on Facebook? What about LinkedIn? Are your tweets appropriate for all audiences? Andrew Heller discussed the risks of oversharing in his NTEN blog post Social Media and Privacy: Best Practices for Managing Your Personal and Professional Identities. His basic advice: "Be Prepared. Be mindful of your online presence. Think thrice before acting."

The Nonprofit Guide to Going Green: Book Release Parties!

Robert Weiner

The website for the new book, The Nonprofit Guide to Going Green describes it as "a comprehensive learning tool to guide nonprofits and NGOs towards becoming greener. The definitive, practical, go-to resource guide on helping all charities become more green.". The authors are on a brief North American book tour, with stops in Toronto, Berkeley, and DC over the next few weeks: Toronto, Ontario : April 22. read more.

Keeping appointment times from moving around

Robert Weiner

I've been trying to find a way to keep my appointment times from moving around on my calendar as I change time zones. Here's a description of the problem from Microsoft (edited to match my situation): You are traveling through multiple time zones and need the calendar to display the local time for each appointment. For example, imagine you are in New York and have a breakfast meeting at 8:00 A.M., then fly to Chicago for a 1:00 P.M.

Intuit QuickBooks Premier Editions 2010 (with 3 User License) (TechSoup Limited), Admin Fee: $65.00 USD

Robert Weiner

Limited offer: Accounting and financial management software with a choice from six editions (electronic delivery only). TechSoup

A Month with the Palm Pre

Robert Weiner

I've had my Palm Pre Plus for a little over a month now. I wrote up my initial impressions after having it for a week. Overall, I love it except for Outlook sync. My major problem with the Pre is due to its lack of a built-in sync with a standalone/desktop copy of Outlook. If you don't use Outlook, or use it on an Exchange server, you might not have these problems. I tested PocketMirror, CompanionLink, Go Contacts Sync, gSyncIt, Google Calendar Sync, and Evernote.

Phishing Scam: Habitat for Humanity fundraising

Robert Weiner

I received the following phishing email today. It's a variation on the "your email inbox is too large" scam I posted in June. It plays Habitat's name, Haiti relief, and pure greed -- it claims you can earn big tax-free commissions as a fundraiser. There are so many things wrong with this pitch. Fundraising (at least in the U.S.) doesn't work this way -- commissions violate the Association of Fundraising Professionals' code of ethics.

Texting for $$: The Definitive Guide

Robert Weiner

In the wake of the huge number of donations given to Haiti earthquake relief via text mesage, MobileActive has published Texting for Charitable Dollars: The Definitive Guide. It describes the process of raising funds via SMS from the donors' and the nonprofits' perspectives, including costs and tips for getting started. The guide is available for free at [link]. read more.

Impressions of the Palm Pre

Robert Weiner

I've been waiting for the Palm Pre for nearly a year. Sprint released it last summer, but Verizon waited until January. Why a Palm? I've been a loyal Palm PDA user for over a decade, from the original Pilot through the 700P. I'm also a fan of MS Outlook. I love having all 3,000 of my contacts on my phone, as well as my calendar, tasks, and notes. I want a phone that will sync with a local copy of Outlook (as opposed to an Exchange server), without requiring me to store all my data on Google.

The continuing saga of the new T400S

Robert Weiner

The continuing story of my new Thinkpad T400S laptop. I finally feel like it's starting to come together, particularly the upgrade to Windows 7. Here's the story so far. Maybe my experience will help someone else. After transferring my data and software using Laplink (and after figuring out that I had to decrypt my files first) I found that everything was owned by some mystery account. I couldn't access my files or apps from my account or the Administrator account.

Making the Case for Advancement Services

Robert Weiner

I got a call last week from the Advancement Services manager at a small college asking for help. She's trying to make the case for investing in Advancement Services at a college that seems to only want to invest in fundraisers.

Setting up my new Thinkpad T400S

Robert Weiner

I recently received my new Lenovo Thinkpad T400S -- thinner, faster, and lighter than my current T400. But getting it set up has been a bear. A few of the lowlights, after 6 days of work: 1) I used Laplink to transfer my data, apps, and settings. I've been using Laplink products for at least 15 years with good results. This time, not so good. The big problem turned out to be that I had encrypted my data on my current computer.

Ingredients of a High Performing Advancement Services Shop

Robert Weiner

I've been thinking about what it takes to run a great Advancement Services operation (aka Development Services, Development Operations, Development Systems, the fundraising infrastructure, the back office). While outsiders sometimes view Advancement Services as data entry staff, there's a lot more to it. (I I wrote about the frustrations of Advancement Services professionals in Top Issues Affecting Advancement Services ).

Lame spam of the day: spam mashup

Robert Weiner

And all you need to know is that Tarzan menage a trois made its way onto TCP/IP 2010 SF 100 Things you Need to Eat & Drink Before you Die. Another newbie spammer playing with a toy? This plain-text spam has no sender, subject, formatting, or graphics. Nothing unusual there. The bonus is that it mashes up a variety of spammer techniques, starting with a list of 3-letter words running from "act" to "dry".

Lame spams of the day: assorted LinkedIn ploys

Robert Weiner

Š 2010, LinkedIn Corporation. Lots of spam is coming from fake LinkedIn accounts these days. Most of it is more scary than lame -- it uses the right logo, colors, and fonts. They typically say I have new invitations or messages or that I need to confirm my email address. But some are downright lame, like this: Sender: LinkedIn Notification [undisturbed487@uncw.edu]. Subject: LinkedIn Invitation from your official.

Lame spam of the day: Fake eFaxes

Robert Weiner

There were lots of warnings in 2010 about fake eFax messages delivering malware. This one's scary since I'm an eFax user. But I was suspicious that it was asking me to click on a link (pointing to a server in Germany) rather than open an attachment. I don't know what this one does and don't intend to find out. Here's what they look like. Sender: eFax (message@inbound.efax.com). Subject: Corporate eFax message - 4 pages. Text: Fax Message [Caller-ID: 369-716-1218].

New Survey: America’s Nonprofits in Danger

Robert Weiner

Just 16% anticipate being able to cover their operating expenses in both 2009 and 2010. The Nonprofit Finance Fund just published a survey on how the economic downturn is affecting nonprofits’ current and long-term finances. Their conclusions are scary. According to the executive summary, Only 12% expect to operate above break-even this year. 31% don’t have enough operating cash in hand to cover more that one month of expenses, and another 31% have less than three months’ worth.

Datamining my Facebook Friends

Robert Weiner

Also interesting: when I visited Katie’s page today the top ad was for the “Poizner for Governor 2010″ exploratory committee. I’m fascinated by the ad for Gavin Newsom’s gubernatorial exploratory campaign that’s been showing up on my Facebook page lately. The ad includes a photo of my friend Katie and says that Katie is a fan of Gavin Newsom. Her page confirms that she is a supporter of Gavin.

2010 Online Giving Trends

NonProfit Trends

All Blackbaud Blogs Contact Us Blackbaud.com About Nonprofit Trends Books Research Reports Speaking 2010 Online Giving Trends Posted by Steve MacLaughlin on February 15th, 2011 Blackbaud released its 2010 Online Giving Report today. The 2010 Online Giving Report combines findings from The Blackbaud Index of Online Giving with additional multi-year giving data to provide the most comprehensive analysis of online giving trends in the nonprofit sector. in 2010.

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10 Nonprofit Books from 2010

Beth's Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media

During 2010, I been able to read, blurb, write reviews, do blog giveaways, or author guest posts and interviews for a lot of terrific books that would be useful to nonprofit professionals in the social media, marketing, and ICT areas.

Birthing a Curriculum for Building a Community

NetWits

Every org is different and must build its community to work toward its own goals and mission.

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100 Social Media Tactics for Nonprofits

NetWits

So, you have a social media plan…right? Hopefully your nonprofit is pretty far down the social media strategy rabbit hole at this point. While it’s easy setup a Twitter account and start tweeting, it’s much more difficult to tie that activity back to outcomes.

7 Tips for Successful Online Fundraising

NetWits

On mothers day 2010 they set out to raise money for Mama Lucy - a change maker who’s dedicated her life to helping kids in Arusha, Tanzania. The folks at Epic Change continue to do great things using the web as their medium. We can learn some things from this online fundraising project

Nonprofit Giving on the Rise [Online and Offline!]

NetWits

percent for the 3 months ending May 2010 as compared to the same period in 2009 while the online giving index reports that online revenue increased by 23.0 percent for the 3 months ending May 2010 as compared to the same period in 2009 We recently released a pretty cool resource for the nonprofit industry – The Blackbaud Index ! It contains both The Blackbaud Index of Charitable Giving and The Blackbaud Index of Online Giving.

Video Interview: Facebook for Nonprofits by Randi Zuckerberg

NetWits

I spent some time with Randi Zuckerberg while at South by South West Interactive 2010. Randi works on a number of initiatives for Facebook – one of those being focused on Facebooks involvement in helping nonprofits. She also works on things related to marketing, politics and current events. All the while she acts as the unofficial Facebook correspondent for CNN

7 Online Fundraising Tips I Learned By Participating in Movember

NetWits

For the past 30 days I have been participating in Movember : a worldwide team fundraising campaign to fight men’s cancer. While the dogooder in me loves a great cause, I also relish the opportunity to learn more about online fundraising and why people give.

Spotlight on We Can End This with Scott Henderson

NetWits

It's official kickoff went down at South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive 2010 much like the Pledge to End Hunger did in 2009. We Can End This is a yearlong initiative focused on sparking innovation and broader engagement in the movement to end hunger in America. On top of unvailing the new movement at SXSW a new website was launched and a frontpage promotion was put on Mashable.com.

NTC 2011 is Upon Us!

NetWits

2011 Nonprofit Technology Conference (#11ntc) is ramping up by kicking off the community voting website for over 400 nonprofit focused sessions! We have until September 30 th to vote for those we think will be the most valuable to the overall NPTech community. If you’re not familiar with the Nonprofit Tech. Conference head over and take a look at the agenda , the sessions , the day of service , and who attended in the past. I think those resources will give you a good idea of what’s going on.

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