Robert Weiner

Tangents 2-15-2020 Playlist

Robert Weiner

Migrating recurring donors to a new system

Robert Weiner

Credit card image from Ed Ivanushkin. A client is migrating to new Association Management Software, which will entail changing their credit card processor.

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What to Do When Technology Isn’t Your Problem

Robert Weiner

Copyright P. Mueller [link]. Does it feel like you never find the right combination of technologies to just make things work? Do you lie awake at night and wonder how everything is going to get done, or why a new project was just dumped on your plate?

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. Shortly afterward, an email arrives saying the amount was a mistake (e.g., 7,000 instead of $700) and asking for a refund of the difference to a different credit card.

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Robert on the (Internet) radio

Robert Weiner

This Friday, October 16 at 1 pm Eastern time, Nonprofit Radio will be broadcasting a discussion with me, Tracy Kronzak of Bright Step Partners; Marc Baizman of the Salesforce Foundation; and Dahna Goldstein of Altum.

Android factory reset on a Samsung S7: The ugly, the bad, and the good

Robert Weiner

I recently had to perform a factory reset on my year-old Samsung S7. Here’s my tale: The Ugly. At first, I was getting occasional errors like, “Unfortunately, Google Maps has stopped working.” ” But over time the errors increased until they became a constant problem. Nearly every app that was running in the foreground or background would present this kind of error message, often over and over again within minutes.

Phone 100

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. Today the news is that Blackbaud is killing off Common Ground , one of the two donor management products (aka CRMs or Constituent Relationship Management systems) that they acquired from Convio.

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. There seems to be a feeling we should remove any records that have not had an action in 7 years. I’m a bit worried by this. Does this make sense to others?

New book: “Advancement Services: Enhancing Fundraising Success”

Robert Weiner

CASE has just published the third edition of its guide to Advancement Services. The title of this edition is " Advancement Services: Enhancing Fundraising Success." The book was a labor of love for over 2 years by 25 of advancement services professionals, led and edited by the esteemed John Taylor.

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. These aren't as lame-looking as most of the spam I write about: they use the right logos, fonts, and typefaces. This site says they lead to malware.

Paypal 193

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. ). Let's say the following donations will be processed by different nonprofits in the United States on Jan.

Finding a replacement for Tungle.me

Robert Weiner

I've been using Tungle for years to share my calendar with colleagues and clients. It allowed them to view my availability online and propose meetings as if we were all on the same calendaring system. Unfortunately, RIM bought Tungle in 2011 and it started to decline. Appointments would no longer sync reliably with Outlook, I'd get strange error messages from the connector plug-in, and the company stopped providing tech support. Now they've announced that Tungle will be shut down on December 3rd.

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." The premise is that complaints about an organization's database may be misdirected: the problem is how the system is being managed (aka management problems disguised as technology problems).

Idealware’s revised Consumers Guide to Low-Cost Donor Management Systems

Robert Weiner

Idealware just released the latest version of their Consumers Guide to Low-Cost Donor Management Systems. It will give you an overview of 32 systems and in-depth reviews of their top 11 “best value” choices. Several systems were included for the first time: @EASE, Bloomerang, Exceed Beyond, Salsa CRM, The Raiser’s Edge NXT, and NPOconnect (formerly known as Orange Leap). You can download it here. Databases Donor Databases Fundraising Nonprofit Technology Software

System 100

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. The spammers haven't even tried to make the reply-to address look legit. Some have a sender name from UPS but use the FedEx logo.

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Lame spams of the day: Amazon HDTV shipments

Robert Weiner

I got 3 versions of this today. The most amusing part is that the shipping address is a mail merge field with my email address inserted. I'm sure that will produce some funny results for people with more creative email addresses.

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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!' and 9 Other Lines About Technology You Don't Want to Hear. If you're a Chronicle subscriber you can read that one by clicking here.

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Thoughts on the Blackbaud – Convio deal

Robert Weiner

Lots of people have already weighed in on Blackbaud’s purchase of Convio (two of my favorites: [link] and [link] ). Here my perspective. Disclosures: I have clients that use both companies’ products, as well as products from their competitors, open source products, and homegrown solutions. I don’t invest in these or other companies that I advise on. I have no inside knowledge about what the merged company will look like.

Convio 181

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. This site says they're malware delivery devices, so do not click on them! A few of the senders: alets-no-reply@customercenter.citibank.com. alets-no-reply@serviceemail6.citibank.com. alets-no-reply@citibank.com.

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

Robert Weiner

It''s been a while since I got a spam message that rose to the level of true lameness (maybe because I''ve improved my anti-spam tools), but this one hit the target.

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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. I would like to make everyone aware of a recent situation here that is most likely a scam to launder stolen credit card funds, appearing as a gift. A $9,000 gift is received and approved from an unknown entity (in this case a “Cassandra Harvey”), with Smyrna, GA address, Yahoo email and legitimate phone number.

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. But they don't mention Facebook. Does the familiar look and feel dupe people into clicking before they read? According to this post , they're selling meds online.

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Lame spam of the day: America Airlines ticket order

Robert Weiner

This one caught my eye for a second. I thought, "I don't remember booking anything with American lately." The lazy spammer didn't even bother to include any graphics to make it look official. Sender: American Airlines (information-no77537@aa.com). Subject: Your Order##91991988. Text: Dear Customer, FLIGHT NUMBER 984. ELECTRONIC 746879098. DATE & TIME / NOVEMBER 17, 2011, 11:53 PM. ARRIVING / NEW YORK JFK. TOTAL PRICE / 321.56 Please find your ticket attached. You can print your ticket.

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Lame spams of the day: Your score apparently changed!

Robert Weiner

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

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Lame spams of the day: confirmation from [insert social network name]

Robert Weiner

Is it a trend or just me? In the past 2 days I've received spams in the form of confirmations from MySpace, Habbo, Tagged, and Foursquare. They don't look related, but it's an odd coincidence. Here they are: 1) Subject: Please confirm your Myspace account cancellation.

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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. The four of us, plus Vered Meir , will be leading a workshop on the topic of shiny object avoidance at NTEN's Nonprofit Technology Conference in March. Best Practices IT Management Nonprofit Management Nonprofit Technology NTEN

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. The response hit the nail on the head: We started working on folding shadow databases into (Raiser''s Edge, our central database) about 8 years ago. There are still quite a few of them out there, but we are slowly bringing them into the fold!

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. These spams aren't 100% lame -- at least they included a logo and some design elements.

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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. The spammers at least took the trouble to use the FDIC logo, but didn't bother to make the random sender addresses look like legitimate FDIC addresses.

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ROI for a donor database

Robert Weiner

My colleague Charlie Hunsaker posted the following question on the FUNDSVCS Advancement Services listserve: I have two clients who are looking for new systems and want a “cost justification” for their acquisition to share with their management. Probably an issue that we should all be looking at. So with some background, I’ve got some questions. First, there are often situations where we “have to” replace our current system – regardless of costs or expected $$$ benefits: 1.

2012 Heroes With A Heart Awards

Robert Weiner

Heroes With A Heart Grant. The CTK Foundation’s "Heroes with a Heart" Grant Award wants YOU to nominate a “Hero with a Heart,” and give them a chance to win $5,000 as thanks for the hard work that they do.

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Lame spam of the day: CareerBuilder position notices

Robert Weiner

I'm being deluged by these today. This site says they're malware delivery vehicles. Version 1: Subject: Open position which you might be interested in. Sender: Vielka@site.careerbuilder.com. Text: Hello, I am a customer service employee at CareerBuilder.

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Lame spams of the day: FedEx invoices

Robert Weiner

I got a dozen of these yesterday. Most of them showed the sender as "Milton Ballard" so hopefully they won't fool anyone. But the last one came from BillingOnline@fedex.com so it was slightly more convincing. The subject lines included: Please pay your outstanding Fedex invoice. New Fedex Invoice.

Spam 149

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. I discussed training at a high level on page 13 of this chapter from CASE's Handbook of Institutional Advancement. Here are some more detailed rules of thumb: 90% of training is forgotten within the first 2 weeks if it's not put to immediate use. Not everyone can train. It's an art.

Lame spam of the day: US Airways reservation

Robert Weiner

I got 8 of these at 2 different email addresses, always a sign of spam. The pitch is similar to the American Airlines ticket scam but not as well done. The U.S.

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Blackbaud kills Common Ground: So What?

Robert Weiner

According to the Foundation Center’s analysis of data from the National Center for Charitable Statistics, there are approximately 1.5 million nonprofits in the U.S. According to the Q&A that Idealware conducted with Blackbaud , approximately 400 nonprofits are using Common Ground. That’s about.026 percent of U.S. nonprofits. Obviously, if you’re one of those 400 you care deeply about the demise of Common Ground. But what about the rest of the nonprofit world?

Lame spam of the day: Harvard Medical School

Robert Weiner

Well, I haven't been treated at Harvard. I live thousands of miles away. And it wouldn't normally occur to me to "shop" at a medical school or hospital (though after investigation I found that the publications shown on the message do cost money.)

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Lame spam of the day: CitiBank Account Alert

Robert Weiner

This type of phishing scam is common as dirt, but this example is particularly lame. First, it includes the sections of CitiBank's standard notices that would normally include the account holder's name and the last 4 digits of the account -- but they're blank. Then there are some typos.

Spam 149

Lame spam of the day: messages from YouTube

Robert Weiner

I've seen several flavors of this spam lately. The formatting is pretty good -- not the usual lameness. It's the content that's lame. This site says they're from an online pharmacy. Version 1: Sender: YouTube Service (service@youtube.com).

Spam 149

Lame spam of the day: Amazon cancelation

Robert Weiner

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? Previous incarnations of this spam have led to a Canadian online pharmacy, and the hyperlinks in this one lead to a site in Canada.

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Lame spams of the day: ADP Notifications

Robert Weiner

I've been seeing a variety of these recently. Since I don't use ADP it's obvious that they're spam, but others may fall for them. The first one below had no logo or other graphics, and used only plain, unformatted text. Sender: ADPClientServices@adp.com.

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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. Text: Dear Customer, We attempted to deliver your item at 11:02 am on November 5, 2011 and a notice was left.

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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. After talking with some clients, it seems opinions vary wildly regarding this subject. For example, one nonprofit archives records every year based on past giving or when someone last interacted with them.

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