Robert Weiner

Migrating recurring donors to a new system

Robert Weiner

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

Blackbaud kills off Common Ground

Robert Weiner

Advancement Services Databases Donor Databases Fundraising Nonprofit Technology SoftwareYesterday 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.

Trending Sources

Important changes for GiftWorks users

Robert Weiner

As such, current and new clients are guaranteed access to ongoing software updates, training and support, and enhanced features. Donor Databases Fundraising Nonprofit Technology Software FrontStream, the current owner of GiftWorks, sent me the following notice this week: Hey there Robert, As in the past, we are preparing to upgrade FrontStream CRM (previously GiftWorks 2013) users to the newest version of CRM.

Training on your new database

Robert Weiner

Test the computers and software in the classroom before every training. You'll get new staff, staff will need to learn new things over time, and there will be new software releases. 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.

Thoughts on the Blackbaud – Convio deal

Robert Weiner

Software alone seldom gets the job done. 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.

More nonprofit software mergers and acquisitions

Robert Weiner

Advancement Services Alumni Relations Databases Donor Databases Software AlumniLast 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. The Sage staff I've talked to can't comment publicly until the sale is final, which they hope will happen this month.

Robert in the news(paper)

Robert Weiner

Advancement Services Donor Databases Fundraising Online Fundraising SoftwareI 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.

Blackbaud’s acquisition of Convio is a done deal

Robert Weiner

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

Blackbaud – Convio merger expected to close this week

Robert Weiner

Advancement Services Cloud Computing Databases Donor Databases Fundraising Nonprofit Technology Online Fundraising SoftwareThe 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. I expect that it will take at least several months, and probably several years, before the dust settles and we know what's left behind.

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

Robert Weiner

Donor Databases SoftwareIdealware 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.

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

Robert Weiner

Databases Donor Databases Fundraising Nonprofit Technology SoftwareIdealware 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.

Thoughts on Software RFPs

Robert Weiner

I then see software vendors, who are already busy with other prospects, scrambling to pull together responses and often (quite frankly) not able to deliver their best because of the timeframe. Resources : My article Finding the Perfect Fundraising Database in an Imperfect World includes a section called "To RFP or not to RFP" Idealware article: The Perfect Fit: A Guide to Evaluating and Purchasing Major Software Systems.

Making Sense of Software Licensing

Robert Weiner

Software licenses! Take the complexity of technology and stir in the complexity of the legal system and what do you get? TechSoup

Favorite Free Software

Robert Weiner

Joe Medina of Colby College asked members of the FUNDSVCS listserve about their favorite free software programs. CoreFTP — FTP client software: [link]. Hijack This — Restores Windows settings that have been altered or hijacked by software and malware: [link]. ZoneAlarm — PC firewall software: [link]. Tags: Software Here are mine, minus obvious ones like Gmail and Firefox (note that many are only free for home use).

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. When talking about "free" software I think it's important to define the limits of free.

Idealware’s Field Guide to Nonprofit Software: Fundraising, Communications and Outreach

Robert Weiner

They describe it as follows: What types of software should your nonprofit be using? It's likely to be a useful guide to nonprofits who are planning to purchase (or request donations) of a lot of software in the near future.

Lame spam of the day: FDIC Transactions stopped

Robert Weiner

New security software is should be installed! New security software, should be updated! New security software, update required! I got a dozen spams today claiming to come from the FDIC. Here are details on the exploit.

Lame spam of the day: Intuit GoPayment

Robert Weiner

But the From: address is obviously not from Intuit and text is pretty lame: "Your Intuit GoPayment statement for ONTIMEE SOFTWARE, DEVELOPMENTS has been accepted." Your Intuit GoPayment statement for ONTIMEE SOFTWARE, DEVELOPMENTS has been accepted.

FAQ 2

Do You Need New Donor Management Software?

Robert Weiner

Idealware just published an article by Keith Heller called Do You Need New Donor Management Software? Keith urges nonprofits to look before they leap into new software, cautioning that "new software may not make anything better — in fact, it could make things worse."

Pizzigati Prize for Open Source Software Developers

Robert Weiner

From the Foundation Center’s RFP bulletin: The Tides Foundation Invites Nominations for Award Honoring Open Source Software Developers Who Add Value to Nonprofit Sector. The Tides Foundation is accepting nominations for the $10,000 Antonio Pizzigati Prize for Software in the Public Interest. Deadline: March 2, 2009.

Blackbaud kills Common Ground: So What?

Robert Weiner

This could undermine nonprofits’ willingness to use cloud-based (aka Software as a Service or SaaS) databases. As I mentioned in my previous post about Common Ground , even though Blackbaud announced in 2006 that it was killing GiftMaker Pro (GMP), since the software ran on clients’ own servers it’s still in use. Advancement Services Databases Donor Databases Fundraising IT Management Nonprofit Technology Software

Finding a replacement for Tungle.me

Robert Weiner

SoftwareI'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.

Defunct Google Products

Robert Weiner

SoftwareGoogle: It's great that they keep innovating, and of course not every idea will work out. But Google's record of killing off products makes me nervous about my reliance on them. Here are some defunct products I remember (and here are some I never tried. Even more. Still more.): Desktop Google search (still working if you can find a copy, thank heaven, but no longer supported). Google Buzz. Google Wave. Pages and files in Google Groups.

Lame spams of the day: another roundup

Robert Weiner

Thank you for buying Adobe InDesign CS4 software. Here's a selection of messages from spammers who don't even seem to be trying -- no graphics, no attempt to make the links look legit, plain text. Are these spammers just lazy or do these things actually work? Bottom line: think before you click. Hover your mouse over URLs and see where they lead. And use anti-malware tools that will warn you about suspicious web sites. I've removed or defanged the URLS.).

Lame spam of the day: How are you

Robert Weiner

I'm guessing someone is taking their new spam software for a test drive. OK, this is totally lame. No graphics, no links, no attachments. One copy came from Marcus Richmond (besiegersr032@chinesegamer.net) and one came from Brent Gaines (taciturnoxx28@wonderware.com). The subject line of both was "hi". The text was "How are you." That's it. Each took a twisting path through servers in multiple countries.

Lame spam roundup

Robert Weiner

Thank you for buying Adobe InDesign CS4 software. Here's a random selection of strange and/or lame spams I've received recently. 1: I got several of these. Unfortunately, no umbrellas were included. Sender: LinkedIn Connections [connections@linkedin.com]. Subject: RE: CELSA - Copies of Policies. Text: Unfortunately, I cannot obtain electronic copies of the Ocean, Warehouse or EPLI policy. Here is the Package and Umbrella, and a copy of the most recent schedule.

ROI for a donor database

Robert Weiner

There are key components of advancement support missing in the current software (one of the two areas above, or Events management, or Volunteer management, or on-line fundraising, or Campaign Reporting, or…). The current software does not interface with our current/new technical environment (MS-Exchange and Office, or Google g-mail, calendar, docs, etc.). Our current vendor has gone out of business, or has stopped supporting our current software.

Lame spam of the day: self-identified spam

Robert Weiner

This message didn't come from my anti-spam software and my ISP says it didn't come from theirs. Text: Spam detection software, running on the system "nas", has. This one is peculiar. My name isn't on the To line, and there's no offer, link, or attachment. Lot's of non-Western characters (or random text) in the subject & sender lines. To: ruhit_ray@hotmail.com. Sender: ³¯«É·ì (cyzwjchbxx@yahoo-inc.com). Subject: **SPAM ** Re: µ¹.§A¤£°µ§@ª½±µ-»ù¨C¤ù¥u­n26¤¸.

Lame Spams of the Day: Job Offers

Robert Weiner

need a trust worthy person as my data entry/typist Assistant who want to work on flexible hours on part time,Be sure to earn up to $3500 monthly salary for a start. ** For you to start the job you would need the following items : ** Versa Gold software , versa ink Nano and Versajette M400 Printer. Wow, strangers want to hire me -- not. Sender 1: Scott Pina (tani40@wonderware.com). Subject: Re: Re: Employment Opportunity Followup. Response Required. Text: Dear job applicant.

Lame spam of the day: Your Intuit.com invoice.

Robert Weiner

Your Intuit.com software order. Your Quickbooks software order. The text varied slightly but was along the lines of this one: Dear Customer: Thank you for purchasing your software Intuit Market. Here's another set of spams claiming to come from Inuit. An earlier batch asked me to provide my tax information. This batch confirms my non-existent purchases with links to download my order, reorder checks, and submit feedback.

What’s a good donor database?

Robert Weiner

to "I do not recommend SalesForce, even if it is free" and "It may be free, but as someone with software development experience, I found administration of it to be much too complex for the average nonprofit user.". I've been enjoying the discussion in the Chronicle of Philanthropy's LinkedIn group in response to the question, " What's a good, affordable donor database program for a small non profit? " (you'll probably need to join the group to read the responses).

QuickBooks Premier Editions 2011 (with 3 User Licenses) (Includes Nonprofit Edition), Admin Fee: $99.00 USD

Robert Weiner

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

What’s in Your Data Ecosystem?

Robert Weiner

Similar to the interconnectedness in natural ecosystems (for example: marsh, birds, plants), we think of the data ecosystem as the interconnectedness of software tools and the data they hold. Our friends at NTEN have launched a survey to examine nonprofits' data ecosystems.

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

Email Bounce Codes Decoded

Robert Weiner

The Email Experience Council's Deliverability Roundtable (Chris Wheeler of Bronto Software, Jack Sinclair of Return Path, and Josh Baer of OtherInbox) has put together a list of common email bounce codes to help decode why your emails might not be making it to their intended recipients.

First impressions of the HTC Rezound smartphone

Robert Weiner

Every time I connect the phone to my computer via USB it tries to install Windows drivers and Verizon software, even though I already did that. Since HP abandoned the Palm Pre I decided to do the same. I'm sad about it -- I've been a Palm user since the Pilot days and loved Palm's WebOS. But my Pre's keypad was no longer reliable, the erratic GPS was constantly vexing, and the lack of apps was annoying (and not likely to get better).

Chosing a donor database

Robert Weiner

Tags: Advancement Services Donor Databases Nonprofit Technology Software

Lame spam of the day: quite every unfruitful dealing

Robert Weiner

This one must have been run through language translation software. The English is delightfully warped. Sender: PROF. LAMIDO SANUSI (info@paksteel.com.pk). Subject: RE: URGENT ATTENTION. From The Desk Of Dr. Lamido Sanusi, (PhD Msc). The Hon. Governor Central Bank of Nigeria. Plot 8321 4th Floor Garki, Abuja. Nigeria. E-mail: dr.lamidosanusi50@gmail.com. Date: 28th July, 2011. Attn: Sir/Madam.

The continuing saga of the new T400S

Robert Weiner

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 found that their software wouldn't install under Windows 7. I solved that by following the instructions for solving Error # 0 problems at [link] Now I have a second program ( Microsoft Installer Cleanup utility) to forcibly uninstall uncooperative software. Tags: Hardware Software

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.