FundRaiser Blog

The FundRaiser Software Blog is an excellent resource for nonprofit organizations looking to learn more about fundraising, donor management, membership management, and much more.

Autumn Shirley

Autumn Shirley

Autumn Shirley is the Sales and Marketing Director at FundRaiser Software, as well as the CEO. She has worked at FundRaiser for more than ten years, and very much enjoys the opportunity to work with the wonderful nonprofit organizations that she encounters in her position.

Our Mission:  FundRaiser Software proudly stands for Integrity, Approachability, Responsiveness, and Excellence in service and product.

A couple of weeks ago, I took the time to step back and reflect on why I am so committed to my work at FundRaiser. With my husband and FundRaiser co-owner, Joshua Shirley, I spent the weekend quietly reviewing where we are in relation to the FundRaiser. In the process, I reread the FundRaiser mission, thinking that with all the recent changes, perhaps we needed to update it. I was delighted to feel how fresh and alive this mission is for me. I thought, "This is why we do it—we do this because it means something to us to be working with the people we work with. We chose a career that helps us help the people that help. It allows us to support those who do that. We help helpers."

I'm aware that I only have so much energy and time, and that how I spend my life matters. The same is true for you, our customers. Your life matters and so does what you do with it. People who work at nonprofits take this to heart in a special way, which is why we love supporting you. I think our work will become even more important in the coming years. Nonprofits will need to step up and become more stable, and I am even more glad to be a part of this. We have always focused on helping as much as we can, and I can see how much the work of helping where it is needed is falling on the shoulders of the nonprofit sector. 

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At the beginning of August, FundRaiser Software celebrates Happiness Happens Day. What's more,  the whole month of August has been declared Happiness Happens Month, a good reminder to tune in to happiness, and spread it around.

Here are a few nice tidbits that I've collected so far:  the Gulf of Mexico is recovering really, really well from the horrific Deepwater Spill (read the article), crime rates have fallen significantly in much of the Western World (read the article), and finally, it  appears that we get happier as we get older - great news! (read the article).

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in Non-Profit Fundraising Tips 1683
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Happy Holidays from FundRaiser StaffAs the last week before the holidays wind down, things here at FundRaiser Software have been, well, INSANE! We’ve needed all hands on deck to manage tech support, sales, and fulfillment.  While it always feels great to be this busy (and the only thing we like better than being this busy is being this busy all the time!), it has been hard to find a moment to catch my breath and write this message. I would like to take a moment to thank you. You are the reason that we do this.

We truly are so fortunate. We all come to work every day and get to work with YOU - the absolute best customers on the planet! Even during the holiday rush, when everyone is trying desperately to get their last-minute appeal letters, thank-you letters, and tax letters out the door, so many of you take the time to thank us and wish us Happy Holidays. That means a lot to us! We know that the software isn’t perfect and sometimes you probably want to just throw the computer out the window, but you still manage to find the grace to be polite (if a bit panicky) and wish us well. That is enough. Truly.

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Joshua and I have just returned from our second year attending and exhibiting at the National Religious Broadcasting Convention in Nashville, TN, and what a year it was! It was very inspiring to be surrounded by so many passionate and engaged community leaders! I have returned feeling refreshed, invigorated, and excited about what the future holds for us. I found myself thinking over and over, as I met some of the most amazing people, "This is what it's all about. This is why we do this."

We really enjoyed the opportunity to meet with some of our new customers from last year, as well as customers who have been using FundRaiser for years. At one point, Joe Emert and his lovely wJoe and Jenny Emert with Autumn Shirleyife, Jenny (both pictured at right, along with myself), from Life Radio Ministries were chatting with us, when Eric Jingst and Aaron Darr from WLMB-TV40 walked up. Joe said he remembered reading their recent Case Study (published in February's newsletter) that they were using some parts of FundRaiser which he hadn't explored yet, and he'd like to talk with them about that some more to see if it could work for his organization. 

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I am so glad that spring is finally here! After a long, cold, gray winter, it has been a long time coming!

Having all of the windows open at work really jump-starts my annual spring cleaning. This year, I'm not just going after the dust bunnies - I've also been reorganizing my desk, my calendar, and my databases, and making sure that everything is updated and in tip-top shape for a busy year. Updating my software and contacts always seems to take a back burner to answering the phones, responding to email, sending out invoices, and putting out fires...and I suspect that a lot of our FundRaiser customers are experiencing the same challenges. But it's amazing how much more efficiently I can work with a clean desk, an updated calendar, and the newest fixes for all my different software applications! I've noticed, for example, that I can really walk into the office, sit down, and get started with my day, instead of spending 15 minutes sorting through all the notes and paperwork scattered around my desk. When I log in to our CRM software, I can see all the calls I need to make today right on my homepage, instead of them being buried in page 3, behind all the calls I was supposed to make yesterday or last week. I also updated it to the newest version recently, which took care of a pesky bug that was causing all of my scheduled tasks to appear an hour earlier than they were scheduled for, and gave me several new options for building reports. Updating my browser to the newest version of Firefox also solved some problems I was having with unexplained slowdowns and bad page loads.

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Lemon-Mint Granita

Adapted  from Smitten Kitchen

What could possibly be more refreshing on a hot Summer day then an icy granita? This is a wonderful recipe to make with the kids (or, why not have them do it while you sit by the pool), and there is also a fabulous adult version. Both are wonderful!

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