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.

Grow Where You Are Planted

I love weeds. That may seem very odd to hear from someone who enjoys gardening, but perhaps I am not a typical gardener. I must confess I’m terribly fickle when it comes to my garden. Each spring I succumb to the passion of lush, green spring and gaily plant far more than I can ever take care of. Inevitably the oppressive heat of summer squelches my enthusiasm and only those plants that survive the minimal tending I care to give them live to benefit from my renewed vigor with autumn’s chill.Despite these serious flaws in my gardening technique, I’m never without green in my life. For intrepid weeds soften my failures. Perhaps my favorite is the wild morning glory. Its rich green leaves cover a vine as tough and tenacious as barbed wire. These tendrils coil from dry, barren ground and climb to the sun upon anything they can reach. Yet from this ruthless creeper spring delicate ivory blossoms that sing to the sun for only one day. It is truly heartening to see beauty spring from what seems to be nothing.

Nonprofit organizations often have the same issue with hardware and software. You spring out of what seems to be nothing, pulling resources from volunteers and donations from the community you serve. Purchasing up to date computers and hiring someone to set up and maintain them is frequently out of your reach, financially, although I’ve seen some pretty amazing things done with the bare minimum.

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FundRaiser's oldest websites were cutting edge... at the time

Screenshot of FundRaiser's second website from 1996
FundRaiser website in 2003

The internet has developed so quickly over the past decade that it’s hard to remember how things looked even just a short while ago. With FundRaiser going live with a new website this week, I began to wonder what our earliest websites looked like. I talked to Gene Weinbeck, founder of FundRaiser, and he was happy to share some memories and a few images of earlier websites. When did FundRaiser first go online? Gene: Our earliest website went up about 1994. It looked like a DOS program. It was done in Times New Roman only, and for sophistication, it used bold and underlining. We don’t have any screenshot of that… no one thought to save it!

What made you go online at that time?

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Client/Server: A GeekSpeak Analogy

A couple of years ago I wrote an article about the differences between our Multi-User versions of FundRaiser and the Client/Server versions of FundRaiser.  And you may want to visit that article for a more technical explanation of things, but in this week's blog I'll attempt to give you the short version.

Client/Server versions can allow more than one person to use the program simultaneously, like Multi-User versions, but that's not their real purpose and strength.  Speed with safety is the real benefit to Client/Server versions, speeding up processes while insuring that no data becomes corrupt or lost.  Most "regular" versions of software are installed directly to the computer at hand, and that computer does all the work, so it's called a "stand alone" setup.  On networks of computers, it can be advantageous to have the program installed on a special computer called a Server, and allow other computers (Clients) to run the program over the network.

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relationship tracking Task List reports merge fields on site training capital campaign tax summary letters phoning donors LYBUNTS data entry annual campaign the Ask corporate sponsors data conversion government grants gift notes field donation history alumni data analysis donor arts spare fields Volunteer module annual maintenance plan advanced tab giving levels monthly giving memorial giving in honor of donations NCOA processing recurring gifts flash sales grants Company culture look and feel campaign management appeal letters Crowdfunding Campaign tech tip donor attrition rate GoFundMe project Snow Birds budget mission driven animal rescue Thank You volunteering Groupings disaster relief banquet correspondence brick campaign Donor Portal Tickles product news major gift prospects features Resiliency add ons moves management membersip benefits case study word processor office nonprofit fundraising overview general In-Kind gifts upgrade password protection donor contact information publicity materials change of address updating Reminders lapsed donor endowment campaign membership programs community arts nonprofits gift entry National Change of Address new leadership custom page grassroots campaign happiness online donations donor retention rate how-to videos premiums operational costs operating systems user spotlights raffle spreadsheets thank you letters major donors GivingTuesday board members membership benefits Excel ROI Facebook campaign mode code segmenting donors ticketsales Facebook backing up data welcome packet small donations community supported gardens fundraising letters volunteers motivation code fundraising communications Alternative Addresses customer portal support donor slip online donations security tribute gifts Reporting to IRS increasing giving amounts role of nonprofits community broadcasting accounting software donor loyalty pledges event management targeted mailings motivation solicitors announcements charity golf tournaments PayPal training donor attrition FundRaiser Spark updates End of Year Letters understanding giving trends Congratulations Codes donor source building donor relationships follow up ticket sales social media SYBUNTS donor recognition development director customer service training tip foundations #GivingTuesday importing csv upgrading donors

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