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.

The Season for Thanks - a note from our CEO

As the weather turns cooler and the leaves begin to drop, I always try to take some time off from the constant stream of news and information that is constantly coming at me, and spend some time reflecting on the things that I'm truly thankful for. Sometimes, especially given the current state of affairs this season, this can feel a lot like... exercise. What if I miss something? What if everything changes when I'm not paying attention? What if, what if, what if?

Fortunately (or maybe unfortunately), this has never actually happened. Indeed, the world always continues to spin, news always continues to happen, and nothing major seems to change overnight. Apparently, my inattention to the news has zero effect on the bigger picture, what a relief! With that in mind, I chose to dedicate my mental energy in November and December to gratitude. The first week was mostly a detox; it is surprisingly difficult to avoid clicking those juicy headlines, or opening my News app for a quick update! After the first week, things began to normalize and I could focus more on my actual intention of feeling grateful. I decided to make a list of a few the things that I'm most thankful for to share with the world (the FundRaiser blog reading world, that is). Without further ado, here's a very partial list in no particular order of the things I am grateful for every single day.

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Summer Savings When You Update FundRaiser!

SummerSavings

Happy Summer! If you are a FundRaiser user, and your Annual Maintenance Plan (AMP) has been expired for longer than six months, you can renew and update FundRaiser at a special lower price. The usual cost to update is $200-$400 to bring your license up to the latest version; however, we're offering you two ways to save when you update your FundRaiser license this summer!  

Update & Renew your AMP

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Two weeks left on our Spring Sale to take FundRaiser to the Cloud

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Spring is turning to summer, and as it does the FundRaiser Hosted sale is coming to an end. If you are interested in moving your FundRaiser program to the Cloud at a special lower cost, you have just until  the end of May. Hosted is a fast, secure online FundRaiser, and available to everyone who is already a FundRaiser desktop customer.

Why Professional Hosted?

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Our Heartfelt Thanks As We Roll into the New Year

HolidayThankYou

As we roll over into the New Year, there is no doubt that the past year was an eventful one – in fact, I learned a new term tio describe my experience: news fatigue. In case you haven’t experienced this, yourself, news fatigue occurs when you feel like there is too much news and you can’t keep up. According to Pew Research, nearly seven in ten Americans claimed to have it in 2018– and that was in July!

So, in light of that, I’m going to make this New Year message short and sweet. With this New Year, I would like to send out a heartfelt thanks to all of you, our FundRaiser Family. You make it possible for us to continue to work in this space, and we are proud to be able to support your efforts. Every day, we are privileged to be in direct contact with the very best of the workforce – the helpers, the volunteers, the recruiters, the fundraisers, the directors, the organizers. All of you, who are dedicating your time and careers to nonprofit work are shining examples of how to be the change in the world, and we are proud and grateful to be of service to you. Thank you for continuing to do the work that you do, and thank you for continuing to allow us to be a part of that, as well. Joshua and I and the whole FundRaiser Team wish you all a very happy happy New Year, too.  We look forward to continuing to serve you in 2019!

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Exciting Developments on the Horizon for a FundRaiser Software

NewHorizons

With Thanksgiving behind us and Christmas and the end of the year right around the corner, now is a great time for both reflection and forward thinking. Lately, I’ve been thinking about the ways that I am grateful for FundRaiser Software and the huge FundRaiser Family that comes with it – I’ve been here for more than fifteen years and have had the great honor to work with some of the most amazing co-workers and customers during this time. I’ve seen the company, the software, and the customers grow and change so much over the years that it’s hard to believe that we had such humble beginnings!

When I began working here, we did not have a central office and were one of the pioneers of the remote workforce movement. I worked from a home office with a (very touchy) satellite internet connection and used our FundRaiser DOS program to keep track of leads, customers, and notes. We had just released our first Windows version and were working to convert customers from DOS to Windows, as well as onboard new customers. We didn’t have much competition back then, either – we were one of about three vendors creating donor management software at that time.

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Program News - A Better Looking FundRaiser

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Interested in knowing more about what the future holds for your software?

It's no secret that, while FundRaiser is a very robust program, the interface is, frankly, outdated. As a small privately-owned company, we have had to choose how to allocate our resources very carefully and we have put other development projects ahead of updating the interface. Fortunately, that is changing now and we are pleased to offer you an exclusive sneak peek at the upcoming release.

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Are you ready for Giving Tuesday? Let us help with free hosting

GivingTuesday

Giving Tuesday is just 2 months away, on November 27 and it is not too soon to start preparing for it. This year, we  want to give you some extra help by creating an online donations page that is integrated with FundRaiser. Our Donor Portal can play a key role in the success of your Giving Tuesday campaign.

Your custom Donor Portal page for online donations will 

• look & feel like your website• accept online donations using Authorize.net• seamlessly stream donor and donation records directly to FundRaiser

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An Open Letter from FundRaiser CEO, Autumn Shirley: Why We Do It

An Open Letter from FundRaiser CEO, Autumn Shirley: Why We Do It
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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Celebrate Happiness Happens Month

Cat in a tree

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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Season Greetings from all of your friends at FundRaiser Software

Happy Holidays from FundRaiser Staff

As 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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Back from the National Religious Broadcasters Convention in Nashville

Joe and Jenny Emert with Autumn Shirley
Josh Shirley with Shawn Rames from WLMB-TV40

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 wife, 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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Spring Cleaning - Not Just for Dust Bunnies Anymore!

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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Granita Recipe

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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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