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

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