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

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