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

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