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

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