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

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