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

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