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.

Treatment for database growing pains and head banging


When you decide to move into a more advanced FundRaiser program, it usually means that your organization is in a time of positive change: your organization is growing and having enough success that you can no longer make due with the limitations of your previous software. You make the jump to a more powerful program, open it up and then try to get as comfortable as you used to be with the old software.

I had that kind of positive confusion on my mind when I went over to the FundRaiser Tech Support department and asked Jonathan what would be his ‘best advice’ for organizations who were having 'software growing pains.' He had some great suggestions, but overall it boiled down to this simple piece of advice:

Continue reading
3060 Hits

Mary Badiny, our bookkeeper


Many FundRaiser users also work as the bookkeeper for their office or interface closely with their organization's bookkeeper. FundRaiser makes this as simple as possible with its integration features for QuickBooks and Peachtree accounting programs. Good people plus good software make an office run well. In our office, the people part of our bookkeeping equation is Mary Badiny and we all interface with her most happily.

She's worked as a bookkeeper all her life, starting during college as a way to support herself. “While I was going to school for a business degree, I got my first bookkeeping job. The woman who interviewed me for that first job said, 'I really need someone with experience, but I'm going to give you a chance.' She became a kind of mentor to me, and we were both happy with how it went. I've been a bookkeeper now for 41 years," says Mary. "You'd think I'd be burned out, but I found the perfect office de-stressor. It's my garden. Of course there is stress, like no rain for 3 months, but it’s a totally different kind and it gives me the right balance."

Continue reading
2530 Hits

How we are all the same

If you are working with FundRaiser software, you are spending some time in front of a computer, just like we are. I enjoy that similarity, and also, seeing the photos of you working at your computers. I’ve been sent a few of these during my time writing about the way organizations use our software. Usually they come with a slightly apologetic comment, like, ‘I know this isn’t a very exciting photo’… or something along those lines. I love them and I think they are beautiful. And I can relate, because that’s how I look when I am working, too. You might be surprised to know, also, that when I post them, they are our most popular photos because we can all relate.

All of us connected to FundRaiser have in common that we are spending time behind our computers. In many of the photos I receive, people are looking up, the way we often talk to people who come to our computers station. Or you may be looking directly across at the camera, the way we sit in an office across from each other. It’s also pretty common to see people turned to look over their shoulder, because we are all facing the screen in front of us, and not the world behind. This is the world we live in, at least for the length of time we are working in a database.

Continue reading
2897 Hits

Staff on Happiness Happens Day




Talking to Sarah at MaineShare got me thinking about what exactly makes any particular person happy. I happen to agree with her about getting out in nature. That also makes me happy, so for Happiness Happens day that is where you will find me and my dog Lulu. I also wondered how the rest of the FundRaiser staff will be spending their Monday holiday.

Bea in her life jacket

James Ware, Sales Representative: We'll take the bulldogs down to the river. We have life jackets for them.

Continue reading
3974 Hits

Sherry Willis, Girl Tech Supporter

Sherry of FundRaiser tech support is breaking ground in her job, just like Lois Lane, Girl Reporter and hero of my younger days. "People find it interesting that I'm a woman doing tech support," says Sherry. "This is still definitely a male-dominated field. Despite the fact that I am the only girl here in FundRaiser tech, I don't find that a handicap at all. I don't know if that's the company or if it is that if you learn enough to do the job, then any company would be happy to have you. Here, I'm not the first woman to do tech support. FundRaiser has a history of hiring women for the job."

Because FundRaiser prides itself on its high-level of tech support, great care is put into finding the right people to do the job. "Right now, there are two of us dedicated full time to doing tech support, myself and Jonathan," says Sherry. "We have different focuses. He is more interested in the fine tech details. I am more interested in the Big Picture. I think that is typical of women. So together we make a good tech team. He will delve into the fine details on a case, while my focus is trying to get people to be able to do what they want in the shortest amount of time possible."

Continue reading
3279 Hits

Roll Over!



This morning I woke up with a heavy weight on my ribs and a buzzing sound in my ear. No, I wasn’t having a coronary; it was only my cat purring happily from the middle of my chest. He obviously feels this is an ideal morning perch. I, on the other hand, wonder if it means I’m getting squishier in my old age. Still, I find it a relaxing way to wake up unless he happens to get one of his whiskers up my nose.

It seems that people either love or despise cats. I think it’s because they make it perfectly clear that they are going to live on their own terms and not pander to what we’d like them to be. A dog is perfectly happy to change his ways to suit you. He will wear whatever you want and learn to do any amount of tricks you care to teach him. However, my cat will choose what he does for himself and I always feel a bit privileged when he graces me with his presence.

Continue reading
3525 Hits

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?

Continue reading
3970 Hits

New social media expert on staff

Lily BrothertonFundRaiser recently hired an expert in Social Media. This week, she’s starting work creating videos, educating staff about using Twitter, and creating a more lively presence on Facebook.  She’s been actively involved in social media for the last 4 years… since she was 12 years old. Yes, our newest staff member is just 16 and the daughter of Autumn Shirley, CEO of FundRaiser. Her name is Lily Brotherton and she is our social media intern.  

When I interviewed her this morning, our dialog took a slightly different direction than the usual interviews:

Continue reading
3062 Hits

The dance of change

Having been associated with FundRaiser (and its founder, Gene Weinbeck) for more than a quarter century is, frankly, rather difficult for me to consider without thinking of the myriad changes (personal and professional, local and international, physical and metaphysical) that have occurred during that time. Some reflections bring out nostalgic yearnings for a return to a simpler life, while others evoke a sense of gratitude that “it” isn’t what “it” used to be. Change, in itself, could care less about how I view what was, and change will continue regardless of what I think.

In the mid-80’s my brother asked me to come to Missouri to help with his business, where, he assured me, I’d get the chance to learn computers while earning “Ozark” wages. With not a little trepidation, I agreed, packed everything I owned, including my best pal, Harry S Trudog, into a VW microbus (remember those?) and drove from Louisiana to the sleepy south central Missouri town of West Plains. I quickly learned that “Ozark” wages consisted of $50.00 per week and a place to stay, and that my education in computers was to be in the form self-education, using a then-new IBM PC with both the MS-DOS and BASIC manuals, and a single software program called Lotus 1-2-3. And, while it seemed a rude awakening in one sense, I’ll be forever grateful to my brother for the introduction to my mentor, and friend, Gene Weinbeck, who not only taught me about computers, but also about what it means to care about other people, the value of supporting others’ endeavors, and the ability to adapt to change.

Continue reading
3686 Hits

Relaxing at the FundRaiser Christmas party

James at the FundRaiser Christmas party
Joe Salrin at FundRaiser Christmas party

This year at the FundRaiser Christmas party, we all seemed to be in a mellow mood... except occasionally our office cat, Smudge (more on that later). James Ware (in photo at left), our main sales rep, brought a pitcher of margaritas, and it is possible that this helped, but at least it didn't hurt. No dancing on the tables or other classic 'office party' humiliations. I'd say we enjoy being together, and the Mexican food everyone brought helped, too. I'm not sure it all classified as strictly Mexican, but it did classify as good and even interesting. Sherry, who works in FundRaiser Tech Support, brought cheese cake made from the milk of the goats she raises. If you've never tried her goat milk cheesecake, then don't wrinkle your nose... it is excellent.

Joe Salrin (in photo at right) spent the time relaxing from his work doing data conversion at FundRaiser. If you ever need to move your data from a previous program into FundRaiser, Joe is the one that you talk to.

Continue reading
Tags:
3502 Hits
Wait a minute, while we are rendering the calendar
donor contact information data entry flash sales brick campaign tribute gifts government grants event management development director new leadership motivation code annual maintenance plan publicity materials membership programs memorial giving Thanksgiving general gift entry Snow Birds fundraising letters donor updates customer service nonprofit fundraising community broadcasting GoFundMe project new features volunteering recurring gifts merge notes spare fields Constant Contact donor source Congratulations entering auction gifts letter templates user interface Crowdfunding Campaign merge fields Codes increasing giving amounts community arts nonprofits Alternative Addresses look and feel texting donors personalizing letters correspondance support thank you letters mission driven raffle operating systems appeal letters data analysis pictures custom page donor profile phoning donors anonymous donors community supported gardens online donations tax summary letters SYBUNTS FundRaiser Spark capital campaign upgrade change of address updating ROI lapsed donor LYBUNTS relationship tracking Task List segmenting donors accounting software Facebook understanding giving trends giving history giving levels security solicitors grassroots campaign Network for Good overview Company culture ticket sales customer portal donor recognition importing csv charity golf tournaments in honor of donations PayPal donor attrition rate Resiliency role of nonprofits corporate sponsors vacation backing up data banquet board members budget on site training premiums training tip #GivingTuesday Facebook campaign how-to videos moves management donor preferences arts grants new version adding personal notes to letters word processor Volunteer module how to handle auction gifts communications End of Year Letters follow up Reporting to IRS happiness In-Kind gifts membership benefits announcements online donations reports small donations the Ask animal rescue auction ticketsales building donor relationships gift notes field upgrading donors major gift prospects foundations targeted mailings training alumni Excel donor loyalty disaster relief campaign management Tickles advanced tab features volunteers pledges Thank You user spotlights add ons endowment campaign motivation data conversion NCOA processing major donors membersip benefits New Year technical support National Change of Address Personalizing Groupings Reminders donor retention rate GivingTuesday Donor Portal password protection fundraising monthly giving donation history social media product news donor attrition tech tip correspondence operational costs donor slip spreadsheets mode code welcome packet annual campaign case study office donor targeting

Connect With Us

  800-880-3454 ext 3
  Email Us
  Request More Information
  Monday-Friday
      8:30AM-5:30PM CST

Customer Portal Login Form

User Name:
Password:

If you are not sure about your Customer User Name, please call 800-543-4131 and we will be able to help you.

Or you have lost your password, Request Password