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Posted by tzuche on 11/01/2012 - 14:06 Categories: Funding

As you think about how to grow technology capacity and recognize that increased fundraising will be a key part of that growth, think creatively about ways to leverage resources you already have at hand to lay the foundation for an effective and compelling technology request to funders. Here are six different ideas nonprofits can use as starting points.

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Posted by tzuche on 11/01/2012 - 13:53 Categories: Funding, Manage Donors and Constituents

The right donor management software can help you easily create just the right, targeted lists to ensure each of your constituents gets a message in a way that will encourage their support – and make a big difference in your ability to raise funds. Good software can help you understand each of your donors, and segment, analyze, and communicate to groups of supporters. But which software package should you use? We asked six different nonprofit technology experts about donor management software that have worked well for their nonprofit colleagues.

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Posted by tzuche on 09/01/2012 - 17:15 Categories: Development, Web Building, Website Management

How do you find a reliable provider that meets your organization's needs — especially when there are thousands of hosting services out there, a plethora of features and tools to choose from, and pricing options ranging anywhere from $5 to $500 or more per month?

Idealware asked seven nonprofit technology consultants to share their favorite Web hosting providers and to offer some guidance on navigating the options. We've consolidated their advice in this primer on Web hosting services.

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Posted by tzuche on 09/01/2012 - 17:09 Categories: Content Management, Organize and Manage Data, Web Building

A Web presence is critical for almost every nonprofit, but creating a Web site can be daunting. It can take a lot of time, money, and technical expertise—things that are often in short supply. And just because you have a Web site up and running doesn’t mean your work is done. You still need to keep up with maintenance, updates, and desirable new features.

In this report, we take a look at four different open source Content Management Systems—WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, and Plone—and rate them on a variety of criteria, including system flexibility, features, ease of use and the availability of support.

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Posted by tzuche on 09/01/2012 - 16:53 Categories: Development, Web Building, Website Management

If your organization is building a new Web site from scratch — or updating an existing one — you may need to rely on professional help when it comes to design and implementation. The following guidelines can help you plan and design a polished, functional site that meets your organization's needs.

This article focuses on the high-level management and planning decisions you need to make when you design or re-design your Web site. We'll discuss some of the major phases of a design project, some of the lingo and jargon you'll encounter and the tools and skill sets you might need

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Posted by tzuche on 09/01/2012 - 16:42 Categories: Development, Web Building, Website Management

A well-designed, user-friendly website can help you engage new members, raise money, and communicate with decision-makers. But creating this site affordably, and finding the right tools to build and host it, can be a challenge — especially when you are relying on in-house talent with little or no web-development expertise.

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Posted by tzuche on 09/01/2012 - 16:38 Categories: Manage Donors and Constituents, Process Payments and Donations, Web Building

Due to credit card thefts, identity thefts, and other unsavory online criminal activities, businesses that handle credit card data are required by state and international laws to protect sensitive information or risk fines and penalties.

Many of these laws affect large e-commerce outfits, but nonprofits accepting online donations or dealing with certain types of personal information should also take certain precautions to keep data safe.

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Posted by tzuche on 09/01/2012 - 16:33 Categories: Web Building, Website Management

Your website is a place where people – potential supporters, volunteers, and beneficiaries learn about your organization, but it’s also a place where you learn about them. Using various web statistics and analytics tools, you can learn how people are finding your website, where visitors are located geographically, and what parts of your site they’re visiting. You can judge the impact of a particular fundraising letter or ad campaign by finding out how many times the message resulted in an online donation, a newsletter signup, or any other desired action. Used thoughtfully, website statistics can inform website design choices, help you make your website more user-friendly and navigable, and influence your overall communications and marketing strategy.

This article is intended for readers who are already familiar with the basics of site statistics. If you’ve never thought about utilizing statistics on your nonprofit’s website, start with Idealware’s A Few Good Web Analytics Tools .

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Posted by tzuche on 09/01/2012 - 16:25 Categories: Database

A three-person organization is looking for a better way to track people. They currently store data on about 600 volunteers, donors, partners, and other constituents in a series of spreadsheets. They want to consolidate this information into a central place so they can find people, understand what contact they've had with them, run mailing and email lists, and keep on top of who is doing what. They have very little money for this, and are hoping to find something inexpensive and easy to use.

Does this sound familiar? Many small organizations are looking for an inexpensive way to manage constituent data. We asked a number of nonprofit technology professionals about the software that has worked well for them in similar circumstances. We then combined their thoughts to come up with a set of solid tools that might work for you.

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Posted by tzuche on 09/01/2012 - 16:03 Categories: Contact Relationship Management (CRM), Database, Manage Donors and Constituents

Donors are the lifeblood of nonprofit organizations. You need them to survive. But how do you manage your donors' contribution information -plus all the personal details key to maintaining successful relationships -for a price that won't break the bank?