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An association management system can be a huge help in tracking your members, newsletter subscriptions, special gifts, invitations to events and workshops, and discounts on products and services. In this article, which was updated from a 2008 version, we asked a number of different nonprofit experts about the systems that have worked for them.

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Let’s say you’re a mid-sized organization with a desire for more integrated and meaningful reports. You have four different software packages that are each tracking some aspect of the constituents you deal with – for instance, your donors, activists, several different types of clients, and volunteers. Each system is working pretty well by itself, but it’s very hard to look across the organization to get a full picture. How likely is it that a volunteer will donate? What is the full value of services you're providing to each client? What kind of constituent is most likely to be a lifelong donor? They’re interesting questions, but almost impossible to determine at the moment.

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Does your organization maintain several database systems, each built by a different vendor, consultant, or employee? Do these systems communicate poorly with one another, or not at all? If an active supporter's address changes, does someone have to log on to the member management system, the donor management system, and the volunteer management system to update each one separately? Do you have multiple applications all sharing access to the same data? Are you collecting mountains of data in multiple systems but finding it difficult to extract aggregate, summary information you can use to inform your organization's decisions?

Matt Jung's picture
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This inaugural post highlights the big nonprofit technology stories of 2012, including making websites viewable on mobile phones, using mobile phones more in the workplace, cloud computing, social media fundraising, foundations and Microsoft donations, greater self-sufficiency among NGOs in developing countries, and some cutting edge things like hackathons. This was an original December blog post by TechSoup's Jim Lynch:

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Microsoft’s Excel, part of the Microsoft Office suite of products, has long been a useful piece of software for compiling and understanding the relationships between data. Excel 2010 introduces a tool that makes it even easier to see trends in your nonprofit or library’s data using visual representations; sparklines.

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Description: 

Microsoft Access is a relational database management system that helps information workers track and report information.

This donation provides one license for installing the software on a single device. See a summary of Volume Licensing Product Use Rights for specific licensing details.

 

Which Versions of This Software Are Available

You can choose to download the current or previous version of the software in any language that's available through the Microsoft Volume Licensing Service Center if you request this product. You can find out which version of the software is the current one in the Microsoft Title Groups document.

 

Benefits for Organizations

If you have database experience, you can use Microsoft Access to:

  • Maintain a database of information on members, donors, and other constituents
  • Convert data to reports and forms
  • Automate data processing without writing any code

 

Major Capabilities

  • Templates: Access includes prebuilt solutions that you can modify and adapt to your needs.
  • Forms and reports: You can design and create professional forms and reports based on the fields in your databases.
  • Tool development: Expression Builder and Macro Designer allow you to add automation and complex expressions without writing any code.
  • Web access: When connected with SharePoint Server, you can post your databases online and access, view, and edit them from the web. Users without Access software can open web forms and reports in a web browser and synchronize their changes automatically.
  • Data import: Access can connect to and import data from external sources, such as other Access databases, Excel spreadsheets, ODBC sources, and SQL Server database.

 

Important Volume Licensing Information:

With Microsoft Office suites and applications, organizations can choose between two types of volume license keys for product activation: a Key Management Service (KMS) license key or a Multiple Activation Key (MAK). Organizations will be provided with both types of keys on the Microsoft Volume Licensing website.Microsoft offers instructions on how to use a MAK or KMS key to activate volume editions of Office software.

 

Obtaining This Product

Installing this product requires you to download the software from the Volume Licensing Service Center and enter a license key. You can download any available version or language for your product. The license key allows you to install the product on as many computers as you have received licenses for. This quantity is specified in the email you receive from TechSoup after requesting this product.

Expect two emails:

  1. When your donation request has been approved, TechSoup will send a message to your organization email address. This email will confirm the number of licenses you have requested and provide information about how to use the Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC) once Microsoft accepts your license agreement. Make sure the organization email that is registered with TechSoup is up-to-date. Visit My Member Profile and verify the address in your active organization profile.
  2. Microsoft will send an email welcoming your organization to VLSC. This email will indicate that Microsoft has accepted your license agreement. After you receive this email, you'll be able to follow the steps in the first email you received from TechSoup to obtain your donation through the VLSC.

 

Software Assurance

Under the Software Assurance program, you have the right to install any new release of products covered in the agreement during the term of your coverage.

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