Pottery, nonprofits and for-profit consulting. Exploring synergies between the three and ideology specific to each.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

MNCN & MAP Combine for Donor Database Brown Bag

For those of you unable to attend the session on Friday, August 6th, here's a quick low-down from the sessions presenter - a ton of great links and practical information:

1. Advice a great general resource.

Nonprofit Tech Talk is the local email list I manage that I suggest you try and where you will find several of the people at the session who work on these issues a great deal. Go to: and click on Subscribe. It is free.

2. Software to Try for Free
The places I would go to try out some of the development databases that are already built. (free until you have 500 or more records) (local Microsoft Access based too, free to try for 30 days) (open source, free to download and use)

3. The Tools Mentioned in our Discussion
Here is a list of the databases that came up in our conversation in addition to the three above (tools your neighbors are using): (Raiser’s Edge is their fundraising software) (site is down right now) (CTK) (though the organization is not using CTK for development)
Organizers Database
Metrix (developed by the Fund for the City of New York)

4. Users Groups:
I did some quick searches of the companies above:
Blackbaud does not seem to have meetings on their web site, but they do have online forums at:
ebase has an online community and monthly in-person meeting (contact Barry at
Symphony Information Systems has an email list and some in person meetings (contact Steve at
CTK does not have local meetings but might in the future with the help of the Greater Twin Cities United Way.
ResultsPlus’ web site was down.
DonorPerfect does not appear to have users groups or an online forum.
Sage Fundraising- Users Group meets every other month (contact Daniel Campion at Paradigm (which is now Sage Fundraising):

5. Donor Management Software Comparison Worksheet
The Donor Management Worksheet

6. Other Articles and Resources: Other Database Information/Articles at TechSoup:
Database Needs Assessment Questionnaire
Basic Database Assessment
Writing Your Database Plan
Simple database plan
Avoiding Disaster: The Database Planning Process
*CompuMentor Database Planning Guide
Just published an article on “Inexpensive Donor Databases”
TechFinder (with to help find services NPower OneNorthwest Summit Collaborative

7. Inexpensive Donor Management Software
By Robert Weiner of Rober L. Weiner Consulting (

Please go read the short article, but here are the development databases for under $500 and the options Mr. Weiner found that are free:

Donor Databases for Less Than $500 For this price, you'll usually get a license that allows one user at a time to use your database. You may also be limited in the number of records you can store. Some of these products are designed for particular types of organizations, such as churches or clubs. Keep in mind that TechSoup is not endorsing the software listed here. You need to make sure the software products -- and the companies behind them -- are right for your organization.

Donation Solutions
DonorPerfect Online
Donor Records from Executive Data Systems
Easy Gift from Summit Software
Exceed! Basic from Telosa (also available to qualified organizations from TechSoup Stock for a small administrative fee)
FileMaker Donations
FundRaiser Basic
LifeLine from Straight Forward Software
Membership Director from Advanced Data Solutions
Membership Management System – Lite from Linked Software
Member Ties from Myrro International
GiftWorks from Mission Research
Free Fundraising Software So what do you do if you can't even spend $100? Don't despair, you still have choices. The following products are free:

BasicFunder from Jellyware
The Compleat Angler from Schoolbench
Devolio from NPower: (still available, but reportedly no longer being enhanced)
eBase from GroundSpring (free for one user, and also available bundled with FileMaker from TechSoup Stock for qualified organizations)
eTapestry (free for up to 500 records)
InfoCentral (Open Source)
Microsoft Access Donor Database template
Organizers Database
Metrix (developed by the Fund for the City of New York)
VisibleResults (Open Source)
Willow Mountain Giving database

We hope that you find this information helpful.
To contact Rick directly call MAP at 651-632-7231 -


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