Muddlings

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

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Free Database Tools for Nonprofits thru Salesforce.com

Are you a small-to-mid-sized organization struggling with an out of date Access Database or a variety of other tools (multiple one-off spreadsheets and "a database a volunteer created for us 2 years ago", etc.)?

If so, Salesforce.com may be a possible solution for you. They offer up 10 free licenses of their online application which can be used to track anything from donors, to grant pursuits, to partner and client data.

The key for your success in using it is less about the application and more about being deliberate as you make decisions about what kind of information you want to put into the system, what kind of information you'd like to get out of the system, and exactly how folks will use the system on a day-to-day basis.

Salesforce.com's sales pitch to nonprofits is essentially, "Get a powerful Enterprise-level application that can be configured and maintained by non-technical resources, without having to make capital outlays for new servers and what-not." It's a pitch that appears to be pretty real and it gets sweeter when the monthly subscription fees are removed for nonprofits like yourselves.

You can download a 30-day free trial and get your hands on "Salesforce.com for Dummies" for less than $15 on Amazon (buy it used and save a few bucks).

The tool is a powerful one, so you should definitely give it some serious consideration. You should also consider partnering with someone that has implemented CRM (Customer Relationship Management) packages before if you decide to move forward. As usual, give a shout with any questions.

Stoneware Commissions: 2 More Down



Thanks to the folks in both California and New Jersey for commissioning custom work over the past two months. Both projects, a small globe and an anniversary bowl/platter, came out of a recent firing that left all involved happy with the outcomes. I look forward to doing more custom work for you soon! pba.