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Tue, Apr 22, 2014
Recently, reported how The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation had produced its annual (2014) letter, written by Bill Gates himself, as an interactive letter supported by poignant infographics, and as a result it doubled its reach. Last year, Cancer Research UK published their annual report as an animated infographic (see below). And very impressive it was too.Both of those cases got me thinking: could I use the same idea for presenting a business case for a new fundraising/CRM database?I thought of this because I have sometimes found that trying to distil what is really important and key in [...]
Mon, Apr 14, 2014

In almost all fundraising and CRM database implementations, there will be some element of data migration – getting data out of your old database and into your shiny new one. But that isn’t easy. Data migration takes time, skill and a knowledge of not just the new system itself but of how you are going to use it at your organisation.And although data migration is not the most important thing in an implementation, it is still a very important thing. Hence: although data migration won’t make an implementation succeed on its own, a bad migration can make it fail.One of [...]

Mon, Apr 07, 2014
Computer skills - Zavidovići Public Library

The three best database managers I have worked with at charities over the last 15 years all have one thing in common: none of them would call themselves a techie. One started her career with horses, one in a press office, another did a humanities degree. In fact, I have found again and again that people who studied humanities seem to make good database people.And I would love to see more people who are not techies move into the “database arena”, for want of a more all-encompassing phrase – yes, even fundraisers! There are several reasons for this:There are more [...]

Mon, Mar 31, 2014
API calls

The Access Group recently published their top 5 tech trends for charities with one of them being Integration. This is something which I completely agree with. Not integration as in integrating a database with Word/Excel or with PAF software etc, but integration of systems and data flows. For example: integrating your fundraising database and your website; integrating data files to/from your fulfilment house(s); integrating third-party giving websites with your database; integrating your database and your finance system. And so on.Why? Because these are some of the best uses of technology in order to get some huge benefits. Automation, time-saving, efficiencies, [...]

Mon, Mar 24, 2014
Money Tree

There sometimes seems to be a keenness amongst CRM/fundraising software suppliers to tell charities that they can implement their software by only spending a bare minimum on their professional services – or even none on some occasions. When I see this, I worry. Why? Because I want charities to spend money on suppliers’ professional services. And there are good reasons for this:First off: I think that a good supplier offers many benefits by providing professional services. They shouldn’t just be a ‘software company’ that is giving you software and expecting you to use it just like that. I want a [...]

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