“You can’t tell the players without a program!” So is this page a bit out of date? I’ll say, but I’ll also say that I’ll be updating it before the end of 3Q2014.
Following are links to some of the system vendors that serve the non-profit world. These are specific vendors with whom I have worked along with my clients. Several vendors themselves have also hired me for focus groups, business or systems planning, or market assessment. Based on specific client needs, I would (and have) recommended each of these vendors.
There is no best system – even though the vendors would like you to believe that theirs is it. They are listed below in alphabetical order by vendor.
Drop by this page periodically. The players and their products change regularly!
|Feb. 26, 2003 — Best Software today announced the acquisition of KTS Group Inc. (KTS), a leading developer of fundraising solutions for United Ways, Jewish Federations and other philanthropic organizations across North America. This adds the GT Pro package to the Millennium and Paradigm packages already available from MIP/Best Software.|
|June 27, 2002 — Best Software announced the acquisition of JSI Fundraising Systems, Inc., a leading developer of fundraising solutions for small to mid-sized nonprofit, education and health care organizations. The deal further strengthens Best’s nonprofit market leadership and builds on the brand recognition of its Micro Information Products (MIP) family of fund accounting solutions.|
|Changes/acquisitions include the RuffaloCODY acquisition of Ascend in December, 2001 and the January 2002 SCT acquisitions of the Exeter System from Sallie Mae and the ABT PowerCAMPUS system (along with ABT.)|
There were other interesting comings & goings in the market during 2001-03 (see below.) So is this page a bit out of date? I’ll say, but I’ll also say that I’ll be updating it before the end of 3Q2014.
Donor Database Systems
|Blackbaud – Blackbaud offers the Raiser’s Edge for Windows (RE:Win). Blackbaud also has admissions, student records, and financial systems for schools. I have worked with Blackbaud at Haverford School, Woodlynde School, Malvern Prep, Westminster Choir College, and Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic among others. It should be noted that Blackbaud provides RE:Win and other of their products using both the ORACLE or Sybase (SQL-Anywhere) databases. This provides support for much larger constituent bases. They have recently introduced a major upgrade in their accounting systems called the “Financial Edge.”|
|Business Systems Resources – SungardBSR offers the Advance line of development systems. They support Advance on a variety of mainframe and minicomputer (IBM, DEC, and other) platforms with a variety of databases. Most recently they are delivering their Client/Server (C/S) version running either Sybase or Oracle on the server and Powersoft tools on the client PC’s/MAC’s. Oracle seems to be the platform of choice at this point. BSR also supports Web access to much of their data. I have worked with clients using BSR software at University of Virginia, the University System of Maryland, Creighton Univ., and other institutions. (Note that Sungard Bi-Tech also acquired Software Resources Northwest or SRN with their fundraising products in 2001.)|
|Campagne Associates – GiftMaker Pro and EventMaker Pro were initially introduced for the MacIntosh. Campagne Associates have ported these programs to Windows. My clients, Easter Seals and the Pennsylvania Foundation of Independent Colleges, have implemented the Mac version of the product. Campagne has recently introduced its Alchemy product which offers many of the tools found in much more expensive systems, but at a lower price. Campagne also offers an entry-level GiftMaker package.|
|Datatel – Benefactor is their system for fund-raising. Datatel also offers the full Colleague system for Colleges and Universities. These systems currently use the UNIDATA database; Datatel is porting the systems to ORACLE. I have worked with Benefactor at F&M College, Oberlin College, Bryant College, Ryder Univ. and Univ. of Dayton among others.|
|Institutional Memory – The product is Gifted Memory which is a standalone Prospect Management system that runs on both PC’s and MAC’s. Lake Forest College, Jersey City State University, and other of my clients have successfully used Gifted Memory. In 2001, Marts & Lundy acquired Institutional Memory; the Gifted Memory product is still available through them.|
|MIP Fundraising – MIP acquired JSI Fundraising as of 6/27/02 and will continue to offer the Millennium System as a browser-based version as well as their Windows for PC networks product. The browser version can support both Windows-PC and Mac-based clients. I have worked with Millennium at Binghamton University, Hood College, the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, and the Foundation Fighting Blindness. (MIP also offers the Paradigm packages for institutions with lesser requirements.) In Feb 2003, MIP/Best Software acquired the GT Pro system and KTS Software to fit in between Millennium and Paradigm; to date, I’ve had no experience with GT Pro.|
|RuffaloCODY offers both database solutions and phonathon/telemarketing solutions (see Phonathon below).
|SofterWare – The product from SofterWare is DonorPerfect which is a PC based product build on FoxPro. I have worked with the DonorPerfect product at the Westminster Theological Seminary, the National Hemophilia Foundation, and the Montgomery County Foundation. DonorPerfect is now offered in an ASP version.|
|Systems & Computer Technologies (SCT) – SCT offers both Banner and I/A Plus product lines for full college and university operations. Banner is Oracle based and I/A Plus is DB2 based. I have worked with the Banner Alumni & Development module at George Washington University, Baylor, and Univ. of Montana Foundation and with the I/A ADS module at Abilene Christian University and Texas Wesleyan. SCT acquired Applied Business Technologies (ABT) in January of 2002 to expand their offerings to a MS-SQL Server platform called PowerCAMPUS.|
|Target Software – Target offers Team Approach, a system for large membership organizations (i.e., several hundred thousand records). The system was initially developed for public broadcasting, but has now been implemented by Nature Conservancy and other large general membership organizations. I worked with this system in conjunction with my work with The Wilderness Society.|
On the R I Arlington – Experience page is a more complete list of vendors with whom I have experience. Some that I have had some detailed experience with just don’t have their own web page, so they are not included above. For many others that I did not list above, I have only participated in demonstrations or briefly reviewed them during the course of client audits.
A few other products that bear mentioning because of their presence/absence in the market are SofTrek’s Pledgemaker and Viking.SofTrek offers an Oracle based product available on PC’s and a variety of platforms. They have also recently introduced an ASP offering. On the other hand, Viking Systems was a PC-based product that was around for a number of years; as of the end of 2001 neither their web site nor their 800 could be accessed. The demise of Viking, Fund-Master, and many other products of the past highlights the importance of not only evaluating products but also the underlying company.
Phonathon and Calling Program Systems
|Smart Call – Formerly offered by the Pacific Group (along with on-site telemarketing support), BSR acquired the Smart Call product from the Pacific Group in 1999 and now offers it for many major colleges and universities.|
|RuffaloCODY – RuffaloCODY offers the CAMPUSCALL system as well as on-site and remote telemarketing support for colleges and universities. I worked with UVA to select them to establish their in-house phonathon program and system. I have also worked with RuffaloCODY at Abilene Christian University.|
|MoonFire – MoonFire offers the DialVision product that has been installed at a number of colleges and universities.|
Special Purpose/Industry Specific Software
As I work with certain clients with needs beyond fund-raising and membership packages, I have an opportunity to view/evaluate certain special purpose packages. I thought it might be useful to note some of these here. These are listed “FYI” without any specific recommendation. That is, I may have only seen a demo or had limited client experience.
Generally my sense is that these packages do not offer as complete a fund-raising solution, and particularly a major gifts fund-raising solution as the “Donor Database Systems” noted above. Often the challenge in these special purpose situations is finding the optimum solution with a single vendor solution or figuring how to interface two vendor packages to meet the full development needs.
|Ticketing Systems – TicketWeb and Paciolan are two that I have run across. Numerous of my university clients have used Paciolan for their athletic ticketing. Note that ticketing systems are typically oriented toward families while fund-raising may need to be individual oriented.|
|Association Management – Advanced Solutions International offers the iMIS system and Morant Information Systems offers the Association Management Package or AMPAC.|
|Policital Organizations and PAC Management – gomembers handles PAC contributions and FEC reporting in addition to many of the association membership capabilities of the systems immediately above. Gnossos Software offers the “Keep in Touch” package with similar capabilities.|
|Radio Ministries – KMA Interactive and DonorDirect are two packages which handle the media reporting for radio ministries along with publication inventory/sales and magazine subscriptions.|
Planned Giving Software
Planned giving and planned giving systems are not specific areas of my expertise, but I wanted to note a couple of popular and well-known products.
|PG Calc – PC-Calc is in use by many of my clients.|
|Crescendo is in use by some of the same clients that use PG Calc as well as some others.|
Application Service Providers
Rather than buying an application and running it on your own computers, certain vendors are now supplying their software over the Internet as Application Service Providers (ASP). Some of the pros and cons of this approach are provided on my White Papers & Articlespage. Some of the vendors who already offer application software also offer their wares via the online ASP approach as noted earlier.
These vendors seem to do a very good job of taking advantage of the Internet within their applications. The good news is that they do e-mail contact particularly well; the bad news is that they don’t necessarily handle personal contacts as well. They seem to be focused on the 90% of donors that give 10% of gift dollars; there is much less functionality to handle those 10% of the donors that give 90% of the dollars. Ask yourself, what percent of my major donors will I solicit on-line? But if you are just getting started, this may be a great way to go. And time will tell about their success! Check out:
|eTapestry– was introduced in September, 1999 and now has 1,200 customers. It was founded by some of the folks who developed Fund-Master. It’s worth a look-see.|
|Kintera – was initially introduced in 1999 for web marketing focusing on events. The modules or “spheres” support web site design, events, “thons”, e-mail marketing and more.|
|Convio – also started in 1999 highlights relationship leveraging and marketing through their product.|
I have not yet had any clients pursue this approach. Is is me or the approach? Don’t know yet!
Less Expensive Packages
The following table lists some less expensive packages that I see often advertised or mentioned in the non-profit press. I have little or no experience with them, but for smaller non-profits, you may wish to check them out. I’d welcome your feedback on these packages.
|Vendor||Package||Phone Number||Web Site|
|Metafile Information Systems||Results/PLUS||1-800-638-2445||rp.metafile.com/|
|Executive Data Systems, Inc||Donor Records||1-800-272-3374||www.execdata.com|
|Linked Software||Membership Management System||1-800-546-5966||www.linkedsoftware.com|
|Systems Support Services||Donor II||1-800-548-6708||www.donor2.com|
|Telosa Software (formerly TRAC)||Exceed & MacTrac||1-800-676-5831||www.telosa.com|
|Straight Forward Software, Inc.||LifeLine Nonprofit Management System||1-802-865-0480||www.straightforwardsoftwareinc.com|