NTEN CRM Best Practices Webinar on Tuesday

If you missed the announcement, I’m giving a webinar titled “Preparing for Your New Database: Making the Transition as Painless as Possible” on Tuesday at 11:00 am Pacific time. Registration details are at (It’s not free). If you saw the announcement, note that Holly or someone at NTEN wrote all of that copy – shame on me for not getting them a description on time! But it’s pretty close. What it lacks is the specification that we are talking about Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) databases, not just any database. I’ve managed CRM rollouts at two large companies: most recently, Salesforce at SF Goodwill; years… Read More »NTEN CRM Best Practices Webinar on Tuesday

The future of Salesforce

I’m attending a strategic planning session at this week devoted to planning the roadmap for non-profit use of the product. This should be an interesting event and an exciting opportunity to help steer one of the most exciting applications to hit the industry in some time. I remember walking through the exhibitor booth’s at the “Science Fair” during the 2005 NTEN Conference in Chicago and noting, in the corner, the guy with a shaved head standing at a small booth titled “” and wondering what, on earth, he was doing there. Wasn’t Salesforce that corporate application used by all those people trying to sell… Read More »The future of Salesforce

Social Source Commotion

I was happy to be invited to participate on the advisory board for Social Source Commons, a project of Aspiration Tech‘s that collects, catalogs and distributes feeds of software tools useful in the non-profit community. The social designation is no accident – anyone can sign up and contribute. The newly formed advisory committee met today, with five of us on the call – two from Aspiration (Tim, who runs SSC, and Gunner) and three community advisors – one working with an org that does poverty outreach and two community consultants: Dan, Zac and I. Our sixth member, Sharon, who works with a non-profit that provides… Read More »Social Source Commotion

Free as in "Hurricanes"

As NPTech community members have heard, a brilliant metaphor was coined the other day by Karen Schneider in her excellent article titled IT and Sympathy: “Free as in kittens” (as opposed to the popular “free as in beer”). It’s not a hard sell to tell the average executive that open source, or donated licenses, or volunteer labor isn’t exactly free of cost. But “as in kittens” really says it well, implying the commitment and caring that need to be applied to critical IT investments, regardless of the license terms. I think‘s offer of 10 free licenses to any 501(c)3 is a great example… Read More »Free as in "Hurricanes"

Buying Software is like Buying a House

Well, let me qualify that. Buying a data management system is like buying a house. And it isnt, really, but there are some important parallels that highlight the things that go into a proper needs assessment. A data management system is any application that stores business information, usually in a database format. Common examples of data management systems include HRIS Systems, Accounting packages, Donor databases, etc. While Office applications like Word and Excel can be thought of in this manner, they’re actually tools that work with data and don’t really manage it at all – they leave that to you. In the early 21st century,… Read More »Buying Software is like Buying a House

Better Organization Through Document Management Systems

This article was originally published at Idealware in January of 2007. Is your organization drowning in a virtual sea of documents? Document management systems can provide invaluable document searching, versioning, comparison, and collaboration features. Peter Campbell explains. For many of us, logging on to a network or the Internet can be like charting the ocean with a rowboat. There may be a sea of information at our fingertips, but if we lack the proper vessel to navigate it, finding what we need — even within our own organization’s information system — can be a significant challenge. Organizations today are floating in a virtual sea of… Read More »Better Organization Through Document Management Systems

Google’s Writely Beta

Google has opened up the beta of their online Wordprocessing application, Writely. Done in Ajax and, as usual, containing some clever features. I’m most intrigued by how cleanly it converts Word documents to HTML, something that Word itself is abominable at. But it also seems like a very nice interface for remote blog posting (yes, this wa a test!) and a decent tool for collaboration. Funny how it arrives just shy of Windows Live.