Once again, I’ve left a steady paycheck and I’m open for consulting and fractional CIO work. I am officially available to help out organizations with technology management and strategy. As always, my preference is to work with organizations that help people and/or the planet. Here are some of the ways that I can do that: Act as a CIO: serve as your Chief Technologist on a part-time and/or interim basis. This can be helpful for an org that is either just setting out to implement technology strategy and/or infrastructure, or needs to reassess what they have in place, but doesn’t want to commit to hiring… Read More »Experienced Technologist For Hire (Specialty – Nonprofits)
It occurs to me that my signature rant these days is not clearly posted on my own blog. Let’s fix that! As I’ve mentioned before. Requests for Proposals (RFP’s) are controversial in the nonprofit sector. Vendors hate them. Nonprofits struggle with developing them. I’ve been on a multi-year mission to educate and encourage the community to rethink RFPs, as opposed to throwing them out. In particular, nonprofits need to break away from fixed bid requests when hiring web developers, programmers, and people who implement CRMs. Here’s why: Done correctly, RFP’s are an excellent practice. A good RFP informs potential vendors about the organization, their current… Read More »RFPs GOOD. Fixed Bids BAD.
This article originally appeared on the Exponent Partners blog on December 19th, 2014. It was written by Kerry Vineburg, based on a phone interview with me. EXPONENT PARTNERS SERIES: SMART PRACTICES Is your nonprofit thinking about implementing a large database project like Salesforce? Nonprofit and technology veteran Peter Campbell, CIO at Legal Services Corporation, recently shared his valuable insights on how to prepare your team and culture for long-term success. His organization, the top funder of civil legal aid for low-income Americans in the country, is developing Salesforce as a data warehouse for their grantee information and document management. We asked Peter to tell us… Read More »13 Lessons On Building Your Nonprofit Technology Culture
This article was originally published in the NTEN eBook “Collected Voices: Data-Informed Nonprofits” in January of 2014. Introduction The reasons why we want to make data-driven decisions are clear. The challenge, in our cash-strapped, resource-shy environments is to install, configure and manage the systems that will allow us to easily and efficiently analyze, report on and visualize the data. This article will offer some insight into how that can be done, while being ever mindful that the money and time to invest is hard to come by. But we’ll also point out where those investments can pay off in more ways than just the critical… Read More »Architecting Healthy Data Management Systems
This post also appeared on the Cloud for Good Blog in April of 2014. Buying a new fundraising CRM or replacing your finance and HR systems are big investments with critical outcomes. These are the types of projects can have a huge impact on your ability to accomplish your mission. Poorly planned, chosen and deployed, they will do the opposite. If you’re grasping for a cautionary tale, just look at the recent Healthcare.gov rollout, or the worse related stories in Maryland and Oregon. But successful implementations happen every day as well, they just don’t grab as many headlines. How can you make sure that big software… Read More »Three Ways To Make Sure that Your Next Big Software Project Is A Success
NTEN‘s new issue of Change is out and I got a chance to sound off to Idealware‘s Chris Bernard about the dream of “one database to rule them all” — doing all of your organization’s Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) in a single system. My interview is on page 22, but the whole issue is a dream for NPO’s struggling with wrangling information.
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 http://nten.org/webinars (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
Day 2 of the Salesforce Non-Profit Roadmap session was focused on refining plans and sharing information. We had sessions and reports from Salesforce Product managers and developers, and we discussed and demoed some of the creative things that our community has developed. The Salesforce guests showed off Apex, the new scripting language that will be available for live use sometime next year; and we had a fascinating (but non-discloseable!) peek at where the reporting is going. A lot of the talk focused on ways that we can — or will be able — to get around Salesforce’s core assumption that we deal with companies and… Read More »Salesforce Show and Tell
Day one of the Salesforce Roadmap session was a well-crafted, but fairly standard run at typical strategic planning. Hosted by Aspiration’s ever-able Gunner (who I seem to run into everywhere lately), we had a group of about 40 people: five or six from Salesforce/Salesforce Foundation, five to six NP staff, and an assortment of Salesforce consultants. While I’m a consultant these days, I maintain a bit of a staff perspective, as my primary experience with Salesforce was to roll it out for SF Goodwill. The day consisted of breaking up into small teams and hammering out what works for our sector, what doesn’t, what could… Read More »Mapping NP Salesforce
I’m attending a strategic planning session at Salesforce.com 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 “Salesforce.com” 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