Choosing a Database

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Choosing a Database

  1. 1. Choosing a DatabaseBrown Bag for Nonprofits
  2. 2. NPower Northwest• Vision: a thriving community with high performing nonprofits• Mission: to strengthen the nonprofit sector by catalyzing innovation and driving adoption of technology solutions
  3. 3. IntroductionsElissa ThomasHandsOn Tech AmeriCorps VISTAServing at NPower Northwestelissat@npowernw.org
  4. 4. Road Map• Assess & Identify• Prioritize & Map• Decide• Q&A
  5. 5. Definition: data management• Data management is the process of collecting, organizing, and managing data as an important organizational resource.• To manage data effectively is to bridge the gap between inputs – hard data sets – and outputs – information or analysis – that an organization can use to make decisions and demonstrate a measurable community impact.• Ideally, one system – the CRM – would be designed and used to collect and manage all organizational data.
  6. 6. Assess organizational needsRelated to:• strategic goals• technology systems• processes• people
  7. 7. Goals Be clear about what you intend to do
  8. 8. Strategic planning• What are your plans to grow or change your client base?• Any foreseeable organizational shifts?• Fundraising campaign needs?• What are your basic technology needs in the immediate or more distant future?• How will the new technology serve your organization’s vision?• How will it enhance the community you serve?
  9. 9. Technology systems considerations• Do an inventory of your current technology systems• Use strategic technology planning to drive your database selection process – not the other way around• Avoid too big and too small
  10. 10. Assessment of processesFit the technology to how your work,not your organization to the technology
  11. 11. Organization process mapping
  12. 12. Assessment of people• How tech savvy are staff?• How high is the turnover rate?• Staff size?• What is the role of volunteers?** Include staff who will be using the newdatabase in the decision-making process **
  13. 13. Prioritize your nonprofit’s requirements• Be clear about where you want to go• Document specific needs and know order of importance• Create a functional requirements outline
  14. 14. Functional requirements outline
  15. 15. Review costs and trade-offs
  16. 16. Narrowing the fieldTime to start looking at specific software options
  17. 17. Research software• Talk to other nonprofits• Do preliminary online research• Read discussion forum posts
  18. 18. CRMs reviewed in 2011 NTEN survey• Salesforce• Microsoft Dynamics CRM• Convio Common Ground (now Blackbaud)• Kintera Sphere (now Blackbaud)*• Raiser’s Edge (also Blackbaud)• DemocracyInAction• Antharia onView• CiviCRM• Custom built software
  19. 19. Software considerations• Buying vs building your own• Open source vs proprietary• Cloud-based vs stand-alone• INTEGRATION• $$$$$
  20. 20. Total cost of ownership (TCO)• The software itself• New hardware• Staff training• Ongoing maintenance• Support fees• Data migration• Customization• Staff downtime during conversion• Lost revenue from possible technical failures
  21. 21. 20/10/70 ruleChoosing a cheap product that is expensive tomaintain may be more costly in the long run.Software – 10% of total costHardware – 20%Implementation and maintenance – 70%
  22. 22. Software selection matrix - Technology
  23. 23. Software selection matrix - Processes
  24. 24. Software selection matrix - People
  25. 25. You’re getting close!• Narrow down the list -- which choices emerge as winners? Losers?• Identify your top contenders• Contact vendors with formal requests for information
  26. 26. Vendor comparison questionnaire• How long has your company been in business?• What percentage of your customers are nonprofits?• Can you provide references for nonprofits who have worked with you?• Please describe your business stability and sustainability plans.• Do you have experts to assist with the implementation process?• How much will maintenance services cost?• Can you provide guidelines for preparing or cleaning up existing data before the transfer?• Do you continually update your software to add new features and improve upon your systems?
  27. 27. Final steps• Compare responses from vendors• Ask the reps for software demonstrations• Take advantage of free demo versions and trial accounts• Pilot the software
  28. 28. Resources• NPower Northwest: www.npowernw.org• 501 Commons: www.501commons.org• NTEN: www.nten.org• TechSoup: www.techsoup.org• IdealWare: www.idealware.org
  29. 29. Take-aways• Assess the scope of organizational needs• Identify technology goals• Prioritize nonprofit requirements• Map out the needed software features• Decide which database package is best fit
  30. 30. Thank you Elissa Thomas HandsOn Tech AmeriCorps VISTA elissat@npowernw.org hotcseattle@gmail.com HandsOn Tech Seattle Website: sites.google.com/site/hotcseattle NPower Northwest Website: www.npowernw.org
  31. 31. Q&A

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