What To Do When Your Vendor Kills Your Fundraising Software

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Last week Blackbaud, who acquired Convio's Common Ground fundraising software product a few months ago, decided to eliminate the product altogether, leaving recent purchasers stuck with a product that will be unsupportable in 18 months.

This webinar will help you recover from such an occurrence. While you may not be able to recoup your investment, we will provide tips for evaluating products at a deeper level and helping to ensure that your next acquisition will be the right one.

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What To Do When Your Vendor Kills Your Fundraising Software

  1. 1. What To Do When Your Vendor Kills Your Fundraising Software Cheri Weissman September 25, 2012A Service Of: Sponsored by:
  2. 2. Protecting and Preserving the www.cjwconsulting.com Institutional Memories of Nonprofits Since 1993 (866) 598-0430 info@cjwconsulting.comA Service Of: Sponsored by:
  3. 3. www.mission.doA Service Of: Sponsored by:
  4. 4. Today’s Speaker & Host Cheri Weissman President CJW Consulting & Services, Inc.Assisting with chat questions:Jamie Maloney, Nonprofit WebinarsA Service Of: Sponsored by:
  5. 5. Reselecting Fundraising SoftwareWhat to do when your vendor kills your software Presented by 8331 Central Avenue Morton Grove, IL 60053 800/977-6377 www.cjwconsulting.com
  6. 6. Define your options Where are you in the process?  Just committed and paid vendor  Data conversion and implementation in process  Within three months of going live  Live for longer than six months
  7. 7. Determine your action Just committed  Switch to another product provided by vendor  Request full refund and begin search for another solution Conversion and implementation in process  Request full refund and begin search for another solution  Switch to another product provided by vendor IF vendor will waive costs of aborted conversion
  8. 8. Determine your action Within three months of going live  Data conversion and training costs fully refunded Live with software  Use the sunsetting period to prepare for another solution
  9. 9. Things to avoid Taking the first option offered  Give yourself some time to consider before jumping at another solution Sticking with the vendor because its easier  Really? The vendor that just killed your product? Taking your second choice  How distant a second was it?
  10. 10. Be Better Informed Release date of product  Fundraising software takes time to develop well. In general, don’t consider a product that’s been on the market less than 5 years Number and frequency of upgrades  With Software As A Service becoming the norm, it’s easy for vendors to “upgrade” their software very often. From an end user perspective, the best case scenario is no more than 4 upgrades a year.
  11. 11. Be Better Informed Ownership history  You’re better off with a product that has been developed by one source Number of users  If a product has been around more than 5 years and has less than 200 users, you have to wonder History  Initial release date, # of upgrades, size of staff overall, # support staff, training staff.
  12. 12. Decide to be proactive Talk to references  Discuss at length things like quality of support, ease of upgrade process, knowledge shown by support staff, etc.  Get names of people who switched from a product you are considering and ask why they chose to switch  Vendors will be happy to give you names of people who dumped another product for theirs
  13. 13. Starting Over Platform  If you decided to go with a hosted solution (SAAS), restart your search in that arena  Don’t consider in-house software unless you are unable to find an online solution that will meet your needs Budget  Do your best to find an alternative you can afford
  14. 14. Dig Deeper Search for information about a possible vendor and product.  Google the software and actively look for articles in which they are mentioned, news releases, etc. that are NOT found on the vendor’s website  Tech Soup (www.techsoup.org) is a great resource for information  Find published software comparisons to see where your next choice might fall
  15. 15. Dig Deeper Look for forums on vendor websites and see what other users are saying (pro and con) about their experience. Unmonitored forums can provide valuable information
  16. 16. Decide to be prepared What else do I need to think about?  Staff time needed  Who will be involved in conversion  Training  Where is the training  In what format is the training  Project timeline  Recreation of output
  17. 17. Decide to be prepared Costs (known and hidden)  Costs vary widely for products and services, so it’s not feasible to consider this question until the desired solution is found. Then, consider:  Conversion  Implementation  Training  Hardware  Time  Ongoing costs  Support
  18. 18. Keep your options open Frequently when products are sold or sunsetted, vendors will reach out to you, sometimes offering the ability to buy into another product at a discount.  Consider these options carefully, remembering that a lower price for a product that won’t meet your needs isn’t worth anything.
  19. 19. Questions? Cheri Weissman cheri@cjwconsulting.com 866/598-0430
  20. 20. Find listings for our current season of webinars and register at: NonprofitWebinars.comA Service Of: Sponsored by:

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