Creating a Blackbaud Product User Group


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bbcon 2013

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Creating a Blackbaud Product User Group

  2. 2. 9/27/2013 #bbcon 2
  4. 4. 9/27/2013 #bbcon 4 “In personal or business computing, a user group is a set of people who have similar interests, goals, or concerns. The members have regular meetings where they can share their ideas.” - • “An organization of users of a specific hardware or software product. Members share experiences and ideas to improve their understanding and use of a particular product. User groups are often responsible for influencing vendors to modify or enhance their products.” - PC Magazine Encyclopedia WHAT IS A USER GROUP
  5. 5. 9/27/2013 #bbcon 5 - Independently run [from a Blackbaud User Group] - Members within same geographic area - Group is managed members - Meetings are open to anyone interested - Group success depends on the members involvement - Members use similar Blackbaud products - Group usually has an online presence: • Facebook, LinkedIn, website USER GROUP CHARACTERISTICS
  6. 6. 9/27/2013 #bbcon 6 FACEBOOK:
  7. 7. 9/27/2013 #bbcon 7 LINKEDIN:
  8. 8. 9/27/2013 #bbcon 8 WEBSITE:
  9. 9. 9/27/2013 #bbcon 9 Networking: • Meet people who share your work experience and use the tools to get the job done. • Develop contacts for ongoing information exchange. Knowledge Exchange: • Learn from people who have developed processes to make doing the job easier. • Learn about other new products from people who use them. • Benefit from presentations by vendors. Community Voice: • Speak as a group to Blackbaud and/or a software vendor and have a say in how the application is developed. • Provide helpful information to the vendor to make the tools better. INDEPENDENT USER GROUP BENEFITS
  10. 10. 9/27/2013 #bbcon 10 STARTING YOUR OWN USER GROUP Your User Group will need invested coordinators: • People who will invest their time in making the group work • Find and encourage people to attend • Maintain a membership list • Coordinate the meetings • Determine the location of the meeting • Arrange for meeting registration for group members • Make sure there are topics to be discussed • Prepare an agenda • Optionally arrange for a discussion group online • Get the word out on meetings and other info through email • Offer handouts & have drawings Once you have a coordinator, you can ask for others to help take ownership of the group to share the duties. COORDINATION AND FACILITATION:
  11. 11. 9/27/2013 #bbcon 11 STARTING YOUR OWN USER GROUP Once you have someone on board to coordinate and facilitate the group, you need a place to meet: • Group member’s place of business • Learn about their cause – get to know our members • Person from the organization can arrange for food, space and resources • Same place every time • Members get used to the location • No worries about picking a spot to meet • Available places: public libraries, Group leader’s home, Conference Room/Centers What you need at the location: Public transportation, room with tables and access for everyone, audio visual equipment, and a person to take ownership of the meeting place so it is ready for the meeting. A PLACE TO MEET:
  12. 12. 9/27/2013 #bbcon 12 STARTING YOUR OWN USER GROUP You know where you can meet, you have someone facilitating this meeting - you need to reach other Blackbaud Users in your geographic area: • Difficult to manage as some members have limited access to social networking sites • One person can manage a list and email members • Use sites such as Blackbaud forums,, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter • Start small – it’s not the number of people who attend, it’s the quality of the discussion • Build members by word of mouth Get the word out and see what happens - you may be surprised! A WAY TO COMMUNICATE
  13. 13. 9/27/2013 #bbcon 13 STARTING YOUR OWN USER GROUP You have your members and have set up your first meeting, now what? • Arrange for speakers: • Members who demonstrate a competent use of BB products • Vendors - local and national • Determine topics of discussion: • Poll members • Scan boards and pick up on latest topics being discussed • Create an Agenda • Notify your members: • Publicize the meeting location and include directions and public transportation info. • Suggest carpooling to members The meeting has to have substance to make it worth the time away from the office! PREPARE FOR THE MEETING
  14. 14. 9/27/2013 #bbcon 14 BLACKBAUD USER GROUP AGENDA
  15. 15. 9/27/2013 #bbcon 15 INDEPENDENT USER GROUP AGENDA
  16. 16. 9/27/2013 #bbcon 16 PREPARING FOR YOUR MEETING Speakers provide topics of discussion, facilitate focus groups, offer goodies for members, training and best tips and tricks. Speaker resources include: • Blackbaud: demo products, answer questions, address issues • Blackbaud's partners: O-matic Software, Papersave • Vendors who offer Blackbaud related products: Beyond Nines, Leading Edge Software Solutions • Group members: demos of product features, share policies and procedures, facilitate a focus group Poll your members on who they want at the meetings. It’s their meeting, make it what they need it to be! ARRANGE FOR SPEAKERS
  17. 17. 9/27/2013 #bbcon 17 PREPARING FOR YOUR MEETING Meetings can be structured with general discussions, focus groups, presentations and training and tips and tricks demos: • Choose a couple of good topics that can spur general discussion • Contact possible speakers early to get on their calendars. • Ask group members to present at the meeting. • Allow for members to break up in groups to discuss common topics and issues • It’s ok to allow for a little griping, but make sure the focus is on the solution – not the problem. It’s a user group – the group needs to make it work. Get ideas from users. Everyone gets to participate. DETERMINE TOPICS FOR THE MEETINGS
  18. 18. 9/27/2013 #bbcon 18 PREPARING FOR YOUR MEETING An organized meeting assures that you make the most of your meeting time. • Choose a couple of good topics that can spur general discussion • Contact possible speakers early to get on their calendars. • Ask group members to present at the meeting. • Allow for members to break up in groups to discuss common topics and issues • Include meeting place, time and directions Get your agenda out early. It will encourage user group members to make the time available in their schedules. CREATE AN AGENDA
  19. 19. 9/27/2013 #bbcon 19 READY TO GO • Get the word out in every way you can, people communicate differently • Arrange for a door prize or giveaways from vendors • Plan on some food - vendor supported, members chip in, brown bag it. • Think about tweeting at the meeting • Have someone take notes and share them on the web or in email after the meeting • Have fun! It’s not about the number of people who attend – it’s about the members who are there and the experience you share!
  20. 20. 9/27/2013 #bbcon 20 Canada: Calgary AB, Edmonton AB, Vancouver BC, Victoria BC, Halifax, NS, Toronto, ON, Montreal, QC United States: CA, CO, D.C., FL, GA, IL, IN, KS, LA, MA, MD, MO, NC, NH, NY, OH, OR, PA, SC, TN, TX, UT, VA, WA Product Focus: The Raiser’s Edge, eTapestry, Charities & Education, K12, Arts & Cultural, O-matic Software, Financial Edge, BBNC, EC – Higher Ed, FundWare, Sphere. Did You Know: On average, Blackbaud typically holds about 30 User Group Meetings a year in the USA and there is no cost to attend; it’s included in the Annual Maintenance Contract. UNITED STATES & CANADA BLACKBAUD USER GROUP LOCATIONS
  21. 21. 9/27/2013 #bbcon 21 Australia: Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney England: Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge, Coventry, Liverpool, Manchester Ireland: Belfast, Dublin New Zealand: Auckland Scotland: Edinburgh, Glasgow Product Focus: The Raiser’s Edge, eTapestry, Charities & Education Blackbaud Pacific and Blackbaud Europe offices conducts several user groups per year. Blackbaud Europe and is divided into Charities & Education customers while Blackbaud Pacific comprises The Raiser’s Edge and eTapestry User Groups. INTERNATIONAL BLACKBAUD USER GROUP LOCATIONS
  22. 22. 9/27/2013 #bbcon 22 United States: Delaware (DBUG - statewide) Philadelphia (PBUG), PA Jacksonville, FL Denver, CO Minneapolis-Saint Paul [Twin Cities], MN Charleston, SC (CBUG) Grand Rapids, MI Phoenix, AZ Seattle/Puget Sound, WA Chicago, IL Houston, TX San Francisco, CA St. Louis, MO INDEPENDENT BLACKBAUD USER GROUPS
  23. 23. 9/27/2013 #bbcon 23 VENDOR CONTACTS THESE VENDORS HAVE SUPPORTED OUR USER GROUPS Vendor Contact Info Taylor Hayes Event Marketer II, Client Events & Memberships Kevin Kreamer Sales Manager Holly Condon VP Sales and Marketing Sandy Wilder Lisa Lane CEO <>
  24. 24. 9/27/2013 #bbcon 24 • Blackbus This will be where we will post upcoming info on user groups. You can use this site for your user group. Check here for updates on new and current user groups. • Facebook - The Raiser’s Edge Users Group Support Forum!/groups/thereusersgroupsupportforum/ - Philadelphia Blackbaud User Group!/groups/Philabug/ • LinkedIn - Independent Blackbaud Users Forum 4447534?trk=groups_most_recent-h-dsc&goback=%2Egmr_4447534 ONLINE RESOURCES
  25. 25. 9/27/2013 #bbcon 25