Release Announcement: SideBar Gets a Facelift

DP2016.07_Release Announcementlogo

A new version of DonorPerfect will be released this weekend that paves the way for some exciting future changes coming to DonorPerfect’s Reports. For this release we’ve updated the SideBar and made some quick improvements to our SmartGive feature. While the changes may seem relatively small at first, they set the stage for greater enhancements down the line.

SideBar Gets a Facelift

Coming soon, maybe even as early as Fall 2016, DonorPerfect’s Reporting features will receive an overhaul. This will include a brand new Report Center, easy to use Report Builder and the ability to schedule reports to run and be emailed to you, your key employees, board members, and any other stakeholder- you just need their email address!  This release prepares for that by updating the Sidebar to support features like report scheduling and saving. We’ve also given the Sidebar a much needed facelift to match the styling in the upcoming Report Center and Easy Report Builder.

(Want a sneak peak and even some training on all of the new reporting functionality? Come join hundreds of other nonprofits at this year’s DonorPerfect Community Network Conference.)

SideBar Updates

Aside from the new modern look and feel (no more boring gray!), a few other items have been updated:

DonorPerfect SideBar

  • You can now edit a Selection Filter right from the Sidebar. Simply click the Edit icon to be taken to the Selection Filter’s Criteria.
  • Since most of you view the report on screen first, Run Report (formerly the “Screen” button) is now the default, replacing the Output Options divider found in the previous SideBar. Clicking the down arrow to the right of Run Report allows you to save and print the report as an Excel, MS Word or PDF file.

To see all the changes and learn more about using the Sidebar in your reports, visit Sidebar Reporting in DonorPerfect.

SmartGive Your Way to More Donations

SmartGive is a tool that allows your emails or printed letters to include a link to a WebLink online form for each donor. When the donor accesses the form link, it is pre-filled with their name, address, email, and phone number. SmartGive links streamline the donation process, making it more likely that the donor will complete the donation form. For this release, we’ve improved how to generate your SmartGive links, simplifying the process and making it easier to understand. You can learn more in this quick two minute video:

Release Notes

SideBar and SmartGive updates aren’t the only changes in this release.  Read about all of the enhancements and fixes in the DonorPerfect 2016 Release Notes in the Knowledgebase.

by Stephanie Kanak

Jul 22 16

Monthly Giving Has Never Been Easier!

Just a few years ago, setting up a monthly donor program was difficult. You had to do lots of workarounds, hire professionals to set it up.  or outsource the process and then spend money on direct mail or telemarketing to start asking donors to join your monthly donor program. It was expensive and labor intensive. Email campaigns were for the ‘big few’. Everything took a lot of time.

That was then. This is now.

Today, with WebLink, you can literally set up a recurring giving page in 5 minutes. And with the Monthly Giving Starter and Marketing Kits, you can think through the whole process and create everything you need in a week or less. If you’re really motivated, you can do it in an afternoon.

Seriously! Even if you have very limited resources; even if you’re a small shop, all you need to do now is organize your monthly giving page and get your donor email list ready.  Then, you have to make your program easy for the donor to discover and you have to start asking.

Getting started with monthly giving is as easy as following these 10 steps:

  1. Create a special recurring only page in WebLink . Keep the donation choices to 4 or 5 amounts max., so you can keep them on one line. Start with the minimum: $10.
  2. Link to it from your website’s homepage.
  3. Link directly to it from your emails and start sharing on social media.
  4. Test everything so you know it all works, including your donation page, auto-responder, and confirmation email.
  5. Join your own program.
  6. Ask your board, staff, volunteers to join.
  7. Ask your donors.
  8. Ask your donors again and again, as many times as you can fit into your communication schedule.
  9. Think long-term.
  10. Present annualized results.

The more you ask, the more monthly donors you’ll bring in. The more committed you are to your program, the more committed your monthly donors will be to you. So let’s get asking!

This blog post was written by Erica Waasdorp, DonorPerfect Expert and President of A Direct Solution.

by Emily Patz

Jul 8 16

DPMobile Release Announcement: Managing Mobile Payments Just Got Easier

DPMobile 2016.02 has improved mobile payment management, better donor information and expanded help resources.

The new version of DPMobile released earlier today will streamline your donor management process when you’re on the go. We’ve improved our mobile payment management, provided better donor information and added additional help resources and video accessible from right within in the app.

Improved Mobile Payment Management

One of DPMobile’s best features is the ability to accept mobile payments, with or without a card reader, and have them instantly update the donor’s gift record in DonorPerfect. In this release, we’ve added four important ways to help you better manage mobile payments:
Now you can void an unsettled mobile payment in DPMobile.

  • DPMobile can now provide a duplicate copy of a donor’s email receipt as a record of the transaction. Simply set the toggle for ‘Send Copy of Receipt’ to “ON” in Settings > Gift Defaults and enter a valid email in the ‘Copy Receipt To:‘ field.
  • Send a receipt to donors as a text message (and still get emailed a duplicate copy of the donor’s receipt) by entering a phone number into the ‘Send Receipt To:’ box of the Signature screen. Thanks for this great idea in Suggest and Vote!
  • Did you make a mistake entering a mobile payment? Now you can void unsettled mobile transactions via the Mobile Payments Report. It will stop the transaction from processing in the Gateway and delete it from the donor’s record.
  • Plus, we’ve expanded gift types to include all the major credit cards.

Better Donor Information

Fundraisers who rely on DPMobile’s powerful information management features will appreciate the ability to edit coded fields such as drop down, yes/no and multi-select, and  custom (UDF) fields on the Main/Bio screen. You’ll also be able to view Tribute gift information in the donor’s gift tab, take advantage of refinements to the search feature and see new metrics for Donor Attrition and Retention in the Comprehensive Donor Analysis Report.

Expanded Help Resources

DPMobile Video Library
Finally, we’ve added a new menu that expands the help resources accessible to you when using the app. In addition to the existing DPMobile Swipe Help from last release, we’ve now added a brand new Online Help website, FAQ and a Video Library all launched from within DPMobile.

Release Notes

Improved mobile payment management, better donor information and expanded help resources aren’t the only changes in this release. Read about all of the enhancements and fixes in the DPMobile 2016 Release Notes in the Knowledgebase.

by Stephanie Kanak

Jul 5 16

Release Announcement: The DonorPerfect Community is Coming! Are You Ready?

DonorPerfect 2016.06 Release Announcement

A new version of DonorPerfect will be released this weekend that enables Alerts functionality for every DonorPerfect system, improves Tributes and the Search screen, and prepares you for the roll out of our new DonorPerfect Community.

Get Ready for the DonorPerfect Community

DonorPerfect Community, launching later this year, will be a place for you to connect with other nonprofits using DonorPerfect, review your case history and find help and useful tips. To make this new community possible, each user must have a unique email. If your email address is associated with more than one User ID or database, you’ll eventually be prompted to change your email address to a unique one. Doing this will ensure you have access to all the benefits of the DonorPerfect Community when it’s launched. Moving forward, a unique email address will also be a requirement for any new User IDs you create in your system. Stay tuned for updates on the new, exciting DonorPerfect Community plans in future blog posts and eTips.

DonorPerfect Community is coming!

Alerts Rollout For All DonorPerfect Systems

In the last release of DonorPerfect, we overhauled Alerts to make it more effective. We also announced that the Alerts functionality would be rolling out to all DonorPerfect Systems over the summer. As of this weekend, all systems will have access to Alerts. If you haven’t used this feature yet, check out DonorPerfect Alerts in the Knowledgebase. We’ll take you step-by-step through configuring the Alerts that will help you keep track of the day-to-day-tasks of running your nonprofit.

Tributes Improvements

Alphabetical Listing for Notification Letters

Notifying a family of contributions to their loved one’s tribute is a sensitive process. It’s important that your notification letters to the family look professional and well organized. To make it easier for the family to scan through the list of contributions, gifts will now be sorted by last name, then first name.

Email Receipts Included for Tributes

In addition to letter receipts, you’ll now be able to send email receipts for tribute gifts. To add tribute fields, like Tribute Name (TRIBUTE_NAME), to your email template for receipts, simply go to Mailings > E-Mail Templates. From the Message Body section, click the Insert Merge Field icon.

Send email receipts for Tribute gifts.

‘Recently Viewed Donors’ List is Back on the Search Screen

Many of you use the ‘Recently Viewed Donors’ listing that appears on the Search screen and took the time to let us how valuable this feature is after the last release. You’ll be happy to know that this list will appear once again on the Search screen.

Attend Our Pre-Release Webinar

Do you want to know more about all of the changes coming in this release? Register for our FREE Pre-release webinar, this Friday 6/24 from 1:00 PM -2:00 PM EDT.

Release Notes

Changes to Alerts, Tributes and the Search screen aren’t the only changes in this release. Read about all of the enhancements and fixes in the DonorPerfect 2016 Release Notes in the Knowledgebase.

by Stephanie Kanak

Jul 1 16

Release Announcement: WebLink Online Forms Go Mobile

WebLink Release Announcement 2016.04

WebLink Online Forms Go Mobile

Did you know that 51% of people who visit your website do so on a mobile device? Recent statistics also find that responsive donation pages yield 34% more gifts than non-responsive pages. Today, WebLink released a Beta version of mobile responsive functionality for Donorperfect Online forms, making it easy for donors to make a donation from their smartphones and tablet devices.

What Does a Mobile Responsive Form Look Like?

A WebLink mobile responsive form on a smartphoneOur mobile responsive forms scale for any size browser window or device. In the image to the right, you can see how our #GivingTuesday form would display on a Smartphone. Our forms can detect the screen size and shape of the device used to access them and “respond” with an appropriate display for your donor to interact with them.

Mobile Responsive Forms Availability

While not available yet for all WebLink clients, testing is going well and we’re on track for a full release to all clients soon.

Email Receipt Improvements

One of the most frequent questions we get from clients is about how to customize the thank you email that donors automatically receive from WebLink when giving online. In this release, we’ve incorporated two of your suggestions (View them in Suggest & Vote HERE and HERE) to make the email receipt process better. Here is a list of the email receipt improvements you’ll see:

    • You can now personalize WebLink receipt emails by merging non-payment-related form field data into the body text. For example, you could insert merge fields into your salutation such as {TITLE} and {LAST_NAME} to personalize your email greeting to ‘Dear Mr. Sandstone’.
    • You can click a button to quickly send a test email to yourself or others without having to fill out the form.
    • We’ve improved the overall appearance of the thank you emails.
    • Receipt emails will now be sent by default for all forms. However, it’s just a quick click to turn this off if needed.
    • Now, there’s no limit to the number of email addresses you can select to receive copies of the form’s email receipt.

To learn more about customizing your email receipts, visit Setting Email Options for Forms in the Knowledgebase.

Release Notes

Mobile Responsive Forms (Beta) and email receipt improvements aren’t the only changes in this release. Read about all of the enhancements and fixes in the WebLink 2016 Release Notes in the Knowledgebase.

by Stephanie Kanak

Jun 30 16

Release Announcement: Improving DonorPerfect’s Usability

A new version of DonorPerfect released this weekend includes small usability improvements to increase your effectiveness and efficiency in DonorPerfect.

Our new version of DonorPerfect released this weekend includes many hidden gems in the form of small usability improvements. These improvements will help you move through your daily tasks in DonorPerfect with increased effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction.

How Usability Matters In DonorPerfect

Before we cover the release details, here’s a peek into our goals for any release regarding usability improvements. We consider these factors to be important when considering any product enhancements:

Effectiveness
Does this product enhancement help you to carry out tasks in DonorPerfect and complete your goals with greater precision? Will it make you more effective?

Listening to clients spurs some of our best creative ideas. ~ Andy Busovsky, SofterWare UX Manager

Efficiency
Can we reduce the amount of time it takes you to achieve various tasks and learn the system? Will it make you more efficient?

Satisfaction
We get it. Change is hard for everyone. But with change can come increased satisfaction. Ultimately, can we increase your comfort and acceptance for various DonorPerfect features?

Let’s see how this latest release measures up to these factors:

Release Details

Effectiveness: Alerts Overhaul
DonorPerfect’s Alerts feature is a great way to keep track of the day-to-day tasks of running your nonprofit. These customizable reminders can be set to pop-up each time you log in or as a “badge” that appears as a red indicator on the Alerts menu item. Many of you told us, during Usability testing, that configuring these alerts was not as effective a process as it should be. So we improved the prompts and screens you use within Alerts to make it easier for you to use this feature.

Alerts Usability Changes

 

Over the summer,  we’ll be rolling out Alerts functionality to all DonorPerfect systems. To learn more about using Alerts, read DonorPerfect Alerts in our Knowledgebase.

Efficiency: Edit Applied Selection Filters
When you’re running reports or performing a mail merge, you need to use a selection filter to select only the donors you want to see. Previously, if you wanted to modify the criteria to select your donors, you had to remove the applied filter and go through a lengthy process to reset your criteria. We’ve made that process more efficient. Now, you can edit an applied filter to modify the date range, add a new GL code and more, right from the same screen.

Satisfaction: Design Consistency
Maintaining good visual consistency is key to making DonorPerfect easy to use. Items like ‘hover states’ and ‘action buttons’ should behave the same way throughout DonorPerfect and have the same look and feel as other buttons. That’s why we’ve modified over 15 different screens and pop-up windows in this release. Our attention to these details helps you to better focus on important tasks.

example of Usability markup

 

Release Notes

Usability improvements aren’t the only changes in this release. Read about all of the enhancements and fixes in the DonorPerfect 2016 Release Notes in the Knowledgebase.

by Stephanie Kanak

Jun 9 16

Expert Webcast: Finding Donors for a Capital Campaign

capital campaign webinar

Meet the expert hosts.

Our most recent webcast, Finding Donors for a Capital Campaign, was presented on May 24, 2016, by Jeffrey D. Byrne, President + CEO of Jeffrey D. Byrne + Associates and Ryan Woroniecki, VP of Strategic Partnerships from DonorSearch.

Here’s what you’ll learn in Finding Donors for a Capital Campaign:

Based on Giving USA’s study of giving trends for 2014, ninety-five cents of every dollar are donated by an individual. That means that building relationships is critical to fundraising.

To be successful at fundraising, nonprofits must:

  • Identify prospective donors and volunteer leadership
  • Establish personal connections
  • Create strategies for cultivation
  • Solicit gifts
  • Facilitate stewardship
  • Make personal gifts

Because donations are made almost exclusively by individuals, it’s important to identify which donors you should target in a capital campaign. Measuring a donor’s likelihood to donate to your organization is based on several factors.

Measuring a donor’s likelihood to donate to your organization is based on these 6 predictors of philanthropy:

  • Gifts to your organization
  • Gifts to other organizations
  • Role as trustee of a foundation
  • Gifts to political entities
  • Real estate value
  • Business affiliations

DonorSearch, an innovative wealth screening tool, weights these predictors and gives donors comprehensive scores to help you determine where you should funnel your fundraising outreach efforts. 

To learn more about how you can see success in your next capital campaign, watch the full webcast below. Be sure to follow along with the presentation slides.

 

by Arlene Berkowitz

Jun 9 16

DonorPerfect Integrations Make Our Software Even More Perfect!

DonorPerfect Integrations

SofterWare is continually investing to improve DonorPerfect by enhancing existing features and adding new capabilities. In fact, we’ve more than doubled the size of our development team over the last couple of years! Even with all of that investment, we recognize that we can’t create solutions that solve every need of every client.

The good news is that there are lots of talented software developers creating great solutions for a wide variety of needs, even beyond the nonprofit community. The bad news is that often, these solutions are created as stand-alone products that don’t integrate with products like DonorPerfect, which serve as a nonprofit’s primary constituent database.

The Benefits of DonorPerfect Integrations

We offer many DonorPerfect integrations so you can manage all of your fundraising efforts in a single, unified database.

Examples include our integration with Constant Contact for email marketing and DonorSearch for prospect research. DonorShops, DonorPages, and WebLink integrate with DonorPerfect for online giving and e-commerce.  DonorPerfect integrations also include many popular general-purpose software products like Microsoft Word, Excel, and Intuit QuickBooks.

Options Are Endless Thanks to Our Flexible APIs

To make integration easier, we developed Application Programming Interfaces, commonly referred to as APIs, which provide structured access to the data in DonorPerfect, making it possible for any programmer to access, update, or add data in DonorPerfect. These APIs to expand the assortment of add-on products available to DonorPerfect clients. DonorPerfect Mobile, DonorShops, Agile Ticketing, as well as custom integrations created by individual customers use our APIs.

Finding Integrations for Your Organization is Easy

Acting as a central hub where clients can find DonorPerfect’s integrations, the DPConnect Marketplace offers summaries, reviews and ratings, and the option for you to request more information to learn what’s best for your organization. You’ll find tools for Theatre and Venue Ticketing (Agile Ticketing), Peer-to-peer Fundraising (Raisin), Fundraising Auctions (Ready Set Auction), and Volunteer Management (Volunteer Spot). Other solutions include advocacy, alumni engagement, data enhancement, matching gift management, special events, website content management, and more.

DonorPerfect clients will have 24/7 access to the DPConnect Marketplace, which will continuously evolve and expand to include the best new companies and emerging innovations in the market today.

3 Ways You Can Contribute to the Expansion of DonorPerfect Integrations

Use the DPConnect Marketplace to look for solutions.

Using the “Request More Information” form for our integrated partners also allows us to track which products are the most sought-after by the DonorPerfect Community. This data greatly influences the partners we’ll pursue in the future.

If  your organization uses any software product that integrates with DonorPerfect, let us and other clients know about your experiences.

Visit DPConnect.  Each listing provides the ability to rate the product and post a short review.

Does your organization use a product that would be better if it integrated with DonorPerfect?

Contact the vendor and suggest they consider integrating their product with DonorPerfect. Make sure they know how the integration would benefit your organization as well as other organizations like yours. Tell them that that DonorPerfect APIs are available free for any third-party software developers that have or want to create DonorPerfect integrated software solutions. Then send them the link to learn more about becoming a DPConnect partner.

You can also send an email to Darryl Moser, our partnership manager, to let him know about the potential partner.

The Future of DonorPerfect Integrations

We’re very excited to extend the functionality of DonorPerfect through these partner solutions, but we also recognize how important it is to have partners that have the same commitment to support and product improvement that we have.

We’re committed to working with our partners to continuously improve the quality of integration and the effectiveness of our solutions.

Additionally, our team at DonorPerfect will continue to invest in building our own products to meet the vast majority of our clients’ fundraising needs.

by Doug Schoenberg

May 20 16

Event Preparation – Not Just for Boy Scouts

Fundraising Event Preparation Graphic

Last week, thousands of non-profits participated in the Give Local America campaign –a national day of local giving organized by Kimbia software. While the campaign raised an impressive $68 million, the event was overshadowed by significant technical and performance issues with their platform. We know it was hugely disappointing – not only to the organizations who worked so hard to prepare and promote the event, but to the folks at Kimbia who undoubtedly tried their best and, I’m sure, felt terrible. Many organizations took to social media and other locations to express their frustration publicly. Having worked for months to make this a big day, that’s understandable. It was a bad day for everyone involved.

But the lesson here is an old one. Be prepared. Like a flat tire on the way to the airport, or rain at a huge outdoor event, we all know “stuff happens”. Fundraising events are no different. Technology providers really do try their best to prepare for these events, but no system can ever be made completely indestructible. Prepare and exercise a plan in case something goes wrong. And be ready to switch to it. We all know that “failing to plan can be tantamount to planning to fail.”

Kivi Leroux Miller posted a great blog post here with some ideas. I love her suggestion of being in charge of your own links. Using a site like Bit.ly, for instance, you can share a link with your donors and change where it goes, even after you send it. This way, if the site you emailed your donor a week ago has trouble, you can switch them to another location in minutes. At the very least, you can explain the current problem, what’s being done to correct it, and what donors can do to circumvent the problem.

  • If you are directing donors to your own site first, be sure it can handle the load too. Have at least a shell of your site on another location such as Weebly, Wix, or GoDaddy that you can redirect to in a pinch. We’ve seen clients struggle when their own site was overwhelmed with traffic and became unable to direct clients to a WebLink donation form, even though their form was just fine.
  • Have drafts of your communications already written out, and know where and how you’ll post them. You’ll want to communicate any change in plans quickly and easily. It may be human nature to take to the web to vent your frustration, but your first priority should be to your donors. There will be time for griping later.
  • Stay in touch with your constituents regularly. Keep updates going on your blog, Facebook, Twitter, or wherever you post your event info.
  • For in-house events where you plan to use technology (such as live auctions, or DPMobile with Credit Card Swipe processing capability), don’t depend entirely on the event location WIFI. Hotel and event WIFI are often purposely “throttled back” by hotels, overwhelmed with traffic, and heavily fire-walled. Having access to a portable 4G hotspot can be a lifesaver and keep your event going.
  • Finally, if you have troubles, try to remember the big picture, take a deep breath, and keep focusing on the problem at hand. Keep the tone positive and stay in touch. Issues at a single event are frustrating, but are rarely life-altering. Donors can be incredibly understanding – and can always write a check or follow-up later.

In the end, your donors give because they believe in you and your mission, not because of the technology. Stay positive. They’ll remember how you reacted long after they’ve forgotten the technological glitches.

by Tom Gimpel

May 12 16

Release Announcement: 7 Tributes Changes You Need to Know

DonorPerfect's new Tributes feature makes it easier to manage tributes, track donations, sending timely notifications, add recipients and more!

As a nonprofit, you know how important it is to track all types of donations accurately and efficiently. This is especially true with tribute gifts. It requires an extra level of sensitivity and attention to manage tributes. Our new Tributes feature, being released on Thursday, May 12th, makes it easier to track tribute donations and send timely, personalized notifications acknowledging them. Here’s what you need to know about managing tributes:

7 Tributes Changes You Need to Know

1. One Central Place to Manage Tributes

There’s no more Tributes tab in each donor’s record. To manage tributes, click the Settings/Gear icon and select Tributes.

2. Tribute Gifts are Integrated Into Daily Tasks

Easily create a tribute, apply a gift to a tribute or add recipients right on the Gift Entry or Batch 2.0 screens. Manage tributes right where you are!

Take a tour of the new Tributes in this short video!

3. Previous Tribute Gifts Will Be Migrated

Previous tribute gifts entered using the Tributes tab will automatically move over to a tribute listed in the main Tributes screen. (For best results, process all pending notifications before the release on Thursday 5/12.) Legacy tribute gifts entered by filling out the GFNAME and GLNAME fields will still appear as read-only on the Gift screen. Clicking the Apply to a Tribute button will apply these legacy gifts to an existing tribute or create a tribute if it doesn’t exist.

4. WebLink Automatically Creates the Tribute and Notification Records

We’ve provided a true end-to-end solution to manage tributes. Data your donors enter into any WebLink Online Forms maps directly to DonorPerfect fields when downloaded. It automatically creates the Tribute (if needed), applies the donor’s gift to the tribute and creates the notification record.

5. Expanded Notification Options

In addition to adding a single recipient for all gifts applied to a tribute, you can add recipients who are only notified for one specific gift or add multiple recipients to a single tribute. You can also apply one gift to multiple tributes.
Learn how to manage tributes in our free webinar. Register today!

6. Receipting is (a Little) Easier

Once you’ve applied a gift to a tribute, DonorPerfect assigns the value of Notification Letter to the Thank-You letter field for the notification record. This makes it easier when performing the receipting process since Notification Letters will be designated from other types of Thank-You Letters. Look for more improvements to the entire Notification process later this year.

7. Export Tributes Information with Ease

Exporting tribute information to publicize in your newsletters and website is easy! Simply click the Gift/Tribute Export link from the main Tributes screen, then click the Export to CSV button to export all tributes. You can also export gifts for a specific tribute only by clicking the link in the Gift Details column.

Our Best Tips to Prepare for Tributes Changes

Make your transition to the new Tributes feature as successful as possible by following these important steps:

Release Notes

Read about additional enhancements and fixes for this release in the DonorPerfect 2016 Release Notes in the Knowledgebase.

by Stephanie Kanak

May 9 16
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