Archive for October, 2009

J!Salesforce available in Soapbox!

We’re excited to announce the availability of our J!Salesforce 1.0 release, connecting Joomla with!  Even better, for a limited-time, new Soapbox clients (non-profits and socially responsible businesses) can receive J!Salesforce for FREE!

With J!Salesforce, organizations and businesses using the powerful CRM can now seamlessly share data with the Joomla CMS.

This has been a long and winding road, but we’re proud of the new suite of extensions, and look forward to delivering them to the world.  This release of J!Salesforce 1.0 is currently available to new and current Non-Profit Soapbox organizations and businesses.  Sign-up now!

Key Features

This new suite of tools includes our first step in strong integration of Joomla and, including:

  • connectivity between Joomla and the Contacts object in
  • Joomla user registration with additional custom fields that auto-populate a corresponding new contact
  • profile updating syncing with
  • search directory extension, providing a searchable interface of your Contacts object from through your Joomla Web site (especially useful for membership directories)
  • a user-friendly, customizable and templateable search form, results page, and detailed view page for Contact records in Joomla

This is just the beginning!  Our vision for version 2.0 includes: Read more »


Help for the holiday giving season: Soapbox Launchpad

Soapbox Launchpad LogoAre you looking for ways to increase your online fundraising effectiveness this holiday giving season? Are you trying to boost your socially responsible business’s online presence, too?

Well, we’re here to help you make that happen! For a limited time, PICnet is offering Soapbox Launchpad, a special $2,500 website package that will provide qualifying non-profits and socially responsible businesses with our Non-Profit Soapbox services at our most affordable pricing ever.  Our Soapbox Launchpad is a terrific opportunity to get you up and running with an easy-to-manage and great looking website — quickly and affordably.

This special package will be available only until November 15, 2009, and limited to 100 qualifying organizations, so apply now!

What’s Included

Our special Soapbox Launchpad package includes the following:

  • A fully functional Non-Profit Soapbox website (powered by Joomla!)
  • Rapid launch timeline for the holiday season
  • Dozens of beautiful, professionally designed templates to choose from
  • Guidance on information architecture
  • Online credit card processing connection to applicable services
  • Hosting and support services

Apply Now!

By providing this package beyond our standard discounting schedule, we want organizations to gain even further savings. Help us understand how a new website can help you more effectively build a better world.  Any organization or business can apply!

This year has been a tough one, and you deserve a break.  Apply now for our Soapbox Launchpad package, and enjoy the power of Joomla! with strong support by your friends at PICnet.


Come to Dev Summit 09!

You read a lot of posts from me about the conferences I attend – and this time, I want to encourage you to attend one with me! Dev Summit 09 will be from November 18-20 in Oakland, California. I think it’s the 15th Aspiration run-event I’ve personally attended, and I keep attending them because of Allen Gunn, aka Gunner, is one of the best facilitators of all time. He and his team at Aspiration Tech are simply the best group of folks to run these technology events, and each one is both extremely enjoyable and engaging (less PowerPoints, more actual discussion).

Dev Summit will be terrific because it’s going to bring together software developers from the non-profit technology sector, specifically CMS, CRM, and other Web developers.

What’s really important is that this is one of the few times that people who are actually writing code for large projects that effect the non-profit community come together to share knowledge, build bridges, and support social change together. It’s really an amazing sight. I’m excited to see Michelle Murrain, Nate Aune, Ben Rigby, Courtney Miller, Jim Craner, and Ron Severdia, all of who will be leading sessions. I’ll also be sharing lessons learned on topics like leveraging the cloud, and talking about utilizing Joomla! for beginners and advanced users.

Here are the sessions I’m speaking at:

See a full listing of the sessions at Dev Summit 09 here. Hope to see you there! If you plan on going, give me a shout!


PICnet Volunteer Series: Julie is empowering young girls

This is the third post in our series about the PICnet Team’s volunteer efforts.

Who: Office Manager Julie Dennis How she serves: Volunteer for Community Bridges

commbridges_logoJulie has only been working as a PICnetter for a few months now, but she has been volunteering since early this year to middle-school girls develop lifeskills through Maryland-based Community Bridges. She began helping the organization in January as a mentor for a Montgomery County Public School student, Allison. As Allison’s mentor for the spring semester, Julie met with the girl each week to have dinner, play games or just have “girl talk” about what was going on in her life.

How did Julie get involved with Community Bridges? She had been looking for an organization that empowers women and girls, and after attending a development conference in November of 2008, she approached the Executive Deputy Director about volunteer opportunities and was put to “work” in January 2009. Julie says,”I really like helping these young ladies figure out how to deal with the hardships that they might encounter in 8th grade and especially on through high school. It is great to have a support system of people who care for you, and I think that these mentees know that Community Bridges is there to do just that.”

One of Julie’s favorite projects through Community Bridges so far was a Saturday yoga session they held during a unit on positive body image. “It was really cool because we were taught something that we could do to help our bodies (and minds), and it was also a great bonding experience for the mentors and their mentees.”

Julie is a mentor once again this semester for a young girl, and she’s looking forward to the special events and activities and spending time with fellow mentors and their mentees.

Read more about Julie.

Learn more about Community Bridges. *Read our introductory post on PICnetters giving back through service, and the first and second in the series.


Where in the world is Ryan? … South Africa

Joomla!Day South Africa, Cape Town 2009It’s about time that I gave another update on some of my travels to spread the word about PICnet, Joomla! and technology. Over the next few weeks you’ll see installments from my trips to South Africa, Brazil, Mongolia, New York, and more. The key theme? Engaging with Joomla! communities around the world to share our experiences, lessons learned and latest innovations and vision to create a better product for the user – that may be you!

August 13-19, 2009 – Cape Town, South Africa

I’ll begin with my trip to Cape Town, South Africa for their Joomla!Day in August. Among the audience at this conference were Joomla! users and people interested in using it, NGOs, local universities and small businesses. The day before the event there was a training day where I had the opportunity to work with 20 individuals from the community (ex. Food Bank of South Africa) to give them hands on instructions and lessons about using Joomla!.

Read more »


CEO Women, a Non-Profit Soapbox Client, Uses New Media to Educate Female Immigrant Entrepreneurs

One of our Non-Profit Soapbox clients, Creating Economic Opportunities for Women (C.E.O. Women), was featured on this week for their innovative approach towards using new media to educate women entrepreneurs.  The organization’s mission is to train and assist immigrant and refugee women to become successful entrepreneurs and small business owners.

C.E.O. Women launched “Grand Cafe,” an educational video series in a Latin Telenovela format, that features immigrant women helping each other to establish their businesses.  Characters range from a Haitian jewelry maker to a Chinese accountant, each learning how to integrate entrepreneurship into their lives.  C.E.O. Women is using “Grand Cafe” to reach out to more than 170,000 women in the San Francisco Bay Area who could benefit from their services, and we’re pleased to see them getting recognized for this.

With the help of our information architect, project manager, and in-house designer, we developed the organization’s website in mid-2008 on our Non-Profit Soapbox 1.0 System.  As C.E.O. Women continues to work diligently to serve a wider clientele, our team at PICnet is constantly improving our technology and services that match their scale of work.

Check out the trailer below:


Check out Non-Profit Soapbox 2.0


Your Cause. Your Website: Holiday fundraising with YouTube

The holidays are fast approaching.  In fact, they are close enough that you might just be peering at this post through a ring of yellow stickies on your monitor with notes like “Draft holiday fundraising appeal” and “Update mailing list for big $$$ push” alongside “Figure out what the heck to get mom this year.”

Before the holiday stickies completely obscure your monitor, we wanted to toss out an idea for you to consider.  How about adding a video appeal to that big $$$ push to set your organization apart from the crowd?

You can.  It’s free and easy and allows you to leverage the tools the good folks at YouTube provide beyond just embedding videos into your site.

Take a moment to learn about YouTube’s Nonprofit Program to see how you can turn video views into donation dollars.  Interested in some inspiration?  Jump straight to their Video Campaign Tip Sheet for some examples that just might cause some early holiday cheer.

Check out our Help Desk for more posts like this.


40 sites team up to fight cancer

American Cancer Society of California Discovery ShopAmerican Cancer Society of California does great work on one of the most vital issues of our day. To fund this critical effort, they run a network of 40 Discovery Shops that help support the fight against cancer through the sale of high quality, gently used, donated merchandise for men, women and children.

When they came to us asking if we could help create an individual home on the internet for each and every one of these Discovery Shops, we had just one question:

When do we start?

By leveraging the power of Non-Profit Soapbox and crafting a common template for consistent branding across the network, we built 40 sites to promote each individual shop – all efficiently and easily for not much more than the cost of a single site.

No fuss. No muss. Just a high quality network of easy to manage sites to further an important mission. But don’t take our word for it. Hear it straight from Steven Wirt, Director of Online and Internal Communications for the American Cancer Society of California:

“I’ve been very impressed and pleased with Non-Profit Soapbox. Wrangling 40 web sites has been a seamless, pain-free experience.”

Read more »


We’re hiring a Support Account Specialist

We’re looking for a Support Account Specialist to join us in our D.C. office and deliver quality service in supporting the websites we build for our non-profit, association, and congressional clients. The individual who takes this position will be joining a dedicated and motivated team that seeks to offer the very best experience for our non-profit clients as they leverage their web presence to fulfill their missions.

Required Qualifications

We’re specifically looking for fun individuals with:

  • excellent client communications chops;
  • finely-tuned problem solving skills;
  • a natch for organizing tasks and competing priorities;
  • at least one year of experience with PHP (especially Joomla CMS experience) and MySQL;
  • bachelor’s degree;
  • experience with the non-profit community;
  • great references; and
  • a can-do attitude that focuses on delivering quality solutions.

The right applicant will not only have the basic tech qualifications, but will truly enjoy working for the non-profit sector. You’ve got to have heart. You’ve got to be passionate about public service and the social sector.

To Apply

So, if you think you fit the bill, or know someone who does, please send us your:

  1. resume
  2. cover letter
  3. salary history
  4. references

We’re hiring immediately!

jobs{ at-sign } ATTN: Ben Freda, Director of Operations

Please, NO PHONE CALLS OR FAXES. Applications will only be accepted via email. NO OUTSOURCING FIRMS OR CONSULTANTS.


Worthy Wage: a worthy cause deserving a worthy website

ccw_thumbSince 1978, the Center for the Childcare Workforce (CCW) has served as the leading national organization in the call for improving childcare jobs. A program of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), CCW’s mission is to improve the quality of child care by upgrading the compensation, working conditions and training opportunities for child care teachers and family child care providers.

Every year on May 1st, CCW and AFT promote recognition of Worthy Wage Day by organizing a variety of activities to recognize and honor the dedication of early childhood educators and staff and to draw attention to their low wages and minimal benefits. This national day of awareness is just one of the many lasting effects of the Worthy Wage Campaign that CCW organized from 1991-1999.

Read more »