Archive for October, 2011

DC NTEN October Happy Hour Recap

As some of you know, each month I run the NTEN (bringing together Non-Profits and technology) DC Happy Hour, and this month was no different. Last night we had our monthly happy hour at James Hoban’s Irish Pub. It was a great event that included fabulous munchies, drink specials, and of course, our speaker series!

Tim Forbes, PICnet’s Director of Client Services, spoke about how we can get non-profits  talking about what they need from their CRM tools. He also posed some very interesting questions that definitely got me thinking about where CRM services should REALLY be housed in the budgetary process (overhead costs versus programming costs – the latter of which might allow more non-profits money for CRM tools). Many thanks to Tim for being our speaker and giving us so much to discuss!

Our next happy hour will be on Thursday, December 1, 2011. More details to follow, so stayed tuned to our Facebook group and list serv.


Submit data and files to Salesforce with Soapbox Engage

We shared this week and last about tools in Soapbox Engage that allow you to display data from your Salesforce account. You can share all sorts of information you’ve got socked away in all sorts of compelling ways – either on one site or across an entire network of sites. With Soapbox Engage, Salesforce isn’t just your data repository, it’s your megaphone. And oh, what a megaphone it is!

But you’re not interested in simply droning on and on and on to your visitors, incessantly talking and never listening. You want to hear from them. You want them to contact you or sign petitions or submit job applications or apply for grants or do hundreds of other things that require communication back to your organization. Read more »


Celebrating the next generation of socially conscious entrepreneurs

As a certified B Corporation, socially conscious business practices run deep in our DNA.  We believe that companies can be even more successful by looking beyond their bottom-line when delivering services and creating products. More businesses should take into account their impact on the planet, their people, and their customers.  That’s why we’re excited to be part of the Hitachi Foundation’s 2011 Yoshiyama Young Entrepreneurs Program.

The program, “identifies and supports inspiring young entrepreneurs who are operating businesses that create greater economic opportunity and help to improve the lives of low-wealth individuals in America.”   At PICnet, we’ve enjoyed helping this next generation of entrepreneurs better understand how to more effectively utilize the Web to spread their brand and ideals, while also reaching new customers.

There’s a lot to be learned from these socially responsible entrepreneurs, and tonight, we’ll celebrating their success in Washington, DC, along with our friends from the class of 2010…like Back to the Roots.

Thanks to PICnetters Amber and Tim for leading forward on the effort to analyze these entrepreneurs’ websites, and provide them tips to be more effective.  Congratulations to the 2011 class of Yoshiyama Young Entrepreneurs!


Displaying Salesforce data across a network of sites

On Friday, we enlisted Fozzie Bear to paint a picture of all the great ways you can display your Salesforce data within a website. What if you don’t have one website but two? Or twelve? Or two hundred and twelve?

What if you’re the national headquarters of an affiliate network with fifty affiliates all over the country? Or an international headquarters with affiliates in every major city, borough, hamlet, and village in every country across this fair planet of ours? Tell me: what good is including all that good Salesforce data you’ve got in one measly, little old site going to do for you?

How amazing would it be if you could push all of that data you’re looking to share from just one Salesforce instance to not just one website but to every single one of your affiliate sites?

Honestly, good gentles, ’tis child’s play for Soapbox Engage! Read on! Read on! Read more »


Displaying Salesforce data on your site: a good position to be in

You’ve got data. It’s nice data. It’s data about people and places and things. It’s members and donors and clients and locations and dues and grants and lions and tigers and bears (oh my!). And all of that lovely data is safely and securely stored in your account.

But you’re a giving, sharing kind of person. You’re not a greedy and selfish and man-sized-safe-in-your-office secretive kind of person. You want to share that data. Not everything, mind you! That would be just self-absorbed foolishness. But you want to share important bits and pieces that will be valuable to your website visitors and beneficial in achieving your mission. Read more »


Time-saving Web tools for Salesforce consultants

The adoption rate within the non-profit sector continues to grow.  To be specific, more than 11,000 organization!  With this growth comes a new community of Salesforce consultants focused on helping organizations use these tools effectively.

We’ve sat down with many of these consultants, and listened to their hopes, concerns, and ideas.  How can we help organizations use these to their highest benefit?  What are ways we can help organizations be more efficient with their data processing?

For example, right now it can be time-consuming and sometimes difficult to importing data into Salesforce, especially in real-time from external Web resources.  Think donation pages, event registration pages, petitions, etc.  In tough economic times, organizations are also feeling a budget pinch, and they’re not in a position to invest in custom Web development to connect to their Salesforce instance.

Well, have we got a little pain relief for everyone.

With our recent release of Soapbox Engage, Salesforce consultants can bolt on ready-to-deploy donation pages, event registration pages, web forms, and even searchable directories…all of which talk to Salesforce in real-time.  Even better, consultants are able to keep clients’ CFOs happy with extremely affordable services.

What makes Soapbox Engage such a good fit for Salesforce consultants?

Read more »


Event Registration for Salesforce

Organizations are always looking for ways to increase engagement with their constituencies and donors.  A popular way to move supporters up the ladder of engagement is through events, where you’re able to provide a richer experience.  With the high-touch opportunity that events provide, it’s no wonder organizations are trying to host fundraisers, happy hours, galas, and more with potential donors in these tight financial times.

Too often, however, the time needed to setup the right systems to collect event registrations and communicate with attendees takes organizations away from their core competencies. makes managing attendee data much easier than the offline spreadsheet or pencil/paper sign-up sheets; however, it still takes time to build compelling Web pages, migrate the data into Salesforce manually, and process credit cards offline.

With our Soapbox Engage service, we’re providing organizations with an affordable and easy events registration tool for  In only a few minutes, your organization can:

  • create great looking event registration pages, including Google Maps and iCal integration
  • display an easy-to-understand monthly calendar of your organization’s events
  • offer multiple pricing levels for tickets
  • process credit cards for registrations
  • real-time data collection directly into campaigns
  • …and much more!

Rather than investing weeks and thousands of dollars hiring a technical consultant to write code from scratch, or having to manually copy/paste data into Salesforce manually, organizations can save tons of time and money using our Soapbox Engage service for event registration.

Interested in learning more? Sign-up today for our limited free beta period (October – November 2011) or view our Soapbox Engage website for more information.


Creating Donation Pages for is an amazing service for non-profits looking to bring order to their fundraising database.  It easily lets you run reports, organize donor data, and even build dashboards that easily keep you up-to-date on donation campaign effectiveness.

However, if you want to build compelling donation pages that automatically process credit cards and send data directly to Salesforce, you’ll need to either have a system custom built for your needs (expensive) or manually copy/import data into Salesforce (labor intensive)…until now.

Our new Soapbox Engage service provides organizations the ability to easily build an unlimited number of donation pages that tie directly into  This allows organizations to save time and money by avoiding needless duplicate data entry.  Even better, Soapbox Engage makes it easy and affordable to segment your donation pages as you need, allowing you to create donation page content that more effectively speaks to your donor’s needs.

Interested in learning more?  Sign-up today for our limited free beta period (October – November 2011) or view our Soapbox Engage website for more information.


Announcing Soapbox Engage: Donations, Events, and Forms with

Far too often, non-profits are left on the dull-edge of technology, sacrificing innovation for affordability.  At PICnet, we believe the ability to effectively raise funds, organize events, and mobilize supporters should be within the reach of any organization.

Organizations shouldn’t have to fundraise to afford the next generation of fundraising software.

As a company dedicated to hitting this challenge head-on, we are thrilled to announce the beta release of Soapbox Engage, the first-of-its-kind suite of donation, events, search, and submit tools that leverage the power of for non-profits. Our goal is to tear down the barriers to entry for organizations that want to more effectively use the Web to collect and expose data from Salesforce. Read more »


Soapbox Engage: What’s the hubbub?

So your ears perked up when you heard the magic words “Salesforce” and “your website”, but now you want to know what exactly this thing can do.  Here’s a breakdown of the powerful new features that Soapbox Engage will provide, building an easy but powerful bridge to Salesforce for your organization’s data collection and display needs. Read more »