Archive for February, 2012

Introducing Soapbox Shortcodes for WYSIWYG-friendly code

Be forewarned, this article has to do with an often intimidating topic, but don’t run away screaming just yet, my accidental techie friends. Yes, we’re going to talk about C-O-D-E, as in the string of seemingly incomprehensible letters and numbers that make your website what it is, but *spoiler alert* we’re showing you a way around it.

So here’s the problem:  sometimes the code that you need to do magical things with your website is way too cumbersome to use often or doesn’t play well with your content editor.  Think: WYSIWYGUIAGYC (what you see is what you get unless I arbitrarily gobble your code).

In those circumstances, it would be great to have a shortcut for that windy path, which is why we’ve introduced Soapbox Shortcodes to our Non-Profit Soapbox platform.  Soapbox Shortcodes is a WYSIWYG-safe macro syntax that allows you to easily add complex HTML with a simple shortcut, or shortcode, saving you time and frustration and opening up doors to even cooler features for your site. Read more »


Three ways to improve data cleanliness for your donor database

Data cleanliness and data integrity.  Ah, such fun things to work on, right?  Kind of like spring cleaning, but for some reason all the more frustratingly painful.  Since spring is coming early here in North America, we thought it could be useful to share some new insights we’ve had on this topic of data cleanliness, especially for inbound data to Salesforce.

A few of us penguins worked through this last night and today as we’re gearing up for a new release of our Soapbox Engage products, and I thought I’d share some of the highlights of a good brainstorming session that could be useful for others thinking about matching rules.

Our discussions generally broke down into three main areas:

1) Matching scenarios to keep in mind

2) Matching rules

3) Data updating rules

Let’s dive in to our best practices…

Read more »


Proof, meet pudding: Soapbox Mailer for Salesforce v Vertical Response

We’ve served up pudding recipes for Constant Contact and MailChimp in our price comparison with Soapbox Mailer for Salesforce. They are two great services in their own right. Anyone who has looked at options for email marketing within Salesforce, though, knows this little pudding taste test won’t be worth the digital bits and bytes it’s printed on without sizing up Soapbox Mailer for Salesforce against the obvious choice in the marketplace.

Next flavor: Vertical Response. Read more »


Proof, meet pudding: Soapbox Mailer for Salesforce v MailChimp

Still got your spoon from yesterday’s Constant Contact taste test? Good because it’s time to dig in to a second price comparison between Soapbox Mailer for Salesforce and another email marketing service.

Today’s flavor: MailChimp. Read more »


Proof, meet pudding: Soapbox Mailer for Salesforce v Constant Contact

Yesterday, we claimed Soapbox Mailer for Salesforce is affordable. They say the proof is in the pudding, though, so we’ve whipped up a few recipes to tickle your taste buds so well even Bill Cosby would be proud.

First flavor: Constant Contact. Read more »


Announcing Soapbox Mailer for Salesforce

In January, we proclaimed “We are the 99%!” and challenged our sector to do better at providing effective, affordable tools for non-profits – tools that integrate their website, constituent relationship management system, email marketing platform, and social media strategy. We took this challenge personally and sought to lead the fight to provide these effective, affordable tools.

That wasn’t empty 2012 campaign rhetoric that has infected us through watching too much CNN lately. We meant business. And we’re here to deliver.

We’re proud to announce Soapbox Mailer for Salesforce. Email your donors, members, supporters, advocates, ex-girlfriends, future boyfriends, foreign dignitaries, the entire state of Texas, people named Bob – whomever you want – directly within Salesforce for less.

How much less? Try 10¢ for every 1,000 emails with a $19 monthly subscription fee. Already a Non-Profit Soapbox or Soapbox Engage client? We’ll waive the $19 monthly subscription. Yep, that’s “waive” as in not charge you – zip, nada, zilch on the subscription fee.

You’re not looking to just send 1,000 emails per month, though, right? Let’s make this a bit more interesting. Say you’ve got a mailing list of 10,000 that you email five times a month. That’s 50,000 emails – or $5 for the emails plus the $19 subscription fee for a grand total of $24 per month. Or, if you’re already using Non-Profit Soapbox or Soapbox Engage, that’s just $5.

As my grandmother would have said, you can’t beat that with a stick.

We’ll be launching Soapbox Mailer for Salesforce officially in a few weeks. You can sign up for first dibs now, though, and we’ll contact you when it’s out of the bubble wrap. Or, if you’re interested in more details, read on, my brethren and sistren! Read more »


Happy 11th birthday, us!

NTEN's PICnet Penguin

My goodness, time certainly does fly by. Today, PICnet marks its 11th birthday, and we’re excited to celebrate it with our growing community of non-profit and socially responsible business clients.

Heading into our 12th year, we’re hot on the pioneering trail with a number of new products, including updates to our Soapbox Engage service and the new Soapbox Mailer. This is all part of our efforts to make technology affordable and accidental-techie friendly so that organizations can be more efficient.

Before you send us a big bouquet of congratulations flowers, brand new hybrid vehicles, or eco-friendly private jets as celebratory gifts, we’ve got another gift in mind…

Support the Penguin Fund!

If you have a PICnet penguin in your office, if you’ve ever participated in NTEN community efforts, or if you want to celebrate PICnet’s birthday without going through the hassle of buying us all new hybrid cars, please support NTEN’s scholarship fund to help send 50 organizations to the 2012 Nonprofit Technology Conference.

Thanks to all our clients, partners, PICnetters, friends, and family who have supported us during the past 11 years.  Here’s to another year of innovation, penguin fun, success…and eye-poking at over-priced competitors.


Guest video blog by Phil Penn Gwynn: Tweet penguin photo to “Release the penguins”

Guest video blogger and nonprofit accidental techie, Phil Penn Gwynn, calls on all nonprofit accidental techies and penguin lovers to post photos of their penguins to Twitter with the tweet:

Release the penguins! #penguinfund #12NTC

Watch Phil Penn Gwynn’s address:

To witness video evidence of the crime that spawned this crusade and answer Phil Penn Gwynn’s call to donate to the #penguinfund, please click here.

The grim photo ransom note below was first posted on NTEN’s own blog. Do not let this outrage stand. Tweet and donate today!

Penguin ransom note issued by NTEN

Penguin ransom note issued by NTEN


Important guest video blog by Phil Penn Gwynn: Donate to NTEN today!

Guest video blogger and nonprofit accidental techie, Phil Penn Gwynn, has a vital announcement for nonprofit accidental techies and penguin lovers everywhere. To witness video evidence of the crime and answer his call to join the #penguinfund, please donate here.


Braintree added as payment processor option to Soapbox

At PICnet, we dig choice. Choice is good. Choice is especially good when it comes to ways our clients can collect money for donations, membership dues, and event registrations seamlessly on their sites through Soapbox Donations and Soapbox Events.

Choice + money = all sorts of goodness.

That goodness just got a bit gooder for our do-gooder clients with the addition of Braintree Payments as a payment processor option. Now our clients have the choice of PayPal Website Payments Pro,, or Braintree when it comes to folks swiping their credit cards virtually to support their cause.

Why Braintree? It’s not just for the name which makes us feel smart and earthy every time we say it. They’ve developed quite a rep for being both developer-friendly and customer-friendly. Just check out to what Pascal Finette, Director of Mozilla Labs at Mozilla, makers of the Firefox browser you just might be using to read this, had to say about Braintree:

“Braintree is phenomenal – not only do they have a proper payments API (try to find that somewhere else!) and constantly innovate on every aspect of the business, but their team is also redefining what great service looks like. In our terms: A whole lot of Awesome.”

Goodness AND awesomeness. That’s quite a one-two punch – and now it’s available in Soapbox.