Archive for the ‘CRM’ Category

Announcing the Convio Common Ground Refugee Migration package

UPDATE: The Convio Common Ground Refugee Migration package offering provided by PICnet and Exponent Partners in conjunction with Dreamforce 2012 is now closed.

Are you a Common Ground refugee looking for options? PICnet’s Convio Common Ground Refugee Email Hotline is still available at

To assist nonprofit refugees forced to flee from the discontinued Convio Common Ground platform. Exponent Partners and PICnet are pleased to present the Convio Common Ground Refugee Migration package. Migrate your nonprofit from Convio Common Ground to the Salesforce Nonprofit Starter Pack. Get real time integration with your website through Soapbox Engage to manage new contacts, events, donations and much more!

What’s included? Read more »


Alternatives for Convio Common Ground Refugees

For those hit by the news from Blackbaud last week that Convio Common Ground will be discontinued in 2014, the pressing question at hand is the same that any refugee faces: where to now?

In considering options, there are three important aspects of the move to take into account: 1) which CRM platform should be my new home?; 2) how will I move and who can help?; and 3) how will that CRM platform integrate with my website? Read more »


Funky dollar bill strategies for nonprofit technology projects

We dig the community we work with: smart folks committed to the social good who are seeking innovative ways to bring about positive change as effectively and efficiently as possible. Of course, we know that all the smarts and ingenuity don’t get you too far without the funky dollar bill. 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 »


We are the 99%: extending the benefits of nonprofit tech beyond the few

we are the 99 % percent -occupy wallstreetIt is startling what technology can do as we begin 2012. The rate at which data can move and systems can be connected is astonishing. The potential for harnessing this to create positive social change is compelling and inspiring.

And then you look at the price tags being charged to leverage all of this fancy, powerful stuff. It can be staggering. It isn’t uncommon for us to attend conferences and sit in rooms with panel discussions showing off a nonprofit’s custom-built solution to integrate their website, constituent relationship management system, email marketing platform, and other communication channels. The screenshots are slick. The crowd is wowed. The mind races with the possibilities for one’s own organization.

Until the price tag is quoted. It’s usually toward the end of the presentation. It’s often mentioned almost as an afterthought.

“We paid $100,000 to a web development firm just for the front end web interface. The CRM setup was separate.”

Or, “we raised $200,000 for this implementation.”

Staggering. And everyone leaves the room feeling as if they live in a two-room shack and just watched an episode of Cribs that highlighted what they can never have. It’s all great and impressive and inspiring – but the real question rolling around in everyone’s head as they hit the hallway to go to the next session is:

“Damn! How in the world could they raise six figures for a web project?!?”

Read more »


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.


Salesforce user? Supercharge your CRM with J!Salesforce and foundation funding

Does your organization currently use Salesforce? Are you looking to get the most from your Salesforce application through innovative customization or integration with your website? If so, read on for important news that could supercharge your CRM!

Connect your website with Salesforce through J!Salesforce

PICnet offers J!Salesforce, an elegant and powerful tool that integrates your Soapbox/Joomla! website with your Salesforce install. This tool provides:

  • connectivity between Soapbox/Joomla! and the Contacts object in
  • Soapbox/Joomla! user registration with additional custom fields that auto-populate a corresponding new contact
  • profile updating with
  • search directory extension, providing a searchable interface of your Contacts object from through your Soapbox/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 Soapbox/Joomla!

Interested in implementing this on your site? Contact us today about tapping into the power of J!Salesforce. Foundation Grant Program: Technology Innovation 2010 Grants

Looking to expand your use of Salesforce? The Foundation is seeking to fund innovative proposals through its 2010 Grant Program. Through this program, they are soliciting applications that meet the following:

Technology Innovation grants will be awarded to visionary nonprofit organizations to enable their innovative use and development of technology. Successful applicants will demonstrate how the enhanced use of technology will support and improve their ability to effect their social change mission. Project proposals must represent responses to clearly identified needs and must outline a realistic plan for replication to the global nonprofit community.

Strength in numbers: Collaborative applications for a common solution

At PICnet, we’re huge fans of Salesforce and the power it has to transform an organization’s relationship with its clients, donors, and partners. This is why we created J!Salesforce. This is why we plan to expand its feature set in the future.

This is also why we are doing more than simply passing on the good news about the Foundation grant program. PICnet is currently reaching out to interested clients and other potential partners to facilitate a joint application that will center around expanding connectivity between Soapbox/Joomla! sites and Salesforce.  Our intention is to provide technical guidance to translate individual organizational goals into common coding tools in order to produce maximum benefit for multiple clients and an increased ability for the collaborators to submit a successful application that provides a “realistic plan for replication to the global nonprofit community.”

If you are interested in participating in this collaborative effort, please contact us today!

Not a Salesforce user but curious about becoming one?

Salesforce is the world’s most popular CRM.  What’s more, it is free to non-profit organizations through the Foundation.  Check out their program today to learn more about how this robust CRM can enhance your organization’s work.


Salesforce offers new service for small businesses, non-profits included.

We’ve got another cool tool to share with you this week: Salesforce, probably the most popular CRM in the galaxy, has recently announced a new product – the Contact Manager Edition of its CRM.

This is a lighter-weight version of their CRM application that leaves out many of the frills… but comes at a much lower price at $9 a month per user. This is great news for non-profits who have been itching to use it but feared the steep cost.

It may be missing some of the bells and whistles, but it’s still a pretty impressive way to manage your contacts. It will still integrate with your email – from Gmail to Outlook to Yahoo – and will track your emails and present them in preconfigured reports.

But what is really cool – especially for many PICnet clients – is that the Contact Manager Edition integrates with Google Apps automatically.  Docs, Calendar, Gmail, and more are intigrated into the new system, so there are no extra database integration steps needed when using these two systems together.

Step over to for more info. We hope this will be something useful for you!


SugarCRM 5 upgrade brings smiling faces to PICnet

SugarCRMIn the world of CRM systems, we’ve played with them all. Internally, we’re fans of the SugarCRM tool for a variety of reasons, none of which I’ll even try to explain here. Well, I will point out one: SugarCRM 5 finally includes an easy to use module builder (something our friends in the world have had for a while now).

This is the holy grail of online CRM systems which kept organizations like PICnet in the world of offline databases like FileMaker Pro. With our internal tracking of domain names, databases, pipeline and sales, server configurations, etc, we needed something that could pool all this data into one place.

Read more »