Posts Tagged ‘soapbox 2.0’

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 »


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.


Home for the Holidays – CUCS’s Migration Story

Yesterday we launched the new and improved Center for Urban Community Services (CUCS) site. CUCS has been our client since 2008 and has found a new home just in time for the holidays on Soapbox 2.x. With this migration from Soapbox 1.x they are going to be able to take advantage of all of the great features that are now available, including:

  • easy-to-use administrative interface
  • improved WYSIWYG editor
  • slideshow service
  • search engine optimization (SEO) benefits, such as search engine friendly URLs
  • …and more!

Paul Howard, CUCS’s Associate Director of Training and Consulting Services worked closely with us on this project. He says,

“The thing I am looking forward to the most about our new site is the ability to add slideshows to our website and use customized templates to help set CUCS apart.”


Read more »


Spot the Difference: Benefits of Upgrading to Soapbox 2

Since 2006, our robust Non-Profit Soapbox platform has served more than 350 organizations, empowering them with the quality, easy-to-use, flexible, affordable (we could go on…) web tools they need to carry out their missions. Soapbox has gone through several important milestones in its history:

2006: launch of the non-profit community’s very own hosted web platform, Soapbox 1.0, optimized for their specific needs, based on years of best practice captured by PICnetters

2008: launch of Soapbox 2.0, the next-generation of Soapbox goodness with a slew of hot new features: an upgraded CMS framework, integration with Google Analytics, human readable URLs, and more

2010: development of Soapbox integration with the world’s leading CRM tool, Non-profits are no longer left behind in the wake of technological advancements, and instead they now enjoy a full-fledged integration of a website CMS with Salesforce for donations, events, and more.

2011: beta launch of Soapbox Engage, bringing the power of Salesforce-integrated websites to the masses

Technology advances so quickly that sometimes it’s fun to stop and take a look back at how far we’ve come—for the web as a whole and for our beloved Soapbox platform in particular. Here’s a trip down memory lane for the recently upgraded Virginia Water Environment Association (VWEA) website. We’re super thrilled to have grown up alongside VWEA, and even more excited to upgrade them a new site! Read more »


No Lazy Days of Summer for PICnet

Summertime is usually a time to relax – go the beach, put a good burger on the grill, watch fireworks while sipping your beverage of choice from a rooftop. Well, that might be how most people spend their summers in DC, but not for PICnet. We’ve been blasting through the summer with several new site launches! Here are ones that launched in just the first half of August: Read more »


Soapbox 2.2.0 Release: Create powerful maps to convey your message and mission

Some nonprofits stories don’t fit fully within the confines of words and sentences.  To convey the scope of their activities, they need to offer not just the what but the where.  They want to do more than tell.  They want to show.

We’re suckers for a good story and want to provide the tools you need to weave a good one.  That’s why we’ve created Soapbox Mapper, a powerful add on service for Soapbox that allows you to take your story to a whole new dimension – from north to south and east to west – with interactive and searchable maps customizable to meet your needs.

Soapbox Mapper screen shot

Interested in learning more about how Soapbox Mapper can open whole new directions for your nonprofit’s website? Check out the Soapbox Mapper overview and demo site.

Ready to chart a new direction for your site with Soapbox Mapper? Contact us today!


New Site Launch: Who’s Watching What? GAP – Food Integrity Campaign

dinner-pizzaEver wonder which government agencies oversee the items that end up on your dinner table? Well, as you may have guessed, the answer to that question isn’t so simple. For example, a slice of pizza? Well that depends on whether the slice has meat on it or not. I’m no expert on the matter, so let me leave it to the folks at the Government Accountability Project’s Food Integrity Campaign to explain:

Easy one! The FDA. Wait, the USDA! Wait! Actually, it depends on what’s on your pizza. Does your pizza have meat on it? If so, the USDA is regulating it. Plain cheese? The FDA gets that slice of the pie! Under the system, each agency performs its own pizza inspections. The USDA inspects meat pizza plants daily. Meanwhile, the FDA will inspect the same plant’s cheese pizza every one to five years. Does that make any sense?

Hmm, yeah, I’m still confused, but that’s the point! That’s why I’m so glad to roll out the red carpet for one of our newest Soapbox sites:!

For those of you keeping track, you may remember was mentioned here a little less than a year ago when we launched their main soapbox site. That’s why we were so pleased when the Government Accountability Project approached us shortly thereafter about putting together a second site for their new Food Integrity Campaign. Anytime an existing client comes back looking for additional work, we couldn’t be happier, but in this case I was double excited just because it seemed like such a fun project. Read more »


New Site Launch: Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council


Welcome to the soapbox family, GPAC!

It was a real pleasure helping to put this site together over the last few months. I wish I could say that I was there from start to finish, but that would be untrue. Initially, Katie Guernsey was the PM for this project, before she moved on to her new gig over at the Mozilla foundation. However, before she left, Katie was able to spend a significant chunk of time conducting audience interviews and undergoing an extensive evaluation process of their current site as part of an expanded discovery budget. The hard work she put into that process made it much easier to join a big project like this mid-stream, and really helped to create a great site that would meet the needs of GPAC and their audiences.

With a big site like GPAC’s, it can be quite a task finalizing the site map and uploading all of the content necessary to launch, but the crew at GPAC did an awesome job working through it, so congratulations are certainly in order! Ryan Belisle, our lead designer, also gets a shout out for totally nailing the design. It’s clean, vibrant, sharp, all of the things the GPAC team were looking for. Great Job, RB!

I’m really pleased with the final product that we were able to deliver on this project, and I look forward to watching this great new site grow over the years to come!


Soapbox site launch: Every Child Matters

It brings me great pleasure to announce the launch of a site that is near and dear to my heart:!


Every Child Matters (ECM) is a national children’s advocacy non-profit whose goal is to make children a political priority. Additionally, ECM was the little organization I called home before moving into my position here at PICnet. It was at ECM that I first clicked the ‘show html’ button in our Joomla 1.0 site to see what was happening behind the editor, and where I first realized that I had a passion for leveraging technology to help organizations that are trying to make a difference in the world. My experience working at ECM led me to where I am today, and I am very grateful for it.

This is why I was so pleased to be able to bring ECM to PICnet as a new client. Not long after I left, their old Joomla 1.0 site experienced some security issues (totally not my fault, I swear!) and left my former coworker, John, in a bit over his head trying to clean things up. It was at that time that I realized ECM could really benefit from moving their site into a managed platform like our Nonprofit Soapbox, which would allow John to focus his energy on getting his next e-blast out, or organizing ECM’s next event, instead of digging through database tables looking for the malicious code that brought the site down. Throw in an upgraded design, and the switch to our Soapbox platform was a no-brainer.

Once this project got started, we were off to the races. With ECM’s busiest time of the year coming up in October, we needed to really fly through things over the summer to get the site up and running in time for the pre-election season. I wasn’t sure if it would be possible to reach our goals, but the team at ECM really pulled through to get all of their content up on the site. Keep in mind, this site has over 300 pages of content!  For us to be able to get through our initial discovery discussions, custom design, development, and content upload in just over two months was really quite an accomplishment.

So here’s to ECM and their beautiful, new Soapbox site! Congrats to them for all their hard work, just in time for “Step Up for Kids 2010!”


Relaunching my past: A personal reflection with Morgan Freeman’s help

There’s a great scene from Shawshank Redemption, a great movie filled with great scenes, which has been on my mind recently.  It’s where Red, played by Morgan Freeman, comes up for his parole hearing and, rather than give the same canned answer he thinks the parole board wants to hear, he drops on them the honest truth about how he feels, fully believing that it will do no good because he’s destined to stay locked up forever.


The truth of what he feels is that he wants to go back into the past and lay some wisdom on his earlier self:

“I want to talk to him.  I want to try and talk some sense to him.  Tell him the way things are.”

It’s a moving scene: bare honesty from a man whose life has been defined by a single act that landed him in jail.  It’s moving because it touches on a powerful and uniquely human wish: to relive our earlier lives with the benefit of wisdom we gain later in life.

Quite frankly, it’s a wish that brought me to PICnet.  I spent more than a decade in the nonprofit world with much of that time as accidental techie, struggling to do more with less, cobbling together ad hoc knowledge and tools to maximum effect.  I’m proud of the work I did.  I made a strong, honest effort and did some real good for the organizations I worked for.  But I felt like a man on an deserted island setting up a lean to and calling it home.

What brought me to PICnet several years ago was the desire to help nonprofits do more than just cobble together solutions.  Nonprofits have missions worthy of more than just makeshift solutions.  They deserve to house their efforts in something better than a lean to.  I wanted to lend a hand in providing informed and elegant strategies and tools that addressed their technology needs so they could spend time focusing on their mission and less time reinventing the wheel with spare parts.

That’s why it gives me such satisfaction to have launched the new Port Jobs website.  Port Jobs is a fantastic organization increasing access to living wage jobs in Seattle and King County.  It also happens to be a place I worked for several years as Web Manager / Bookkeeper / Database Administrator / Communications Manager / Whatever-else-needed-doing-that-day Guy.

I had a long business card.

Congrats to the good folks at Port Jobs! May your website treat you well and give you great delight in the ease and efficiency with which you can update it so you can focus on the great work you’re doing!