Salsa Scoop> tag: ”blog:convio“

Growing Needs, Shrinking Budget? Hit the Warp Drive to Salsa Enterprise.

by Jason Z.

In an economic climate uglier than any for the past quarter-century -- at least -- nonprofits of every size are facing potential shortfalls in the lean years ahead.

If you're in that boat, maybe you're looking at a CRM-sized hole in the budget and wondering:

Can we possibly afford to put our CRM fee to a more critical use?

Can we possibly afford not to keep the efficiency and impact our online data services give us?

Tough choice.  Luckily, you don't have to make it.

Say hello to Salsa Enterprise -- everything that large, complex nonprofits need, at a price that doesn't break the bank.

Join a Salsa Enterprise webinar on Tuesday, Nov. 25 to find out how to save tens of thousands and get the robust CRM toolset -- mass e-mailing, online donations, advocacy, and an integrated view of supporters -- plus free data migration from Convio, Kintera, GetActive, Blackbaud, Capitol Advantage or any other system; personalized training; strategy support; and a dedicated account manager.

Read more (582 comments)

A Few Notes on Security

DIA competitor Convio suffered a major security breach that unfolded publicly last week, as many readers may know. This post is well past its immediate news cycle, but we've quite understandably been asked in light of that event about our own security procedures as well, and wanted to put them on the record. For anyone unfamiliar with the story, the thumbnail version is that a compromised password enabled an intruder to download scores of Convio clients' lists ... and that those downloads included hundreds of thousands or millions of plain text (rather than encrypted) versions of ordinary users' passwords. The NTEN blog summarizes the affair here. Allan Benamer's initial alert -- and accompanying comment thread -- have a lot more. Any system could be hacked or compromised, of course; this is a risk all online providers face and strive to minimize -- we're doing the reflexive sympathetic wince over here that you do when someone on TV gets clobbered in a sensitive spot. But beyond the initial intrusion, the compromised passwords are the real problem. Since many users re-use the same passwords across many different systems -- including financial presences such as online banking, PayPal, and the like -- it's potentially hugely damaging. So, most importantly for users of DemocracyInAction's Salsa platform: this particular aspect of the breach has not happened and could not happen in our system. We use, and always have used, industry-standard one-way encryption algorithms to protect passwords for all users and campaign managers. Neither intruders nor organization administrators nor users themselves can ever actually see even their own password.

Read more (14 comments)

The Great Awakening

'My son,' the father said, 'you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' -Luke 15:31-32 It's time to slay the fatted calf. As a hybrid nonprofit/tech provider, DIA's animating vision has always been empowering nonprofits. Open APIs have been a bedrock assumption of that understanding since day one: as our guy put it on last year's Open API debate, "nonprofits can do more than vendors can imagine they can do". Kintera and Convio just got a little religion, too. And since we're not above glorying in converts, we're excited to see the big commercial players starting to come around. Judi Sohn and Michelle Murrain have more about those announcements. Allan Benamer has some thoughts from a coders' standpoint. Personally, I'm pretty much in Beth's boat -- "wouldn't know an API from Ape if it stood right in front of me beat its chest".
Above: an image capture of a third-party application that increments a counter based on data pulled from our API
But I've seen some groups use our API to do some pretty cool stuff, often stuff we had no idea they were doing. Mashing up with outside applications, custom data sets and (of course) Google maps. Radically customizing pages -- even reworking DIA-hosted pages. Content management integration. Arranging custom database syncs.

Read more (7 comments)

Convio/GetActive Merger Scuttlebutt

The Feb. 1 The Nonprofit Times (link goes to a funky webbook display of their latest issue; you have to click through the specific article) has a cover story on the Convio/GetActive merger putting some speculative dollar amounts on the table and reporting that the purchase was a "nine month" wooing that almost broke off around Dec. 22 for yet-to-be-leaked reasons. It also indulges the speculation (see, for instance, the comment thread at this EchoDitto post) that an IPO is

Read more (71 comments)

Convio Releases a Benchmarks Study

Fresh off of doubling the client pool upon which to base future benchmarks studies, Convio has released a benchmarks study (link goes to a registration page you have to pass to get the .pdf), a handy update to the already year-old M+R e-Benchmarks Report. Though findings like "Email addresses are valuable" won't flabbergast anyone and many of the tips are pretty commonsensical, there are definitely some nuggets here worth noticing.

Read more (10 comments)

CRM Marketplace Narrows as Convio Buys GetActive

Two of the major commercial players in the eCRM space are -- to the shock of seemingly everyone -- tying the knot with Convio buying out GetActive. (Ryan at PICnet graciously reprinted the entire announcement message.) Quite a psychedelic life arc for GetActive, from the petrie dish at Environmental Defense to commercial standalone with a progressive rep to acquisition by the company that provoked a blogswarm by signing on anti-gay groups. Funny, in last month's scorecard of the 2006 tech predictions, Phil at CompuMentor got dinged for forecasting "a shakeout in the nonprofit ASP field, including mergers and acquisitions." Missed that one by 17 days. This is going to significantly alter the playing field for nonprofits. With the last member of the Big Three, Kintera, perpetually in the red, it's quite possible this is going to leave ConActive as the last commercial titan standing -- perhaps facing off with Blackbaud as it ramps into e-CRM. However it goes down, the dynamics and consequences are going to be far-reaching. And though we're somewhat biased, it's good occasion to consider alternatives. Why?
  • GetActive clients now have to learn a new toolset, whether they would or no ... so that particular pain point of transition is a nonissue.
  • The challenges of integrating across systems will make the switchover a bumpy ride, virtually by definition.
  • Convio has been, for the most part, a higher-end player than GetActive, with GetActive a less-expensive commercial alternative. Under even less competitive pressure, one has to think fees stand to increase in general -- though when that happens and whether that's specifically the case for any particular organization or sector of the market still remains to be seen.

Read more (199 comments)