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What prevents you from using a donor database?

As a software developer, I use metric tons of software in my day-to-day tasks, and it’s easy to forget that not everyone has the comfort level that I do with picking up and trying new things. I can understand why – trying something new takes valuable time and can be intimidating if you’re not “in your element” on computers. But at the same time, so many nonprofits are not using software tools that can save them countless hours of work, and I’d like to know the specific reasons why. Right now Whistling Duck has an unlimited free trial, and we still see people hesitating to sign up or give it a test run.…

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Whistling Duck is free for up to 50 contacts

When we launched Whistling Duck, we made a guess at how long our free trial should be, and we guessed 14 days. This wasn’t based on any solid evidence – just a gut feeling. Our gut was wrong. 14 days isn’t enough time for a small nonprofit to get a good feel for a donor database. Usually our potential customers are so busy that they can barely cobble together 1 hour per week to try things out – and we need to adjust. So how long is ‘long enough’? 30 days? 60 days? We’d say none of the above. Today, we’re lifting the time restriction on our free trial, and instead…

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A few technical tips for improving email open rates and engagement

The inbox is getting more and more crowded. The number of businesses and nonprofits utilizing email marketing is only going to continue growing, and we already know that the average user is receiving hundreds of solicitations via email per month. I do a lot of tech help for family and friends, and I’ve seen firsthand the unfathomable mountain of unread messages (UMUM) that the average email user stares at when they open their inbox: Think of how often you go through this process in your own inbox: See an email from someone you’re semi-interested in Open the email, scan it for 3 seconds Click the trashcan icon and forget it…

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Should you always use free software for your nonprofit?

Free software has a strong appeal. So much of the software we use every day is free of charge: think email, web browsers, social networks, search engines. “Free” is so ubiquitous in software that it can feel cray to spend any money on something as intangible as software. Even though the world has changed a lot in the last 20 years, it can still be difficult to spend money on software for many people. In the business world, this is called the penny gap: the idea that getting any money out of a customer is a monumental task – and this applies especially to the world of software, where “free”…

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New feature: Bulk-edit contact labels and donation tags

We’re happy to announce a feature addition to Whistling Duck: bulk editing for contacts and donations. This was our most-requested feature to date, and it makes a lot of sense: sometimes, you need to apply labels or tags to lots of different donors or donations, and going through one-by-one was waaaaay too much work. Now, when viewing contact or donation lists, you can select multiple items and “bulk edit” their labels or tags. We’re committed to being the easiest to use nonprofit CRM, and this is just one step in the right direction. Have a try of this new functionality, and feel free to contact us with any feedback.

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Setting Up an Online Store for Nonprofits

So you’ve started printing t-shirts for your organization. Or maybe you have an upcoming charity event, and need to sell tickets. Having an online storefront can mean lots of extra sales: it’s much easier for potential supporters to purchase online vs. checks or cash. Setting up an online shop can seem daunting, but in reality it’s never been easier. For nonprofits of any size with any budget, the tools available mean you can be selling online in less than a day, even if you’re not a high-tech person. How, you ask? The answer is with an incredible service called Shopify. Shopify provides tools for building a store, charging customers, tracking…

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Build a Nonprofit Website for Free (or Cheap!)

When it comes to building a website for your nonprofit, the options can be dizzying. You can do it all yourself, or you can pay a professional reasonable to insane amounts of money to do everything for you. Or something in-between. Where do you start? Let’s take a look at some of the free and low-cost options out there, for nonprofit organizations that don’t have huge budgets but are willing to spend some time to build their web presence. Facebook Pages Let’s start with an oft-overlooked alternative to your own, separate website. Facebook Pages provide much of what a nonprofit needs to communicate with contributors, announce events, and make itself known.…

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Now we’re quacking!

Hello, blogosphere, and welcome to the Whistling Duck blog! I don’t want to bore you with my life story, but I figured it would be good to give a little background on who I am, what our company does, and why we’re starting our blog. About Me My name is Andy Adams, and I’ll likely be doing most of the writing here. I suppose you’d call me an entrepreneur. Also relevant to this blog: I’m a huge geek. I’ve been writing software since my career began, and over time I’ve developed a love of making software that is simple and easy to use. I’m known as the “computer guy” to…

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