SofterWare Gives Back

It’s the time of year when everyone, including many blog writers, makes note of various things for which they are thankful.  I wasn’t planning on writing that type of a post this week and, as you read on, you’ll see that there are some specific thoughts I’d like to share with all of you, as opposed to simply giving thanks for a variety of things.  But, mentioning one particular thing I’m thankful for seems like an appropriate way to begin.

give thanks

For many years now, I’ve been thankful to work for SofterWare.  I was hired in 1993. Two quick observations about that:

  • It was recently observed that, if my tenure at SofterWare was represented as a person, that “person” would be old enough to buy a beer!
  • I’m not the only one who has been here for awhile – there are seven other staff members who have been working here longer than me. Even more astounding is that 1/3rd of our 150+ staff members have been here for 10 years or more.

There are plenty of reasons why so many of us have worked here for such a long time and feel fortunate to be a part of this company.  But, one reason that you’ll consistently hear mentioned when you ask any of us is the opportunity to do meaningful work that helps a lot of great organizations.  Working with nonprofits, we speak with amazing people every day who are so committed to making the world a better place.  It is truly inspiring and, by assisting all of you with raising more money and fulfilling the mission of your respective organizations, we feel as though, in some small way, that we’re contributing as well.  It’s a great feeling.

Of course, it also inspires us to want to do even more.  One of our company values is “We Care and Give Back”.  We’ve always had staff members that have been involved in local charities as volunteers, donors, and board members.   And, several of my colleagues have even started their own nonprofits.  Additionally, as a company, we’ve made corporate donations for many years.  But, as an organization, we wanted to focus even more on giving back to our community.  So, last year, we launched “SofterWare Gives Back”, a program which provides all of our employees with numerous opportunities to make a difference.

SW Gives Back

Recently, the staff committee that organizes our SofterWare Gives Back activities set up a separate blog that is focused solely on our charitable efforts.  I hope you’ll take a look.  Just like we feel fortunate to be helping so many others through our work assisting nonprofit organizations, we hope all of our clients feel good knowing that we’re paying it forward and trying to make a difference as well.

On behalf of everyone at SofterWare, I hope you have a happy Thanksgiving and a wonderful holiday season.

Mike Sernoff
by Mike Sernoff

Nov 21 14

#GivingTuesday Webinar & Slides

Thank you to the over 1000 live attendees of the webinar:  Moving the Needle: The Success and ROI of #GivingTuesday!

In case you missed it, want to watch it again, or want to share it with friends and colleagues, click here for a recording of the webinar.  You can also access the slides by clicking here (PDF 7.8 MB).

If you’re a DonorPerfect client using our WebLink online donation forms, we’ve added a free #GivingTuesday template in the form library. If you’re not a DonorPerfect client, now is a great time to check out DonorPerfect! We have a special #GivingTuesday offer if you sign-up by Friday, November 7. Click here to request more information.

Lastly, make sure you check out all the great #GivingTuesday information and tips on our #GivingTuesday web page. There are lots of freebies, including a #GivingTuesday video you can share with constituents about what #GivingTuesday is all about.

by sgoldenberg

Oct 31 14

A “POODLE” on the loose – but your data is safe!

poodle-thiefRecently you may have heard of an Internet security vulnerability called the “Padding Oracle On Downgraded Legacy Encryption” – or the “POODLE” vulnerability for short (and additional cuteness).

We want to reassure you that information stored in your DonorPerfect, WebLink,  DonorPages and SafeSave systems was never at risk with this exploit. Our team received early notice, researched the issue, and ran tests to verify that this vulnerability did not exist within our infrastructure and applications.

While Poodles of the 4-legged variety can pop up nearly anywhere these days (often in a young starlet’s handbag), this Poodle showed up and exploited a vulnerability in an 18-year old web encryption standard called SSL 3.0, that is still supported on many browsers for the sake of backwards compatibility with old systems. The good news is this was not an easily exploited threat. A hacker would likely need to be skilled, have privileged network access to your account, and be quite patient, to execute an attack using this vulnerability. Still, it was not impossible that a hacker could lure you to a carefully crafted web page, hop onto your network, and read certain information such as cookies from your browser– information that might allow them access to online information you might have accessed.

What can you do to prevent falling victim to hacking attempts like this? First, stay current in your technology. Keep all of your computer software current – especially your browser. You can make it even easier on yourself by using a browser like Firefox or Chrome that allow updates to be applied automatically so you don’t need to remember to update them. Safari and Internet Explorer can be updated through regular system updates.

Next, disable SSL3.0 on your browser until it’s patched (or until you need it) - this link can walk you through it.  And make sure you regularly check for patches for your operating system too. Don’t presume that just because you have an Apple Macintosh that you aren’t vulnerable to security issues. This was a vulnerability that, like Heartbleed, could affect all operating systems including Macs.

We want you and your browser to have a long and happy relationship with us here at DonorPerfect. But this time we’re going ask you to leave the Poodle outside.

by Tom Gimpel

Oct 30 14

Announcing a Simplified Verify Address and Beta Testing

Improved Verify Address Feature with Fewer Clicks on One Screen for Faster Data Entry

DPO_Verify_Address_Example

DonorPerfect’s Verify Address feature has helped you determine if the millions of addresses you enter every day are accurate. However, it took far too many clicks and navigated you through too many separate screens. In this release, we redesigned the feature so that you can do everything from one screen.DPO_Verify_Address

When you click Verify Address, DonorPerfect will check to see if your address exists anywhere in the United States or Canada. Then, you’ll be able to choose from a list of suggested matches that were found. Without leaving the screen, you can now see a preview of what the validated address will become without unnecessarily navigating through screens.

Easily Search for Batch Entry 2.0 Templates

DPO_Batch_Search

 

You’ve seen this Search box throughout other areas of DonorPerfect but now you can search for your templates on the Batch Entry 2.0 screen. The streamlined data entry feature just got a streamlined template page.

 

 
 

Tool Tips in Entry Screens

DPO_Help_Text_ExampleOur design team got their hands on a few more areas of DonorPerfect to improve their look and feel. Throughout the grids that display a list of Gifts, Pledges, Export Templates and even Filters, you’ll notice an improved format of help-text. It will now be more clear that the trash can icon will delete a record or a column header will sort the information.

DPO_Edit_IconAnother improvement was made to the icon of all icons. Yes, the Edit icon is being replaced with a blue pencil. We hope you find it easier to recognize and use this featu throughout practically every screen in DonorPerfect.

In this release, we also made some other improvements, for example, our Import Utility now recalculates membership gifts. For a complete list of all of the changes to DonorPerfect today, see our Release Notes.

 

The Future of DonorPerfect

As those of you who came to our annual conference already know, we’ve been working on some major improvements to DonorPerfect that we can’t wait to show you. But, we’re only giving exclusive pre-release Beta Testing access to those of you who have a Premium or Full Support package, have our payment processing suite, and are willing to provide feedback on the new features.

  1. Integrated Credit Card Swipe from Anywhere – Our free DonorPerfect Mobile app will soon have the ability to swipe a credit card, process it quickly and securely, and even track the gift within the donor’s record. Say goodbye to importing from another system and join the Beta Test.
  2. Recurring Payments Are Easier Than Ever with Our New EFT – Our current EFT feature has been overhauled to make a recurring gift program even easier to manage. We’ve streamlined the submission process, you’ll know before a payment is submitted that it might not go through, and you can easily notify your donors if a payment fails for any reason. Join the Beta Test and manage your most loyal donors with ease.
Josh Nelson
by Josh Nelson

Oct 27 14

#GivingTuesday Webinar – Moving the Needle

Have you ever wondered if #GivingTuesday is just another made up holiday on the calendar, or if it really impacts philanthropy?

Based on research of over 500 organizations whose giving was tracked for the last three years, the positive effect of #GivingTuesday is undeniable!

Attend our free webinar on Wednesday, October 29, 3 – 4 PM (EST) to learn why, and how you can make the most of this year’s #GivingTuesday.

Moving the Needle: The Success and ROI of #GivingTuesday

In this exciting webinar, you’ll learn:

  • The basics of #GivingTuesday from the founder himself, Henry Timms, Executive Director of the 92Y.
  • Does #GivingTuesday cannibalize end-of-year giving, or does it raise overall giving?
  • Did nonprofits who participated in #GivingTuesday outgrow their peers? The results may shock you!
  • How did actual nonprofits increase their giving and attract new donors?  You’ll hear from three different nonprofit organizations on how they capitalized on the success of #GivingTuesday.
  • We’ll also take your questions for anyone on the panel.
This webinar will take place on Wednesday, October 29, 3 – 4 PM (EST). Space is limited.

Don’t miss out on this important event! I hope to see you there, and feel free to forward this invitation to any nonprofits or constituents that may be interested.

 

Click here for more #GivingTuesday tips.

by sgoldenberg

Oct 24 14