Does it fit?
The past few years I’ve noticed that clothing just doesn’t fit the way it once did. I’ve become less active (read “lazy”) and my physical mass has begun to shift around on my body. I’ve always been an “off-the-rack” shopper, boringly average in run-of-the-mill sizes, until recently. Last weekend, while having some tires replaced at one of our local malls, my wife and I were browsing the stores and happened on a great sale at one of the stores we rarely shop. I followed her advice and tried on some jeans, and was pleasantly surprised to find some that fit perfectly, shifted mass and all. I bought two pairs, at 20% of their original list price, feeling like a million bucks.
I got to thinking about this in relation to our latest product offering: FundRaiser Spark. One size doesn’t fit all in the world of software, and sometimes extra features impede the use of a product, rather than promoting it. This can be especially true in software when the people using it are not necessarily computer “geeks”, like myself, and don’t have the time, inclination, etc., to fully explore all the functionality of a program. And the reverse side of this coin is software that doesn’t do quite enough.
When looking for donor management software, any organization needs to first sit down and decide what a program absolutely *must* be able to do. The next step is to identify additional benefits that would be nice, but not essential. And then what extras might be handy at some point in the future, but not now.
Spark is a sort of hybrid that removes some of the lesser-used features of Select, while adding the Membership module to the mix as a standard offering. Its price point is less than Select, but higher than our entry level program, FundRaiser Basic (www.fundraiserbasic.com). It “fits” some organizations better than either Select or Basic, and represents an effort on our part to offer a more cost-effective solution for those organizations.
Here is a training tip for those of you who already have Select or Professional, but are a bit overwhelmed by some of the features: check out the Options | User List, Security menu. This area will allow you not only to set up usernames and passwords for your staff, but also to limit access to data pages and menus for any username you like. The advantage of this feature is that you can take someone who is new to the program (or to computers in general) and keep them out of areas they don’t need. Turn off menu choices, or turn off certain pages of data. Fewer choices can sometimes mean less confusion, and a better learning experience. Disallowing the creation of codes for a particular username, for instance, takes that responsibility off that person, while still allowing them to assign existing codes where needed.