News from the NTEN Connect Blog

Tool Review: Two Useful Tools to Save Time in Salesforce

Submitted by Visitor on Fri, 09/14/2007 - 12:03pm

Do you use Salesforce? You may want to check out these two useful tools.

The first is DemandTools, a standalone application for manipulating data and administrating your Salesforce account. DemandTools features 14 modules, but one of its more popular features is probably its extensive deduping capabilities. It has certainly made this usually repetitive task much less time consuming for me. DemandTools also has the ability to verify addresses through a third party. It's not free, but comes with 450 free "credits" per Salesforce login.

DemandTools has many more features, but it's not overwhelming. CRMfusion, the author of the application, has very neatly documented all the features on its website, including mini-presentations of how each feature works.

The second tool is the Apex Data Loader, created in-house at Salesforce to import data. I recently used it to bulk assign contact roles to a large set of opportunities in order to run a report of opportunities with contacts from accounts.

In order to test out Apex Data Loader, log into your account, click Setup, Data Management, AppExchange, Data Loader, and then Download.

Also, thanks to the folks on the Nonprofit Salesforce Practitioners mailing list for bringing these useful tools to my attention.

From the Affinity Groups: Tips for a Successful Webinar

Submitted by Visitor on Fri, 09/14/2007 - 10:30am

With over 100 active groups and nearly 5,000 users, NTEN's Affinity Groups platform is an incredible resource for those in the nonprofit tech community. There are a variety of discussions constantly taking place, ranging from the very basic and elementary aspects of technology in the nonprofit sector to the more sophisticated and technical.

A lively discussion recently occurred in the general NTEN Discuss Affinity Group about running a successful webinar.

Blogged Around Town

Submitted by Holly on Fri, 09/14/2007 - 9:10am

This week, I ran across oodles of great content online that I was never able to blog about. I kept them open all week in Firefox tabs, thinking that I would blog them all any minute now, but that never happened. Instead, I'll just list them here and let you make of them what you will:

Series on Nonprofits & the Web

Submitted by Brett on Thu, 09/13/2007 - 3:11pm
Read/WriteWeb is running a series this week on how nonprofits use the web and the tools available to them. The first in the series, titled "Is the Web Still a Windfall for Non-Profits?" invites comments from nonprofit organizations. Other articles in the series include "Non-Profits on Facebook and MySpace" and "Firstgiving".

Sometimes a Cigar is Just a Cigar: Do Web Analytics Equal Accountability?

Submitted by Holly on Thu, 09/13/2007 - 1:30pm

Allan Benamer posted something interesting on his blog the other day. He contends that nonprofits should post their web site stats publicly on their sites, because it will make them more accountable. His contention is that any data that is not made public is de facto private data, and inherently bad.

I challenged that notion on his blog. I just don't see the logical connection between web site traffic and accountability. What do an organization's web site stats NECESSARILY have to do with the good it creates? For some orgs, there is a clear connection between web site visits and part of their mission. For most, though, tracking web site visitors will not tell me how many hungry people they feed, whether that's helping the community, or whether the program is well managed.

All it tells me is how many people came to their site.

Blackbaud and eTapestry Discuss Merger

Submitted by Holly on Tue, 09/11/2007 - 3:09pm
If you are subscribed to the NTEN discuss list, you may recall that I sent out a call for questions for a podcast that Blackbaud was putting together regarding the eTap acquisition. Well, the podcast is out. If you are an eTap user, I think there's some good content in there for you. Otherwise, it's nothing you probably haven't heard before about the coupling.

How Does Your Database Stack Up?

Submitted by Holly on Tue, 09/11/2007 - 2:15pm

Selecting new software is hard. Rankings and ratings are great, but knowing what your peers think may be even better. That's why we're launching a new series of NTEN Vendor Satisfaction Surveys, designed to tell us what you think about the tools and services you're using and considering for purchase.

Our first survey will focus on Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) tools. You can help the NTEN community by rating your CRM today.

The survey is modeled on the CIO Magazine methodology. We'll get both quantitative AND qualitative results for you. Of course, the more people who participate, the better the results will be, so please take just a few moments now to share your experiences.

> Rate your CRM today!

Survey responses are anonymous. If you have any questions please email

Tool Review: Preventing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome with Autohotkey

Submitted by Visitor on Thu, 09/06/2007 - 4:05pm

Data entry can be a dreadful and even malignant part of one's job. After spending hours repetitively clicking and typing, I began looking into various macro applications to record mouse and keyboard input. By far, I have had the best experiences with Autohotkey. It has saved me hours of tedious work and given my wrist some much needed relief.

Your Technology Is in My Art

Submitted by Brett on Thu, 09/06/2007 - 1:57pm

This year's Technology in the Arts conference, sponsored by the Center for Arts Management and Technology, will be held October 12-13, 2007, on the campus of Carnegie Mellon University, in Pittsburgh. According to a recent advert, "Technology in the Arts attracts arts managers from around the country to discuss the role of technology in running arts organizations, creating art, and building community."

Sessions will include:

  • Artists in a Digital World: A Visual History of Digital Imaging Processes in Contemporary Art
  • Attack of the Pod People II: Podcasting for a Pittance
  • Copyright in the Digital Era
  • Interactive Marketing with Web 2.0
  • Technology Project Management for Arts Organizations
  • The Art of Second Life: Artists and Arts Organizations in a Virtual World

The conference will end with the Close-Out Bash, an evening of performance and revelry, open to the entire Pittsburgh community as well as attendees.

Nonprofit Boot Camp, New York Edition

Submitted by Brett on Wed, 09/05/2007 - 3:24pm

The Craigslist Foundation takes its Nonprofit Boot Camp to New York City on September 15th. Instead of drill instructors and push-ups, expect a day of knowledge and networking, focused on starting and running a nonprofit.

Keynote speakers include Nancy Lublin, CEO and Chief Old Person of Do Something and Ana L. Oliveira, President & CEO of the New York Women’s Foundation. And be sure to check out the technology track, co-sponsored by NTEN.

You can learn more and register at the official site.