Want to Fire Your Online Engagement System?

Online-Engagement-Tool-GuideGuest blogger Maureen Wallbeoff, Vice President at Firefly Partners, brings a people-focused, collaborative influence to the Firefly team and clients. 

If the title of this blog post resonates with you, you have lots of company. 
In fact, most nonprofit organizations have a degree of dissatisfaction with their online engagement tools – primarily because there is no perfect platform. Nothing like the pressure of year-end to highlight those lacks.

Fundraising, advocacy, email marketing, events, eCommerce, and CRM are all standard components of most nonprofits’ online engagement software. They’re all critical to the smooth functioning and ultimate impact of every nonprofit using websites, online tools, and technology to communicate, advocate, and raise money to further their missions. You just want to provide a great experience for your supporters and an easy-to-manage tool for your colleagues (mostly accidental techies), right?

The struggle is real.
Every week without fail, our team hears stories of pain and misery from nonprofit staff:

  • Our donor software can’t ____________.
  • System __________ is hard to use.
  • We want to do ________ but our platform won’t scale.

Sometimes the fix is pretty easy (you need training).  Sometimes the fix is a little bigger (here’s a plug in that adds the functionality you want).  And sometimes, the fix is mammoth (you should evaluate your requirements and plan to migrate to a new system).

But which system is right for your organization?
Having helped many nonprofit organizations evaluate their current online engagement tools, select new systems, and put them to work, I can tell you that this process has a somewhat deserved reputation for being a giant pain.

Lots of competition among a mix of established and new players in the nonprofit market combined with an ever-evolving landscape make it difficult to know what the best fit is for your unique goals and needs.  Adding to the pressure—making the wrong decision can have a huge impact on your organization (and your career).


Unbiased advice is hard to find. We’re here to help.
Firefly has no skin in the game other than making sure that you use the right tool for your specific functional needs, budget, and tech-savviness. So we put all our experiential goodness into our free Nonprofit Guide to Online Engagement Tools covering six systems:

  • Charity Engine
  • Engaging Networks
  • EveryAction
  • Luminate Online
  • NeonCRM
  • Salsa.

These six platforms cover the full range of cost, time in the marketplace, and sophistication. Our Guide jumpstarts your legwork by providing an unbiased overview of each toolset from end users and ratings for areas of functionality that most nonprofit organizations need. Grab your free copy today!

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Guest Blogger on October 27, 2016 in Tools | 2 comments
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  • Cherryl Wood Bennett

    I am having an extremely hard time getting people to share my fundraisers – I need help with this –
    This is an emergency fundraiser: http://tiny.cc/ku9mgy
    This has been my ongoing fundraiser –

  • Phil Johnass

    Hi Maureen, actually our program was strictly down to cost. A lot of the platforms we evaluated worked on either a very steep monthly cost ($75+) or a very greedy per donation platform fee. We tried GoFundMe as well as CanadaHelps. Both of these platforms take 5-7% of each donation!! Plus the merchant fees as well, which ended up being nearly 10% of each of our donations. As a small gym we cannot afford this and we ended up switching to another platform: Donorhut (https://www.donorhut.com), they were friendly towards us and reduced our per donation fee to 1%. We just started with the platform, so far so good, but we aren’t sold on it yet… I want to know if you have any experience with any of the above platforms or if you have any thoughts that can help guide is into the unknown of online fundraising… I snagged a copy of your fundraising guide, thank you so much for that! Anyway I really hope to get your thoughts on what we can do to collect donations online, namely on social media. Thank you! Phil.

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