Getting the Full Picture
CURRENTS Article At independent schools, community and small colleges, and large universities alike, CRM is widely used at both ends of an individual’s education experience—during the recruitment and admissions process and throughout the years that follow departure from school. To a much lesser degree, CRM is beginning to be deployed as the student matriculates and advances through school.
Nine Tips for Navigating the RFP
Brian Satterfield for TechSoup
Article This article provides general research tips and issues to consider when developing a request for proposal (RFP) for technology vendors.
Making the Big System Switch
CURRENTS Article Switching to a new advancement system can be a bear of a project. This article provides an overview of how to approach system implementation from its three basic phases: pre-implementation, implementation, and post-implementation.
Tech Support: Diary of a Conversion
CURRENTS Article The author recounts her university’s experience with selecting and converting to a new alumni and donor records database just before the campus launched a major campaign. Her account of the decision-making, training, and implementation process should be of interest to all those who use records databases, particularly advancement services officers and those who manage technology or select and deal with software vendors.
Tech Support: Buy or Build?
CURRENTS Article Development offices have three major options for database software: designing a database in-house using basic database software, selecting a ready-to-use package designed specifically for fund-raising offices, or hiring a consultant to create a customized database. This article describes each option and offers advice on making the right choice for your office.
Tech Support: Software Smarts
CURRENTS Article To choose the right software for an advancement office, institutional computer services professionals should follow these steps: 1) Meet with the program's intended user to learn about needs, expectations, skill, budget, and other factors. 2) Collect information from e-mail lists, Web sites, colleagues, and software manufacturers. 3) Test a demonstration copy of the program. 4) Make the purchase, including a maintenance agreement. 5) Set ground rules on what the user should and can expect from you.
Tech Support: Recipe for a Successful Conversion
CURRENTS Article Transferring old data into a new alumni-development database involves three major steps, each of which requires the right selection of workers, as follows: 1) Map the fields in the old system with corresponding fields in the new one. Involve a staff member who knows the data, a person who knows the technical details of the new system, and the programmer who will do the work. 2) Program the conversion so data flows into the new system's formats. This requires a skilled programmer, possibly from an outside source. 3) Test the new system. Everyone who uses the system can help, including fund raisers, alumni officers, data-entry staff and receptionists.
In Advance: Technology vs. Reality
CURRENTS Article The real deal on eight common misconceptions about hardware and software