The nonprofit I work for is undergoing major growing pains and needs donor management and member management software.
has been suggested to us, but I have questions which have to be answered in order for me to know whether it's a solution we can use, how to price the install/hire someone to do the install and explain to my boss and my board how this works and why we should do this.
We are simply not in a position to pay a monthly fee for a cloud-based service and not in a good position to spend thousands of dollars for Raiser's Edge or SalesForce. I've played with the WordPress install demo and I liked it and it looks like it will do what we need. We have a website that runs on WordPress and the two of us in the office who ever have to do anything with the website manage pretty well with their admin panel.
Otherwise, assume that I know nothing
about software, or apps, or websites, or computers, other than that you turn them on and use the software menus to make them do what you need done. This is about right and is probably obvious from this question.
Assume that my boss knows less than that. That is also about right. Assume that means he thinks everything related to our website should cost $20 an hour and take about a single work day. I know that's not rational, but I need to know what is rational.
Know that our staff is three attorneys and we have a guy we pay on an as-needed basis when we buy a new computer or when we moved our website to Wordpress two years ago.
Know that our budget for this is quite small, rather unstable, and does not permit
paying a monthly fee to one of the hosting services for CiviCrm
I have read through their website and watched CiviCon 2011
and I think it will work for us. And it sounds like--to me who knows nothing about this stuff--that it gets added to our WordPress admin panel and we just use it from there. I have looked at the Find An Expert page
and am preparing to contact people listed there, but I honestly feel like I'm expected to conduct business in a language I don't speak and have never heard spoken, so I'm hoping to get a little guidance before I talk to people about this.
If I am correct about this: CiviCRM is open-source software that gets added to our Wordpress.org admin panel and we use it from there to manage our donors and members, these are my questions:
1. Am I right? This is basically an App (plugin? console? widget? what word do I use) that sits on our WordPress admin panel and lets us access/create/maintain our donor and member database?
2. What sort of person do we need to hire to set it up?
3. We're in Chicago; what is a reasonable price to pay for this?
4. What do I need to know about our WordPress install to make sure I hire the right person?
5. How do I explain to people who have the technical ability to do this what it is we need done, so that I can hire them to do it with a reasonable degree of confidence that they will know what they are doing?
Details that may or may not be relevant: We have roughly 200 regular donors and roughly 200 members to manage. We just want to be able to see donor histories, lapsed memberships, view past specific campaigns and report on this information.
It appears that CiviCRM can handle online donations, events, email campaigns and host of really useful things, but for now (and basically, until we have the budget to re-hire our development director) none of that is necessary. We just need something better than our excel spreadsheet with incomplete names, no dates, and mystical figures that don't correlate with fundraising events.