needed: mail list manager db for Mac
July 18, 2008 9:19 AM   Subscribe

I need help picking out an inexpensive Mac-based (or web-based!) database to maintain a 2,000-person POSTAL mailing list / membership database for a small academic non-profit.

They've used Bulk Mailer Pro on OS9 for years and since the new OS doesn't support Classic apps, we need to find something new.

I've looked at Bento but the demo didn't allow something we really needed: the ability to set up, in each user's record (along with home & institutional mailing addresses, email, phone, etc), any of a dozen or more checkboxes - things that would represent membership status, committee membership, whether or not they were an officer, etc.

We used to use letter codes in a text entry box in Bulk Mailer Pro - for example, some members might only have "9" meaning they were one type of member, another might have "9RX2P", each letter meaning something different, and then we could run a search and generate a tab-delimited text file just, for example, for those users who were 8s and Rs, or those who were 4s, or those who had 5 different boxes checked, etc. Does that make sense?

So, we need to have user-definable data like that, checkboxes would be less kludgy than what we have now I think, and the ability to generate tab or comma delimited text for our mailing houst.

Any suggestions?
posted by luriete to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Just use Excel. You don't need a Database for 2000 records.
posted by jeffamaphone at 9:39 AM on July 18, 2008

Anyone reasonably proficient in Filemaker could build this in a few minutes; for a beginner it might take a day. Then you would also have the benefit of something that could have features altered or added as needed.

You don't need anything more complicated than that if you only have 2000 records and a handful of criteria to track.
posted by bcwinters at 9:41 AM on July 18, 2008

It's a bit of overkill for just the mailing list, but CiviCRM would be an awesome web solution to this. You can easily do what you want, but it's a full fledged open source web app that will also help you manage the memberships and so many other parts of coordinating a non-profit.
posted by advicepig at 9:41 AM on July 18, 2008

(By the way, Bento DOES allow you to add any sort of "checkbox" type criteria you want; it should be even simpler to deal with than Filemaker since it walks you through everything. I haven't used it, though, so I don't know how well it handles import and export.)
posted by bcwinters at 9:45 AM on July 18, 2008

Response by poster: Well, I will look at Bento one more time. It's basically just a FMPro database already built to handle this sort of thing, from what I can tell.

And advicepig, I'll look at CiviCRM - that might also be helpful, if we could use it for room management at meetings and things like that.
posted by luriete at 9:46 AM on July 18, 2008

Response by poster: (i emailed the bento people asking if their product did this, but they ignored my email for 3 weeks and then told me to ask on their support board, which i would do if it would let me log in - it never validated my login or sent me the link to do that ... so thanks everyone here for being so patient with me)
posted by luriete at 9:47 AM on July 18, 2008

This article details a database built with Bento which makes use of checkboxes.
posted by dinger at 10:26 AM on July 18, 2008

use google document, or zoho. You have the entire databse accessible online regardless of platform with the ability to export into excel in case you need it.
posted by radsqd at 1:43 PM on July 18, 2008

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