Webinar Follow-up: Gary Green on Choosing and Using Fundraising Software
A: Training is an ongoing process. This was perhaps the biggest revelation in our deployment. Staff turnover often makes one feel like you’re starting over every couple of months. And it has to be a serious commitment. We started out expecting that two days of training in our headquarters would be sufficient, but we found that people were forgetting things before they got off the plane going back home. We are now up to two weeks at the remote office site, and it’s made all the difference. Our situation may be extreme due to our geographic consolidation and expansion, but this is one area in which you cannot overestimate.
Q: When trying to determine expected costs, what are the things that organizations typically forget about?
A: In my experience, the two biggest areas were ongoing training and investing in making your solution work better. We are always thinking of ways to do things differently or to do different things. Each new idea requires resources to explore and develop.
Q: What are the benefits of a single database online/offline solution versus integrating separate solutions?
A: I think a single solution has the advantage of not requiring integration or data exchange. I would be willing to give up a “best of breed” product for one that is “good enough” if it means that my business processes can be automated and I can save work and redundancy for my employees. I’ve had instances in my (lengthy!) work experience in which a senior manager wanted a particular product or solution because his buddy recommended it or because he or she had used it before. It seemed more important to have the particular product or application than it did to have it work with the rest of the operation. Having said that, the single solution still must meet your business requirements and objectives.