Webinar Follow-up: Gary Green on Choosing and Using Fundraising Software
Q: Do we have to issue an RFP when researching software?
A: I think so. Honestly, the best part of doing an RFP for us was that it required our team to really think through what we wanted and what we expected. And it was a surprise when we realized that we all had different ideas about what we wanted. I think it’s a major factor in one of the most important parts of finding a solution — defining your needs and your requirements. It doesn’t matter how big or how small the project is — it forces you to think it through in an organized way. Originally, I was totally against the idea of going through the process, and now I’m the biggest fan.
Q: What are the key points we should consider to make sure the solution is a good fit for our organization type (e.g., charity or membership, etc.)?
A: “A good fit” is the perfect phrase to keep in mind. There will be solutions to your particular situation all along the price/features continuum. It makes no sense to overbuy and implement a system with features that your organization will not use in the next few years. By that time, all of the solution options will have changed substantially, so you shouldn’t buy now for something that you may want to do years from now. Likewise, you need to be able to afford to properly implement the solution. You can’t spend money to purchase a product and then think the job is done.
It all comes down to knowing what problem(s) you want to solve, finding a solution that you can afford that meets your needs, and then operating that solution with active monitoring and evaluation.
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