Where Are the Biggest Tool Gaps?

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Facilitated by Laura Quinn, Idealware[edit]

What software tools are most needed by different kinds of nonprofits? Where could additional software development have the most impact? We will brainstorm product and feature gaps across a variety of areas, discuss priorities, and begin to discuss how these gaps could be addressed.

Notes from Session

Gaps mentioned by the group

• Integration of platforms; • Hard for Nonprofits to know what software is available; • Accounting Software; • Lack of donor feedback model; • Inability to integrate or customize the tools to meet your needs; • Dashboard of all the things they are using/with one password to enter things; • Online backup solution; • Skill gap and lack of time to use tools that are available; • Affordable online community platform; • Finding the software that is out there; • Free super easy to use CRM for small nonprofits so they don’t have to customize a thing, and; • Directories of available software out there.

Gaps listed by function area

• Databases/Tracking; • Outcomes Measurement; • Integration of different tools; • Dashboard/Single Sign in; • CRM; • Communications/Donor Relationship Management; • Back end office, and; • One size fits all.

Backend Office Software Gaps/Problems

1. Accounting

• Lacking philosophical mindset in available tools; • Tools need to be able to operate on multiple operating systems; • Tools need to adapt to nonprofit specific services, and; • Hard to do Data Transfers.

2. Human Resources Systems

• There is perceived lack of systems that organizations with smaller staff can use. • Current systems don't seem to integrate with payroll services

3. Back-up solutions/Problems

• Many systems are not easy enough for nonprofits and it is easy to get the back-up wrong • Need better solution for small organizations • It is hard to trust many of the online hosted systems becuase don't know if they won't go away or share data. • Portability of back-up systems

Hosted Applications we trust

• Will defend against grunt intrusion; • Will stick around and be reliabile by nonprofits without expertise; • Will provide us with data security for putting docs online.

Communications and Donor Communication Cycles gaps

• Actual project information • Would like a Web-based tool; • Lack of connection with development projects and accountability; • Would like a web based solution for accessibility and the ability to tell the donor where their money is going; • Many tools lack usability and training as well as open documentation; • Many tools are not visibile; Would like an online service to learn about open source info and,or – videocasts, tutorials.

Troubleshooting networks

-Should be readable by nonprofits without expertise

What’s needed for integration?

• Dashboard that allows small nonprofits to pick and choose what tools they want to use and services and not have to go site to site. • Single navigation bar to access all the tools

Next Steps/Possible Solutions

• Gaps of knowledge—need to research what exists in these spaces and what software is going in the right direction; • There are skills gaps with people within nonprofits to be able to utilize the software—there needs to be consulting, and they need to be provided more information; • Need a central spot marketplace for nonprofit software needs which can reach students, OS communities companies, foundations, and also provide a volunteer user perspective; • Provide Methods to help people formulate questions – chat/video; • Some sort of chart and pricing structure; • Publish need for data privacy pledge.

Finding Nonprofit Software

• Show software features/GND; • Provide software peer review –who’s using what; • Allow a place for community/conversation.

A working group was formed to move this process forward to possibly create the “nonprofit software marketplace”. Interested, contact laura at idealware dot org