DevSummit07:Where Are the Biggest Tool Gaps?

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Facilitated by Laura Quinn, Idealware

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