Reports

Our thoroughly-researched reports compare products and give recommendations to help you make smart software decisions. Idealware’s reports typically start with a high-level overview of the software landscape for a specific purpose, and then detail the benefits and drawbacks of specific software vendors for your organization’s needs. And don’t worry, our funding model (and integrity) ensures that our reports remain unbiased. 

Reports

  • July 2014
  • July 2014
    You're implementing a new Cloud software solution, maybe a new database or an online file share, and there's a lot to consider. What do the implementation schedule and budget look like? How will you support your staff? How does this change affect their work, and who will need to be trained on the new system? Will you need the help of a consultant or consultants?
  • April 2014
    A Quick Guide to Essential Software for your Organization For more than eight years, Idealware has researched the software that can help nonprofits more easily meet their missions.
  • March 2014
    A web presence is critical for almost every nonprofit, but creating websites can be daunting. It can take a lot of time, money and technical expertise, all of which are often in short supply. And even if you have a website up and running, that doesn’t mean your work is done—you still need to keep up with maintenance, updates, and desirable new features. This is where a Content Management System (CMS) can help.
  • February 2014
    Do you use Salesforce as a Constituent Relationship Management database at your organization, or are you considering it? Since it launched in 1999, more than 20,000 nonprofits have employed the cloud-based system, which is made available to them for free through the philanthropic Salesforce Foundation. What’s the catch? Making such a powerful system work for the particular needs of a nonprofit isn’t always straightforward.
  • January 2014
    Nonprofits hoping to improve their programs’ services or reach must first understand their own effectiveness. Measurable numbers—how many meals served at a soup kitchen, how many students in a mentoring program graduate high school, what percentage of the target population does not have access to affordable housing—are critical data that can help organizations identify where they can improve their programs.
  • November 2013
    Idealware, the Technology Affinity Group (TAG), and the Grants Managers Network (GMN) are pleased to announce the release of the 2013 update of the popular Consumers Guide to Grants Management Systems. This in-depth report has been expanded to look at the features and processes used by 28 grants management systems to help private foundations accept and review applications and track grants throughout their life cycles.
  • November 2013
    Your constituents support your organization's mission and share your goals. They want you to succeed. When supporters become donors, they become even more valuable, both for your nonprofit and your cause. But if you can succesfully mobilize them to become fundraisers through a peer-to-peer campaign that makes use of their own wide networks of personal and professional contacts, they can become a powerful source of fundraising. 
  • October 2013
    Between more traditional channels of communications like direct mail, email, and newsletters and all the new channels you’ve adopted, like social media, multimedia, and blogs, there’s a lot to think about when it comes to your organization’s messaging. How do you create and maintain a consistent voice across so many channels?
  • October 2013
  • September 2013
    UPDATED for 2013...
  • August 2013
    In our increasingly data-driven world, nonprofits need more than ever to be able to measure and monitor the effectiveness of their programs. It’s difficult to improve program services or reach without first measuring current effectiveness.
  • May 2013
    New social media startups are appearing all the time, and the lines that distinguish existing tools blur more each day. Facebook is still the dominant channel, but even there, usage is on the decline. Is your organization’s social media presence still cutting it?
  • April 2013
    As we strive to measure our work more closely and track a number of metrics about the health of our organizations and programs, we're up to our eyeballs in data. How can we make sense of it all?
  • April 2013
    Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a single project you could fund that would have a positive impact throughout all your grantees’ programs and services?
  • March 2013
    Idealware is proud to announce the release of our latest report, Data at a Foundation's Fingertips: Creating and Building Dashboards. 
  • February 2013
    NTEN has published a new resource: Getting Started With Data-Driven Decision Making: A Workbook.
  • January 2013
    Even as synagogues look to better understand the many ways technology can help them interact with and manage their congregations, the marketplace is changing. New software options are available all the time.
  • October 2012
    Everybody is talking about mobile these days, and increasingly, people are spending much of their online time accessing the internet through mobile devices. What do small nonprofits need to know about mobile to make sure they're not missing out? To find out, we looked at what big global development organizations were doing successfully with mobile and translated that knowledge to a scale that small- to medium-sized organizations could replicate.
  • October 2012
     
  • April 2012
    From Facebook to Twitter to LinkedIn, nonprofits are flocking to social media, but not everyone is prepared for the challenges and ramifications of what you post--or how to manage the process. Who is allowed to tweet? Who can comment on your posts? How do you respond if someone says something mean about your organization? How do you make use of what social media offers while protecting your nonprofit and your constituents? 
  • March 2012
    MAP for Nonprofits and Idealware came together for an exciting research project that paves the way for organizations to use technology in innovative ways to deliver services and advance their missions. To download the report for free, visit http://tinyurl.com/7sqmv4s.
  • January 2012
    The Consumers Guide to Integrated Software for Community Foundations looks at the features and processes used by five different integrated software solutions to help community foundations manage funds, track grants throughout their life cycles, solicit donations, provide online support for donor advised funds, and tracking accounting data. 
  • June 2011
     Should your organization be using Facebook? Nonprofits are increasingly told that they “need to be on Facebook,” and countless gurus and experts offer them advice for maximizing their Facebook presence to get the most return. But are nonprofits actually seeing results, or is Facebook a bandwagon for nonprofits that’s not going anywhere?
  • May 2011
     Volunteer-based organizations have to keep track of a lot of data—for example, contact info, schedules, time sheets and job sites—and the right software can help, freeing time for managing volunteers. There are a number of products out there to help, but it’s surprisingly hard to find information about them.  This report is geared to remedy that!
  • March 2011
      Without an effective system to track donors and other constituents, you can spend too much time just trying to figure out who to contact and miss out on many fundraising opportunities. But switching to a new system can be time consuming and sometimes costly. So how do you know if you should switch, or stick with what you have?
  • December 2010
    FULLY REVISED IN DECEMBER 2010!  We've taken our popular 2009 report comparing four free and open source systems -- WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, and Plone -- that can help you to build and manage a website, and completely updated it to the newest versions of the systems. We provide both a feature summary and detailed reviews, as well as a directory of consultants. 
  • November 2010
    Online grant application systems can be a timesaver for all involved—or they can cause grantseekers and grantmakers hours of unnecessary frustration.  In an addendum to our April 2010 report, Streamlining Online Grant Applications: A Review of Vendors, we evaluate two additional systems:  Npower's Foundation Grants Manager, and FusionLabs' GrantedGE.   This addendum was made possible through generous funding from the Technology Affinity Group (TAG).  
  • April 2010
    Online grant application systems can be a timesaver for all involved—or they can cause grantseekers and grantmakers hours of unnecessary frustration.  Streamlining Online Grant Applications: A Review of Vendors evaluates seven different vendors against a set of essential and gold standard features for online applications and reporting, to help grantmakers identify the best systems to support their grantmaking.  
  • March 2010
    Are social media channels working to help nonprofits engage their current audience? Recruit new supporters? Raise money? This 20-page Idealware report provides the results of our survey of 459 nonprofit staff member actively using social networking for their organization.
  • January 2010
    There are a ton of resources on social media for nonprofits, but they are scattered all over the web. With that in mind, and as a first step in our year-long social media research initiative, Idealware has compiled a library of nearly 200 – and growing – resources on social media. And, we’ve incorporated an easy-to-use tagging scheme so that you can find the resources most helpful to you.
  • September 2009
    You've got data. How do you transform it into charts, graphs, and maps that will help your audience understand the data and move them to take action? This 30-page independent Idealware report provides an overview of the types of graphic formats that might work for you, provides some examples and case studies, and then compares eight low-cost tools that can help you create them.
  • December 2007
    How can you assess the features that a software package offers to provide access to your data? In this report, Paul Hagen and Laura Quinn provide an evaluation framework that will help weigh the advantages and trade-offs of the data integration features across different applications.This Idealware report was written in partnership with NTEN, and with generous sponorship by Beaconfireand Jacobson Consulting Applications.

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