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Re: [school-discuss] ANN: Calendula - fundraising for nonprofitsand schools

Hi Darryl, 

Thanks for sending along your announcement about Calendula to the list.

That sounds absolutely exciting!

I personally am vested in helping nonprofits adopt Free Software
(currently working around the Washinton DC, USA, area). Of course one of
the two biggest tools of which I have seen a gap is fundraising management
software, (in addition to an easy-to-setup email program that integrates
and group-shares calendar and webmail). I think the fundraising management
software is really a central point where Free Software has one of the
sharpest edges to offer the nonprofit sector.

I would love to talk with you, first hand, off the list, and hear about
your progress and see if we can set up some tests.

Also, I have included one or two folks in my BCC that I have briefly
chated with in the past about developing something to [eventually] take
the place of "Raiser's Edge".

Please send me a line as I am eager to hear what you have to say.


Karl G. Pena
SEUL-EDU Projects Liason
e: jackal@raptor.slc.edu

On Thu, 31 Jul 2003, Darryl Caldwell wrote:

> Date: Thu, 31 Jul 2003 17:40:03 -0500
> From: Darryl Caldwell <darrylc@riposte.org>
> Reply-To: schoolforge-discuss@schoolforge.net
> To: schoolforge-discuss@schoolforge.net
> Subject: [school-discuss] ANN: Calendula - fundraising for nonprofits and
>     schools
> Announcing Calendula
> One of the most important pieces of software at work in most nonprofit
> organizations is the fundraising management system.  This was true even
> before the current economic climate, it is an imperative now.  Fundraising
> management systems in the form of specialized databases help NPOs track
> their donors, prospective donors, and help manage their events.  Many
> charities, schools, and educational groups can't survive without healthy
> relationships with their supporters, a relationship made easier with this
> software.
> The Calendula project is just getting started, and hopes to address this
> need.
> If you work for a non-profit, here's the justification for supporting a
> project:
>   * In 2002 (and in a shaky economy) U.S. citizens donated almost
>     $50 billion in individual donations to nonprofits. Nearly all of
>     this money was tracked in proprietary software systems by the
>     nonprofits which received the respective gifts.  Some of the
>     most popular proprietary systems are Raiser's Edge, Donor2,
>     Paradigm, and GiftMaker Pro.
>   * High quality, proprietary fundraising systems generally costs
>     $5000 to $20,000. This significantly adds to a nonprofit's
>     administrative costs and reduces the amount of money going toward
>     its goals.
>   * Smaller and mid-sized nonprofits are blocked by a financial
>     barrier to the technological enhancements that are enjoyed by
>     larger NPOs that can afford the top proprietary systems.
>  * Proprietary databases are not based on any standard in terms of
>    their operations and user interfaces.  A typical development
>    director will only stay in his or her job for 3 years before
>    moving on to a different organization.  This means they will have
>    to be retrained to use the database system at the new organization
>    or they will attempt to either buy or develop a crude system on
>    their own to get their job done.  This adjustment period costs the
>    nonprofit money. If there were an open fundraising database
>    standard, development directors could hop from job to job without
>    the need for more training in the system.
> If you're a software developer, here's why you might be interested in this
> project:
>   * We hope to make a system that can be generalized.  While we want to
>     address fundraising needs first and foremost, we also want to build
>     an infrastructure that can be used for other application that deal
>     with the human contacts a foundation makes: action centers, political
>     organizing, conference planning, general contact management.
>     For-profit Corporate-oriented CMS solutions rarely are adaptable to
>     the unique needs of nonprofit organizations.
>   * We will use state of the art technology, and we want to support as
>     many development languages as possible.  But, what languages we can
>     support depends on what developers show up to work with us.  If you
>     have a favorite language you want to be able to write non-profit
>     fundraising and contact management solutions, join us so that we
>     can support your language.
>   * We will use state of the art Free Software database technology
>     underneath.  If you are excited about challenging data design
>     problems, we can use your help immediately!
>   * It's an opportunity to get on the ground floor of a new project.
> The project development site is located on FSF and GNU's savannah.gnu.org.
> There you will find the initial requirements doc, the initial roadmap, and
> a draft database schema. The targeted development tools for the first
> incarnation/prototype are wxpython and postgreSQL.
> If you are interested in getting involved visit:
>    http://savannah.gnu.org/projects/calendula
> To sign up for the development mailing list, please visit:
>    http://mail.gnu.org/mailman/listinfo/calendula-devel
> BTW, the GNU endorsement isn't fully officially yet, but it should be
> soon.  Folks from the FSF and the GNU project have been working with us on
> getting started and they are very excited about it.
> -Darryl