Latest Articles & Reports

  • 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?
  • By Chris Bernard, Senior Editor,
    March 2011
    Can software help your board collaborate more effectively?  It likely can -- potentially, anything from scheduling meetings to share documents or even to meet online.  This Idealware article was written for the inaugural issue of NTEN: Change, the new quarterly publication of the NTEN. Thanks to NTEN for their support.
  • By Eric Leland,
    February 2011
    Online surveys can be a huge help in understanding what your constituents think and how successful your programs are, without breaking your budget. Last year we spoke to five nonprofit staff members to understand how existing online survey tools compare—this is an update of that article with current information about the tools’ features and pricing.
  • 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. 
  • By Chris Bernard,
    December 2010
    There's a lot of talk these days about privacy issues on Facebook.  What does that mean for you as an organization?  The issues for an organization are different than those facing an individual—but still absolutely something you should be thinking about.  This article was funded through the Idealware Research Fund, with the support of people like you.  Thank you!
  • 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).  
  • By Gideon Rosenblatt, Former Groundwire Executive Director,
    November 2010
    What does it mean to "engage people"?  Gideon Rosenblatt talks through six different levels of engagement people can have with your organization, in an article reprinted from Groundwire.
  • By Colin Pizarek and Chris Bernard,
    October 2010
    eLearning modules -- multimedia modules that provide students information in an interactive, multimedia-rich way -- can be an interesting way to teach staff or constituents.  But how do you create them?  There's a whole class of software packages that help you create the core elements like text, graphics, narration, animation, and interactivity.  
  • By Laura S. Quinn,
    October 2010
    Regardless of your organization’s demographics, chances are good that a majority of your constituents use mobile phones.  How can you reach out to them on their cell?  We walk through the possibilities:  texting, two-way communication, giving, pledging, websites, apps, and more. 
  • By Laura S. Quinn,
    September 2010
    Is online office software likely to fit your needs better than more traditional desktop software? Or are installed applications like Microsoft Office ubiquitous for a reason? In this article, updated for 2010, we take a look at the differences between online and installed options in the areas that are often important to nonprofits.