Monday, March 30, 2009

FINALLY, the vendor community steps up

So I look at this new Blackbaud NOW product and I must say, they have their corporate strategy right on to own all of the charity software market, soup to nuts.

Blackbaud NOW is basically Groundspring/ Network for Good -- a set of services designed for very small charities -- accept online donations, keep a central contact database, send mass emails. They take around 5% of your donation and you get the service for free.

Judging from the mailing address in Indiana, this is built on etapestry's technology (PS, please spring for a web designer, guys, the etapestry site is an eye sore). I find it interesting they didn't build something on Blackbaud's Infinity platform, but hey. They also couldn't spring for an email blast tool, but I suppose that might open a can of worms for them-- their email tool is basically designed to send email to individual contacts rather than mass mails with open tracking, etc.

If I put my cynical hat on, I would say this is just an etapestry lead gen tool, but I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and hope it is the precursor to real service for small charities. And hopefully some corporate strategist at Blackbaud has figured a way to serve the bottom of the market in order to feed prospects into their higher end offerings.

It makes me a little sad since CivicSpace offered this basic package plus soo much more , but alas... we were a bit to early and under-capitalized.

And finally, yet another data point that a CiviCRM-based ASP would be a good value proposition! Come on folks, anyone?


Michelle Murrain said...

I've been thinking about this for months, David. I think it would be a great thing, and there are some interested folks - I'm certainly interested - but it's a lot of work. Where are the bucks going to come from?

richard said...

Where can we find more information about civispace? Features, pricing, etc. I tried googling the term but there isn't much there. Thx!

Anonymous said...

Testing the offering, I actually think it is pretty mediocre. Google's site builder is far easier to use and more robust. Google Checkout offers many non profits FREE service at least through 2010, and google groups announcement lists could be used for email.

What you don't get is the "crm" side of things, but for a small non profit, the difference between what BBNow is offering, and what you could get with GAFYD and email lists and google checkout seems to be insignificant.

I don't see how BBNow would scale for a fast growing small non profit, and allow them to graduate up.

Where Drupal and CiviCRM can't easily match the BBNow offering is the easy of use, which is born out of the lack of options.

BBNow seems like a good offering for an org that has 2 staff people, and very little tech savvy.

I think BlackBaud missed the boat on this. Had they launched a similar service 2 or 3 years ago, it would be a different story.

David Geilhufe said...

CivicSpace is defunct. It attempted to solve this problem but died for lack of funding and lack of customer interest.