Tag Archives: Apps

5 things we have learned from our ‘more to fundraising CRM’ breakfasts.

Since September, we’ve been running a provocatively titled breakfast series:

There’s more to fundraising CRM than Raiser’s Edge. Honest. 

Let’s be clear about one thing.  We’re not RE haters.  Far from it – many of the team here have used Raisers Edge for years, in fact, we started life consulting about it when Purple Vision was founded in 2003.  It is a stalwart of the fundraising world.

For every RE lover, we also know that there several more who are frustrated with where things are with the database – years of little investment and development. They’re stuck trying to adapt a dinosaur to the 21st century, and we hear the frustration of users feeling like they are stuck with this as there’s nothing else on the market that even compares for heavy duty, heavy lifting fundraising work.

Organisation and tech are intertwined

There are two parts to that issue obviously – just one is technology related, and the other is the organisational impetus, but both issues inform each other.

Often, one of the challenges that charities are facing in looking at Raisers Edge and whether to consider RE NXT or other tools is that other tech has been adopted to plug a gap.  The result is a  disconnected proliferation of tools that has only served to feed the frustration as data is not where it needs to be to run successful campaigns.

Hopes were high a few years ago when Raiser’s Edge announced NXT.

Hopes were dashed as charities realised it wasn’t all they’d dreamed of, and the price was as aspirational as they’d feared it might be.

Of course, options exist to upgrade to other Blackbaud products – let us not forget their full range (overview here) and the fact that there are many for whom these tools are just what they need.

Here’s what we learned from the breakfast series

Having delivered several More to… breakfasts where we outline the shared frustration (that’s news to some – they think they are alone in thinking RE is a beast!) and look at where technology is today, we’ve learned a few key insights about how fundraisers feel about their tech.

1          Everyone is REconsidering whether to move to NXT

2          Very few organisations are automatically upgrading

When RE NEXT was announced, it felt like a foregone conclusion that RE users would upgrade.  As time passes since its release, fewer charities are inclined to tick the box to update. Still more are waiting for insight into what the leading charities are going to do with their tech.

Aside from a few early adopters, there seems to be little talk about who is making the move to NXT and a lot of talk about who is looking at alternatives or looking at CRM projects.   Meanwhile, information about pricing and the like for NXT is still quite esoteric for those looking to eye up the marketplace – real costs are only really available if you speak directly to Blackbaud (which to be fair is the case with many tech providers, but we appreciate it does make it hard to get a full picture and there seems to be more “out there” on the net about other tools than RE).

3          We’re meeting Generation Y – and they don’t like it.

For a generation born with the steep uptake in tech and who are used to adopting tech and digital trends as they emerge, Raiser’s Edge is probably best described with some of the more colourful hashtags and emoji’s that form part of our modern parlance, with multiple exclamation points after each one.

It is a real dinosaur for this generation – our fundraising directors in the making – to get their heads around.  Where’s the flexibility? Integration? Why can’t I manipulate my data like I want to? On my phone?

Generation Z is about to enter the workforce – this is the generation born with a phone nearly surgically attached to them – just imagine what they are going to make of it.  How are you even going to get them to use it?! What will that mean for fundraising records?

4      Mid-sized charities are now looking to moving away from Raiser’s Edge

5      There are still question marks over whether Salesforce is a proven fundraising platform.

Of course, the alternative to RE is a platform based fundraising solution – recognising that there are multiple other fundraising database products around, there are two key players in the CRM market at this level – Microsoft and Salesforce.

Back in 2010, Purple Vision nailed its colours to the Salesforce mask and we’re a registered Salesforce partner.  We’re also still independent – we don’t work exclusively with Salesforce and so are perhaps more receptive to any criticism that is levelled at the platform than some others.

Right now, a host of charities aren’t convinced that Salesforce has fundraising crm all sewn up.  Much has changed in the past year about this, though, and we recognise that a lot of information isn’t yet fully appreciated by fundraisers.

How many know that the NPSP – the Non-Profit Success Pack – was fully relaunched last year (it was first known as the starter pack) and the content significantly ‘beefed up’?

More content for grants management and programme management was added and a comprehensive product roadmap outlined – it’s just an all-around better product for charities.  Meanwhile, non-profit discounts now extend to all the array of cloud services (from Marketing Cloud to Pardot, service cloud to communities).

Despite all this, we’re not seeing a lot of new non-profit adoption case studies that resonate with the mid-size charity audience.

None of these tools for Salesforce look like Raiser’s Edge though which is also part of the adoption problem.  The tech is current and so is quite a leap for some users to take to move to a completely new and unfamiliar interface with such a mix of users within their teams.

5 Causeview looks good – but can it ‘cut the mustard’?

The one tool for Salesforce that does ‘look’ like Raiser’s Edge (and by the look we mean that fundraisers review and see how they can immediately replicate essential fundraising processes with ease) is Causeview.

It is a managed package of fundraising functionality that sits on top of Salesforce and makes the most of the power of the behemoth CRM.  It brings together essential functionality for fundraisers, volunteer management and a bit of event management.

It’s already in use in more than 150 charities in North America, Australia and Europe – but only a handful in the UK.

The market response to Causeview is good when it’s demoed and the price is fair for the functionality – but a few more case studies will help those who are wavering between NXT upgrades and a platform shift to make their move.

The good news – a whole new crop of users will be going live shortly which will help build even more confidence.  Just watch this space.

Sign up for our next breakfast and join the debate: 

10 May 2017 – 09.30 (Purple Vision) 

Get in touch

Get your employees excited about Salesforce

Salesforce is a powerful platform and there’s no doubt about that. But research has proved that many companies struggle to leverage its true value.

  • Only 31% of companies reported user adoption of 90 percent (Accenture)
  • 47% of companies reported serious challenges with user adoption that often put projects in jeopardy (AMR Research)
  • Lack of user adoption is cited as the primary cause of 70% of failed CRM projects (Forrester Research)

So, how do you make Salesforce something your employees are excited about and not a boring set of mandatory tasks that they have to perform?

  • How do you get them to realise the potential of a powerful CRM like Salesforce and how it will help improve their performances?
  • How do you ensure highest level of Salesforce user adoption to maximize your investment?

Motivate your employees.

Incentives and rewards are a proven way of engaging and encouraging people to perform and don’t forget to bring in an element of fun.

We have been mapping together these aspects of motivation and fun and arrived at the concept of gamification. Tipster is the result of that experiment.

Here’s how Tipster will get your employees excited about Salesforce.

  1. Learning is fun –Tipster users can view guides set up for specific tasks, layouts or processes from within Salesforce as it is fully integrated. You can make these guides as context and user sensitive as you want because you have complete control over them. After going through the guides the users can answer quizzes set for those guides. The users themselves can evaluate their knowledge and if they are unhappy about their scores they can go through the guides again and retake the quizzes.
  2. Challenge you users – So your employees say they know their way around Salesforce? Give them a way to prove it and be rewarded for it by setting up challenges. Through Tipster you can put together a set of quizzes that we call Challenges and send it to the users and the Leaders Board will get updated based on their performances.
  3. Reward them when they perform – When a user does well on a challenge he or she will get a special place on the Leaders Board along with a title. The management can use the Leaders Board as a platform to assess the level of engagement and competence of the users and reward them accordingly.
  4. Leverage peer pressure – The Leaders board is a public affair. Everyone sees who is better at what and no one wants to be outdone by their peers. This creates the motivation to go through the guides, learn and score Tipster points.

Find out more about Tipster

Salesforce User Training with Tipster

Traditionally, Salesforce user training is a bit of a headache. No one really enjoys it.

The users do not really like the idea that they either have to learn something new or are potentially up for review.

People in leadership roles do not like having to dedicate time, manpower and resources towards training.

However for any successful Salesforce deployment and long term strategy, training is vital.  If users are not trained properly, then adoption of Salesforce will be poor. Poor adoption is the most common reason a CRM deployment of any kind fails.

Introducing Tipster

So what can be done? This is one of the main focuses of Tipster, a new app for Salesforce.

The goal with Tipster was to make a product that stuck to one core value. We want to be able to turn any Salesforce user into an expert user.

So we got stuck in. The result was Tipster. So what does it do? Why is it special?


First of all, it is entirely integrated into Salesforce. No getting the manual out. No searching through shared file servers for the training pdfs written by someone no longer at the company. Just go to any page you want more information about and there are your guides.

Need help with Accounts? The guides are already there. Need help with a custom Visual Force page designed by your team? The guides are there too.

Not only that, they are guides written by your team. The guides will feature the name of the author and your logo. Your users will be able to easily access the entire library of training information ever written and know it was written for them.


Tipster’s second great feature for training is that guides can be directed to different usergroups.

Say you want a beginners guide to ‘leads’ for a brand new set of employees? That is not a problem. Simply make the guide only visible to their usergroup.

Have a really advanced custom sales guide for your best salespeople? Write a guide just for them.

Your users will never feel that the training is above or beneath them. It will always be the information they actually need when they actually need it.

When it comes to training. Why leave it stuck in the dark ages?

You need a context sensitive training program that is fully integrated into Salesforce. That’s what Tipster is.

Find out more about Tipster


Training, Gamification and Tipster

I, personally, am a big fan of gamification, though not so much the word.

I think that adding competitive elements to perhaps not very competitive things is a great way to drive people. I love a challenge. Any-time I get the impression that someone or something doubts my ability to do something, or wants to grade it; it spurs my determination.

With this in mind, Tipster was designed for user adoption on Salesforce.com with a gamification aspect.

While it may seem like a trendy gimmick, I genuinely believe it is a fantastic element. I have seen a lot of organisations who have picked up the Salesforce platform, and struggled to motivate users to use the platform and increase adoption. Gamification is a strong response – and with Tipster, it comes in the form of Challenges and Leader Boards.

Challenges and Leader Boards

A challenge is just that. You can take any guide (which is your business process in Salesforce)  or quiz (a way to test your knowledge about your business processes in Salesforce) written in Tipster and challenge users to complete them. They are given a deadline and the promise of a reward. Once completed, however well they do is reflected in their reward – bronze, silver or gold.

These rewards appear on the company wide Leader Board.

Similar to a performance dashboard in Salesforce, you can see how you perform against your colleagues. Say you take a quiz written on a guide that gives you the basics of writing reports. There are ten questions and you get nine right. You will receive a gold award. The aim here is to drive competition and help your users strive for excellence. It also has another added bonus. If you’re an administrator, you can see who is doing well in quizzes and you can know who is the best at what they do. If you have a particularly lucrative opportunity, or a complex deal to negotiate, you want to know who can deliver. Now with Tipster, you can see directly.

Compelling – fun – learning

With these tools your users will have a compelling learning experience on Salesforce.com, reinforced by a sense of competition. The extra incentives will keep users coming back. Ultimately, this means two great things for any business. You will get users who not only learn more but want to learn how they can effectively and efficiently do things on the Salesforce platform. Increased knowledge and increased adoption onto the platform you have invested in.
So consider this. Would you rather have users bored by learning and shying away from it? Or chomping at the bit and raring to get stuck into it?

Find out more about Tipster

Salesforce User Adoption with Tipster

Imagine … 

So let’s say you are a company that has freshly migrated to Salesforce.

You are excited about the prospect of a brand new, powerful CRM platform and you are optimistic about what this means.  The next step on the roadmap to success is Salesforce user adoption.

All aboard

To get all you users on board with the new system, you have to train them and familiarise them with everything you want them to do. So what options do you have?

You could hire a person specifically to train people. You could get an external trainer in. You could develop a set of physical printed manuals for users to refer to. You could even write some digital PDFs and powerpoint files to refer to. These current methods present a lot of problems.

  • What facility do they have to take care of users who are struggling to adopt Salesforce?
  • What can they do for any grumpy user, stuck in their ways and reluctant to change?
  • More importantly how do you measure the success of any of those training approaches you can deploy?

All of those user adoption techniques lack any sort of personal touch. They force users to step away from Salesforce to receive training.

What if? 

What if training was integrated into Salesforce?

Even in your own custom made areas.

Introducing Tipster

This is why we created Tipster. Tipster will appear on the same page as your custom Salesforce interface.

When you need help, guides are right there on screen. You don’t need to find a link to a PDF or go and ask a special user or an administrator to come help you. Everything is right where you need it, when you need it most.

Not only that but Tipster makes social connections between those that write guides and those that read them. You can even write guides for specific individuals. Every user’s guides section can be unique to their own training requirements. Tipster allows your company to feel more like a strong social unit than throwing users an obstacle they need to overcome to remain effective.

Tipster contains a feedback system with ratings and comments for guides. This means that you have a way to actively monitor how well guides are received.

You can write quizzes for your guides too which, when completed, give awards.

The right strategy for user adoption

All of this contributes to you knowing how well your users are adopting to Salesforce.

You don’t have to guess or employ a strategy to monitor user adoption.

It is contained within Tipster, allowing you to be more informed.

Find out more about Tipster

Mobile-friendly website for Original Travel

As with all the mobile sites we have done, we made sure that the existing features and functionalities of the regular desktop site are not compromised and that the mobile device’s features are well utilized in order to give an enhanced user experience.

The mobile site is 100% in sync with the desktop site, which means that Original Travel do not have to maintain additional Content Management Systems or edit the mobile site content manually. Additionally with Google Analytics Original, Travel can keep track of the mobile traffic in the same way they do for the desktop site traffic.

Here are some of the key features of Original Travel’s mobile friendly website

Easy-to-find search function: that steers viewers toward the information they want as quickly as possible. The results of the Search function are as the same as the desktop site, with the only difference being the mobile optimized layout.

A focus on what mobile browsers want the most:  in many cases, mobile visitors have a different goal than people using a desktop and Original Travel understood that. Therefore, rather than going for a ‘like for like’ mobile version of the desktop site, they wanted the content to be more focused with relevant images influencing the mobile users.

Simple architecture: although all the choices available in the desktop site are available in the mobile site, we have kept the structure and the layout fairly simple which keep visitors from getting lost!


Here is what Original Travel had to say about their experience with us:

Thanks to Tin and the team for building our mobile site so effectively in such a short amount of time. Wonderful to get such a service and meet a deadline all at the same time!”

Jules Herbert – Original Travel

Contact us for free demonstration and comparison of your desktop and mobile experience and find out how you could help push your brand further.

Mobile optimised websites are key

The truth is that having a mobile optimised website is no longer a nice-to-have for small- and medium-sized businesses — it’s a necessity. If your goal is to drive revenue growth through the mobile web, you can’t to take a barebones approach to mobile marketing anymore.

According to Google’s GoMo initiative — a project designed to educate businesses on the importance of developing mobilefriendly websites — 52% of customers who have a poor experience with a company’s mobile website are unlikely to re-engage that business. And 55% say that a frustrating experience on a mobile website negatively affect their opinion of the company overall. In other words,if you don’t have a mobile friendly website, you’re probably leaving money on the table.

If your website is not optimised at all for mobile browsing, your clients will have to enlarge their mobile screen just to read the print and then push the screen left to right and top to bottom to read what they want to read. Bring up your site on your smart phone to verify yourself.

Here are a few custom mobile optimised websites that we recently built:

Please view them on both desktop and mobile and you will notice the difference.

We charge a small one time fee to build your mobile friendly website and includes full quality pages of content, photos, video, map, click to call button, twitter widget and many more. There are no set up fees, no monthly fees, no hosting fees, no hidden cost and most importantly we don’t even have to touch the code in your existing website.

Below is an example of the mobile site we are working on for Powder Byrne International.


If this is something we can help you with, please request a FREE comparison demo (like above)of how your website is currently coming up on smart phones vs how this could be improved.