As nonprofits adopt more web-based tools and software for building relationships with their stakeholders, many are understandably perplexed by which brands to choose.
Raiser's Edge or salesforce.com for a constituent database? Constant Contact or Google Groups for email communication? eTapestry or Auctionpay for accepting online donations? These are important decisions with great implications for how the staff spends its time and budget.
Thank goodness that www.Idealware.org has arrived. To quote the site, "Idealware provides candid Consumer-Reports-style reviews and articles about software of interest to nonprofits....Through product comparisons, recommendations, case studies, and software news, Idealware allows nonprofits to make the software decisions that will help them be more effective."
This objective and intelligent resource was sorely needed in the land of 501c's. A nonprofit itself, Idealware was founded in the fall of 2005 by Laura Quinn, who has a strong background in nonprofit Web strategies and software, and she's recruited stellar advisors and board members to help her out.
Some of the articles and reports to date include online petition tools, membership and constituent databases, online donation tools, and content management systems. The monthly newsletter is a great way to keep up with the latest reviews.