OC-Tech: Doing More With Less (CMS, Donations, etc)

<p><i>I helped Rich come up with the concept for this panel.</i><br /> Emily Thorson from [lk:echoditto.com] is leading off this panel with a discussion of some basic website functionality, and cool bells and wistles that can be added to your website.</p> <p>Little sidetack here here are some links for folks Content Management Systems: [lk:wordpress.org], [lk:typepad.com], [lk:moveabletype.org], [lk:drupal.org], [lk:civicspacelabs.org|CivicSpace], [lk:mambo.org], [lk:plone.org], [l:http://www.listbox.com|listbox].</p> <p>Back to functionality: Signup, list subscription, tell a friend, </p> <p>If you are using civicspace it is yours to keep (Open Source) Echoditto builds lots of sites in CS and they are working on some tools for event planning and maps (module development).</p> <p>And for some civic space powered sites that i have been a part of configuringg: [lk:gregoryheller.com] and [lk:rosiemendez.com] and [lk:gothamrally.org] and [lk:oatsny.org/cs] all of these were up and running in about 2 to 10 hours (depending on content population and style sheet development) These sites were all developed by folks with no formal PHP or mySQL or CSS training (and sometimes that last point shows) but basically you can get a site up out of the box without much customization for not too much time/money</p> <p>[lk:ma2002.com]</p> <p>Sarah Bennett recommend that you do a little planning at the outset when you are thinking about accepting donations online. Figure out what the contributions are for, are you doing event management, are you offering premiums, how will you take the contrib data in house to your existing database.</p> <p>Costs of your online donation system are important to look at.</p> <p>[lk:ma2002.com/merchant.html]Building your own database processing site. You need an EIN to get a merchant account. Getting an EIN takes very little time, call the IRS and fill out a form.</p> <p>There are several costs associated with a merchant account: Setup cost, monthly cost, minimum transaction and transaction fee, and discount fee. </p> <p>Knowing your volume will determine your choice.<br /> [lk:e-onlinedata.com] (lower variable costs, higher monthly)<br /> [l:http://www.payquake.com|PayQuake] (higher variable costs, lower monthly)</p> <p>Sarah encourages politicians to get the merchant account through PayQuake. It is incredibly easy to do and shows viability. NEVER STORE CREDIT CARD NUMBERS ONLINE. systems need https (under an ssh layer) shared hosts have a shared hosting certificate (for security) (Sarah is willing to share the script that she uses)<br /> Authorize.net sort of comes with your merchant account.</p> <p>Harold Jordan of [l:http://www.nceaonline.org|National Coalition of Education Activists] There is a bewildering array of options out there for non profits. It is important to ask the questions, What is the appropriate technology for your needs? What are the small tools? what are the baby steps?<br /> Data integration is a nice dream…</p> <p>BTW [lk:mozilla.org|Thunderbird] is a great alternative to Outlook. </p> <p>There is a balance between full data integration and the "costs" of that vs finding things that work reasonably well together.</p> <p>EmailNOW from [lk:groundspring.org] is a good email solution for non profits (still lack of integration)<br /> groupmailpro and groupmail plus are dek top applications for sending mail. there is still no integration.</p> <p>Contribute from Dreamweaver is a good lowcost solution for content management.</p> <p>[l:http://www.ersvp.com|E RSVP] is an ASP vendor for conference or event registration, they are flexible and work with small non profits.</p> <p>Networked Storage device to take your p2p network to the next level. Buffalo systems</p> <p>[l:http://electricembers.net|ElectricEmbers] for blast email<br /> [l:http://mojo.skazat.com|DadaMail]this is an application that you can install on your server to send out mass email.<br /> another application that is simmilar is called [l:http://tincan.co.uk/phplist|PHPList]</p> <p>Some ASPs are [l:http://www.mailermailer.com|MailerMailer]<br /> and [lk:yahoogroups.com] and [l:http://www.topica.com|Topica]</p> <p>[l:http://www.policymagic.org|John McNutt] has done research on advocacy online.</p>