What do you want your database to do for your nonprofit?
If you could have your database do anything for your nonprofit, what would it do?
I would want my database to do everything--manage and track my donors, foundations and grants, constituents and events, send mass e-mails, manage my staff records, vendor records and store contact information gathered on my website as well as push financial information like donations into QuickBooks so I won't have to re-enter everything twice.
I just got back from attending Salesforce.com's Nonprofit Road Map Summit where nonprofit users, salesforce.com consultant implementers, and nonprofit developers gathered to discuss what we like and dislike about the Salesforce.com database. We then brainstormed what we would like the Salesforce.com database to do in the future. It is great that Salesforce.com is transparent and wants to receive feedback from the nonprofit community.
In the meantime, until Salesforce.com or another database can do everything I want it to do. I am using a separate database--Democracy in Action to do event registration and process donations on my website. And I am using Salesforce.com to track my vendors, funders, events, hr/staff tracking, donation record keeping and have to do some re-entering of transactions into QuickBooks.
Disclaimer--Salesforce.com Foundation paid Aspiration's Executive Director, Allen Gunn to facilitate the Nonprofit Roadmap Summit, however I attended as a user. Also, Steve Write of the Salesforce.com Foundation is a member of Aspiration's Board of Directors. However, we received the Salesforce.com database as a donation just like all other nonprofits can do through the Salesforce.com Foundation website--just be prepared that after you receive the free database you will need to learn how to customize it yourself or pay a consultant to customize it for you in order for it to do what you want.