It seems that 2012 will be a year for change in fundraising operations. The proverbial dust is starting to settle on one of the two biggest fundraising operations stories in months. In January, Datatel and SungardHE finalized their merger (click here for details). January also held the other big story about the purchase of Convio by Blackbaud (click here for details).
The Twitterverse has been abuzz. ListServs, blog posts, calls to account managers…the volume of attention to these issues has been significant. How much does it matter? In total, not much.
Fundraising is still a predominantly top-down, inside-out business (with some exceptions). Grass-roots, high-volume, high-tech fundraising is neat and (somewhat) new, but the essentials–asking engaged people of means for very large gifts–is where most campaigns are won. And, frankly, an organization’s database of choice affects these sorts of gifts less than we might think. For example, have a look at this technology transition cycle. What you will notice is that it’s a loop: you’re never quite finished because you should be constantly learning and adapting the use of your technology. Without long-range, comprehensive implementation plans to fully leverage our technology, we tend to have databases that house name, address, giving, and a few other details.