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New donorflex: Preparation for upgrade and Fundraising Regulator breaking news

By Mark Higgitt | February 16, 2017
Last modified on February 16, 2017

New donorflex calls for an approach to upgrading the system that’s different from recent releases.

To make the most of the extensive new features that you’ve requested, we’re advocating a procedure that’s underpinned by careful planning and management.

Your own preparation will fall into two main areas:

  • Preparing data
  • Preparing staff

This is how we’re aiming to guide you through the straightforward but critical process.

Six steps to a great upgrade

 

Step 1: Regional Training Days

The start of your preparations for new donorflex. They will give a detailed insight into its new features, and a demonstration of the Data Appraisal Review utility that we’ll provide to you, which will give an insight into the condition and consistency of your data in preparation for your upgrade.

Step 2: Data Appraisal Review utility

Once run, our advice will be that you respond to its findings and make decisions about issues such as (but not limited to):

  • Type coding
  • Organised Event statuses
  • Telephone numbers

 

Step 3: You brief your team

The RTD insights will equip you to brief your team about the new product and begin planning the way forward. Then prepare your users and your data for the upgrade in a systematic way. Once you have your plan ready, you can move to Step 4, the client upgrade survey...

Step 4: Client upgrade survey

With your internal plans agreed and in place, you’ll be ready to respond to our client upgrade survey. It covers key details like:

  • Identifying your points of contact for the upgrade – including the IT team who’ll handle the upgrade itself – and
  • Your objective for the timing of the upgrade

 

Step 5: donorflex installation CD

With your Data Appraisal Review complete, in liaison with your technical team, we’ll send you the installation CD for new donorflex (see the Fundraising Regulator section below) and schedule our time to be available for any helpdesk support that’s required for this exciting part of the operation.

Step 6: Do great things with new donorflex!

Make the most of the great new features that will help to drive your fundraising success to impressive new heights.

Post-RTD training

We will be running a series of optional modular training sessions to deliver hands-on training to users, if required. These will be published after the RTDs have come to a close.

In addition, we’ll be delivering bespoke training and consultancy to clients that want to raise their team’s skills.

Fundraising Regulator: breaking news

In parallel with development of new donorflex, the team has continued engaging with key players in the marketing preferences debate. The outcome of those conversations will be clear when RTD attendees see the new product.

On Tuesday, February 14 – at the Fundraising Regulator’s invitation – we joined three other charity CRM system providers to meet Syrenis, the team appointed by the Regulator to develop the new Fundraising Preference Service database.

They were in the early stages of work, having been set the target of making the database operational by the start of June, just 15 weeks away at the time of writing (Thursday, February 16).

At that point, they aimed to give CRM developers sight of the new system by the beginning of May, and follow that with a ’warm’ test of the system involving selected charities by mid-May.

Those timescales prompt this question:

  • Will the FPS database roll-out affect the release of the new donorflex installation CD?

The answer is that, while our focus is fixed firmly on delivering CDs from the beginning of May, we’ll maintain very close contact with the Fundraising Regulator and Syrenis in order to identify any additional needs for development resulting from their decisions.

Q&As

 

Question1: What if you don’t attend a Regional Training Day?

  • The Regional Training Days are the start of the important process of preparation for new donorflex
  • Those organisations that miss the RTDs will need to engage in a bespoke consultation process before completing the remainder of the six-step plan (See Post-RTD training section)

 

Question 2: What if you don’t use donorflex on the Microsoft SQL Server platform?

  • MS SQL is an industry standard and allows us to deliver the speed, functionality, flexibility and efficiency that isn’t possible in non-SQL donorflex
  • When we delivered donorflex 10 – and at subsequent user events – we announced that future development would be SQL-only. New donorflex marks the point where that move has been completed
  • As such, new donorflex is not available to non-SQL users
  • Please contact Alison Whitehouse to discuss upgrading to SQL

 

Question 3: When will new donorflex be available?

  • As detailed in the Fundraising Regulator section, above, it will be available to each client when they have completed Step 4 of the six-step preparation process. So our judgement is that the first CDs will go out at the start of May