3 Cool Free or Low Cost Tools for NPOs

We like the number 3 and non-profits like to save money and dedicate their funds to their causes. Combine them and you get a super short list of 3 cool things that are free or low cost for nonprofits and associations to control costs.

  1. FREE Google PPC money for those who Qualify. Learn more about Google Grants here:  https://www.google.com/grants/
  2. Tech Soup Stock has super cheap software for NPOs  http://www.techsoup.org/get-product-donations
  3. And the NTEN community isn’t free but will help you save thousands through knowledge sharing.  http://www.nten.org/

If you’re doing things right, something will always be a little bit broken

If people don’t know how to do something, make them learn. That’s how Dropbox went from having 3 to 4 engineers regularly contributing to the iOS code base to over 30. “If you’re doing things right, something will always be a little bit broken. Most importantly, tell everybody that a little bit of chaos is okay,” Agarwal says

Source: http://firstround.com/review/The-30-Best-Pieces-of-Advice-for-Entrepreneurs-in-2014/

Tendenci Transformation – The Right Choices for the Future

We’ve had a lot of crucial conversations lately about decisions that we made between 2006 and 2010. Yup, really. We are explaining now about how we are possibly too far ahead of the curve and why if you give it a bit of time, it will make you look like a rock-star.

MobileGeddon being a great example of how our early adopters are benefiting the absolute most!


Python for the Win!

Source: Python is Now the Most Popular Introductory Teaching Language at Top U.S. Universities

We started using Python, the programming language named after Monty Python, in 2004 if not earlier. We first tested Pinax in 2008 if not earlier under J who was running our programming team.

We used Python extensively in our old environment to move files and push out content to our sites. Tasks that are now done by Puppet and Chef and Docker-Compose. We rolled our own using Python on Windows.

So for the curious, that explains why we have this huge depth of knowledge on Python programming dating back to when nobody heard of it. We’ve had to train numerous graduates of Tech, UofH, Aggies, Rice, Penn State, etc, what Python even was!

But that is all ancient history. Why? Because Python is now number 1!


It’s hard to predict the future. We started out writing our own compete web framework in ASP. We were too early in 2001. PHP soon arrived and, being basically identical but open source, the outcome was PHP won. It should have, and did, win. We were too early. But with timing there is also a bit of luck.

I’ll do another post about GIS and mapping and why our move to strictly Postgres with GIS enabled is working out so well. Another post. And I’ll edit this one with links soon. Just needed to get the content out.

Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 3.28.36 PM

Bootstrap3. – Because we know that we take gambles on technology and they have an impact. On you. And that is serious business. We take it seriously as evidenced by our decision to shut down Windows in line with Microsoft’s EOL policies. These are hard choices. Crucial Conversations. We’re the messenger.

And we CARE about YOU. Our clients. The future is bright. We picked our technology future amazingly well. Too well, so now perhaps our problems is more one of resources. And we’ll work through that.

Thank you. If I can leave you with one thought – it is this. THANK YOU! For those who stuck with us, WOW, um… our position for search and the future is crazy good. Open Source means freedom. Results mean donations and sales. Software means sustainable business models.

We appreciate you. Yes closure for some was hard. We wish you the best. We appreciated your time with us while it lasted longer than a Honda. As some depart and some charge forward, I’m especially excited about those who chose to charge forward.

We, you and us, we didn’t “guess” right. We did our homework and validation came ironically on April 21, the same day mobilegeddon hit and our Tendenci 6 clients jumped up in the search rankings. Luck? Hard work? I don’t know.

What do I know? I know how to serve. I serve y’all.




Intermittent Rolling Outages Tonight as Patches are Applied

To our Tendenci 5 and 6 clients. We will be applying updates to the sites tonight and tomorrow night. Please expect intermittent outages of up to 30 minutes during the course of the upgrades as we migrate sites and continue our focus on increased security.

Note these will be rolling updates and will not hit every site. While they are preventative in nature, they are critically important to prevent future issues.

State of Change – Microsoft Servers Offline Tomorrow April 21 Reminder

State of Change at Tendenci

State of Change at Tendenci

For our Tendenci 5 and Tendenci 6 and Open Source clients in the wild – you’re cool. Move along. None of this applies to you. If you don’t have a “.asp” in your file extensions on your site it doesn’t apply to you.

Seriously, we love you, but off you go. Go check out the source code at https://github.com/tendenci/ or something. None of this blog post applies to those of you in the 95% majority of our clients.

This isn’t to say we don’t think you look great today. You do! And we’re looking forward to being able to focus on YOU more after tomorrow.

Upgrading Clients – YEA!!!

A HUGE THANK YOU to all of our former T4 clients who have chosen to stay with us and upgrade to Tendenci 6.

As we’ve communicated to each of you individually, there may be a period where we have a holder page up for a bit and unlike a usual long term project we will be going live and incrementally flushing out the site. It’s a lot of sites. We are going to focus on functionality first, SEO next and then bring more uniqueness of design per the scope of each of your migration projects.

We’re excited for both of the groups above that we will be focused on one technology stack and can accelerate Tendenci’s growth.

Microsoft Servers Offline Tomorrow April 21 at 12:00 CST

For our former clients who were running on Tendenci 4 and are choosing to leave, we’re sorry to see you go. I get it. I hated the idea of giving up my blackberry because “it just worked”. Yet now I can’t imagine not having a smart phone. Software is emotional. It just is.

We have to move forward. Tendenci 4 was never going to able to work on a mobile device because it’s legacy went back too far. Microsoft declaring end of life for Windows 2003 was the final straw. It was time.

Again – yes, Tuesday April 21 at 12:00 PM CST is a hard deadline. It’s been 90 days since first announced.

[IMPORTANT! If you are pointed at our DNS Servers or Email Servers make sure your new provider makes these updates!]

I believe we have communicated with everyone in person at this point, and the remaining group is small.

This is just a courtesy reminder that you may want to have your new provider make their DNS entries tonight to avoid any downtime. Don’t forget they will need to set up email relays and transfer dns servers so be nice to your new vendor and give them another reminder please as all of us want to see you succeed.

A website is an ecosystem of databases and content and media and email and relays. Be sure your new provider, if you chose to leave, is on top of it.

Please know that we have appreciated your business and wish you the best in the future. You are always welcome back, or even consider using Tendenci Open Source with another company. That’s the point – Freedom!



Amazon’s Announcement of End of Life for Windows 2003

Note: This bulletin is a repeat of the January 22, 2015 EOL announcement, the helpdesk notifications and numerous direct calls to the clients impacted.

REMINDER: EOL for Tendenci 4

Scope of impact:

Clients still running Tendenci 4 classic.


April 21, 2015 is End of Life for T4. The Windows servers on our network will be shut down and be offline permanently. Original EOL Announcement here.

Why do you keep repeating this?

Just to be sure. Because we care. We want you to land safely. Sometimes our contact doesn’t relay to the board with the urgency needed. This is a hard deadline and once the servers are shut down on April 21, 2015 and archived there is no easy way to restore them.

We are concerned and want to be sure the right people within your organization know. We have been banging on this drum for some time.

April 21, 2015 is End of Life for T4. You have options. Click that link as your options although they are much more limited since we announced it in January.

Here is Amazon’s announcement stating the same thing in line with Microsoft’s timelines.

Amazon Web Services

Dear Amazon EC2 Customer,

Microsoft is ending support for Windows Server 2003 on July 14, 2015. If you are running Windows Server 2003, this may put your applications and business at risk, since there may be no security or software updates.

AWS provides you with options, whether you are moving to a modern MicrosoftWindows Server operating system, maintaining 32-bit applications in the AWS Cloud, or rewriting legacy applications.

You can migrate your applications to Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instances running a newer version of Microsoft Windows Server (2008, 2008 R2, 2012 and 2012 R2). Preconfigured Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) with different combinations ofWindows and SQL Server are available. Amazon EC2 running Windows Serverenables you to run any compatible solution on our cost-effective, high-performance, reliable cloud-computing platform.

Sign up to attend the Windows Server 2003 Migration webinar, or visit our WindowsServer 2003 page to learn more.


The Amazon EC2 for Windows Team


Speaking at SXSW – Proprietary to OS: Giving Away Six Million Is Hard

I’ll be speaking at SXSW on Tuesday morning and I hope to see you there!

A few things have changed since we submitted the original description. It’s been 17 years. The last year has been both our biggest challenge and yet confirms our expectations of the huge potential of open source.

Oh, and we’re working on the Tendenci 6 branch now. Demo at http://t6demo.tendenci.com

The Blog for Tendenci Open Source Software for Non-Profits & Associations. Posts on software updates, Open Source technology, and NonProfit marketing tools & strategy!