UPDATE: Final Results and Congrats to our Winner Kelly!
Below are the results of the poll!
We picked a random participant using Random.org and the winner is Kelly P.!
The Big Game is on Sunday and whether you’re in it for the football, the commercials, or the real-life drama of two brothers coaching against each other in the Super Bowl for the first time ever… over 100 million of us will be watching (111.3 million last year set a new record!).
In support of our Silicon Valley California Office we are pulling for the San Francisco 49ersÂ in the big game on Sunday – And we want to know who you are rooting for!
Who will you be rooting for in the Super Bowl Sunday?
Vote in our poll and we’ll send one participant something sweet!
Tendenci has come a long way since it was started in 2001. I didn’t have a choice back then so thus began (at the time – we are now open source) a proprietary system. But we work mostly with Associations and Non Profits. They/You (and I can attest first hand after volunteering with several nonprofits over the years) don’t want proprietary – you want OPEN SOURCE!
So what is our roadmap for Tendenci, now completely open source, for donor management?
I have to say we weren’t feeling the urgency on the donor management part until recently. Why? Because Blackbaud (Nasdaq BLKB) acquired Convio and removed the only viable option. And now they are shutting down Common Ground. Not cool. (Side bar: Word is Convio used to advertise “Common Ground, because we’re not Raiser’s Edge.” If that is true or not, it’s still funny and was always a comment that came up at NTEN or Techsoup meetings over the years.)
Tendenci is written in Django and Python and will remain open source. We are adding a basic GPL CRM with modifications for donor management first. More importantly we are integrating Tendenci with the Salesforce Foundation and the Non-Profit Starter pack through their open source connectors and well documented API.
We are prepared and qualified. We have a former employee who now works at Salesforce, we use Salesforce ourselves, and quite frankly they seem to care about the non-profit world. We at Schipul are “all in” as they say as are Tendenci powers the majority of our clients are non-profits.
What can you do now to get ready?
If you want to get ready to fully integrate your Tendenci site, hosted with us or self hosted with the open source community version, a good jumping off point would be to read up on the great work the Salesforce Foundation does for Non Profits. Sign up with the Foundation to get your free licenses even if you just want to play around with it.
I’ll try to keep everyone more up to speed on our roadmap, it’s been a crazy year. But make no mistake, we are building an open system that will reduce the costs of advocacy and non-profit associations and foundations by a factor of 10 compared to Raiser’s Edge. There is hope. (Programmer? – join us on github! http://github.com/tendenci/tendenci ) And in case you can’t tell, I’m excited about this!
UPDATE 1/22/2013 7:15 PM – All sites should be now functioning with a normal load time. Timeouts have ceased and the firewall will now allow FTP connections and allow payment gateways to post to Tendenci. We apologize for the inconvenience this has caused. We will continue to monitor server connections. Thank you.
UPDATE 1/22/2013 5:30 PM – We are still working on this issue with our service provider this evening. Some clients are reporting issues with the email server as well on Tendenci 4 sites. This means that email sent from the website (such as password resets) may be delayed. We will update with more information as we have it.
Thank you again for your patience, we apologize for the inconvenience.
Our Tendenci 4 servers are currently experiencing a heavy increase of traffic, which has limited our connections to T4 sites. Your data is NOT at risk. This does not effect visitor’s ability to access your website or admin’s ability to log in. It does effect FTP connections (FTP connections may time out) and merchant account connections.
We are working on the issue and will update here as we have more information.
Tendenci 4 Merchant Account Connections May be Interrupted
Any payment gateway that is posting back to Tendenci 4 may be interrupted. Payments are being processed normally at the Merchant Account (i.e Authorize.net), but for some clients the approval confirmation is timing out before it is reported back to Tendenci.
If this happens, you will get an Error Message that payment was approved but there was an error in reporting the transaction back to the website.
Below is a sample timeout Error Message from Authorize.net:
If you get this error or reports from your customers of this error, please contact our support team and we walk you through how to verify the payment was processed correctly and update your invoices in Tendenci.
The beginning of the year is a great time to take a step back and evaluate our habits, both off line and online.Â With 2012 in the rear view mirror, we’re looking forward to 2013 by putting together some resources to audit your online efforts in 2013. Think of it as New Year’s Resolutions for your website!
In this first post we’ll start at home base – your home page. Your homepage is the doorway where most people will enter your website, and from there they’ll decide if they want to go any further. Below are 7 recommendations for improving your homepage in 2013:
Your 2013 Homepage Audit | Resolutions for your Website Part 1
Note: Try your best to be objective as you go through this list. Websites are living things that need to evolve to stay current and interesting, so it’s natural that things will need to change over time to keep your site providing value. Every new year is an opportunity to make your website work even harder for you!
1. Do a Squint Test
Pull up your homepage and give yourself 2 seconds to determine “What does this organization do?“
It should be clear what your organization does, and ideally also what differentiates you from other organizations. Whether you are a large company and can provide the benefit of a network of partners, or you are a small company and provide the agility and personal service of a small team – think about how you stand out in the crowd and make sure it is clear on your site. For nonprofits, you may stand out because your cause effects a wide group of people, or that it is a niche issue that needs more support for education.
Don’t feel like your homepage is quite communicating those elements? Some things to think about changing in 2013:
Revisit The Headline – (see #2 below)
Update the images – A site can feel fresh and new just by updating the main large banner image. Test different images in this spot.
Add a video – Some organizations have a complicated or highly visual product or industry this is hard to sum up in short copy. Video is a powerful way to communicate a complex message on your homepage.
Feed in dynamic content from other places –Â Feed in content from your blog, photo albums, articles feed, etc. – so visitors always see something new that showcases your expertise in your field.
2. Re-Evaluate your Headline
Your headline is one of the most important elements on your page.It should give your audience an idea of who you are and intrigue them to spend more time on your site. It takes humans aboutÂ 3 secondsÂ to decide if they are interested in something, and you want to make the most of that time.
There are three types of headlines:
Benefit headlines – Showcase the benefit of your product/service/cause
News headlines – Communicate the latest and greatest from your organization
Curiosity headlines – Pique their curiosity into learning more
Getting Started – Brainstorm! When we are writing headlines, we’ll often brainstorm 100 or more before we start narrowing down. Write down anything that pops into your head, even if it seems silly. Ask for input from different departments for ideas to get a wide range of perspectives. And when in doubt – Test, test, test!
Schipul has a free Keyword Density Analyzer Report SEO tool that analyzes which keywords and key phrases are used the most on any one page. Enter your homepage URL and check the results to see which phrases you use the most within your homepage content. These top phrases are what you are communicating to the search engines that your site is about.
Focus on the two word and three word phrases. One word terms are so generic that they’re not only hard to rank for, but are probably more generic than what your target audience would search for (the average Gooogle search is 3-5 words). When looking at this report, really hone in on those 2 and 3 word keyterms.
Look at your two and three word keyphrases and you should see:
Your brand name (this may be in the one word column)
Your geography (if you serve a target geographic area)
Your top product/service (or industry if that is a better descriptor of what you do)
If Â any of those items are missing, update your page to incorporate those terms in more places across your site. Think about the Title Tag, Meta Description, within the Tagline, in alt tags, headers, or of course the content of the page.
4. Update your Title Tag
Your title tag is just a few characters, but is one of the top things the search engines look at when attempting to determine what your page is about. Make sure your title tag follows the following:
It is accurate – a lot can change in a year, and maybe you are marketing yourself using slightly different terminology than you did last year, or have prioritized your service lines differently. Your title tag should reflect these changes as well.
It includes your brand name, geography, and top product or service –Â Like your top keyword list, your title tag should display who you are, where you are, and what you do.
Keep it short – ideally 70 characters – Google only displays the first 70 characters of your title tag in search results, and you’re not guaranteed that Â they will index any more than that (many SEOs believe this limit is actually getting smaller in 2012). Bing may index more, but only shows 60 in search results. Keep your title tag short and the most important key terms toward the front.
It does not include the word “Home” – Don’t waste space in your Title Tag with words that aren’t helpful to either a search engine or a visitor of your site. We know it’s the homepage… leave it out of the title tag.
Tip: Put your brand name at the end. You should rank well for your brand name without really trying because you are the best answer for that term (and it is probably written all over your site). You are going to have to work a little harder for your other keyword terms – put those first so the Search Engines give them some extra weight.
5. Re-Evaluate your Navigation & Footer
Because your navigation and footer display on every page of your website, these places are prime real estate for cross linking between your pages. Here are some things to think about when evaluating your website Navigation & Footer:
What does your target audience really need? Make sure to include content that meets their needs first.
Think of other places to cross link new content – Sometimes we’ll add new content and get excited and put it in the navigation just to make sure people see it, even if it really doesn’t belong there. Think of other places you can cross link to this content, like in sidebars or within the content of other heavily trafficked pages. Or maybe it deserves its own homepage rotator.
Consider a “Mega Nav” or “Monster Footer” for better usabilityÂ – These design elements give you much more space than a traditional Navigation or Footer single row of links. If your site is complex, consider giving your Header and Footer even more real estate to fit more content to help visitors get through the site.
Monster Footer examples
6. Is your site Mobile & Tablet friendly?
The importance of the mobile web is growing. As of 2012, 7.96% of all US web traffic is mobile traffic (Source). AÂ study released just a few days ago found that sites withÂ mobile optimized and rendered content are getting more mobile organic traffic from Google. Is your site mobile ready?
Test your site on various devices – iPhone, Android, and iPad are the most popular (more mobile stats by device). Look at your site’s Google Analytics to find which devices your specific audience views your site on the most.
Can Visitors Contact you from your Mobile Site?Â -Â Does your contact form work from a mobile phone? Is your phone number in text so it is clickable from a mobile device? Pay special attention to these elements.
The Rise of Responsive Design – 2013 is already being called “The Year of the Responsive Design.” A responsive design is a layout that adjusts to the size of your browser automatically. There is only one stylesheet that adjusts instead of flipping to a separate template or different URL completely. This means that the search engines only have to crawl one site, and you don’t have to remember to update content in multiple places. It also gives you the flexibility of multiple screensizes on the same device (i.e. Horizontal iPad vs Vertical iPad).
Provide mobile content – Mobile trends that are growing include Location Based Tools, Organization Tools, & Social Integration. Think of how your organization can provide content in those areas on your mobile site.
Example Responsive Design
7. Re-visit the Web Marketing Fundamentals
Ed Schipul wrote the Web Marketing Fundamentals back in 2003, and they still apply to all of the websites we create here at Schipul. It is always good to refresh yourself on these fundamentals and ask yourself questions like:
Are there other ways you can establish credibility on your site? Think about adding partner organization logos or testimonials
Is it easy to contact you? Is your phone number clear and contact form easy to find?
Measure your Results!
It is important to also look at the results of the changes you’ve made to your homepage this year. Remember that it can take Google time to recrawl your pages, so keep an eye on these metrics over time to determine if your efforts are making a difference on your site:
Homepage Bounce Rate – The Bounce Rate is the percent of people who landed on the page and then left without clicking anywhere else (bounced). We like to see Bounce Rates for a site in general less than 50% (this means that over half of the people who came to the site found something interesting to click on next). If you are providing more enticing content on your homepage, your Bounce Rate should go down throughout the year as more of your visitors have a reason to explore your site.
Traffic from Search Engines – We like to see traffic from Search Engines above 50 or 60% of your total traffic. As you optimize your homepage, you should see more traffic to this page from Search Engines.
Engagement of Mobile Visits – In Google Analytics (and probably in most of analytics tools as well), you can filter to just visits from mobile devices. Keep an eye on these stats throughout the year – how long do these visitors spend on your site? Which pages do they visit most? Is this changing over time as you make improvements to your mobile site?
We posted 66 blog posts this year on the Schipul blog about topics ranging from web marketing tips and tools, social media strategy, nonprofit marketing, and general geeky fun! Our top posts of 2012 cover topics from web analytics, new social media tools, client spotlights, and some Geek Love. We’ve put together a list of the top ten posts of 2012 for you to enjoy again!
Coming to Tendenci Websites in 2013: Event Management and Registration Features You’ll Love for Your Festivals, Galas, and Fundraising Events!
2013’s going to be a Big Year, and Tendenci’s working on new updates to your online calendar and event registration module because we want to make sure this is your biggest year yet!
On the 12th Day of Christmas, Tendenci’s Gift to You: Twelve New Updates to the Events Calendar Module!
Here’s 12 new featuresand updates we’re making this year to the Tendenci Events Calendar module to help you manage online registrations for your association programs and fundraising Gala’s.
** We’ve got even more event module updates planned for Tendenci’s 2013 Roadmap, and this list is just to give you a taste of the delicious treats we’ll be adding to Tendenci in 2013!
You’ll Love Creating New Events With These New Features
1) Import and Export Events
We’re super excited about this feature because it will make it faster for you to create multiple events simply by importing all of the text and dates in a spreadsheet, instead of having to create and type in all of this information manually for each event.
2) Default Custom Event Registration Forms
Now you have the choice of using the default event registration form, or our improved custom event registration forms. We listened to your feedback this year and the new custom registration forms now have predefined fields that integrate with the website’s database and user records for reporting and simplify the time it takes you to create and customize a new registration form.
If you want to use a custom registration form now, you already will find a default form with the standard contact information handy to add or remove to your form simply by checking a box. You can also customize which fields on the custom form also display on the event roster. Now you can ask what t-shirt size or special meal requests your guests have without the time involved with creating a brand new form.
3) Schedule Automatic Email Reminders to Attendees
When you create new events, you’ll find a new option that enables you to send email reminders to your attendees that you create and schedule. Tendenci will automatically send the reminder for you, so you don’t have to remember to remind your registrants!
4, 5, & 6) Three New Ways to Promote, Search and Display Your Events
4) More Search Options
We’re adding more searchable field filters to the events module so your members can find the events most relevant to each of them. You’ll be able to search your events by date, event type, membership and user group permissions, and more!
5) New Priority Event Feature
You’ll soon find a new Priority checkbox on your new event forms. When you check this, Tendenci will keep your events on top of your events search list, and add a Star icon to your month view calendar. Now you can highlight your main events each month to help your members decide which events to attend.
Here’s some fun ideas on how you can use the new Priority Event feature:
National Associations can feature a different Chapter’s programs and events each month to increase engagement from your different local chapter members!
Use the Priority events to promote membership engagement and offer prizes for those who attend every featured event this year!
Increase Corporate Sponsorship and Corporate Membership dollars by offering to add your supporting partners’ events to your calendar with the Priority feature setting for higher level packages.
6) Group-based Permission Settings for Displaying Events
This feature will enable you to designate certain events as “belonging” to certain user groups or membership types and allow you to do some really fun things with how events are displayed on your website. For example, one of your study groups could have their monthly study meetup on your event calendar and you’d assign the event to their study group.
Then, you could create a sidebar or box that would only display upcoming events from your event calendar that are assigned to that study group on the study group’s main information page. Members of the study group could visit the study group page and also see upcoming events specific to the group and you only have to add the event once to your calendar to share it in multiple places on your site!
Better Registration Experience for Your Users!
You want your website to be fun for your users and members in addition to your staff, and we’re making big changes across our website to provide better user experiences for your online community members. Here’s some of the ways we’re making registration for events simpler for attendees.
7) Fewer Steps to Register and Pay for an Event
We’re streamlining our registration form so that event registrants can go through as few clicks as possible when purchasing tickets and RSVP’ing for your association events. For most events, your users will be able to add multiple event attendees, select member versus non-member pricing, and view their total all from one registration page.
Adding new registrants is as easy as clicking a button – literally! Just click “Add Another Registrant” and a new section for the registration form will appear below the first registrant. Click to add as many registrants as you need and then submit just once to register and pay for everyone.
8) Your Users Can Find and Manage Their Events for You!
With the new “My Upcoming Events” option, your members and regular event registrants can now search for events they’ve signed up for, update any of their registration information, cancel events, and add the event to their calendar using the Event ICS option from one place.
Bonus for You and Your Staff: this empowers your members to manage their own event registrations, view outstanding balances, and make payments on your website. This means your event manager doesn’t have to handle as many of these admin tasks and she can focus on all of the important tasks!
9) Updated Email Template for Event Registration Confirmations
We’ve made a few small updates to the default system email template that your website sends to registrants and confirms their registration along with their receipt for paid events.
The new email template includes an image and uses more of the formatting from your events’ description fields to give your event confirmation emails a look and feel that more closely matches your website’s Event Page. We’ve also made some updates to the helpful links section of the email to ensure your event registrants can find all the information about your event details as well as manage their outstanding balances and registration information.
10) Your Event Roster Now Tracks Attendance
Your event roster has a new “Attend” checkbox where you can mark who attended an event from the roster on your website. If you don’t have internet and a web browser at your event, then you can also print the roster with the Attend checkbox. After the event, take your printout and update the roster on your website with who attended so you can better track and measure attendance for your events.
This is a huge benefit for large events where you have a team of volunteers handling check-ins. They can all be logged into your website and click to check off the people who they’ve confirmed at the event simultaneously! The next day, you can log into your site and see at a glance who attended and didn’t. You can even view what time they were checked in.
11) Search and Manage Event Registrants Individually
The Event Roster is more intended for you to use to manage all of your event registrants in a batch, and when you need to find a specific registration to cancel or edit – you’ll be seeing some updates here also. We’re adding more information about the registrants to the view, and we’re integrating the event registrant’s contact information and site activity with their user profile on your website.
12) Improved Batch Management for Events
On the 10th Day of Christmas, we shared our updates coming to your site’s Admin Backend. You’ll love the updates we’re making that enable batch filtering, editing, and deleting event types, custom event registration forms, and discount codes from the Admin Backend.
Here’s a preview of a new feature that will let you reassign event types:
You can quickly change all of the events of one type to another type. Most associations experience lots of changes as they grow and we see features like this helping you keep your website fresh and reflecting the latest changes without demanding lots of time from you and your staff.
Sign-Up for Tendenci 2013 Updates
Keep an eye out on the Tendenci Events Calendar because in 2013, we’re adding new training and workshops for our Advanced Tendenci users. We’ll also start posting scheduled maintenance and software updates, speaking events, and major announcements to help keep you in the loop with what we’re doing at Tendenci.
We are constantly exploring new ways to keep you in the loop with what we’re changing here at Tendenci. Let us know how you like to find out what’s going on here at Tendenci!
MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM TENDENCI!
We’re celebrating the Twelve Days of Christmas with daily previews of the all new Tendenci Features coming to your association website in 2013! Join us each day to “open new gifts” filled with feature updates for your website! Visit our Twelve Days of Christmas Main Page to find new gifts for each day from now until January 5th!
We love to hear your questions and comments about Tendenci, the open source CMS for Association’s – leave a reply below in our comments section or send us your thoughts via email to email@example.com.
In this post: A review of Tendenci communication pipeline features for social media, email marketing, and RSS feeds
The eleventh day of Christmas is typically reserved for pipers piping, so in this post we’ll go through some pipes that your Tendenci website can feed to and from your other online channels!
Your Tendenci Website is the Hub of Your Online Presence
Your website is your homebase online. This is really the only place on the web that you have full and absolute control over. Social media platforms evolve and change (and change terms of service), but your website is your own. Adding content on your website also gives your domain the SEO benefit of your fresh, relevant content – instead of adding SEO clout to someone else’s site.
Use the content on your website to fuel your online communications like social media, email marketing, your blog, etc.
Coming up on a big event? Post a news story about the speaker, photos of last year’s event, and share the content on social media to send people back to your website and spread the word about your event.
Stat: Tweets that include links have 86% higher engagement, one study found.
Example “Pipes” to and from Tendenci
The Tendenci Videos Module
The Tendenci Videos Module allows you to embed videos from virtually any online video application (YouTube, Vimeo, UStream etc.) directly on your website (that has your branded template). You can then post the link to the video across your social media platforms and send them to your site instead of the video sharing site.
Tip: Search Engines have a hard time seeing the contents of videos. Add descriptive Titles, Description, & Keywords to add text around the video to tell search engines what it is about and optimize the page for pertinent keywords.
Social Media Feeds into Tendenci Templates
Social Media can be easily integrated into the template of any Tendenci website. The example to the right shows a sidebar that dynamically updates based on the organization’s social media profiles, including allowing visitors to like the organization on Facebook and the latest content automatically pulling in from Twitter.
Social Media Content Sharing from Your Tendenci Website
Your site visitors can easily share articles, pages, stories, jobs and photos through the embedded Facebook Like button and Google +1 button.
Example Facebook Like automatic integration in the Tendenci Articles Module:
RSS Feeds by Module
Did you know that every Tendenci module has its own unique RSS feed? For most modules, you can just add /feed/ to the end of the module URL to see the latest items.
Tendenci Photo Albums –yoursiteURL.com/photos/feeds/latest-albums/
Video Feed –yoursiteURL.com/videos/feed
You can make these RSS feeds available to your visitors, incorporate them into other websites, or pull them into your email newsletter to showcase your latest content like latest Articles, News, Photos, and upcoming Events.
At right, an example newsletter with a feed of upcoming events
Merry Christmas from Tendenci!
We’re celebrating the Twelve Days of Christmas with daily previews of several new Tendenci Features coming to your association website in 2013! Join us each day to preview these feature updates for your website!
We love to hear your questions and comments about Tendenci, the open source CMS for Associations – leave a reply below in our comments section or send us your thoughts via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Between the hours of noon and five yesterday afternoon, one of our mail servers went down and was not relaying email from some Tendenci 4.1 and Tendenci 5.0 websites. We have updated the effected sites to point to a new server and all notices should now be sending properly.
The mail server effects email notices sent through the website. For Tendenci 4 Clients, the mail server also effects newsletter sends. If you queued a T4 newsletter to be sent yesterday, it remained in the queue and was sent yesterday evening.
We apologize for the inconvenience. Below are instructions on how to review the email notices generated from your website:
How Do I Know if My Site was Effected?
You can review the notices created from your Tendenci website following these steps.
If you are a Tendenci 5.0 Client:
Be sure you are logged in as a superuser and hover over Quick Links to choose “Admin Backend”
Scroll down to the Notifications box and click “Notice emails”
Or you can navigate to this page directly using the URL: yourURL.com/admin/notifications/noticeemail/
This will display a list of all of the email notices your site should have sent. Look for any notices dated yesterday (January 2, 2012) and click the name of the notice to read the contents.
If you are a Tendenci 4.1 Client:
In Tendenci 4 there are a few reports that log activity that should have resulted in an email notification. Review the following links to make sure you didn’t miss anything yesterday:
Contacts Report Displays Contact Form Submissions by Day
The most common email notification you will receive is when someone submits your Contact form. To review your site’s Contacts Report – from the Dashboard, click “Reports” under the Tendenci tabs. It will be listed as the first report.
Or navigate directly to yoursiteURL.com/en/users/reports/contacts.asp
Look for contact forms that came in January 2. Each block represents a contact form, click on the block to view the user’s information and contact form notes.
Other Tendenci 4 Email Notification Reports:
Pending Actions – Displays all pending submissions that require approval – yoursiteURL.com/en/actions/search.asp
Event Registrations – Displays list of Event Registrations – yoursiteURL.com/en/calendarevents/registrations/search.asp
Membership Notices – Displays any Membership email notifications – yoursiteURL.com/en/memberships/notices/logs/search.asp
Thank you for being a client!
We apologize for the inconvenience, and are happy to help answer any questions you have.
Contact us at email@example.com or (281) 497-6567 ext 411