NonProfits and Associations Love Tendenci

Written specifically for the NPO/Association market, Tendenci has continued to grow and adapt to meet the specific needs of these groups. From building on an open source framework that allows complete freedom  – to mobile responsive software design – to online forums and newsletter features that keep the community involved, Tendenci continues to invest in the NPO sector. And the NPO’s have responded!

We are pleased to continue our relationship with the following organizations that have recently released upgraded websites and extend a warm welcome to those that are new to the Tendenci community.

  1. University and College Designers Association Selects Tendenci for New Membership Website

    UCDA Tendenci Website

  2. Groundwater Resources Association of California Launches Tendenci Membership Management Website

    GRAC Tendenci Website

  3. The Children’s Assessment Center of Houston Releases New Mobile Tendenci Website

    CAC Houston Tendenci Website

  4. American Association of Singapore Launches Upgraded Mobile Tendenci Website For Their Membership

    AA Singapore Tendenci Website

  5. American Citizens Abroad, Inc. Launches Tendenci Membership Management Website

    American Citizens Abroad Tendenci Website

  6. Rice University Energy and Environment Initiative (EEi) Presents Transformative Solutions with New Website

    Rice University EEI Tendenci Website

  7. International Association of Directional Drilling Chooses Tendenci for Fast Launch of Member Website

    IADD Tendenci Website

Tendenci Continues to Win and Retain Business Clients

Tendenci’s growth makes it a great value for businesses focused on security and ease of use in a very robust open source project.

It is true that Tendenci is a very large open source project focused on the NPO sector, but value is value and businesses love Tendenci as well. How big is Tendenci? Login to the demo site to see for yourself at https://demo.tendenci.com (please remember the demo site resets every hour for spam prevention).

So it’s great to see all of these clients utilizing Tendenci and continuing to benefit from Open Source!

  1. Trendsetter Engineering Showcases Breadth of Services on their Tendenci 7.2 Responsive Site

    trendsetters-pic

  2. Subsea Technologies Inc. Offers Product Sales and Rentals for Underwater Operations using Tendenci Open Source Software

    Open Source for Business
    Subsea Technologies Launches Tendenci 7.2 site
  3. Ann Iverson Upgrades Online Presence with Mobile Tendenci Website

    Recent Responsive Sites running Tendenci Open Source Software
    Recent Responsive Sites running Tendenci Open Source Software
  4. Brooks Acevedo Attorneys at Law Launch New Site to Educate Home Healthcare Provider

    Recent Responsive Sites running Tendenci Open Source Software
    Recent Responsive Sites running Tendenci Open Source Software
  5. John Surtevant Launches Mobile Tendenci Site to Expand Market Reach

    Recent Responsive Sites running Tendenci Open Source Software
    Recent Responsive Sites running Tendenci Open Source Software
  6. Harris Leasing Upgrades to Tendenci 7 to go Mobile Responsive Nationally

    Recent Responsive Sites running Tendenci Open Source Software
    Recent Responsive Sites running Tendenci Open Source Software

Tendenci is flexible enough to let you turn off modules you don’t need, and SEO friendly enough to make it a great alternative to proprietary CMS systems.

  1. No Proprietary Technology Lock In
  2. No Long Term Contracts
  3. No “Named User” pricing to prevents “Knowledge Silos”
  4. Greater Functionality
  5. Open Source and an Open Community

These are all things that forward thinking companies, not just non-profits, are starting to realize. And the wave of technology continues to compound behind large open source projects like ours (the entire Tendenci community’s). So sayeth the data.

which_web_programming_language_is_the_most_secure_

Source: https://www.upguard.com/blog/which-web-programming-language-is-the-most-secure

 

 

Tendenci 5.x EOL is Approaching !IMPORTANT!

URGENT REMINDER – TENDENCI 5.X IS APPROACHING “END OF LIFE” AND STOPS BEING SUPPORTED IN NOVEMBER 2016. 

tendenci-mobile-responsive-standard

Mobile and responsive is the new baseline and we need to get everyone updated for security and to be secure and mobile responsive. The timelines are listed on our site at https://www.tendenci.com/tendenci-life-cycle/ .

timelines

Upgrade pricing from 5.x to 7.x is a one time cost and we’ve done our best to standardize them and make the process affordable.

https://www.tendenci.com/tendenci-upgrade-options/

A Longer Explanation for those who like knowing all of the details. Because we like being open and transparent.

Let’s keep it simple. Think about tires. When you buy tires, over time, they wear out. You can’t keep adding tread to them. At some point you have to get new tires or you are in an unsafe vehicle risking your own safety as well as that of everyone that rides with you or is near you on the roads. It’s irresponsible to drive an unsafe vehicle.

Or as Billy Joel explains it:

WHY CAN’T WE JUST KEEP GOING AS IS? YOU KNOW, JUST IGNORE IT?

(Yes, I really got this question recently.) Because software that is outdated can have security holes. Security updates are the most important. Tendenci runs on top of lots of other amazing open source products, which are called “dependencies.” Tendenci’s dependencies are listed here in the code.

Yes you have your own site. But you are sharing email servers, backup servers, email relays, security scanners, proxy servers, firewalls, access control lists, IDS/IPS systems and they are all are part of an environment that is watched very closely.

Going back to the car analogy. Porsche doesn’t make every component or the tires that are installed on their cars. When you wear out the tires, you have to upgrade. Similarly if a component that Tendenci uses is not maintained by the project behind it, then you are in danger of hurting others. A simple example would be if someone found a way to hack your site and sent spam emails, then the shared email server for the server-farm your site is in could get black-listed. That hurts ALL of the clients using that shared resource. Just like when your tire blows and you wreck into another car. It is then fundamentally your fault for not maintaining your vehicle.

Why do I want to upgrade if I just don’t care about security?

This is a bad idea. There is performance, functionality and a ton of new features you are missing out on. For more click the image below to go to the newsletter that highlights a lot of it.

some-new-stuff

And this is what we now consider baseline – responsive across all devices.

If you are thinking “THIS IS THE FIRST I HAVE HEARD OF THIS!?” .. um…

No. No unfortunately it is not. It’s just the first time it got your attention. We get it given we also miss communication sometimes given the amount of noise in our inboxes. Here are some links below so you can catch up a bit. And Tendenci 7.x is WAY ahead of Tendenci 5 because of industry changes – you really want to upgrade.

But yes, we have communicated this over and over and over. Links:

  1. Tendenci’s Version Lifecycle is here: https://www.tendenci.com/tendenci-life-cycle/
  2. Dates are driven by Django Supported Versions timelines: https://www.djangoproject.com/download/#supported-versions
  3. Tendenci Notification in News on Tendenci bumping from django 1.4 to 1.8 https://www.tendenci.com/articles/tendenci-open-source-lifecycle/
  4. Tendenci email newsletter sent to all clients onTendenci bumping from django 1.4 to 1.8 and some of the great new functionality https://www.tendenci.com/tendenci-upgrade/

Your users and the search engines expect you to have an SSL encrypted and mobile responsive website that is ADA compliant. NEW technology that consumers use and new behaviors have emerged and people expect more. Blame Al Gore and Apple and Microsoft. Tech changes fast.

WE LACK THE POWER TO MAKE EXCEPTIONS AS WE DO NOT CONTROL THE FRAMEWORK.

To our open source and our hosted clients, it is imperative that you do NOT ignore the pending “end of life” for the 5.x version of Tendenci. You must upgrade. From December 2015:

Django 1.49 EOL drives Tendenci 5 EOL date – time to upgrade

From the DjangoProject website:

django-supported-versions

And the future is outlined as well:

django-future-roadmap

PLEASE DO NOT IGNORE THIS NOTICE. TENDENCI IS A COMMUNITY. AND OUR COMMUNITY IS PART OF THE DJANGO ECOSYSTEM. WE MUST STAY SAFE.

Is there a charge to upgrade your site from Tendenci 5 to Tendenci 7?

Yes. Why? Because from Tendenci 6 forward we require all sites to be responsive (meaning they work on mobile devices). To achieve this we chose bootstrap as the front end css framework for standardization. Bootstrap 3 is very flexible with many options for low cost templates such as found on wrapbootstrap.com

What is the cost of upgrading from T5 to T7?

If you are a developer, there is no cost besides your time. Just follow the instructions at https://tendenci.readthedocs.io/en/latest/ . If you run into a problem post an issue on github at https://github.com/tendenci/tendenci/issues

If you are not a programmer or developer then you will need to work with one to complete the upgrade. It can be our team or a Django developer of your choice.

Please remember that Tendenci is fully open source and available at https://github.com/tendenci/tendenci/ in addition to the documentation linked above. No gotchas or hold-backs. Just very direct and honest communication of the facts and accountability through code reviews.

Did clients get charged upgrading from Tendenci 6 to Tendenci 7?

No, they did not. The upgrade from Tendenci 6 to Tendenci 7, then 7.1 and now 7.2 was all done automatically. These sites were already responsive and it is the front graphics changes that require human intervention as opposed to scripted updates.

Why are you charging to upgrade from Tendenci 5 then?

Because the layouts used back then were not standardized because there was NO CLEAR STANDARD. Thus every site was a bit different. On Tendenci 6 and 7 they are strictly standardized on the front end on Bootstrap 3+, a front end responsive framework made by Twitter. The appearance of Tendenci 7 sites is very diverse, it’s just the behind the scenes name-spaces that require updates.

Do we have to use your company to upgrade?

Of course not. Tendenci is open source. The whole freedom thing. We are the only membership management software company ranked in the top 20 by Capterra that is open source. You are part of a community with Tendenci, not some locked down solution that holds you hostage. 

If we don’t use Tendenci to upgrade, who can we use?

Python and Django are very popular. You are free to use any developer you want, self host or host with us.

The whole point of Tendenci is to enable freedom so you aren’t trapped with a proprietary vendor that locks you in by retaining control over your data, including redirecting links from your events to their domain so when you leave, you lose all of your inbound links and search engine rank. We do not support that practice. Unfortunately many non-profit boards don’t catch it until it’s too late and make the mistake of locking in future boards with no way out.

How easy is it to leave Tendenci? How do we know you won’t make it difficult?

Well first because that would be against our values. We make it easy to leave because folks have a tendency to come back when they experience the alternatives. We have found that the easier you make it to leave, to be free, the less likely people are to leave because the alternatives don’t share our values, particularly when it comes to data ownership. It’s your data. You own it and should have access to it at any point. Period.

An example: I believe (this is Ed typing) that WordPress is the best blogging platform in the world and I also love that it is open source. This blog is on wordpress. Yes we pay for hosting. And no, I don’t plan to leave WordPress. Even my personal blog is on wordpress hosted at another provider.

I don’t plan to leave WordPress specifically because I know that I can leave if I wanted to take the hassle on myself. I don’t – I have my hands full taking care of our team and clients. I just like knowing that freedom is an option because WordPress is like Tendenci – OPEN SOURCE.

You sound kind of over-the-top about open source and data exports? Prove it!

We’ve proven it. Look at our history. Look at our open source project.

Tendenci Commits
Tendenci Commits

 

 

 

Data doesn’t lie. And your site most likely has a repo on https://github.com/tendenci/tendenci/ to which we can provide you access. (they are obviously secured for your protection.)

We can also run backups directly to your own AWS cloud instance for S3. Actions speak loudly.

Type “Tendenci exports” into Google to see the number of options to export your data.

T5 clients – for you it’s not all automated but you have the same rights as everyone else. By that I mean, if you are on T5 not all of these exports were available 5 years ago through the interface but we will gladly provide a full database export that you can then import into postgres yourself. (Note: The technology simply wasn’t available back then, but the moment it became possible (which happened when we were on T6) we enabled clients to do full database downloads themselves. It’s YOUR DATA.)

Is this “charge to upgrade” going to happen every two years?

This one is a trick question. We have more work than we can do so charging you for updates is not our goal. But you already know that if you use the nav editor and the theme editor so you can make your own updates. Tendenci is about empowerment.

Tendenci is open source so you can work with a different developer and host with them if they are more cost effective for you.

Disruption causes adaptation which comes with a price tag

Disruption happens. That darn iphone. With candor, LTS releases tend to last two years. We didn’t invent the iphone or android so the switch to mobile responsive design was effectively dictated by changes in technology. We do our best to keep your costs down, but when Steve Jobs changes the world, we all get caught up and have to adapt. That isn’t a conspiracy, it’s an opportunity.

Are you sure? Is there ANY way I can upgrade for free?

I so wish I could wave a magic wand and make your entire site bootstrap3 responsive, but I can’t. Our contractors and employees deserve to be compensated just like you do. But you know that. Maybe there is someone your know, or maybe you, can redo your site’s theme in bootstrap3 to control costs. It is an option.

What I do know is YOU will not succeed with a non-encrypted and non-responsive web site. When we chose to make ALL SITES RESPONSIVE for all releases after Tendenci 5, yes, it required us to contract with graphic artists for your upgrade and obviously these talented people deserve to be paid for their work.

What is Tendenci doing to help us control costs?

We already have far greater functionality at a lower price than all of the proprietary vendors. True, we don’t have a sales team to fill out a 5 page excel RFP, but we have a demo site where you can see for yourself at https://demo.tendenci.com admin/admin login (resets every two hours.)

The comparison grids several competitors have on their sites are WILDLY INACCURATE. Our target client wants the additional functionality of Tendenci, to be a part of a community, they understands open-source, they are cause focused more than monetary focused, and knows how to do due diligence.

Tendenci open source means GREATER FUNCTIONALITY. The freedom is a bonus.

But the competition says they have greater functionality?

They don’t. Do a fact check and judge for yourself. Facts are facts. See above. Just for fun, ask to look at their code. #heh Why? Because a community of interested people will add to Tendenci and everyone benefits instead of all of the money going to a proprietary vendor who says they own your data.

Your data is your data.

Do I really need to upgrade my Tendenci site now as it’s been fine the last 11 months since you first told us we had to upgrade? Can’t this wait until next year?

NO! November 30 2016 or you need to self-host or move to a dedicated server. We cannot be responsible if the underlying software is no longer being maintained and therefore may not be secure. That legal burden falls on your board.

This is NOT Tendenci making the decision or driving the timeline. We blogged about this last December in particular as soon as we learned of the announcement from Django. See above.

Why can’t I get a personal hand written note like in the old days?

Man, I miss those days. Unfortunately, we simply can’t identify every stake-holder inside of every NGO/NPO/Association/Business we work with or who self hosts. By definition there is constant turn over on non-profit boards. And we have no way of tracking open source clients using Tendenci in the wild.

We love our open source clients, but we aren’t “big brother” and don’t currently have a 100% method of tracking or communicating with these awesome developers outside of the blog, facebook, twitter and newsletters.

OK, after we upgrade, what then?

We are working hard to keep upgrades and updates automatic and at little or no cost. The evidence speaks for itself in the no-cost site updates from 6.0 to 7.2x. Judge us by our actions.

Yet, if someone invents another disruptive technology, well, logically there could be a cost for an upgrade once it requires changes that can’t be automated.

If you host with us, contact, budget and schedule your upgrade. If you self host then please read all of the documentation which explains the full process and is posted and available online at https://tendenci.readthedocs.io/en/latest/

So how much does does this cost if we go with Tendenci team to do our upgrade? It scales with the type of upgrade you want to do and they are listed on our site here:

https://www.tendenci.com/tendenci-upgrade-options/

It’s always hard to have a crucial conversation with clients. I strive for candor and fairness as the leader of the company behind the community. We want you happy. Technology changes. We’ve done our best to keep the price as low as possible. Thus in closing, I’ll leave you with another image of a happy puppy because they make us smile, and like Tendenci, they enjoy a community of supporters but also being able to run free every once in a while.

happy-puppy

Get Important Info to Your Community Through the Storms – Emergency Announcements Module

I am proud to have called Houston home for the last three years for many reasons.

Houston is home to the Astros and the Texans. We are known for our great bbq, arts, and Beyonce. (Perhaps you have heard of her? “She is Texas forever like Bun B”.)

Houston is also sometimes home to lots and lots of rain.

Today, we have received over a foot of rain and many Houston businesses and organizations have delayed operations for the day due to flooding on the roads.

It can be challenging in a situation like this to get information out to the public and your staff, which is why we built the Emergency Announcements module into the Tendenci software.

Emergency Announcements is a feature that allows you to quickly post an update on the top of your site, so that you can get important information out to your community.

2016-04-18_1239

 

 

To access this feature, navigate to www.your_url.com/admin/announcements/emergencyannouncement/

emergencyannouncement

The standard content editor will allow you to format your content for your announcement.

Are you cancelling activities?

Who should someone call or email if they have questions?

Is everyone in your organization safe from the storms?

All of this information is important to get out to your community and the Emergency Announcements will allow you to place it front and center on your website.

If you need to get information out to your community today, the Emergency Announcements feature is a great tool to utilize.

Stay safe and dry Houston!

 

5 Things to Know About The Upgraded Content Editor

We here at Tendenci are excited to announce that the content editor has a new look!

WYSIWYGeditor

Your content editor is one of the most frequently utilized features in your Tendenci website.

We’ll be rolling this new content editor out to sites in the next few weeks.

Here are a few things to know about your updated editor:

  1. Inserting videos into content is much easier

insert video

 

2. Utilize Anchors To Help Users Navigate Around Pages

An anchor is an attribute that links an element on your page to text or an image on the same page.

To use the anchor feature in your editor:

Highlight text and select “Anchor” from your Insert drop down.

Name your anchor in the window that appears.

anchor1

Highlight text on another area of the page and click on insert/edit link from your Insert drop down.

Anchor2

Select the name of your Anchor from the Anchors drop down menu.

3. Edit your content in HTML and upload docs from new locations

Want to play around in the HTML of your page?

You can now do so via the below icon.

sourcecode

 

Upload documents that are not images via the insert/edit link from your Insert drop down.

 

insertlink1

Click the file icon to upload documents.

insertlink

Upload your document and title your file.

file name

 

4. New formatting options

There are new formatting options available to you through the Formatting drop down.

formatting options1

You can also add background colors to format your text.

formatting2

5. See html styling elements while editing

The “Show Blocks” View option allows you to see what html attributes are being applied to the different areas of your content.

showblocks

 

Do you like the new editor or have questions?

Leave us a comment below or contact us at tendenci.com/contact

 

DBSA Houston goes Mobile and Responsive with Tendenci’s Tech

Note: If you have arrived at this page from a search result, this is about the launch of the new web site. Thus

If you are in need of IMMEDIATE crisis services, please call
the Harris Center 24-hr Hotline at (713) 970-7000. If you are
seeking ongoing support visit http://www.dbsahouston.org/

From the news release:

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance Greater Houston Revamps Website for Better Accessibility

HOUSTON, February 12, 2016 –Tendenci (www.tendenci.com), the software development company spearheading the Tendenci Open Source platform for associations and other nonprofits (NPOs), is proud to release a dynamic new website for the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance Greater Houston. The website, http://www.dbsahouston.org, sponsors free and confidential support groups in the Greater Houston area for individuals suffering from depression and bipolar disorder and the family and friends that support them….

DBSA Houston
Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance Greater Houston Revamps Website for Better Accessibility

From the DBSA Houston website:

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance Greater Houston provides free and confidential support groups for individuals living with, or family and friends affected by, depression and bipolar disorders. Our support groups are also offered to family members, caregivers and friends who are trying to understand these two difficult mental disorders as they try to assist loved ones.

If you, or someone you love, or friends with is in pain, please point them to resources like DBSA Houston for support (or google one in your area.)

The Reveille Club is Back on Tendenci. Thanks!

As an Aggie I am particularly appreciative of earning a client back. Especially it’s my Aggies! (Whoooop! Class of ’90 myself.) From the press release:

Reveille Club Returns to the Tendenci Platform for Membership and Event Management

HOUSTON, February 3, 2016 –Tendenci (www.tendenci.com), the software development company spearheading the Tendenci Open Source platform for associations and other nonprofits (NPOs), is proud to release a dynamic membership website for the Reveille Club of Houston.

hire-an-aggie-2016The website, http://www.reveille.org, promotes local networking events for Aggies and non-Aggies alike to build new business relationships in the Houston area.

Tendenci Open Source was released as an open source solution for associations and non-profits to give membership organizations greater freedom and control over their online presence.

The Reveille Club of Houston is focused on building a professional community

Source: https://www.tendenci.com/news/reveille-club-of-houston-launches-new-tendenci-website/

Note: This blog post is one of several of us playing a bit of catch-up on posting site releases to our blog as well. We are proud of the work our team and our partners do with Tendenci. Open Source is powerful stuff. It’s like Freedom – it’s a good thing.

Power Tools for Nonprofits Presentation by Ed Schipul

From my recent talk at Power Tools for Nonprofits at NRG Park on behalf of Tendenci Open Source Membership Management Software

Python still the most popular coding language and growing

Tendenci, the Open Source Membership Management Software, is written in in a programming language named Python. (Named after Monty Python of course!)

python ranks 1 for popular coding languages
Python – the most popular coding language of 2015

And Python is the most Popular Coding Language of 2015. A nice winning streak! This matters to people choosing membership software because open source means it can’t be taken away from you. Lots of options to export from Tendenci as well if a better solution for your particular needs comes up.

The more people who know a given programming language means you have lots of resources to support, extend, upgrade and hopefully also contribute to the tendenci software and get involved.

So let’s be honest, we all like playing on the winning team. We bet on Python very early. We used Python even on the windows platform in the early 2000s. Python has truly hit a critical-mass among developers.

Given the Django web framework behind Open Source Tendenci is written in Python, and all of Tendenci’s apps are written in Python, we feel pretty good about the future stability of our technology stack.

In other words, the future looks bright and we welcome more developers to join the Tendenci community!

(source: http://blog.codeeval.com/codeevalblog/2015#.VohU45MrLeQ= )

10 Million NGOs Worldwide (who just might want open source multilingual software)

Let’s start 2016 off with some great news. NGOs are growing internationally and their role in our society is becoming more important.  From the post:
https://www.ongood.ngo/portal/facts-and-stats-about-ngos-worldwide

NGO Facts - 10 Million#NGOfacts is an ongoing campaign that highlights statistical data about NGOs, nonprofits and charities worldwide. Committed to building a comprehensive list of facts and stats about the NGO sector, please check back regularly for updates.

1. There are an estimated 10 million (non-governmental organizations) NGOs worldwide.
Source: The Global Journal

2. The number of people worldwide donating money to NGOs increased from 1.2 billion in 2011 to 1.4 billion in 2014. By 2030, the number is expected to grow to 2.5 billion.
Source: Charities Aid Foundation

(those are the first two points of 14 – go read the full post here!)

And yes, we are pretty happy to see greater adoption of Tendenci – an open source software solution for NGOs that is already multilingual. Join us!