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Ask a question. Give advice. Share resources. Looking for software or hardware recommendations? Want to know how others are using text messaging in their work? Trying to find examples of IT policies? The NTEN Discuss forum is a great resource for all of the above and more! It's the general discussion list for the NTEN community, and folks all over the US (and the world) are sharing their questions, answers, and news about nonprofit technology.

Recommendation for program management database

  • 1.  Recommendation for program management database

    Posted 20 days ago
    Hi All,

    My organization is looking for a program management system that includes finance, field and monitoring, evaluation, accountability and learning (MEAL) needs. Anyone have some good recommendations? Thanks!

    Christina


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    Christina Schnoor
    Director of Digital Fundraising, Anera
    Washington, DC
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  • 2.  RE: Recommendation for program management database

    Posted 19 days ago
    Hey Christina,

    It would help to know a lot more about your organization to answer this question well. There are many options out there, suitable for different types of organizations. It's also typically the case that M&E software isn't everything you need to actually run your programs, and you need to choose systems to work together and report together. There are systems intended for massive international NGOs, there are stats-focused packages, and there are sector-specific packages. Some orgs use Dyamics or Salesforce or case management software. Some of the bigger names in the M&E software field are sopact, Delta, Nvivo, ActivityIno, ToloData and CommCare - but there are literally dozens. Here's a quick link with snapshot evals of some https://tcc.international/blog/business/this-is-the-best-software-for-monitoring-and-evaluation/


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    Isaac Shalev
    http://www.sage70.com
    Stamford CT
    @Sage70
    isaac@sage70.com

    Schedule a Call: https://www.calendly.com/sage70/30min
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  • 3.  RE: Recommendation for program management database

    Posted 19 days ago
    Edited by Medha Nanal 19 days ago
    Hi Christina,

    Essentially, you mentioned three aspects of your intended data management: program data, MEAL related information and finance.

    A lot of times, finance information is organized separately, and connecting finance data with program data requires integrations. Similar integrations may be needed from individual systems to the database.

    A system that is the best fit for you will depend on the scale of your operations, your team size and your overall extent of MEAL needs.

    I imagine that currently, there is a lot of disruption in operations due to the COVID-19, however, when you are ready, I am happy to connect offline to better understand your needs and discuss possibilities.

    Take care and stay healthy.

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    Medha Nanal
    Strategic Data/Database Consultant for Nonprofits (Fundraising, Operations, Programs)
    www.topcloudconsult.com
    medhananal@topcloudconsult.com
    650.600.9374
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  • 4.  RE: Recommendation for program management database

    Posted 18 days ago
    Hi Christina,

    Program management is often a combination of:
    • contact management (individuals, households, and/or organizations) and knowing the relationships between contacts
    • contacts completing certain activities and progressing along a path
    • events or opportunities for engagement
    • transactions (money in and money out)
    • AND how all these things are tied together for reporting and monitoring
    I recommend your team check out CiviCRM. It's an open-source constituent relationship management (CRM) system that does everything above really well. It's very customizable, so can grow and be further customized as your needs are refined and grow. There's a large community of technology agencies that specialize in supporting organizations both with the initial set up, as well as ongoing support and maintenance. Happy to share more about how some of our clients use CiviCRM to manage their programs.


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    Gena Dellett
    Operations Manager
    gena@skvare.com
    620-877-7496
    Skvare, LLC
    https://skvare.com
    Lawrence, KS
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  • 5.  RE: Recommendation for program management database

    Posted 17 days ago
    Hello Christina,

    You may find the Making Wise Decisions toolkit helpful - it includes a brief quiz for organizations to help them identify the types of program management platforms that will best meet their needs (both from an organizational culture standpoint and technical standpoint) and includes a variety of planning tools.

    http://makingwisedecisions.shcowell.org/

    I concur with others on this channel who encourage you to investigate different options for different functions (especially finance). There are very few products that truly do all of the functions you list well under one roof. Consider instead a reporting tool (Tableau, Power BI) that can pull data from multiple sources to provide an all-in-one look. Sam Chenkin gave a great talk on this at NTC 2019 - I believe their materials are accessible on the conference site.

    Best of luck!
    Corey

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    Corey Newhouse
    Founder and Principal
    Oakland, CA
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    picture of work desk from home with notebook, glasses, coffee, keyboard


  • 6.  RE: Recommendation for program management database

    Posted 17 days ago
    Thank you, Corey and to everyone else who has replied! All of this is very helpful and I will pass it on to my colleagues.

    Christina

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    Christina Schnoor
    Director of Digital Fundraising
    Washington, DC
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    picture of work desk from home with notebook, glasses, coffee, keyboard