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09 Chapter Technology Analysis 2009

The appointment of an executive director in April 2009, along with the chapter‟s desire to move to a more strategic Board and
expand the organization in a sustainable manner, has made it necessary to evaluate the Chapter's current technologies, its
related needs and identify potential solutions. In order to increase efficiencies, reduce costs, generate revenues, and better
utilize volunteer and staff time, it seems to be necessary to integrate existing technologies and processes as much as possible.

Currently, the Chapter is using and paying for (in most cases) more than ten different technology services and programs. The
absence of a customer relationship management system combining the various databases and the lack of integration between
the software programs used has reduced the amount of targeted marketing and communication that the chapter is able to do. In
addition, it has resulted in a loss of revenues through limited tracking of sponsors and management of membership through a
third party (USGBC National), which has made business continuity a challenge. Use of the various technologies has also been
somewhat time consuming and cumbersome for Board and Committee leadership, adding a greater workload to this highly
motivated and proactive group.

The key areas in which technology is employed or is needed are (see chart following):

 Administration
 Communication
 Development
 Membership
 Programs & Events

The goals are to:

 Reduce the workload for the Board and Committee leadership by consolidating the number of services and tools used
and enable them to collaborate more easily
 Increase revenues by consolidating ways of collecting and tracking money
 Reduce costs and time spent
 Enhance communications, both internally with members and externally with potential partners, sponsors and the media
by coordinating outreach through one central database system
 Make membership and event registration more user friendly to encourage greater participation and increase revenues
 Increase membership and retention rates, grow sponsorship, and improve effectiveness of the chapter‟s volunteer and
committee process by introducing a customer relationship management system that enables effective tracking.
The immediate focus needs to be on obtaining a customer relationship management system to track contacts, membership,
USGBC Central Texas - Balcones
volunteers, committee leadership, sponsorships and other fundraising, as well as partnerships with other related
organizations. This document attempts to present the chapter’s needs and challenges, evaluates the existing technologies, 12/16/2009
and suggests some potential solutions.
USGBC CT-B Technology Analysis

Operations Needs Issues Solutions

Administration Document archiving and exchange Lack of easy accessibility to documents & not up-to-date Greater use of Webex or Extranet
Business continuity Systems and protocols not in place for easy transition Provide guidelines and reference materials
Meeting management:
 Webinars  Current free service ends Dec. 31 (EFrisch)  GoToMeetings or Webex
 Conference calls  Current conference call service is costly  2 services – one free to callers and
other paid for by callers
 Shared internal calendar  Webex shared calendar is not user-friendly  Webex or Wild Apricot
 Meeting scheduling  Doodle.com a separate program, not integrated  Wild Apricot has/will have a voting
Nominations – election process Through Nat‟l until now – have to use 3rd party now function in 2010
Member outreach Lack of ability to target and build relationships Constant Contact or Wild Apricot
Communication Event publicity Lack of targeting abilities Constant Contact or Wild Apricot
Website event calendar Too many steps to learn more and register Wild Apricot
Targeted mailings Labor intensive and time consuming Constant Contact or Wild Apricot
Social media management Lacks continuity and connectivity Web developer for ad-hoc programming
Website stats and tracking No tracking history as it was not activated until Oct. 09 Being tracked now on Bluehost or Wild Apricot
Website development Currently need someone who understands code Web developer or Wild Apricot
Development Sponsor tracking Manual tracking and no coordinated process for Wild Apricot
following up with and tracking sponsors Wild Apricot
Pitching process Need more efficient means of sharing who is pitching Webex or Extranet
Grant development and reports
Membership Data management No existing member nor contact management system Wild Apricot
Bench-marking and tracking Manual processes, so limited or not happening Wild Apricot
Member registration process Onerous process to join and delayed payment from Nat‟l Wild Apricot
Volunteer tracking Manual and ad-hoc Wild Apricot
Committee management Manual spreadsheet, not easily updated and shared Wild Apricot
Membership directory Lack of a membership directory Wild Apricot
Member surveys Currently not integrated with contacts so manual process Survey Monkey
Programs and Event registration Lack of an integrated event registration system – Wild Apricot with Google Checkout or acquire a
Events currently three steps and not used for CRM or follow up merchant acct.
Workshop enrollment Through National; currently no attendee follow up poss. Depends on proposed Education mgt. process
Program and event tracking No one central place for tracking, updating and Webex or Extranet
referencing schedule of upcoming programs & events

JBL/JK 12.16.09
USGBC CT-B Technology Analysis
Cost and time comparison for current and proposed integrated technologies, focused on Customer Relationship Management
(other costs include conference calls, webinars, Extranet vs. Webex for document sharing )

Current Time Spent Time Spent

Utility Current Cost Time explanation Forecast Cost
Hours Hours

For uploading and managing data files for website – 15-50 minutes $6.95 per
Bluehost $6.95 per month 0.5 hr 0.5
each time month
For updating current pages: 1-3 hours
For adding new material: 1-3 hours
$323 One time Flat
Adobe Dreamweaver 20 For adding new web pages: 4-7 hours 0 0
For existing webpage redesign: 8-10 hours
For site redesign: currently unable to do this without web developer
With Dreamweaver, we have been able to do away with regular
involvement of a web developer for day to day administration, thanks $500 - $1,000
Web Developer $250 per month 10 primarily to an intern who has some html experience; since fee based One time flat 5
developer was discontinued a professional developer has been used to fee
show us how to do certain updates and make changes
For e-mail creation: 1-3 hours per e-mail
For uploading and managing contacts: 1 hour (however, we are not
Constant Contact $53 per month 10 0 5
currently doing targeted mailings for general e-blasts, which would take
substantially longer as would have to create separate group
For creating event: 15-30 minutes per event depending on level of
Avg. $100 per month knowledge of person creating it
Eventbrite 3 3
2.5% ticket value 0
+$.99/ per ticket

No time involved unless there is an issue with it

2.9% + $.30
2.9% + $.30
Google Checkout 0 /Per 1
/Per Transaction
N/A $200 per
Wild Apricot 0 0 20

Total $410 43.5 $207 34.5

*See explanations of programs following

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Utility: What it does? Benefits Drawbacks Analysis Current Cost
Bluehost (Website) Currently hosts our Bluehost has been a reliable With Bluehost the web content Bluehost has been a great $6.95 per month
website and usgbc- hosting service that is currently has to be created by the Chapter web hosting service that has
centraltexas.org e-mails. hosting over 700mb worth of either with the help of a web provided efficient hosting with
It also hosts any data information for our Chapter. designer (Costing between $65 - no major problems over the
files such as PDFs, Bluehost also has the capability to $85/hour) or with more limited past two years. However our
PowerPoint, excel monitor all web traffic and to capabilities of Adobe account expires in April 2,
sheets, word docs linked maintain our domain name for an Dreamweaver 2010 and we will need to
to the website postings inexpensive price recommit to a 3 year contract
and website archives to maintain same cost *Note:
Domain name expires May 3,

Adobe A software that allows Possible for tech savvy web Because it is still code based, it While this utility was a great $323 (one time
Dreamweaver the chapter to make day beginners to make minor changes has limited capabilities without investment for keeping our cost)
to day updates to the quickly and easily. It is currently someone who knows how to use website up to date in the short
website, host content, being used by the Chapter to code. Creating new pages, term, it will be very limiting for
and create new web create new web pages, update changing style sheets, enhancing longer term site
pages text on current web pages, add visual aesthetics and site layout enhancements, as well as any
pdf fliers for events, post require previous web experience major changes to the site‟s
sponsorship logos and LEED and/or the paid guidance of a web visual look and feel. It is also
registered projects – work is done developer at $65-$85 an hour very cumbersome if a major
by a communications intern with error or mistake is made
code experience
Constant Contact Email marketing tool that Content has been set up so that Difficult to easily target segmented Overall a good value for an $50/monthly fee
is easy to use and all emails sent have a uniform and recipients; it costs $50/month no email marketing utility. for 2,501-5,000
enables messages to be distinct look. There are no matter how many emails we send. However if we go for a more contacts (our
sent out on a template limitations to the number of emails It is HTML based which means integrated system we will be current list size is
that reflects the we can send on a monthly basis. any visual changes to the able to do what Constant +3,400)
Chapter‟s image; The database is populated directly template would require the help of Contact is capable of doing,
newsletters can also be through individual sign up for e- a web developer. Templates are as well as integrate the lists
created and sent out mail communications on our not completely user friendly and at for easy use on other activities $75 per month for
using this tool website (anyone can do this) and times there have been errors and vice versa 5,001-10,000
manually by uploading excel caused by the templates lack of
sheets of members provided by compatibility with web browsers
National on a monthly basis like internet explorer. Database is
maintained by manually

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downloading different

Utility What it does? Benefits Drawbacks Analysis Current Cost

Eventbrite Event registration and Easy to create and monitor Entails three or four steps for A great registration application 2.5% of ticket
management, with events; offers different ticket registrants; takes people away for small events. However, value + $0.99/per
payment through Google pricing and discount options; from our website and does not when we host large events, ticket not including
Checkout capability to customize URL for have the chapter „look‟ on the Eventbrite becomes an fee that Google
each specific event, as well as to registration page; does not expensive investment and the takes
determine what type of information automatically provide contacts to manual contacts management automatically
we want to capture e.g. contacts, central database nor Constant increases workload
member/non-member etc. Able to Contact, although it can be done ($1,209 since
monitor who has registered, as manually by exporting into Excel; June 2007)
well as failed registrations and as we create and host more
allows direct follow up with events and the number of people
registrants. Use of the service is attending increases, the cost for
free if there is no charge for the registration via Eventbrite will
event. It has more capability than increase and time required to
we‟re using it for e.g. can use it for capture info in a useable format
surveys and marketing after an will increase
Google checkout Provides means of Offers a program called Google Difficult to identify purpose of Seems to be the most 2.9% + $.30
payment for event Grants for non-profits giving up to transaction. Customer service effective and reliable at this /Per Transaction
registration through $10,000 per month of free online challenging, especially when time, although an alternative For < $3,000 per
Eventbrite and can be advertising plus one year of free checking a statement or why a might be a merchant account month
used for donations and transactions payment was rejected in the future. Recommend
sponsorship payments continue to use Google
Checkout if switch to Wild
Apricot and apply for the grant
Microsoft Outlook Email management and Good for ED‟s individual contact The number of emails and Great for individual emails and None
contact database on management and email data for contacts is steadily increasing as personal contact management
executive director‟s individuals and groups with limited the ED and volunteers ramp up but it is not being used to its
computer number of members; ability to their outreach, to the point that the full potential as there is no
categorize contacts is useful;; can outlook address book now easy and efficient way of
be exported into excel for use contains around 1,000 qualified using the valuable contacts
elsewhere contacts. However, it is difficult to accumulated through direct

JBL/JK 12.16.09
manage and use emails for e- outreach at events, trade
blasts and other outreach without shows and so forth, short of
downloading them into excel and manually sorting them and
uploading them into Constant adding them to Constant
Contact. They also should not Contact
necessarily receive all e-mail
communications. The time
involved in data entry of new
contacts is about an hour per 20
Microsoft Excel Database management Has become a common exchange Using Excel is very limited in Useful tool for transferring None
for all sorts of tracking including terms of sorting capabilities and data from one system to
membership, volunteers, profile management, especially in another. However, it should
attendance sheets, email sign-up regards to membership, sponsor not be the final product; one
sheets, sponsors and the like. and volunteer tracking – we central database, which
currently have to merge a variety collects information from
of different contact lists manually memberships, development,
programs and so forth would
make communication and
tracking more efficient
Utility What it does? Benefits Drawbacks Analysis Current Cost
Webex Document archiving, Excellent document exchange It is only an office service with a Webex is a utility with $45/month
sharing & management platform. Serves as a hub for all maximum of 800 mb of storage widespread usage amongst ($540 annually)
Webinars Chapter documents including fact space. And is relatively expensive USGBC Chapters. Its value
sheets, presentations, and bylaws for what it offers. If we were an lies in its abilities for web-
and guidelines. Files are sorted organization that used thousands conferencing. However that is
into folders and can be accessed of form and documents for legal a tool we are currently not
by several different users and is work and official tracking, Webex paying for.
password protected. would be a more useful utility.
However we currently do not use
thousands of different documents
and thus Webex does not provide
a equitable return for its costly
monthly investment.
Extranet Information exchange The ability to collaborate with The Extranet is intended for only a The Extranet is a tool valuable None
platform for Chapter other Chapters and their few Chapter Leaders and cannot for our Chapter‟s leadership
Leadership processes. Extranet also serves be used for widespread but is not useful to Chapter
as a databank for National collaboration throughout the entire Committees and other
documents. Chapter. members.

JBL/JK 12.16.09
Budget Conference calls “Toll Free” option provides We are paying 5.9 cents a minute Does not provide cheapest $0.059/Minute/
conferencing participants with free call in per caller, which is apparently the solution for conference calling. Per Caller
best non-profit price available from
Doodle Meeting scheduling A free online utility that is very There is no link between the Wild Apricot is embedded with None
simple and intuitive, enabling service and Outlook so requires a Outlook utilities so we can
invited guests to confirm the times separate step for scheduling either use doodle or create a
that suit them meetings hidden event (including
registration) in Wild Apricot
Survey Monkey Membership and Easy to use Any surveys over 100 participants This year we have been Free: basic
programs surveys: (our membership is currently fortunate to use our Chapter package
 Free – limit of 100 around 500 and growing) requires Growth Consultant‟s account. Monthly charge:
participants per monthly or annual financial However, this will not be $19.95
survey with max.10 commitments available going forward. Wild Annual charge:
questions and 15 Apricot currently does not $200
pre-built templates provide this service and
to use Survey Monkey should
 Monthly plan – limit continue to be used.
of 1,000 responders
per survey with
unlimited number of
questions and
unlimited custom
 Annual plan –
unlimited number of
unlimited number of
questions and
unlimited custom

JBL/JK 12.16.09
Utility What it does? Benefits Drawbacks Analysis Cost
Wild Apricot This is an integrated utility that As a consolidated technology Potentially limited in Based on the research $200/Month (No
provides: platform, it is easy to use, easy regards to web design, done, both on-line and Contract
 Membership sign up, to set up and manage, and although WA has assured through the USGBC Required – no
renewals and member simple for chapter leadership us that a web designer can executive directors registration nor
profiles and members to use and implement any design that network, Wild Apricot is one cancellation fees)
 Fundraising tracking access. we provide – we do not of the most highly
 Payment of sponsorships  Has membership have to use one of their recommended programs,
and donations on-line management function templates. with minimal initial
 Event publicity, on-line enabling us to:  Web design function is investment of time.
registrations and payment o Handle membership simple, but possibly
 E-mail and newsletter applications directly and lacks the design While it might be easier to
distributions not through National, capabilities of Adobe transfer from Blue Host to
 Website development, allowing for immediate Photoshop, HTML, Wild Apricot from the
content management and access to membership PHP, and other more beginning, it is not
hosting. numbers etc. intricate Website necessary to do so. We
o Initiate automatic Utilities. However, if we can transfer what we really
renewal and use a web designer to need (back of house) while
acknowledgement e- create the initial site keeping the existing
mails generated for new they will implement it; website, although it may
and renewing members would also need to use mean that the look of the
o Keep a current web developer to make various pages on the site
membership database, major changes. are not consistent (an
which tracks what  Event registration still example of this is the
events members attend requires external Houston Chapter‟s
and other useful payment services like membership section).
marketing information Google Checkout,
o Survey members unless we get a An alternative to Google
 Track individual donors and merchant account. Checkout might be
how much they contribute  Set up process will authorized.net with a
 Communications made require a time merchant account from
easier and more targeted: commitment, although Flagship merchant, which is
o Has same email the general consensus how Houston chapter does
distribution capability as is that it should not take it.
Constant Contact more than 30 days
o Has a membership  Integration with current Once and if we are ready to
search function so that website is available but enhance the website
we can email select may not be able to capability and improve
groups provide the same look ease of administration, we

JBL/JK 12.16.09
 Removes one step from the and feel for the new would use a web designer
event registration process as pages as the existing and/or web developer to
has the same features as site. create the new look and
Eventbrite plus automatically develop the structure based
adds contacts into the on our needs.
 Allows for importing events
directly into Outlook
 Free and constant software
upgrades; if one asks them
to change or add something
they will apparently do it
 Has a web design
application which enables a
non-highly technical person
to administer and make
changes to the site,
removing the need for a web
administrator after initial
design and setup. Web
design changes will still
require a professional web
 Can transfer domain name
and all hosting capabilities
from Bluehost if necessary
 They back-up the system in
3 different places around the
Utility What it does? Benefits Drawbacks Analysis Cost
GoToMeetings A Web conferencing tool for  Attendees can join easily  Total audio conference This is an excellent Monthly plan:
organizing and attending online without having to set up call has no extra costs, utility and it was $49/month
meetings. One flat rate allows one video feeds, Webcams, or but participants are recently noted that even $588 in total
to host unlimited online meetings in registering for an account charged a standard Wild Apricot facilitators annual costs
collaboration with up to 15  Presenters can easily take long distance charge use this company for
attendees. Also gives ability to turns and have the ability to  VoIP is only free when their online interactive Annual plan:
perform live demonstrations in real share the keyboard and it is toll based webinars. $39/month
time, collaborate on documents and mouse control  Only allows for up to $468 in total
provide training. The application  Integrated audio includes 15 participants, but annual costs
JBL/JK 12.16.09
Includes free phone conferencing, phone conferencing they do offer another Save 20% with
VoIP, or both. numbers in email invitations application, this deal
and on the Control Panel GoToWebinar, that
 Free VoIP begins instantly allows for up to 1,000
when the session starts and attendees (30 day free
gives attendees the ability trial of GoToWebinar
to transmit and receive available)
audio at no cost by working
through the participants
speakers and microphones
WebEx Meeting Allows for: It also allows for unlimited Expensive N/A Monthly plan:
Center  Sharing PowerPoint online meetings with up to 25 $69/month per
presentations participants and comes with host (no
 Showing website navigation integrated phone conferencing commitment,
 Transferring files cancel any time,
 Integrated audio controls renews month to
 Document sharing month)
 Support for Microsoft
PowerPoint and Outlook Annual plan:
 Multimedia content sharing $59/month per
 Application viewing, host
application sharing and Save $120 a year
desktop collaboration
 Polling
 Ability to record, edit and play
back meetings
 Free VoIP
CorporateConference Has both per call per minute Toll You only pay for what you use Pricing is complicated. After comparing and 2 cents per caller
Calls.com Free plan and a flat rate monthly and there are no contracts or For a Toll Free call, this contrasting other per minute
calling plan with: hidden fees. The flat-rate plan company charges 5.9 conference call Toll free if we use
 Unlimited monthly usage would allow us to forecast our cents per minute if we stay applications, this one more than 500
 Ability to cancel anytime monthly budget under 500 minutes. If we proves to be the best minutes/month
 Conference 24/7 use more than 500, then choice is we use Toll Free
 No reservations needed they only charge 3.9 cents calling and use more than $14.95/month for
 On-Demand fully automated per minute. They do have 500 minutes per month, unlimited non
service an unlimited plan for which is likely Toll-free calls
 Free call recordings $59.99 a month, but it is
 Ability to mute or remove not Toll Free and
callers from web and view all participants would also
participants on call have to pay.
JBL/JK 12.16.09
 Ability to record playback for
missed called
Z2Neon Provides integrated web solutions for Includes a full suite of Pricing seems complicated Currently used by Design 1001-5000
non-profit organizations, including fundraising and donation tools with all the different add- Build Live – constituents
Constituent Relationship enabling one to manage all on Modules instead of all After comparing and $99/mo with $649
Management, donations & donations, whether from the included in one price – e.g. contrasting the capability of setup
Fundraising; Event management, website, by phone, mail or in Social fundraising-$20/mo several other systems Incl 5000
membership management, e- person, in one database in one Doc management - evaluated – this seems to emails/mo
newsletters mailings; place $9.95/mo be more oriented to the
Store items (5-20 ) - CRM aspects while other 5001-10000
offers substantial donor- Duplicate back-up $20/mo things such as webhosting, increases to
management features Vol/empl/activity tracking - incl Web Hosting – 15 GB and surveys, and doc $150/mo
15GB bandwidth - management are extra
Also – specific campaign widgets Online store – 1-5 items free, 6- $50.00/mo plus $1500 features at extra costs Full tech support -
can be created for raising money 20 add $20/month setup which make the overall $99/mo
Online survey and form costs less competitive than Basic tech
buildr - $20/mo other systems evaluated. support - $15/mo
Wealth screening – zip code relates Online forum
This system also has little Incl training video
income info for contacts
1-5 users – included flexibility with regard to and 2 emails/mo
Requires merchant account set up -
6-10 users - $15 aesthetic design and some
3rd party card/check processor of
11+ users - $10 functionality.

Started in 2003 – NEON 1.0 issued


Used by Design-Build-Live group in

Authorize.net Customer payment option that is This would keep visitors on our Because of the web The services offered are
very similar to Google Checkout or page. It would allow for a more integration, a web something of interest for
PayPal. The key different is that it is seamless payment experience. developer will be needed long term donor/sponsor
a merchant account and is integrated They offer recurring payments to implement the system. implications, however with
into the current website and is not option for donors/sponsors; The services offered are current budget and
linked. something not currently offered also not free as our technical situation, it may
by Google Checkout, PayPal or Google Checkout and need time and further
Wild Apricot. PayPal. research to implement.

JBL/JK 12.16.09