Keynote: Why CiviCRM has to become the best relationship manager for nonprofits
CiviCRM can solve a serious problem we see today of unequal access in the nonprofit sector to administrative tools.
According to the most recent measurements by the National Center for Charitable Studies, 45% of the 1.4 million nonprofits in the United States have a yearly budget below $100,000. Nonprofits operating with a small budget are addressing new social needs no one recognizes yet, solving local problems the rest of the world overlooks, and keeping alive a cultural tradition with no market value. They deserve the best product we, as active members of the CiviCRM community, can develop because the richness and diversity of civil society relies on their success. As in any open source project, there is a strong connection between knowledge sharing and our ability to improve the economics of nonprofit administration for everyone. CiviCRM's new site redesign facilitates greater information sharing among organizations, which is a great step in the right direction.
Kellie Brownell manages donor relations at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, where she strives to keep donors engaged in EFF's effort to enhance the rights and freedoms of technology users. She is also on the advisory board of the Ada Initiative, an organization that supports women in open technology and culture. Before defending digital rights, she studied public versus private funding of the performing arts at Stanford University's Center for Philanthropy and Civil Society. She has worked as a fundraiser for orchestras, operas, and theaters in the US, Canada, and Germany. And believes strongly in the open source and nonprofit ethos: if something fails to meet your expectations, be it a software feature or social problem, take responsibility for improving it.