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Blog Posts

  • New In Altru: Members Only Events
    Members only events are a great way to engage your members and give them added value to their membership.  In the past, Altru users had to manually manage restricting events to members only, but in Altru 4.91, you’ll be able to restrict Scheduled Programs to members only! Creating Members Only Events is easy! While building a Schedule Program, you can ... more
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  • Best Practices For Replacing With Required Purchase Discounts In Altru 4.91
    With the release of Altru 4.91, there are some changes to With Required Purchase type discounts to enhance performance in Altru.  If your organization uses these discounts, there are some alternative ways that you can still offer discounts to your patrons for programs.  As of the Altru 4.91 release, With Required Purchase discounts may only be ... more
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  • Learn from the Best & Brightest at BBCON 2016
    Find out some of the highlights for arts & cultural organizations attending BBCON 2016! more
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  • Altru Support Seminars - August 2016
    Two brand new Altru Support Seminars are coming in August! August 10th 4-5pm ET/1-2pm PT Altru Support Seminar: Staff Changes - Prepare Your Organization Today During this one-hour session we will review how to prepare your organization for staff turnover. Whether the turnover is through staff promotions or people leaving the organization, it is ... more
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  • An Update on All Things EMV
    The EMV liability shift in the US has been anything but smooth. As of October 1, 2015, merchants now bear the responsibility of covering chargebacks from fraudulent card-present EMV transactions that are processed with a non-EMV compatible point-of-sale solution. Despite this, the industry has yet to expedite the hardware certification required ... more
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  • An Inside Look at TrendsWatch 2016
    The American Alliance of Museum's Trendswatch Report is one of the most anticipated publications in the museum sector. That's why we are thrilled to host Elizabeth Merritt, Vice President of Strategic Foresight at the American Alliance Museums and Founding Director at the Center of the Future of Museums , in an exclusive glimpse into this year's ... more
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  • Another New Altru Course?
    Have you ever needed on-the-spot information about a constituent? Have you ever been unsure where and how to update information you’ve gathered? No worries—Blackbaud University’s newest instructor-led class, Altru: Constituent Record Management 1 will be available this July ! This three-hour class is designed for all Altru users responsible ... more
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  • Altru Support Seminars for June and July 2016
    Summer is upon us and we've got some great Altru Support Seminars coming up! We'd love to see you in a session soon. We list all upcoming sessions in the Altru Community Events Calendar - even before we blog about them - so keep an eye there for more more Altru Support Seminars as well as other Altru events like new Blackbaud University courses for Altru and ... more
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  • Credit Card Updater for Altru Version 4.9
    Have you ever wondered how you will remember to update recurring donor credit cards in Altru when their expiration dates changes? Let’s take an Altru user named Stacey as an example. Stacey is in charge of entering donations for her organization and they have a large group of donors with recurring gifts. As a convenience for donors, her organization ... more
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  • Newest Altru Class Available this May!
    2016 is off to a great start for Altru users! In March , we announced Altru training is undergoing a major revamp as it integrates with Blackbaud University. April brought the release of two new classes on the fundamentals of Altru. These classes are in the Blackbaud University format, which encourages a more engaging and hands-on training experience ... more
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  • Membership Cards: A Thing of Our Past
    Guest Post from  Stephanie Philio of  KidsQuest Children’s Museum We  have all seen the familiar scenario: a parent comes up to  the ticket counter trying to wrangle excited kids, holding onto the diaper bag, coats, coffee, answering your greeting, while trying to dig out their membership card. Not the YMCA card, or the library card, or the card to ... more
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  • We're changing support to serve you better.
    Hey Altru Community,   We have exciting news from our Support team!  On April 18 th , we are extending our chat support until 8pm EST!  This is a request we heard from a lot of our customers, and we worked hard to deliver this to ensure that when you need us, we are available! Haven't used chat yet?  See what your Altru colleagues say about chat:  “Continue to ... more
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  • Altru Training is Evolving
    Is your organization new to Altru? Are you a new Altru user? Maybe you’ve been exploring Altru, trying to understand the bigger picture. If so, you’ll be interested to know we’re releasing two new Altru classes in April! These new classes introduce the fundamentals of Altru and are a great starting place for anyone new to the product. Join your peers and ... more
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  • Altru Education News: February 2016
    Hi Everyone! It's February and my education update is a little late. The beginning of 2016 has been a whirlwind around here. I know that many of you can empathize. You know what it's like to be wrapping up the past year and trying to plan for the new one all at the same time. And it's going to be a year of changes and improvements for Altru Education. As the year ... more
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  • Data in the Wind: Guest Post from Shannon Knight, RISD
    Repost from  npENGAGE :  I have a guitar that I keep in the closet. She’s about 30 years old and has been through eight moves. She lost a tuning peg at some point and now the strings are corroded and way, way out of tune. But I won’t part with her, since she’s the first guitar I ever bought. I learned basic chords on that guitar and have a feeling she knows Dust in ... more
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  • Altru Survey Now Closed.
    Last July, a survey popped up in Altru focusing on your overall experience using Altru. We had 345 users respond, representing 165 different organizations, and we are grateful for your participation. Your feedback has prompted us to take several actions, including: ·        Scheduling training sessions later in the day to better accommodate West ... more
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  • New Instructor-Led Class Released! - Altru: Fundraising Configuration
    I'm pleased to announce that starting January 15, 2016, we're adding a new instructor-led class for Altru. The new class Altru: Fundraising Configuration covers many of the important and useful features that should be configured in Altru to help you organize and analysis your fundrasing revenue. In this two-hour, instructor-led course, you will ... more
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  • It's Time to Create a New Fiscal Year!
    If you have your fiscal year set up to end tomorrow (December 31), make sure that you have your next fiscal year setup. This only applies to organizations that have the General Ledger enabled. If a new fiscal year is not setup, on Jan 1 all users will receive the message “Data could not be saved. Post date must be in an open period.” when trying to add any new ... more
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  • Upcoming Telephone Menu Changes
    As of December 7, 2015, there will be a new phone menu when calling Blackbaud Support. We have simplified some of our options and made some additional changes to the phone menu. We have a Knowledgebase article that will show you the changes: How do I find my product in the Customer Support menu?  so you know where an option you may have used before is now ... more
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  • New Features Now Available in Altru 4.6
    The release this week includes features that enhance reporting and grant greater flexibility for access control! Here are some highlights: Responsive Web Form Layouts for Mobile Devices Based on early feedback from Altru Release 4.5, we made changes to increase functionality and improve flexibility for web styling. Program Revenue Report This ... more
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  • Finish the Year Off Strong - December 2015 Altru Education & Training Update
    In December, we are wrapping up the Masters Workshops focused on having the best possible end of year with Altru. We’re focusing on end of year reporting and improving or updating your acknowledgement letters. I’ve also posted the classes that we ran in October and November on data clean-up and health, Appeals, and Query tips. You can check them out on ... more
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  • Altru Community Relocation Delayed
    *Update: Due to migration issues, the community migration has been delayed until early December. We will keep you posted as we have new dates.   Several months ago I mentioned that Blackbaud has begun launching new communities. RE, REnxt, eTapestry, Target Analytics, and several others are now up and running. In order to provide a cohesive experience ... more
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  • Altru Education & Training Available in November
    As I mentioned in my last update, when scheduling Masters Workshops for the end of this year, we tried to make sure we were supporting the tasks that would help you have a successful end of the year. In October, we focused on database clean-up (even the Altru Learn Lab at bbcon was focused on data health!) In November, we’re taking a look at queries and ... more
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  • Data Integrity at the RISD Museum: The Long and Winding Road
    Guest Post from Shannon Knight, RISD Museum Visitors provide data to museums and other institutions all the time: when they make a donation, when they become a member, when they visit or attend an event. And we, as museum staff, use that information to make decisions that (hopefully) result in better services for those visitors. But that’s only ... more
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  • Training on Altru 4.5 New Features: This Wednesday
    New features released in Altru 4.5 included email receipts for Advance Sales, the ability to add images to the email receipt template, enhancements to the Program Events list including better sorting options and bulk delete, and improvements to the Discount report. Join us on Wednesday October 21st at 4pm ET/1pm PT for a quick demo of the new features ... more
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  • Congrats to our Champ of the Year: Dan Peters
    You've probably heard of our Altru champions program, where we recognize and reward our most active and helpful community members. Each year, we choose a Champ of the Year; someone who has gone above and beyond to make the community a welcoming and worthwhile place. This year, the award goes to Dan Peters of the Museum of History and Industry, in Seattle. ... more
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  • 4.5 New Feature: Discount Report Enhancements
    For a variety of different reasons, patrons to your fine facility might not want to pay full price for a ticket, and you may wish to accommodate for those reasons. You can accomplish this with discounts in Altru. The Discount report in Altru lets you take stock of all the different reasons why someone might not have paid full price and the value of the ... more
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  • 4.5 New Feature: Email Receipts for Advance Sales
    In our last release, we added the ability to email itemized receipts from Daily Sales for your patrons convenience and to save time and paper. In the 4.5 release, we added the ability to email receipts from Advance Sales as well! Depending on your organization’s configuration, ticket sellers will have the option to print, email, or send no receipt when ... more
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  • The Three Rs of Altru 4.5: Responsive, Receipts, and Reporting
    In early  October , you'll find new features in your Altru ™ solution that will improve the visitor experience and save time for CFOs. Responsive Web Form Layouts for Mobile Devices With responsive web forms, your visitors can easily purchase everything from tickets to memberships on the device of their choice. Why do you care? Conversion rates are 34% ... more
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  • Meet the Newest Members of Team Altru
    The Altru team prides itself on how well we know our clients - and in turn, they seem to get to know us. Our support team sits together, so we're always exchanging info on clients and cases, making sure we know the ins and outs of each organization and database, so we can provide the most specialized answers to your questions. We're a small team, so when you ... more
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  • Getting Ready for End of Year! Altru Education & Training Update for October 2015
    It seems to me like this year has flown by! Hard to believe that October is upon us. I’ve been starting to think about all of you and how it’s about time to be getting ready for fall and end of year appeals. I know that during my time in the development office that meant rounds of passing around appeal mailing lists and finding every data problem we had in ... more
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  • Altru Gets Flexible: Responsive Designs in Webforms
    *Update: Responsive webforms will be released for Altru in a November release. Altru webforms are not exactly practicing yoga, but they are becoming more flexible! We are excited to announce that this popular idea in our Altru community is part of our upcoming upgrade: mobile ready webforms. Along with the technical achievement of adding this ... more
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  • Updating Your Data: How to Import in Altru
    In support, we have heard from a lot of you that you are working on importing records lately. Whether you are updating addresses with do not mail tags, importing memberships, or just adding some new constituents to your database, we’ve heard a lot more chatter than normal about import! Import is an amazingly powerful tool and a great way to get a lot of data ... more
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  • Behind the Curtain - Altru Product Development
    Ever wonder what happens to the ideas you suggest or Me Too on the community? I’m here to tell you how we take your suggestions and make them reality in the product. First let me introduce myself though. I’m Courtney Grainger Goodin, the new Altru Product Manager. I joined the team this summer as Jonathon moved on to a new role here at Blackbaud. I can’t say ... more
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  • Altru Fundraising Event Assigned Seating Tips and Tricks
    As we approach the time of year in which many organizations host their Annual Gala, one ongoing struggle many organizations have is how to best manage seating arrangements at these events. The good news is that Altru has a fantastic seating arrangement feature which can be a big time saver!  This feature allows you to create a layout for how many tables ... more
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  • NYCID Program Offers Free Memberships to Residents, but At What Cost?
    In September 2014, New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio announced that any resident of NYC could obtain a NYC ID (free of charge) and in turn, use that i.d. to receive benefits around the city, including free one year memberships to 33 cultural institutions in the five boroughs, including zoos, arts centers, art museums, and botanical gardens. (Link: ... more
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  • Speed up Volunteer Timesheet Entries in Altru
    Altru’s volunteer module is a versatile feature that helps us manage this key resource of your organization. Recently we posted a series on how we can leverage the configuration and processes of the volunteer module to best meet the needs of your organization. One key component of any volunteer program is keeping a track of the time volunteers are ... more
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  • Altru Training & Education - September 2015
    It’s back-to-school time! For some of you that means a bit of relief from the busy summer season. For others, it’s just the start of working with school groups planning for the rest of their year. Either way, it’s often a transition in focus about this time of year. For Altru education, this month brings a trial run of a new reoccurring class on Membership ... more
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  • Setting Up OData in Altru and Excel
    OData allows you to import data from Altru into other programs such as Microsoft Excel and Tableau in order to consume, share, and manipulate the data in pivot tables, power views, and dashboards. OData is available from any query in the system. You can share dashboards and charts created with OData with any user, regardless of their Blackbaud ... more
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  • Leveraging Emails Collected via Altru Daily (and soon Advance) Sales
    I am really excited about the recent Altru 4.4 release and the new (community driven if I may add!) feature of emailing receipts from Daily Sales . And yes, Advance Sales is also in the cards for an upcoming release! This will not only save paper and add efficiency, but now also opens up new opportunities with email capture. I thought it would helpful to put ... more
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  • Increasing your Patron Data Collection
    We all know that keeping a patron is easier and more profitable than trying to obtain a new patron; however, in most of the art organizations that I work with there is not a definite process in place to grow their patron data. Visitors to the museum for daily admission are very rarely asked for additional information outside of their zip code, so there is no ... more
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  • Take a seat! Tips for using Event Seating in Altru
    Sometimes one of the hardest parts in planning an event is figuring out that seating. Not only do you want to make sure everyone has a fantastic time, but you often have to keep track of many special requests. That’s a lot to handle! I’m in the process of planning a wedding now (exciting!), but the seating is one part that that I’m struggling with—keeping ... more
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  • Additional Improvements for Gift of Membership in Altru 4.4 Release
    In my previous blog post New in Altru 4.3: Gift of Membership Field Enhancements , I gave a detailed instructions on how to export the gift message for gifts of membership within Altru. In our latest release Altru 4.4 we have now included those merge fields in the membership card output header file! Now you can personalize the membership card and/or ... more
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  • Email Receipts for Daily Sales are here in Altru 4.4!
    More and more visitors to your organization are likely asking for an emailed receipt or to not have their receipt printed at all (like me.) Not all people want a printed receipted for their admission or other purchases. It seems to be more and more common. I recently had lunch at a food truck rodeo, paid on a tablet, and I personally declined a receipt, but ... more
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  • New Altru features are coming your way!
    Altru 4.4 moves patrons through the line faster. In early August, you'll find new features included in your Altru subscription! The following updates help reduce wait times and improve the customer experience. Email Itemized Receipts Ticket sellers can now choose to print, email, or provide no receipt. And, as you collect or confirm email ... more
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  • Altru Education Update – August 2015: New Curricula and Updated Role-Based Training Guides
    Last month we announced a new one-stop-shop for all the information that you need about Altru education and training. I hope everyone’s had a chance to check it out by now. We’re still really excited about it and think it’s definitely worth bookmarking in your web browser: www.blackbaud.com/altru-training . Two of the resources that you’ll find on ... more
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  • Did You Know? Partial Refunds Uncovered
    On our team internally, we do a series called Did You Know with each month covering a different topic. It’s Arts & Cultural based, so we talk about things like arts & cultural organizations offering free admission, the effect of training on user’s satisfaction, and the number of different arts & cultural organizations out there. It’s always ... more
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  • Expert Export Tips
    When you’re looking to pull information cleanly in Altru, nothing beats a good export! Not only do you get one row per record, but by using an export definition, you have much more control about what information you display. This blog post will discuss some helpful exporting tips to help you utilize export (and your data!) to its fullest. Whether you are ... more
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  • IMAX & Film Reporting in Altru
    “My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die!” –William Goldman, The Princess Bride If you are asking yourself, what is The Princess Bride , then you MUST run to Film Streams to watch the next showing of this classic film from the 80’s. If you’re into Great White Sharks or Mysteries of the Unseen World , check out the show times at Discovery ... more
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  • How The Frist Center for the Visual Arts Used Altru's Custom Ticket Template to Work with Custom Ticket Stock
    A guest post by Kevin Sanderson, Network Administrator, The Frist Center for the Visual Arts Like most venues converting to the Altru platform, the Frist Center prides itself on having unique and personalized delivery methods for presenting ourselves to the visitors we treasure. One of those methods features custom Frist Center branded tickets, ... more
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  • How Interactions and Attributes in Altru Help With Moves Management and Prospect Management
    Many of you know that I’ve filled two roles within the Altru Community. First, I was an Altru Community Champ while working at The Discovery Museums (Acton, MA). Now, I’m a Customer Success Consultant on the Altru team. Having straddled positions inside and outside the company, I’ve had the unique opportunity to see how Altru can be put to use by good ... more
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  • Altru Community Roundup June 2015
    Every once in a while, we like to do a Community Roundup where we gather up all the great questions and suggestion posts from other users in one place where you can easily view them and add your comments and expertise, plus get some tips and tricks from other users! This time, I’ve categorized them into sections so you can see what might be most relevant to ... more
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  • Please Welcome Our Three New Altru Community Champions!
      Here within Team Altru, we’re extremely proud of our Community Champions Program. This program is designed to both encourage and reward participation within the community from Altru clients like yourselves.  As of this month, we have 21 active Champions.  Through their participation, our community—and our client base—is enriched.  Last month ... more
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  • Duplicates Part 3 – Merging Duplicates
    This is the third and final post in a three-part series about duplicate management. If you look at the images above, you’ll notice they are actually the same person. Go ahead – look closely. I’ll wait. Every database has duplicates. It doesn’t matter what system it is or what company it comes from. It’s just one of those things that will always be an issue ... more
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  • Altru Education News – July 2015
    We’ve got big news this month!   www.blackbaud.com/altru-training   Check out our Altru Training web page. It’s your new one-stop-shop for information and links to all of our education resources. Now on to our regularly scheduled program. Altru Masters Workshop: Volunteer Management Part I – July 7th – 1-2pm ET – Register here Volunteers are an ... more
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  • Duplicates Part 2 – Identifying Duplicates in Your Database
    This is the second post in a three-part series about duplicate management. Just like the weeds in Devendra’s garden, duplicates happen! Even if we have preventative measures in place, your Altru database is being touched by your whole organization and even your patrons online! Being armed with effective ways to manage those duplicates will help ... more
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  • Receiving and Selling Gifts of Stock in Altru
    Ever wondered how stock gifts really work in Altru? It’s easier than you thought! Sit back and let Altru do all the work for you. If you receive stock as a donation to your organization, you may need to record the information about the stock gift in Altru. It is important to keep a record of this if you are keeping the stock or if you are only selling a portion. ... more
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  • Duplicates Part 1 - Prevention can help with the cure!
    This is the first post in a three-part series about duplicate management. Aaah! Duplicates! When it comes to duplicates and databases, I am reminded of the weeds in my garden. (It has been an unusually wet spring in my home base of Iowa.) However much I try, they seem to keep coming back! Now in terms of “weeding” our Altru database, we have some great ... more
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  • Volunteers in Altru Part 4: Extending Your Volunteer Program into Reservations, Special Events and Program Events
    This is the last installment in a month long series of blog posts all related to Volunteer Management in Altru. Check out Part 1 ,  Part 2 , and Part 3 if you missed them. A busy calendar of activities has a direct impact on your volunteer program: group tour reservations require docents, education programs need volunteer instructors,  fundraising ... more
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  • Adding a Custom Header or Footer to your Altru Receipts
    In the past, we’ve seen how to make the most out of the printable space on a ticket . Now, let’s take a look at customizing what prints on the receipts. In Altru 4.3, we removed the Thank You! from the bottom of the receipt. You could add it back; better yet, you can add custom text to the bottom of the receipt and let your visitors know that they can trade in ... more
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  • New in Altru 4.3: Gift of Membership Field Enhancements
    A popular idea asked for in the Altru Community is a gift membership message field . In the 4.3 release that idea was implemented! Now you are able to gather a custom personal message between the gift giver and the gift recipient when purchases are made online. In addition you can also chose to deliver the membership to the Gift Recipient or the Gift Giver. ... more
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  • New in Altru 4.3: Manually Mark Gifts Acknowledged
    These are my favorite type of blog posts to write.  It’s a case of “you asked and we listened”. One of the top ideas in Altru User Community is for the ability to manually mark a gift as acknowledged . Maybe you, or someone of your staff, personally thanked a donor for their gift via a one-off letter or by a personal phone call,  and you don’t want to include ... more
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  • Being Responsive to Mobile Trends
    Hey look, another Blog post on Responsive Design! One with statistics and flashy words like “optimization” and “analytics” – I better bookmark this one and read it sometime… Before you do bookmark this post for “later” reading, however, I would encourage you to pause for a moment. See, the difference here is that I’m not just another Interactive ... more
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  • Printing Speed Improvements with Altru 4.3
    Summer is here and it is hot outside. For some, summer means staying indoors and enjoying the air conditioning, as standing in the heat is not on their to-do-list. Others, however, love the outdoors. There is one thing all of us can agree on: standing in line stinks. With the release of Altru 4.3, we’ve significantly shortened the time it takes to print ... more
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  • Altru 4.3 gives you more, so you can do more.
    In early June, you'll find new features included in your Altru subscription designed to increase efficiency and add functionality. The release includes features that allow faster printing and more flexibility with memberships and acknowledgements! Here are some highlights: Faster Receipt Printing : Itemized sales receipts have been updated ... more
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  • Volunteers in Altru Part 3: Bringing Harmony to Volunteer Assignments – Matching Volunteers to Jobs
    This is the third installment in a month long series of blog posts all related to Volunteer Management in Altru. Check out Part 1 and Part 2 if you missed them. In the previous installment of this volunteer series we reviewed options on how to leverage time availability to quickly identify which volunteers are available for assignments. In our blog ... more
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  • Altru Education Update – June 2015
    Did you know that we release new Altru education videos almost every month? As of this writing, in April and May, we’ve released eight new videos. Viewing Undelivered Email Setting Up Altru Appeal Segments and Selections Understanding Fundraising Hierarchies in Altru Excluding Constituents from an Altru Membership Renewal Process Entering Altru ... more
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  • Tableau and Altru: How the Museum of History and Industry is Using OData and Filling Reporting Needs
    Guest Post from Dan Peters, Data Manager & Analyst, Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI) Here at the Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI), we decided to purchase Tableau for creating reports and dashboards using data from Altru, as well data from other sources, and this blog post is about using Tableau with Altru, its capabilities and limitations. ... more
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  • Volunteers in Altru Part 2: Save Time and Add Value through Volunteer Availability
    Last week we began a month long series of blog posts all related to Volunteer Management in Altru. This is the second installment in that series. Check out Part 1 if you missed it. Colleague:  "Hi! Sorry to bug you at the last minute. You know we have our fun Saturday Fete event in a couple of days. Unfortunately, I just got a phone call from our volunteer Jim. ... more
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  • The Best of Summer in Altru
    From building forts to Lego engineering to Knights & Fairies, Altru customers have it going on this summer, especially for kids! Most summer camps start around the 3 rd week of May and run through mid-August for ages 3-10. Members typically get a break in cost and are offered early bird rates & registration. Have multiple children? No problem, Altru ... more
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  • Have you checked out the new Knowledgebase?
    If you haven't checked out our new Knowledgebase , you're missing out! We want to hear from you! Your feedback will help us continue to shape your Knowledgebase experience. It's easy as pie to get started: Go to our new Knowledgebase Preview Page: https://www.blackbaud.com/knowledgebase/kbpreview.aspx Click the Knowledgebase Help button for ... more
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  • Volunteers in Altru Part 1: Leveraging Screening Plans
    Over the next month, we will have series of blog posts all related to Volunteer Management in Altru. We hope you'll enjoy them. This is the first installment in that series. One of the components I find interesting in the Volunteer module in Altru is the screening plan feature. This is because it reflects the overall functionality of the volunteer module ... more
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  • Three Timesaving Tips for Using Constituent Update Batch
    Inevitably, there is always data entry and data clean up to do in your databases. Committing time to getting this done is very important—after all, our data is the lifeblood of our organization! One tool in Altru to help you get this done (and get this done right!) is the Constituent Update Batch. Here are three of my favorite tips for using Constituent ... more
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  • The Inside Track: Altru Bug Filing
    Have you ever called or chatted into support and received news that the issue you reported is not working as designed? At some point, no matter how long you work with a particular software you will run across something that may not be working as intended or designed. In the Altru world, we call these bugs. Today, we want to share with you our internal ... more
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  • Check out the new Knowledgebase Preview!
    We are very excited to announce that we have entered the beta testing stage for our brand new Knowledgebase! What’s new and exciting about Knowledgebase? No more login! You no longer have to log in to blackbaud.com to search for answers. Knowledgebase now includes product documentation and YouTube videos in addition to articles. Knowledgebase is now ... more
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  • Querying on Discounts by Price Type
    If you’re an Altru user who needs to go beyond the standard report on discounts being used, I may be able to help. When running your discount report, you may want to break it down a little further and find out how many times a discount is being used for each price type in a given period of time. Below, I have outlined the steps needed to build a query on discounts ... more
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  • New in Altru 4.2: Custom Ticket Templates
    There’s an idea in our User Community to be able to customize the ticket template.  I’m going to paraphrase, but users were asking for the ability to print their organization name on tickets, change the font size, or make other cosmetic changes as wanted.  It’s with my pleasure that I get to announce that we have taken that idea and implemented in the ... more
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  • May Altru Education Options
    Last month, I celebrated a year in the Altru Education Lead position. It’s crazy how time flies. I’ve learned a lot in a year. I’ve learned more about what Altru users struggle with, more about the importance of ease of accessibility of training resources, and more about how quickly (or not quickly) we are able to release new content that our users need. ... more
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  • New Features Coming this Month
    In a few days, you'll find new features included in your Altru™ subscription designed to increase efficiency and add functionality. Visit the Altru New Features page to get all the information and guidance you need to begin using the new features right away. The theme of this release is training and ticket printing! Here are some highlights: ... more
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  • Join us for an Altru Roadmap Webinar - April 30th
    Do you want to know what enhancements and additional features are coming next? Mark your calendars for the Altru Roadmap Call – Thursday, April 30 th  at 1:00pm EST! Join Altru Product Managers to see what we have planned for the remainder of 2015.  Don’t miss updates on exciting initiatives like responsive web form design and new integrated Target ... more
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  • Meet Dan Peters: Newest Altru Champion!
    Please join us in welcoming Dan Peters, of the Museum of History & Industry , as our newest Altru Champion. Although Dan joined the museum just a bit over four months ago, he’s quickly become an Altru expert. He’s already been active in the community (we’re sure you’ve seen his advice!), and we look forward to additional contributions in the months and ... more
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  • In-Product Step-by-Step Guided Walkthroughs Now Available in *Beta*
    We’re always looking for ways to help our customers use Altru more easily and for ways to incorporate help and training right into Altru. Recently, we’ve been exploring a new tool that we think will help us to meet those two aims. Many of you may have noticed that on March 31 there was a new Walk through option in the Help menu and new little green walking men ... more
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  • Do You Like Free Money? The Magic of Matching Gifts - Part 2
    In Part 1  we discussed the basics of matching gifts, and how to set up Altru to create matching gift claims automatically. To review, a matching gift claim works a lot like a pledge. It is a commitment that an organization (typically a donor’s employer) makes to donate to your organization when one of their employees donates first. Now we are going to ... more
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  • Do You Like Free Money? The Magic of Matching Gifts - Part 1
    Have you ever brought an old coat out of storage, reached into the pocket and found $20? Do you remember how happy it made you? Money you didn’t even know you had! Matching gifts allow you to feel that way every time someone makes a donation. If their employer has a matching gift program that gift can often double! If I give $20, and my employer matches it, ... more
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  • Trending: The Buzz in the Altru Community
    Every once in a while, we like to do a Community Roundup where we gather up all the great questions and suggestion posts from other users in one place where you can easily view them and add your comments and expertise.  Who better to tell people what membership card printer to use or how to track your grants than you, who do this every day!  I’ve compiled some ... more
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  • Altru 4.2 Release: Get Ahead of the Game and Install the Workstation Component on Your POS Workstations Today!
    In the Altru 4.2 release on April 14 and 16, a new version of the ActiveX Control add-on for Internet Explorer will be required to print sales receipts and tickets. Follow the instructions below to install the new interface  prior to the April 14 release  to avoid disruptions to your front desk sales. Do not apply this update to any workstation used for ... more
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  • Name Formats: What you need to know
    As a Customer Success Consultant, I work with Altru customers during the first few months after implementation. One of the most common topics I receive questions about is about Name Formats. Often these are new for organizations and there is a lot to consider when building them. I’ve put together a list of 5 “Need-to-Knows” about Name Formats. I hope ... more
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  • New Growth in Spring – April Altru Education Update
    Every year, I am so excited for spring. It’s truly a beautiful season in Minnesota, and after winter here, I’m always ready for the green and the birds and the flowers. I’m reminded that renewal and new growth comes with spring. It’s also true in my work life as well. Many of the projects that were begun in the winter at the beginning of the year start to come to ... more
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  • Understanding Unresolved Online Sales Orders in Altru
    One of the best features of Altru is the ability to accept payments for memberships, donations, event registration, program sales, and combination sales online through   web forms. However, sometimes there is an issue with the online transaction. These issues are referred to as Unresolved Online Sales Orders. In this blog we will review how to check ... more
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  • 5 User Registration Tips
    One of my favorite Altru online features is the ability to use User Registration. User Registration recognizes patrons as constituents in your database and offers some great benefits for both your organization and your patrons. Some of these benefits include the ability to apply automatic discounts, auto-populating constituent information, ... more
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  • Recognition Settings Explained
    Recognition settings can have a big impact on your data.  Your ability to report on total giving by constituent can depend on how you use recognition credits. Configuring your recognition settings can make data entry a little faster and easier.  You can find Recognition settings under Configuration on the Revenue page in Altru . Here’s an ... more
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  • Creating Custom Emails: How Nevada Northern Railway Uses Digith with Altru
    Guest Post from David Raber, Nevada Northern Railway : While you can do many things with the WYSIWYG email editor in Altru, we've opted to use an additional tool to save ourselves some time. Here is a little about the email formatting tool that I use. As you may have discovered, email rendering software such as Outlook, Gmail, Yahoo, etc do not pay ... more
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  • Tracks: Saving Time in Group Sales
    If your organization has a lot of Group Reservations or Facility Rentals, and you aren't familiar with the Tracks feature, then you should definitely investigate this awesome time saver! The Tracks feature allows you to significantly speed up the process of adding items to the Group Sales reservation itinerary by having a “template” consisting of ... more
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  • Creating a Custom Webform: How America's Car Museum Customized Their Registration
    Guest Post from Kathleen Magness, Donor Database & Prospect Research Coordinator for LeMay Museum: America's Car Museum America’s Car Museum hosts an annual event called, Vintage Motorcycle Festival: The MEET at ACM. At this event, more than 2,500 classic motorcycle enthusiasts gather together on the ACM’s Haub Family Show Field to view hundreds ... more
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  • March Altru Education News
    When we ask you, our Altru users, what you want more training on, the number one request is always QUERY! So it brings me great pleasure to announce that we’ve released a whole bunch of query resources recently. In last month’s blog , we announced the release of Altru Curricula in Training Central. Now in addition to what was there, you’ll also find a Query ... more
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  • #Showyourculture
    Let me open by saying that I have a prize to give out, but you have to read to the bottom of the post to learn more! In January, Blackbaud employees from all over the world rallied together to celebrate our cultural customers through our #showyourculture initiative.  Everyone from engineers to sales representatives to our CEO Mike Gianoni got in on the ... more
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  • Using Registration Information to Your Advantage
    In 2014, we released the capability to ask for more than just first name and last name from our participants in preregistered programs. This capability can be especially important for programs such as camps and classes, where there are often many pieces of information that need to be collected about the individuals who will be attending. Today, we'll ... more
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  • Smart Fields: Just how smart are they?
    What is a smart field?  What can I use smart fields for?  What type of smart field should I use? When should I use a smart field? These are the types of questions we hear regularly on support calls. Smart fields provide quick access to specific information that otherwise might take hours or days to compile. For example, you create a query of all donors in your ... more
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  • Three Tidbits from the Tips and Techniques for Camps and Classes Masters Workshop
    We had a fantastic Masters Workshop on Camps and Classes and so thought it would be great to share some tips for folks that could not join in. Changing the Name of Secondary Events A key component of any multi-day activity such as camps or classes is to set up secondary events to represent the recurrence of the activity on our calendar and to also reserve the ... more
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  • Three Tips for Managing Altru Queries
    Queries are one of the most “popular” features in Altru shortly after an organization goes live. This is understandable as queries are a really powerful feature that helps us dive directly into the database. There have been some really great blog posts on helping set up queries. Kevin has not one but two blog posts on how we can take advantage of queries. ... more
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  • 4.1 New Feature: Address Finder
    The latest release of Altru now includes Address Finder!  Address Finder is a Data Tune-up paid subscription service that provides the most current address information available for your constituents.  You can create and submit your data to Blackbaud and when the data is updated you can import and update your records all in three easy steps.  The ... more
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  • 4.1 New Feature: Import Selections
    Altru 4.1 release has several exciting enhancements and is allowing our users to have a lot more flexibility within the system. Some of the features wanted by the majority of our customers include re-sending eTickets and allowing patrons to partially pay for event registrations with designations on fees. There is also the new feature of Import ... more
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  • 4.1 New Features: Taxes on Merchandise
    Exciting changes are on the way for how we apply taxes to merchandise in Altru. We've made is much easier to not only configure new taxes but manage existing taxes for merchandise. You can now apply different types of taxes to merchandise items in the same department. This means that merchandise taxes are no longer dependent on the department the item is ... more
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  • New Features Coming in February
    In early February, you'll find new features included in your Altru™ subscription designed to increase efficiency and add functionality. Visit the Altru New Features page to get all the information and guidance you need to begin using the new features right away. The theme of this release is improving your constituent data! Address Finder ... more
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  • What’s New in Altru Education: Upcoming Classes & Curricula!
    In February, we’re continuing to focus on topics that you may have included in your New Year’s resolutions. We’re focused on patron engagement and building long-term relationships. Additionally, as 21 st century organizations, many of us wish to do a better job of engaging and interacting with our customers online.  We’re also thinking ahead to ... more
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  • Blackbaud Forms and Inclement Weather
    Our new Blackbaud Forms manufacturer is located north of New York City, NY so they are affected by the snowstorm in the Northeast today, 1/27/2015.  Incoming phone calls are transferring to our call center agents at home and the plant itself is closed. Because of the snowstorm, UPS is not picking up any shipments today either. The plant will be open for ... more
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  • Starting the New Year at Noon: Children's Discovery Museum Celebrates Noon Years' Eve
    Guest Post from Debbie McKenzie, Development Manager for the Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose Each December 31 st , the night may belong to the adults, but at Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose, the day belongs to kids! Looking to boost attendance on a historically slow day, the Museum was inspired by a local daytime New Year’s celebration ... more
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  • Newest Champion: Laura Barnett of Blanton Museum of Art
    Meet Laura Barnett, our newest community member to hit Champ status! She's been working at the Blanton Museum of Art  in Austin, TX for the past 10 years, but has over 15 years of museum experience. Looking forward to seeing her advice in the community! Get to know her in the interview below: A little about Laura: My current title is Manager of ... more
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  • Want to talk with other Altru users? Join our chats!
    Part of the reason we love the Altru community is because it gives you guys a chance to exchange ideas with other Altru users, making the most of both Altru and your own expertise. To add to this, we began hosting live chat sessions on Skype over a year ago. We're going to continue hosting this year, but with a few changes. New Platform : Due to some technical ... more
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  • Community Round Up: 2014
    Last year was a big year for our community. We celebrated our 2nd birthday. Implemented our 100th idea. Topped off with over 1000 members. In case you missed any of those, here are some highlights from 2014: We had 333 new members join the community. 1300 new topics were created. Of those new topics, 200 were conversations between Altru users , so there ... more
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  • New Years Resolutions
    Whether we buy into New Year's Resolutions or not, it's hard NOT to start your year out with a game plan. We all have a running list of things we'd like to accomplish, based on what we did last year - or maybe what we didn't do last year! Here's what a few of our Altru users are focused on for 2015: Stephanie Henke, Nantucket Historical - Recurring Gifts! And our ... more
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  • New Year, New Classes
    Is brushing up on your Altru skills (0r learning new ones) on your resolution list? Or maybe cleaning up and caring for your Altru database? If so, we’ve got a few Masters Workshops planned this month to help you get everything ship shape for the new year ahead. We've also got a great class on reporting for Visitor Services as you wrap up last year. ... more
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  • Newest Children's Museum Champion, Debbie McKenzie
    You may remember Debbie McKenzie from her recent blog post on how the Children's Museum of San Jose  sold 639 memberships in one weekend . She's basically a development guru - and an Altru expert as well - so we're thrilled to welcome her to our Champions program. Get to know her in the interview below: What’s your current title? How long have you been in this ... more
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  • Have you defined your next fiscal year?
    Just a heads up for those of you that have your fiscal year set up to end this month (12/31), make sure that you have your next fiscal year setup. If tomorrow comes and a new fiscal year is not setup, all users will receive the error: Data could not be saved. Post date must be in an open period. when trying to add any new transactions: donations, ticket sales, ... more
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  • Happy Holidays from Altru
    The office will be closing for the Holidays on Wednesday, December 24th at 3 pm ET and will remain closed until Friday, December 26th at 9 am ET. If you have a support need during this time, you will still be able to create and update cases or post in the community and we will respond when we are back in office. If you have a critical or down situation, please ... more
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  • Director of Things That No One Else Wants to Do: Tips from the DBAs
    Director of Things that No One Else Wants to Do The Make-It-So Fairy These are just a couple titles I've heard for our database administrators. Regardless of what you call your DBA, here's what these Altru-experts have to say about their current roles: From  Sophie Mendoza, Portland Museum of Art: I literally schedule time with my assignments on my ... more
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  • Meet Mike Marseglia - Our Champ from The Strong
    Meet Mike Marseglia, from The Strong , National Museum of Play, located in Rochester NY. Mike joined the Altru community back in February and was quick to get involved - posting new ideas and offering advice to other users, based on what his organization is doing with Altru. We were thrilled when he hit all the levels (activity, good answer stars) to ... more
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  • 3 Reasons to use Mailing Preferences
    Have you ever had a member ask you to mail their member renewal to their business address? Or a patron asked to only receive email communication? Did you know there was a handy place in Altru to track this information? If you go to the Communications tab on a constituent record, you will see a sub-tab for mailing preferences. Here is where you can set ... more
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  • Important Update to the Blackbaud.com Website – The Omnibar
    We’re excited to inform customers about an important enhancement we’re making to blackbaud.com that will help us prepare the framework for single sign-on! Next week, all customers who access the Blackbaud.com website will need to update their accounts to sign in using the Omnibar which will allow single sign-on with Blackbaud products. This update ... more
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  • Sign Up to Participate in the Community Secret Santa
    Want to get to know your fellow Altru users a little better? And get into the holidays? And get something fun in the process? Then sign up to participate in our Community Secret Santa. Just comment on this post, if you'd like to join . I'll send you another Altru user to send a gift to. You could find something from your city or your gift shop - or just something ... more
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  • Get to Know Our Newest Champ, Stephanie Philio
    Meet Stephanie Philio , our newest Altru community champion! Stephanie was just named a champ, as she quickly ranked up community activities and those "good answer" stars. She's a knowledgeable ALtru user and always has great advice for navigating the system and her field in general. Get to know her in the interview below: I am the Special Project ... more
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  • Training Available in December
    December is traditionally a busy month for the organizations that we serve. Between end of the year giving, school vacations, planning for the new year to come, and the holidays, there’s never a dull moment. This month we’re focusing on helping you wrap up the year and start next year fresh. Internally here at Blackbaud we’re also planning for next year ... more
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  • We Are Thankful For ...
    With bi-monthly releases, we are constantly adding new features to Altru. We all remember a time when we didn't have "_______." So, here are a few features that the support team are thankful for. You may not remember a time without them, but they can save time in your day to day operations! Drew Hastilow (Customer Support Analyst) – Ability to cancel group ... more
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  • Getting Your Altru Merchandise Department Ready for the Holidays
    The holidays are right around the corner! One of the first things I think about when summer ends is that the holiday season is right around the corner. The reason this comes to mind is that I spent 9 years as the Director of Sales at the New Theater Restaurant in Overland Park, KS.  During the months of November and December we entered our yearly gift ... more
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  • Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Now ... #GivingTuesday
    Have you noticed the last few years that Thanksgiving weekend has become a bit longer? No, I am not referring to folks tacking on a few days to get the travelling out the way and spend extra quality time with friends and family — I am referring to #GivingTuesday  (December 2 this year). #GivingTuesday was founded in 2012 (long ago in Social media years!) by ... more
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  • User Roles in Blackbaud Merchant Services
    Blackbaud Merchant Services (BBMS) allows multiple people from your organisation to log in and view information relating to their department. For example, you’re the administrator so you have full access; however, you want your finance folk to have a log in so they can generate reports only and not have access to any other feature, such as changing ... more
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  • 3.19 New Feature: Come an’ Get Your Combos!
    One feature I am really excited about coming in  Altru 3.19 is online combos! To start with I must confess, I am a big fan of combos – whether at the Chipotle counter or a museum front desk! Combination tickets for those curious, is the ability for us to sell tickets to two or more events at the same time. Combinations are really neat because they are a win-win ... more
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  • New Security Roles Coming in 3.19
    Building upon the momentum from the last Altru release, I am happy to announce that 4 new system roles are being included in the upcoming Altru release. Our goal is to continue to fill in the security gaps and introduce additional system roles. We tried to balance adding new roles that restricted what users could view within Altru, as well as parse out some ... more
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  • Signed, Sealed, Delivered: The Many Ways to Use Altru’s Write a Letter from Template Feature
    With Altru’s 3.19 release, you can create pre-formatted templates to send a single constituent a letter.  This was a feature requested by many members of the Altru community , and there’s a lot of ways you can use this function for fundraising, membership, major giving, and even group sales and facility rentals. The Write a Letter from Template ... more
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  • New Features Coming Next Week
    Next week, you'll find new features included in your Altru™ subscription designed to increase efficiency and add functionality. Visit the Altru New Features page to get all the information and guidance you need to begin using the new features right away. The theme of this release is increasing flexibility and driving revenue! Ticketing: Sell ... more
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  • Altru Roadmap Call: Join Us Nov 13th
    Our product managers, Jonathon Leeke and Tui Allen, presented the 2015 roadmap and 3-year outlook for Altru at bbcon this year. We realize everyone isn't able to attend, so we're hosting an online session to let everyone in on the plan. Details are as follows: Thursday, November 13, 2014 2:00 pm ET -  Register here . The call should last about an hour with ... more
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  • From Customer to Employee: How I Came Back to Altru
    My name might sound a bit familiar to those of you who have been active in the Altru community. Perhaps you've noticed a slight title change. I've gone from Champion to Employee — I'm now part of the Altru team! I’m really happy to let all of you know that as over October 1 st , I joined Blackbaud as a Customer Success Consultant for Altru. This is a role that I've ... more
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  • Champ of the Year, LaKiesha Henderson's BBCON Recap
    BBCON was a great learning and networking experience for me. I had an opportunity to meet so many of the folks I interact with online on a regular basis, the people I’d previously known only by name and avatar. I also had a chance to meet fellow Texan, Dale Strange, the Vice President & General Manage of Blackbaud’s General Markets Business unit.  There ... more
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  • Our SCARIEST Errors - And How to Solve Them
    To celebrate Halloween, we thought it would be fun to put together a list of our scariest Altru errors. The Altru Support Team has seen our share of scary errors. Here’s a few of them but don't worry — they are easy to resolve! Alisa S. When you’re processing an order in Advance Sales, you may receive this error after you enter credit card information: ... more
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  • Training Available in November
    Coming into November, with Thanksgiving on my mind, I begin to take stock of the things in my life that I am thankful for. One of those things is my team at Blackbaud. The people I work with every day are a group of very special, caring, and dedicated individuals who put our customers first. While I am the face of our Altru education efforts this year, everyone ... more
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  • How We Sold 639 Memberships Online in 96 Hours: Guest Post from the Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose
    Guest Post from Debbie McKenzie, Development Manager for Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose : These days it seems everyone is looking for the daily deal. Groupon and LivingSocial deals work well for admissions and drive people in the door, but we have found that they do little to convert the visitor into a member . Here at Children's Discovery ... more
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  • The BEST Thing About bbcon
    I asked a few members of the Altru team what their favorite thing about bbcon was. From meeting customers to karaoke to the grub, it seems like everyone had a fantastic time. Here are their responses: Other than all the exercise I got walking around the beautiful Gaylor Opryland hotel, my favorite part of BBCON was hearing success stories from customers ... more
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  • Free Webinars: The Science of Turning Visitors into Major Donors & The Case for Free Admission
    At bbcon this year, we had two great sessions featuring some best practices from other Altru users. We realize everyone can't make bbcon, so we'll be redoing the sessions as webinars, and we'd love for you to attend. Here are the details:  Converting everyday supporters into major donors is a science. To grow your major donor base, you've got to know ... more
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  • How to Solve a Common Acknowledgement Process Error
    Have you ever tried running the acknowledgement process and received this error: Error activating the marketing effort: Error running marketing effort export. An error occurred before executing the process 'Marketing Effort Export Process’: Error running marketing effort export. Object reference not set to an instance of an object. What does ... more
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  • 100 Ideas Implemented from the Altru Community
    With the 3.18 release of Altru (coming this week), we will implement our 100 th customer-generated idea , submitted via our community! I know we say it often, but it really is true – we value your input. Our product managers sort through ideas weekly, offering insight to our roadmap for the year and using your suggestions to help determine the direction of ... more
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  • New Feature: OData and PowerPivot
    Have you heard about this new functionality in our latest release of Altru called OData?  Questions I hear around OData include what is it and how can it help me?  OData stands for Open Data Protocol which allows you to consume, share, and manipulate data from Altru using queries. If you are a Microsoft Excel user, you can use OData as a data source with ... more
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  • Important Information Regarding the Shellshock Vulnerability and Hosting Services
    Recently, a team of security researchers announced a vulnerability named “shellshock” ( CVE-2014-6271, CVE-2014-7169 ) which affects Bash, a program that some Unix-based systems utilize to execute command lines and scripts.  In this context, we would like to inform you that the following Blackbaud Hosting Services products are secure: ALTRU ... more
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  • New Features Coming in October with Altru 3.18
    In early October, you'll find new features included in your Altru™ subscription designed to increase efficiency and add functionality. Visit the Altru New Features page to get all the information and guidance you need to begin using the new features right away. The theme of this release is driving simplification! Security roles: Altru 3.18 adds two ... more
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  • Training Available in October
    It’s almost October and at least here in Minnesota, the weather has been cooling down and the trees are becoming beautiful shades of red, yellow and orange. While I’m not looking forward to raking leaves, I am enjoying the view. It’s also got me thinking about the end of the year and what that means for our customers, like getting out the end of year appeal, ... more
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  • Education is Learning What You Didn't Even Know You Didn't Know
    Starting in April of 2014, the Altru Team added a new position – Altru Education Lead – created to focus specifically on the education of our customers about all things Altru. We recognized that we needed more available to our users to help when implementing Altru, training new employees and simply looking to learn new skills. Our goal is to provide ... more
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  • Common Printer Problems & Solutions
    Have you ever had to set up a new receipt printer for your front desk computers? Or maybe you moved around some computers and need to reconnect the printers. Or perhaps one day your receipts and tickets just stopped printing. These situations can put you in a tight spot when you need receipts and tickets for your patrons and customers. Don’t be worried ... more
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  • Using BBMS MobilePay: Guest Post from Audrey McAbee
    The Craft Beer Festival is a one-day event that we have in May. This was our second year of the event and both years it has been wildly popular. The event features 15 craft breweries and over 40 craft beer selections. We also have live music, some terrific food vendors and lectures on beer held throughout the day. We sell tickets in advance online, but also on ... more
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  • Got a Need for Speed? Cleaning Up Your Data to Speed Up Sales
    No one likes waiting around for a website to load. Whether receipt printing is slow or completing an order is taking longer than expected there are plenty of things that you can do to keep your database running at top notch. Just like you take your car to get the oil changed or tires rotated, your Altru database needs the same care & attention. Are there any ... more
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  • Altru Training Available This September
    More Altru Masters workshops have been added to the September schedule. If you're ready to deep dive on reporting, sales, and records, sign up below! Altru Masters Workshop: Fundraising Reporting and Analysis - September 10th, 2-3 pm ET - Register here . This event will show you how to track your basic fundraising goals, including setting goals on ... more
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  • Your Suggestions Wanted!
    The community is brimming with "how do you use this?" and "have you ever tried this?" type questions. If you've got a few minutes to offer your advice to another user, here are some questions that could use your expertise! Are you mailing tickets? If so, Ricardo from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences could use your advice! Reply here . Opinions ... more
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  • Code Table Access is Here!
    In our newest release of Altru (3.17) access to code tables was granted without having to contact Support. We released this exciting news in this blog . But we've had a few users who created a new code table and still found that they are unable to add new entries or even edit an existing code table entry. Does that sound familiar? Did you think to yourself, “I ... more
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  • Top 5 Reasons You Should Be Using Blackbaud Merchant Services (BBMS)
    As most of you know the Altru support team is smaller than other support teams. This isn't a negative; because of our size we are able to speak to the same customers and build significant relationships with them. We know your organization’s emphasis, we know your strengths and we know your pain points. We are your advocate and want you to have success with ... more
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  • Check Out the New Knowledgebase Changes Coming Your Way!
    We invite you to read more about the new Knowledgebase changes happening here in Support. Check it out: New Knowledgebase Changes . If you want to be in the know, make sure to subscribe to our Support News blog! more
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  • How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Selling 2000+ Tickets in 3 Hours: Guest Post by Andrew Farrell
    Guest Post from Andrew Farrell , Development Database Manager at Birmingham Museum of Art: Each summer the Birmingham Museum of Art (BMA) hosts ART ON THE ROCKS , a series of after-hours events combining lots of music, food, dancing, drinking, and arts of all kinds. 2014 was the tenth year of this event and the first time that the BMA used Altru as its ... more
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  • Watching the Numbers: How Tulsa Children's Museum Optimized Their Merchandise Sales
    Guest Post from Susan Daubeneck, Tulsa Children's Museum : We just launched our Merch Shop in January. Right now it’s a 7’ by 4’ wall display, with additional stock stored behind our front desk. We sell museum hats, t-shirts, and pencils as well as a few key science and creativity items. (Science Kits, Creativity Cans and Glux). We checked out a few ... more
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  • Making Membership Entry Easier in Altru
    As a former museum Visitor Services Manager and current trainer in Altru, I work with a lot of staff members in charge of membership data entry. As this is one of the most difficult processes to learn, I’m here to discuss some tips for making this process as error- and pain-free as possible. Why do we enter all this stuff? One of the main questions I get from ... more
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  • Rookie Mistakes: How I Solved My Query Quandaries by Stephanie Henke
    I made many, many mistakes when I first started creating queries in Altru (see my top 9 below, in 500 words or less). But as the saying goes, if you aren’t making mistakes, you aren't working hard enough. And that is how you should approach queries: you won't find your mistakes until you make them . So don't wait, CREATE! I can’t find the field! Use the FIND ... more
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  • How to Handle Data Requests in Altru: Guest Post from Kristina Gerard
    Throughout the day I get requests from staff about everything Altru. These requests range from helping someone update a constituent’s address, to larger requests like pulling a list of active members who have given $X amount or more to a specific designation and also attended a specific event, and the output needs to include 2 different name formats ... more
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  • Appeal VS Acknowledgements: Why You Can’t See Your Selection
    Connecting with your constituents is one of the major features of Altru. Our appeal mailings and acknowledgement processes allow you to easily get a tailor-made message to a specific group of constituents. For example, let's say you want to connect with p atrons who attended Event A and gave to designation Z who are also expired members who have paid for ... more
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  • Classes Available in August
    Every month there are new opportunities to learn more about Altru. Whether you're just getting started or want to review or deepen your skills, we've got classes for you. Here's the list of what is available in August: Appeals & Mailings 101 - Aug 1, 19 This 2-hour instructor-led class will introduce the Appeal and Mailings function in Altru. The class ... more
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  • New Masters Workshops Available
    We've got quite a few recurring classes - Membership Setup 101, Daily Financial Reconciliation, Web Forms 101 ... but we realize we've got lots of power users out there; customers who know a TON about Altru and are ready to learn even more. So we've developed some advanced training - the Altru Masters Workshops. These one hour classes focus on specific ... more
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  • Global Change: Things to Consider
    Now that we have global change, let’s not just jump in and start changing records. Before making changes, there’s things to consider. There’s no undo.  Be sure to check and double check before you start your global change. Make sure that the query of records you are changing is right. Check the settings on the global change to ensure that what you are ... more
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  • Global Change: Let's Get Ready to Change Some Records!
    Let’s say you want to add a new attribute to a group of records or Let’s say that one of your fundraisers has left the organization and you want to assign a new fundraiser to the records or Let’s say you are doing data cleanup and want to remove an attribute that’s no longer user or Let’s say there’s you have a group of records that you no longer want to send mail to ... more
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  • When do you offer partial refunds?
    With the 3.15 release of Altru, we gave you the ability to partially refund. In our latest release (3.16 & 3.17, July 2014), we added a little more functionality - giving you the ability to keep the membership or ticket active, while refunding part of the purchase price. Since you all know HOW to use this functionality, I thought we'd cover more of the WHEN ... more
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  • Altru 3.16 & 3.17 Released Next Week
    Next week, you'll find new features included in your Altru™ subscription designed to increase efficiency and add functionality! Visit the Altru New Features page to get all the information and guidance you need to begin using the new features right away. This release combines the features planned for Altru release 3.16 as well as additional ... more
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  • Are you recognizing and rewarding your Loyal and Major Donors?
    I have been a lifelong Kansas City Royals fan and attend more than 10 games every season when I'm not on the road helping our Arts and Cultural Clients. One thing I have noticed over the years is how the Kansas City Royals reward their loyal fans, is by making them pay to rebuild their stadium, raise prices on everything (I mean a $13 Beer!), all the while ... more
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  • Best Practices for Cancelling Group Sales
    Have you ever had a group call and cancel at the last minute? I think we’ve all been there. However, what comes next is a little different for every organization. Perhaps you require a deposit and keep that deposit. Or maybe your groups pay when they come, so you just have the reservation record but no money yet. Or maybe, you keep some money since they ... more
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  • Kids Visit Free This Summer: The Dali Museum Takes a Risk
    Kids Visit Free This Summer!  This was the headline I recently read in The Dali Museum's newsletter. We typically hear that the summer is crazy for museums. Kids are out of school, and parents are looking for things to do with them. So why would the Dali offer free admission for kids? I reached out to Kathy Greif, Marketing Director for the Dali, to get the ... more
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  • Altru Training: Classes Available in July
    We have a couple new Masters Sessions added this month. Don't miss out on these: Altru Masters Workshop: Managing Your Membership Program Description: Focusing on day-to-day maintenance activities often performed by Membership Managers, this one-hour Altru Masters Workshop will cover often requested how-to’s including transferring a ... more
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  • These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things: Altru POS Hardware Recommendations:
    When making hardware recommendations, affordability is always, always top of mind. Amazon just happens to carry everything on the list. I also have a Prime membership and the free two day shipping doesn’t hurt ^^ Dell Small PC  - $386 Dell 21” Touchscreen  - $250 Credit Card Swipe  - $50   Barcode Scanner  - $25   Receipt Printer  - $143   Cash Drawer  - $55 ... more
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  • Have you defined your next fiscal year?
    Just a heads up for those of you that have your fiscal year set up to end today (6/30), make sure that you have your next fiscal year setup. If tomorrow comes and a new fiscal year is not setup, all users will receive the message “ Data could not be saved. Post date must be in an open period. ” when trying to add any new transactions: donations, ticket sales, etc. ... more
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  • Altru Masters Workshop: Fundraising & Special Events
    The Altru Masters Workshop continues in July! We plan on hosting these series at least once a month and will continue to rotate the featured topics. The first session on query filled up quickly, so we suggest you go ahead and register if you'd like to attend. If you haven't heard about the Altru Masters Workshop, the basic idea is that these are sessions for ... more
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  • Exit Through the ... Event Space?
    I actually started this blog post over a year ago. I stopped because I thought I was stating the obvious:  Driving visitors into your gift shop is good for business. So yeah, no duh. Any parent that has spent $30 on a penguin stuffed animal could’ve told you that. Fast forward a year and I got inspired to revisit this topic. I was in Cincinnati for Cincinnati ... more
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  • When the Honeymoon Phase is Over ...
    I've only been married for a year and a half, so I won’t pretend that I’m an expert in marriage.  By most people’s standards, my wife and I are still in our “honeymoon phase.” Even though our marriage is recent, it can still be easy to forget about those things I initially found attractive in her. As a Solutions Engineer for Altru, I get to demonstrate the ... more
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  • Comparing Membership Renewal Letters: What Other Orgs are Including
    I am a member of a couple local nonprofits and recently received my membership renewal request. While the organizations are quite different, their letters had quite a bit of overlap. I wondered if this was the case for most nonprofits; I was curious as to how they chose to appeal to their members. Did they use images or stories? Did they list out the ... more
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  • Today's Tip: How to Report on Revenue by Payment Method
    It’s the age old question from all of our accountants and CFOs out there. “How do I report on revenue by payment method?” The total revenue and payments report has come a long way in the past 2 years. We now have the ability to report on unearned revenue for Group Sales, see a breakdown of payment methods, and filter by the source of the transaction. While our ... more
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  • Altru Masters Workshop: Advanced Query Part 1
    You asked for it – you got it! This month begins our Altru Masters Workshop, advanced level training in Altru. And we're starting with query.These Masters sessions are for those who have already completed the Query 101 class and are ready for the next steps. The two sessions will cover different topics and can be taken individually. Part I will focus on ... more
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  • Training Available in June
    June 4 - 3 pm - Query 101 June 5 - 11 am - Managing Group Sales Reservations in Altru June 6 - 11 am - Introduction to Altru June 9 - 1 pm - Membership Setup 101 June 10 - 11 am - Ticketing Setup 101 & 3 pm - Web Forms 101 June 16 - 3 pm - Revenue 101 June 17 - 11 am - Batch 101 & 3 pm - Introduction to Altru June 18 - 2 pm - General Sales 101 June 19 - 11 am - Appeals & Mailings 101 &  2 pm ... more
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  • Altru 3.16 Release Delayed
    Each time we release we put a lot of time into testing. We recreate steps you would take in the system – we try to copy your workflow. Occasionally, we run across something in our testing that has such effects that we may choose to delay the release. This is the case with 3.16. While all the new functionality is working, there were some unintended ... more
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  • Your Opinion Wanted: Offer Your Advice in the Altru Community
    SO many good conversations are going in the community this week. If you're curious about collecting post-visit surveys online, preprinting event tickets to sell, keeping your data clean, or offering member loyalty programs, then this is the time to visit the community. To help keep the conversation going, I'm offering a little incentive. ... more
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  • You have the right ... to your code tables!
    Next week, Altru will be upgraded to the newest version - 3.16. This version includes registration information enhancements, refund improvements, and the ability to change the gift status of a membership. One small fix with a big impact is giving you the rights to your newly created code tables - without contacting support . In the past, you had to ... more
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  • Altru 3.16: New Features Coming Next Week
    You're probably used to this schedule by now. Every 2 months, we add new features and fixes to Altru - and the June release is just a week away. Visit the Altru New Features page to get all the information and guidance you need to begin using the new features right away. The theme of this release is improving the visitor experience! Refund enhancements: ... more
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  • New Altru Class Added: Managing Group Sales Reservations
    As we continue to expand our Altru training materials, we've added a new class to the roster: Managing Group Sales Reservations in Altru This two-hour instructor-led online event introduces you to the basic processes for adding and managing a group sales reservation. The course covers creating a reservation record, scheduling activities for ... more
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  • Keep It Clean: 3 Ways to Keep Your Altru Data Clean From Stephanie Henke
    Guest Post from Stephanie Henke , Data Services Coordinator for Nantucket Historical Association and newly-named Altru Champion : We here at the Nantucket Historical Association run a pretty tight (whale)ship. As far as our database goes, and the information in it, we are committed to keeping it correct, current and consistent. Lucky for us, we have ... more
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  • Hardware Review: Lemur-S by Boca
    I look at old ticket printers like classic cars: heavy metal, loud and run forever; even after taking a beating. The Boca Lemur-S is my “Eleanor” of ticket printers. This printer has seen some abuse in its time, including when I dropped it on concrete while traveling to Cincinnati. The fall was from 3ft or so and put a good size dent in the front bezel. Did the ... more
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  • Altru Community: Two Years and Running!
    April marked two years for the Altru community. We've had  a great time getting the community up and running, watching our customers join and participate. Seeing your ideas implemented and your problems solved. It's also been great to watch the percentage of how-to questions drop and the how-do-you questions rise. We love that you guys want to talk to ... more
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  • Everything You Need to Know About Altru Web Forms
    Your patrons have access to almost everything online. They can pay bills, order anything from groceries to furniture, secure their home, download music, watch movies, and much more. You'll want to provide them access to everything your organization offers online as well - general admission tickets, special event tickets, camps and programs, ... more
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  • Altru Training Available this Month
    Every month is packed with training opportunities for Altru users. These 101 classes are perfect for those new-to-Altru. It's a great way to onboard new staff or help with transitioning roles. Or if you're not sure you're taking full advantage of Altru's capabilities, these classes are a great way to get an overview of entire sections of the product. ... more
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  • Do You Know Your Ideal Supporter? Do They Like Borscht?
    Guest post by Peter Gulka, Consultant for Blackbaud’s Arts & Cutlural Solutions As a person of Ukranian heritage, I am often asked “Hey – do you like  borscht ?” If you’re unaware, borscht is a traditional Ukranian soup made from beets. Whenever I’m asked, I immediately get uncomfortable and try (usually in vain) to explain that no one likes borscht. No ... more
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  • Tell Your Story: How Arts & Cultural Organization Can Encourage Personal Storytelling
    According to the blog  justgiving.com  there are 5 key motivators for giving: to support a particular organization because we are inspired by other’s stories to support a cause to feel good to participate in an event If the first one is easy what can we do to get those that already support us to inspire others to do so? Working with arts organizations there ... more
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  • Altru Implementation: A Customer Perspective
    This series of posts are written by Claudia Gomez, the Membership Coordinator for  San Antonio Children's Museum . She'l l detail her experience of going through the Altru implementation process, from Kick Off to Go Live. The long and winding road that leads me to your door … kind of what happened with Altru and me. Six months ago, I was saying farewell to ... more
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  • Today's Tip: 3 More Query Tips
    Following up from my last post on Query tips and tricks , there’s a few more I want to add. Tip 1 – Access your queries throughout Altru. If you want to be able to use a query throughout the program (in a mailing or export), be sure to select to "create a selection" when saving your query. Checking this box will allow you to use the query in other areas outside of ... more
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  • Bok Tower Gardens Celebrates All Its Lovebirds
    On Saturday, February 15th, Bok Tower Gardens welcomed all  its former lovebirds at their  wedding reunion celebration . Brides and grooms, as well as those who "popped the question" at the Gardens were invited to participate in the ceremonial Crossing of the Moat. Guests enjoyed a special Valentine's carillon concert by Geert D'hollander and were ... more
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  • Important Security Advisory - Heartbleed Bug
    Recently, a team of security researchers announced a vulnerability named “Heartbleed” (CVE‑2014‑0160) which affects SSL, the protocol most commonly used to secure transmission of sensitive data on the web, from credit cards to personal information, and the very keys that protect that data.  In this context, we would like to inform you that your ... more
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  • Today's Tip: Did You Forget Your Password?
    As a Support Specialist, I get to work with Altru users every day. I'm either on the phone, in the community, or chatting, resolving issues and answering questions. While that takes up a good bit of my time, the rest of my day is spent creating resources that can help our customers resolve their issues easily and quickly - without requiring them to pick up ... more
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  • Things to Know About Altru 3.15
    For our latest release of Altru (3.15 coming out this week), we've created several resources to get you ready. Check out the New Features page . Sign up for New Feature training . Or get the quick rundown below: Ability to Reschedule Tickets You can only reschedule tickets for events of the same price type and program. You cannot reschedule tickets for ... more
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  • Using Knowledgebase: 4 Tips for Successful Altru Searches
    We have the most engaged customers! You all search the Community, talk in Skype chats, take 101 trainings, and more. However, I consistently see one thing you all are missing out on: Knowledgebase. I know that the Community is the most popular hangout because you can talk to other users and get help from support, but Knowledgebase is a great resource for ... more
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  • New Features Coming in April: Altru 3.15
    In keeping with our 2 month release cycles, Altru will be upgraded to 3.15 next week (April 9, 11). Check out our New Features page to preview the new features and register for training. Here is the highlights from this release: Reschedule Tickets In this release, you can now reschedule tickets of the same program and price type for another of a different ... more
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  • Champion Tip: Check Out Their Favorite Reports
    Our champions are our Altru power users. They're knowledgeable and constantly working in the database, running reports, pulling queries, digging in the data. Altru comes with a ton of built in reports. If you're not sure which ones you should be using, here are their favorites: Kate Ambash, Discovery Museum We use the Zip Code Report monthly if not ... more
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  • Altru Classes Available in April
    The April training calendar is packed with our 101 classes and a few new sessions. Be sure to register via our Resource Center to take advantage of all these trainings: Membership Setup 101 - April 1, 15 Ticketing Setup 101 - April 2, 16, 30 Query 101 - April 4, 25 Revenue 101 - April 7, 21 General Sales 101 - April 9, 24 Webforms 101 - April 9, 28 Introduction to ... more
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  • How Does Altru's Product Development Process Work?
    When I began working with Altru, our releases were much less frequent than they are today. There was much more time between releases because we deployed large pieces of functionality, giving entire sections of the product an overhaul. Within the last year, we've changed our process, implementing 2 month release cycles that offer more frequent ... more
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  • Oldies but Goodies: A Few Topics You Might Have Missed
    I love that we have so many conversations going in the Altru community. We actually created an entire section, so you read other customers' advice and chime in with your own. But with so many topics, a few good ones are bound to get buried in the influx. So, here are a few oldies, but goodies that you might have missed. Wanted: Mailing List Organization ... more
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  • Altru Webinar: A Year in Review
    2013 was a big year for our development team. We decided to go with smaller, more frequent releases - every 2 months, to be exact. With 6 releases in a year, we're thinking there may be things you missed. To make sure you're aware of all of the new features implemented in 2013, we're hosting a Year in Review session. Thursday, April 3rd, 2-3 pm ET - Register Now ... more
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  • April 8th: End of Windows XP Part 4
    January 2001: iTunes launched. Beyonce was just a member of Destiny’s Child. You did not have to remove your shoes to get through airport security. Time Warner thought it got a heck of a deal buying AOL. The average gallon of gas cost $1.47. Married less than two years. Not sure if I want kids. Fast forward 13 years: iTunes has sold their 25 billionth song. ... more
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  • Champion Tip: How to Use Altru for Prospecting
    Guest Post from our Altru Champ, Audrey McAbee of the Mariners Museum: Altru does not currently possess a Prospecting module so when approached by our Development head on how she could use it to track potential Prospects and those being “courted” to give to the Museum, I had to first do a lot of research. I am in the Technology field so at the time my ... more
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  • Today's Tip: 4 Query Tips from Our Product Lead
    As an Altru product lead, I spend a lot of time assisting our support analysts and analyzing case data - and one of the areas where they hear the most questions is Query. So I thought I’d focus on some query tips and tricks that will either help you out or get you thinking about how you can more efficiently and effectively use query. Tip 1 -Filter by ZIP. Have you ... more
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  • Champion Tip: LaKiesha's Top 3 Queries for the Development Department
    Guest post from LaKiesha Henderson, San Antonio Botanical Garden: We do quite a bit of reporting in the Development Department. Here are my favorites: There are two queries that I use on a daily basis. The first shows me all the membership cards that are waiting to be printed. This query is my most frequently used query because I process mail-in and phone ... more
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  • Altru Community Redesign: Check Out the New Look
    The Altru community will be upgraded next week to include a brand new look and design with some great additional functionality. The basics are the same: You still ask questions, report problems, submit ideas and praise. But the new features should make finding relevant topics and connecting with other users even easier. Check out the before and after ... more
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  • April 8th: End of Windows XP Part 3
    Have you seen this yet? As the end of XP nears, Microsoft will begin displaying this message on XP machines IF they have automatic updates turned on. So, even if you don’t see this, you still have to update your XP machine. This message is just one more reminder that XP is saying its final goodbyes. I’d like to imagine that XP is just being sent to a farm where it ... more
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  • Champs Revamped: Check out the New Altru Champions Program
    Last year we rolled out the Altru champions program . Designed to highlight and reward our power users, the champions program publicly recognized our most skilled Altru users. But, it wasn't perfect. We weren't 100% set on what made a champion - which meant customers weren't sure how to become one. We offered additional training to our champs, but ... more
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  • Your Resolutions: Better Late than Never
    We've made our list of things we'll be doing in 2014 ( check it out here ). We also made a little list of things we think you should try this year , but you guys already had your to-do list going. I reached out to customers in early January and here are their top resolutions. I'm late posting, but it's never too late to get started on a resolution: LaKiesha ... more
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  • Altru Classes Available in March
    Our class schedule is jam packed in March, with classes nearly every day. If you're looking to get started in a new area of Altru or review the area you work in most, sign up for one of our 101 classes. These 2 hour classes are free and let by our customer support analysts or consultants - so the same people who answer the phone, respond in community, and lead ... more
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  • Today's Tip: Don't Skip the Launch Page
    The great thing about Altru is that it's browser based, so you're able to access it from any computer. We're guessing you've got a heavily-used Altru bookmark on your browser right now. I'm wondering if you're book marking the launch page, or your most-used section of Altru. If you're skipping the launch page, you're missing out! The launch page has ... more
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  • April 8th: End of Windows XP and IE8 Part 2
    I saw this the other day and it cracked me up:   It’s a bit of comedy with a side of doom and gloom. But it gets the message across: The end of XP is less than 7 weeks away. If you have XP running on your computers, have you notified your IT staff that the end is nigh and you need the computers OS upgraded or the computer replaced with something a little more recent? If ... more
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  • Happy Valentine's Day: Things to Love About Altru
    Don't get me wrong - I think Valentine's Day is a fantastic excuse to dress up, go out to dinner, indulge on candy, and keep florists busy all in an effort to show appreciation for your significant other. But this year, we went with words of affirmation for our love language. Here's what you guys love about Altru: I love that we have cut two manual ... more
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  • Skype Chat Facts
    The Skype chats are back up and running after our holiday break. Covering topics like member retention, prospect management, camp creation, volunteer management, webforms and more, the Skype chats are a great way to trade tips with other Altru users. To join, you just need to download Skype,  add the community manager as a contact , and you'll be placed ... more
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  • Altru 3.14: Mobile Check-in For Special Events
    Based on your suggestion from the Altru community , we've added some new functionality around mobile check-in. In the past, you were able to check in patrons for preregistered programs with mobile check-in. We've expanded this to include special events. It works exactly the same way, so it'll be easy to train your staff. This should speed up your lines ... more
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  • Altru 3.14: Processing Partial Refunds
    We've got a couple big features coming out with Altru 3.14 ( the pi(e) release ), but personally I'm partial to the partial refund work. Before this release of Altru, orders that contained a per order discount had to be refunded in full. Now, you can partially refund discounted items such as tickets, memberships, and preregistered program events. See ... more
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  • New Training Central Search Features
    Searching for training and certification programs in Training Central is now simpler than ever! Whether you're looking for an instructor-led class, an on-demand video on a specific topic, or trying to register for our Blackbaud Certification in The Raiser's Edge program, our new search page on Training Central makes it easy. Click on the video ... more
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  • Altru 3.14: New Features Coming in February
    Our first release of 2014, Altru 3.14, we're giving you some sweet new functionality. Clearly, the pi(e) reference is not lost on us, so forgive any tasty/sweet puns to come. This release includes several new features, as well as numerous bug fixes . Here's what you can look forward to using in Feb: Process Partial Refunds for Discounted Items You can now ... more
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  • 9 Ways to Save Time at Your Arts & Cultural Organization
    Our Altru consultant, Devendra Shrikhande, has put together his top tips for saving time at your organization. "One of the most effective ways organizations can further their mission is to increase efficiency in their daily operations. We are all tight on resources and time is probably the most precious of all. So, I've put together  9 simple tips on ... more
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  • Today's Tip: Find Missing Constituents with Advanced Search Options
    The constituent search is now sticky, so whether you're searching for constituents in query, constituent merge, or to add a payment, Altru will apply your search settings to every Constituent Search screen in the database. If you're noticing that you're seeing too many results (or not enough results!) in constituent search, you will want to use ... more
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  • Find Out What's Coming in 2014: Altru Roadmap Call Scheduled for February 5th
    It’s 2014!  You have almost certainly made some goals for this year, have some big ideas about things you’d like to accomplish with your NPO, and hopefully have started to put them into action. Here on Team Altru, we’re excited about what this year has in store and what we can do to help you be more successful in your mission. We’re currently finishing up ... more
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  • April 8th: The End of Windows XP
    Heads up! Microsoft is officially ending support for Windows XP this coming April 8th. This means XP will be an unsupported operating system without any future security updates. I’m sort of sad to see it go. XP came out around the same time I entered the software development industry 13 years ago. To put 13 years in perspective, I was using this cell phone ... more
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  • Conversations in the Community: We could use your opinion!
    There's always a good amount of conversation going on in the community. Whether it's talking how-to's with our support staff or how-do-you's with other Altru users, there is lots of advice floating around. Occasionally those "how do you" posts can be quickly buried in a flood of new posts. So, I'm digging them up (trying to stick with that "buried in a ... more
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  • Portable or Mobile? What’s the difference for a POS?
    I got this question the other day and I thought it was worth discussing. When we discuss POS computers, there is actually a significant difference between the two. Understanding this difference will help you determine what type of device you should purchase. Portable : Laptops and netbooks are portable. You move them from one location to another; say a ... more
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  • Altru Skype Chats Start Tomorrow
    The community is a powerful resource. We stock it with FAQs and announcements. We trouble shoot and offer solutions. And while our team strives to provide amazing support, I think the larger value could come from you, our users. You have at your fingertips, a group of people who work in the same type of organization, in a similar role, using the same ... more
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  • 5 Things to Start Doing in 2014
    Start 2014 off right with these tips from our support team. Here are 5 simple things you should start doing (if you aren't already) in 2014. Turn on Pop Up Notifications in Daily Sales Pop up notifications can be a great asset to your front desk staff. They can be used to let them know when a board member arrives, when a constituent needs their info updated, or ... more
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  • Holiday Support Schedule
    Happy Holidays from Team Altru! We'll have limited hours this week and next, due to the holidays. Here's our schedule: Monday, Dec 23 - Regular Hours Tuesday, Dec 24th - Closing at 3 pm ET Wednesday, Dec 25th - Closed Thursday, Dec 26th - Regular Hours Friday, December 27th - Regular Hours For cases created after 3:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday, December 24, we will ... more
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  • Chatting with Lotus from Mingei
    In March of this year, we launched the Altru chat service. It didn't take long for customers to jump on board. Currently, chat accounts for 27% of our case volume - which includes chat, case central, and phone support. The Mingei International Museum is an avid user - using chat for 41% of their support. Before Chat:  After Chat: We reached out to Lotus ... more
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  • Today's Tip: Defining the 2014 Fiscal Year
    If your organization runs on a calendar fiscal year, listen up! On January 1st, 2014 you may run into the following error, Data could not be saved.  Post date (01/01/2014) must be in an open period. This error means that the 2014 fiscal year has not been defined. Before you add transactions in the New Year, you will first need to establish the 2014 fiscal ... more
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  • Get Ready for Your End of Year Tasks
    It’s hard to believe it’s already December! The New Year will be here before we know it. As we prepare for the New Year, there are many tasks and processes that need to be performed to close the current year. In the 4 th Quarter Miniseries (now known as the Altru Masters Workshop), we covered a range of topics from sending EOY appeals to reporting on EOY ... more
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  • New Year's Resolution: Become an Altru Expert
    Resolutions are notoriously hard to keep, but with a little planning, "becoming an Altru expert" is one you can keep! Our training calendar of January is packed full of Altru classes, so if you're looking to increase your skill set, this is the month to do it. We've got a couple levels for you to check out. If you're brand new to Altru (or looking to check out ... more
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  • 5 Ways to Increase Your Sales this Holiday Season
    The holiday season can be a great time of year for your museum! People are busy, but the gift hunt has begun. Here's a few ways to be added to your constituents' shopping lists: 1 - Offer Discounts on Merchandise to Your Members If you don't include discounts on merchandise in your membership programs, this is a great time to offer them. You could limit it to ... more
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  • I am thankful for ...
    To get in the holiday spirit, the Altru team has put together a little Thanksgiving list. We all feel pretty lucky to work on the team that we do, with the customers that we have. Specifically: Jeff Heffner - I’m thankful for faster, cheaper Windows 8 tablets for the holiday season. Kristen Gastaldo - I'm thankful for community members past, present, and ... more
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  • New Training Opportunity: Daily Financial Reconciliation in Altru
    We're excited to announce our newest training class, Daily Financial Reconciliation in Altru . This two-hour course addresses best practices for financial reconciliation, focusing on how Altru manages the flow of purchases and donations from cash registers to bank accounts. After this course, you will be able to compare daily revenue against ... more
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  • Add a Local Museum to Your Holiday Shopping
    I planned on publishing this post next week, but because Black Friday apparently starts on Thanksgiving itself this year, I thought I'd publish early. I'm not a fan of the mall. I pretty much avoid it at all costs, especially during the holidays. Charleston has so many talented makers and cute boutique stores; I can find gifts for almost everyone nearby. ... more
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  • Change is Hard: Use Your Team-Building Basics
    Guest Post from Michelle Soverino: Converting to and implementing Altru is a complex project that depends on more than technical and administrative details: buy-in from staff is crucial. Cultivating this human buy-in is of great importance, and fosters a change in organizational ethos. Moving your data and point of sales processes to Altru is not ... more
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  • Segment Your Mailings for More Successful End of Year Campaigns
    The holiday season is upon us and it’s time to start planning your year end fundraising mailing. Even if you don't have an end of year mailing, you can always use this to help with your next mailing.  In this post, we'll primarily focus on the importance of personalizing your mailing through segmentation. What do I mean by segmentation? According to ... more
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  • New Features Coming this Month
    We'll be adding some new features to Altru next week with our 3.13 release. We know the holiday season isn't ideal for adjusting workflows, so these new features are easy to consume and use. Here's what you'll be seeing: Individual Notifications for Daily Sales:  With the 3.12 release, we added the ability to set daily sales notifications at the group ... more
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  • Take Advantage of Your Resources: Guest Post from Emily Everett
    When I started my current job in 2010, I had no idea what I was getting into. Don’t get me wrong, I loved my job then and I'm even more invested now, but when you take on a role as the sole employee, it all becomes very clear; you’re going to need some help . Let’s see - there are volunteers, budgets, events, community relations, and much more to manage. With a ... more
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  • What happens in Vegas ...
    Last week I was able to speak at the Technology Services World Conference in Las Vegas. And you know what they say - what happens in Vegas ... ends up on a blog. My session was focused on community. Specifically, using community to become a customer-centered business. It was really nice to go and brag about the Altru community. And not just bragging about ... more
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  • What I learned at bbcon: Guest Post from Michelle Soverino
    bbcon 2013 was an energizing experience. For three days I was constantly engaged with nonprofit professionals from all over the country who have a rudimentary understanding—at the very least—of how technology is able to assist nonprofits with the realization of their missions. Even more fascinating was spending time with other Altru users and ... more
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  • Compliment the Competition
    The value of competition has often been debated. Is it healthy ? Does it breed greater results? More innovation? Or does it discourage? A few weeks ago I received an email newsletter from Adkins Arboretum , inviting me to take a trip with them to Grounds for Sculpture . Now, I've never seen an ad from Harris Teeter, asking me to come check out Publix with ... more
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  • Curator-Led Events: The American Swedish Institute Offers 4 Tips for Success
    Curators have the inside scoop on museums. They research and carefully select each exhibit that goes on display. The  American Swedish Institute  in Minneapolis, has taken advantage of this, offering regular curator-led Champagne Tours. I spoke with their curator, Curt Pederson, who had some suggestions on how to make these events successful: 1.  ... more
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  • What do you think of Altru 3.12?
    Last week everyone was upgraded to Altru 3.12, our latest release. We included these new features: - Ability to apply discounted tickets to a membership. - Pop-up notifications in Daily Sales. - Customizable Acknowledgement Emails for Online Sales - Information Library We'd love to hear what you think about all of the changes in this release. So if ... more
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  • bbcon2013: Round Up from Team Altru
    Team Altru had a fantastic time at bbcon this year! Breakout sessions, customer meet and greets, photo booths, demos and more filled the days. Sometimes it's just really nice to finally put a face with a name. There are several of you we talk to on a regular basis. [caption id="attachment_6608" align="alignnone" width="245"] Tui Allen & Vicki ... more
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  • Altru 3.12 New Feature: Customize Your Acknowledgement Emails for Online Sales
    It feels great to mark the #1 idea in the community as implemented! With Altru  3.12 (coming next week), you'll have the ability to customize your acknowledgment emails for online sales. So now, when someone gives a donation, you can thank them for helping build the Butterfly Garden. When someone buys a membership, you can let them know the next event ... more
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  • Altru 3.12 New Feature: Apply Discounted Tickets to a Membership
    Your organization decides to set up a table at the Farmer's Market, offering discounted admission tickets (from $30 to $15). Being tourists in their own town, a couple decides it's time they've visited your museum. They've lived here for 2 years, and it's been on their to-do list for too long. The discount gets them to finally commit to going; it's too ... more
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  • Altru 3.12 New Feature: Pop Up Notifications in Daily Sales
    I want a way to identify major donors or board members to front desk staff. I need to quickly see membership add-ons at the front desk. I need a note to remind everyone that this patron has a special need. If you can relate to any of these statements, then you're going to love our October release! While you have always been able to show notifications on the ... more
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  • New Features Coming in October: Altru 3.12
    Keeping with our two-month release schedule, the latest version of Altru will be released next month. The theme of this release is delighting your patrons! Be sure to visit the Altru New Features page to get all the information and guidance you need to begin using the new features right away. As a preview, here are the three new features I'm most excited ... more
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  • Wordless Wednesday
    Sometimes it's nice to put a face with a name. So, the team from left to right: Sarah, Jessica, Katie, Rachel S., Anah, David, Jillian, Kristen, Jeff, Kevin. *Missing Rachel C. from the group pic, who was out on maternity leave.  more
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  • Education Tip: Polk Museum of Art Reaches a New Audience with Local Artists
    I'm lucky to live in a city that loves local. Charleston features local artists at everything from gallery openings to pop up shops to happy hour. Apparently, we aren't the only ones. Polk Museum of Art in Lakeland, FL, is holding a one-day art fair - Art Crawl - to highlight emerging local talent. I got all the details from Matt Belcher, Education ... more
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  • Early Bird Discount on 2013 Tax Forms
    2013 tax forms are available now. Order by October 31, 2013 and you'll receive 15% off your entire order when you purchase an additional item (excluding membership cards and thermal ticket stock) with your tax forms order. We sell tax forms (and checks too!) for Blackbaud software and all the major accounting packages. Our tax forms are satisfaction ... more
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  • Our Most Frequent Query Question Answered
    If you’re an Altru user, you’re a query user. You know that queries are an essential resource, whether pulling some simple names and email addresses or getting into the minute details of giving for the past 10 years. I know many of you use queries to get mailing lists for your mail house or an email blast. As a support analyst, I get a LOT of query questions, ... more
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  • Membership Tip: Grounds for Sculpture Offers a New Members Only Event
    We often hear that members are the lifeblood of nonprofit organizations. They support you with their revenue, but more than that, they support you with their presence. They are your biggest fans. So how do you go about letting them know that you are theirs? A robust membership plan is essential; offering free admission, discounts on merchandise, guest ... more
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  • bbcon2013 Breakout Session: Mobile Technology & Your Museum
    I read two articles recently, and I had a vision of museums of the future. So, let’s put our collective orange vests on and hop in the Delorean: 88 MPH, here we come. The first article talks about QR codes as art. The next article has to do with Google Glass processing QR codes. Now, imagine the guy above, walking around that art installation. Those QR codes ... more
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  • Blackbaud MobilePay & Altru FAQs
    Blackbaud offers a variety of products to meet the needs of all types of nonprofits, but not all of our products come with a point of sale interface like Altru . Because they don't have something like our Daily Sales page, organizations with these products need an additional service  to be able to process payments for nameless donations, parking, or one ... more
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  • What did you think of the latest Altru release?
    We're looking for your feedback on Altru 3.11 release, which came out in August. Have you been using the new features? What do you think? If you've got a few minutes, take our survey . Not sure what came out in the last release? Check out our new features page . more
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  • Back by Popular Demand: Group Sales Miniseries Returns in September
    The group sales miniseries in August was our most popular to date, filling up in just a couple days. So, we're doing it all over again in Sept. This time the classes will meet on Tuesday for 1 hour sessions, starting at 2 pm ET. The last year has brought a significant amount of changes to group sales, so whether you're just getting started or are a seasoned vet, ... more
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  • Today's Tip: Customize Your Constituent Record Display
    With the latest version of Altru , you have the ability to remove or rearrange the tiles in your constituent records. Don't need to see the documentation and interactions? Simply remove it from the display. Membership the most important tile to you? Put it front and center. You can adjust your settings by selecting "Customize tiles" in the bottom corner ... more
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  • Once upon a time, in a gift shop far away ...
    Storytelling is a lost art, and I’m sure many of you are doing your part to revive it. The art of the story has its place in business as well. I recently heard about an organization who started seeing a peculiar rise in gift shop sales. It wasn't attributable to anything they had done to market the store or redirect traffic. It did seem to coincide with another ... more
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  • Things to Read this Week
    We don't normally do much reposting of content on our blog, but I ran across a few blogs today that I thought I'd share. Great reads, if you've got some spare time. Jenny Beswick shares  5 Ways Instagram Can Raise Awareness  on The Community Manager. For the visual learners, npENGAGE offers an infographic for improving fundraising by knowing your ... more
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  • Today's Tip: Use a Tablet as a Workstation
    When it’s time to replace your front desk PCs, switching to tablets is actually a very viable solution. The biggest perceived drawback is the switch to a smaller display. Why would you want to drop the screen size down to 11” from 15"? Luckily, today’s tablets have this scenario covered. All 3 Windows 8 tablets we have purchased, the Dell Latitude 10, Acer ... more
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  • How to Make Friends and Influence People ... in the Community
    I've got to admit, I never read the book . I had a few friends read it in college, but somehow it never made it into my must-read list. But it seemed applicable to our community. I encourage you to make friends BY influencing people. The community is the place to go for opinions, for help. Around 1 in every 7 questions that are posted are directed at community ... more
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  • Email Best Practices: Tips and Tricks for Successful Email Campaigns
    Ever have a question about how to create an email?  Not so much product-oriented questions like "Where do I go in my product to design a template?" or "What is a seed list and why would I use it?", but more general, big-picture questions like: "What can I include in my email to help spark a response and avoid looking like SPAM?" (An explicit call-to-action ... more
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  • Merchandise Dimensions: The 5th Dimension of Ice Cream Cones
    My family makes a yearly trip to western NY, where my wife’s extended family resides. It’s beautiful, really - fields of grapes, apples, cherries, corn, and multiple roadside Ice Cream stalls. You wouldn't think that ordering an ice cream cone could be complex. In fact, it reminds me of the Mitch Hedberg doughnut joke: “I bought a doughnut and they gave ... more
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  • New Feature: Additional Group Sales Merge Fields
    People love to customize things.  It could be your personalized cell phone case  or the t shirt you designed just for yourself ( doesn't everyone have one of those? ). There's value in having something that is specific to you; it makes you feel special and unique. With tons of prefab greeting cards and social networking, personal connections with ... more
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  • npENGAGE Feature: 5 Ways to Boost New Donor Acquisition with Ticketing
    You guys read npENGAGE , right? If not, I highly recommend you add it to your RSS feed, daily reads, bookmarks ... or all of these. npENGAGE is Blackbaud's premier resource for nonprofits, focusing on trends and best practices. The Knowhow blog (what you're reading now) also focuses on best practices, but generally is more product related. We tell you ... more
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  • Altru 3.11 New Feature: Report Enhancements
    The August release of Altru includes changes to the total revenue report and payments report, adding more options to save you time reporting. To preview these changes, check out our new features page . We've made it possible for you to view only the revenue you're interested in (such as Daily Sales or Advance Sales), by giving the Source field a ... more
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  • Altru 3.11 New Feature: Merchandise Enhancements
    I used to hate Yo Gabba Gabba . We wouldn't let my eldest daughter watch it; I just didn't get it. It’s likely the same thing our parents thought when H.R. Pufnstuf  came on: why do we let our kids watch this stuff? But recently I've had a change of heart. My 18 month old, can’t get enough of Yo Gabba Gabba. In particular, the song Hold Still ; we listen to it ... more
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  • Analysts' Tips: Top 5 Things You Should Be Doing in Altru
    I recently asked our support analysts - you know them (David, Katie, Rachel, Sarah, Jessica) - to send me their #1 "thing customers should be doing but may not know about" tip for using Altru. I was surprised that I received 5 different answers. Make sure you're taking advantage of these features! 1 -  Accessing Refund Search from Your Shortcuts in Daily ... more
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  • New Features Coming to Altru in August
    The two-month release cycle continues, with our latest version of Altru rolling out this August. These smaller and more frequent releases are designed to be easily consumed, so that you can quickly begin using the new functionality. Altru 3.11 includes additional merchandise functionality, updates to the total revenue report, and improved tabs in ... more
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  • August Miniseries: Group Sales
    The Altru Miniseries is returning in August and we'll be tackling group sales. The last year has brought a significant amount of changes to group sales, so whether you're just getting started with group sales or are a seasoned vet, these classes will serve as a great place to jump start or refresh your group sales knowledge. All classes are 1 hour, ... more
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  • npVOICES: Featuring Altru User Will Cary
    Portland Museum of Art 's Director of Leadership Gifts and Planned Giving (and Altru user), Will Cary  is featured in the most recent episode of npVOICES . We're excited to have him share his knowledge with the entire Blackbaud community and hope you'll take a little time to listen. This episode includes: - Roger Craver with The Agitator and DonorTrends ... more
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  • Ask Your Members What They Want
    What convinces you to become a member? Is it supporting a cause or gaining free admission? Do you value advance notice on special events or mainly want discounts on merchandise? The San Diego Museum of Art is taking the guess work out of their membership incentives. With their 2013 Membership Survey , they set out to determine what their members find ... more
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  • Last Week in the Community: Holiday Weekend Round Up
    As much as  I love a holiday weekend, I always feel like I'm playing catch up when I'm back in the office. If you're feeling the same way, here's a brief overview of what you missed on the community last week: Ideas I would like to be able to discount resources . It would be cool if we could scan member cards to check them into events . Jonathon updated the "Other ... more
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  • Quick Tip: A Smart Way to Simplify Query
    Have you ever looked at query and felt overwhelmed? Maybe sat there for a moment and thought to yourself, “I don’t know where to get started.” If you've ever felt this way, I have a tip that can help you: Smart Query! Smart queries are pre-defined query ‘templates’ that don’t require you to search all the fields in the query field explorer, so you don’t need ... more
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  • Change is Hard: Create Your A-Team - Guest Post from the Nantucket Historical Association's Michelle Soverino
    Before going live with Altru the Nantucket Historical Association input and stored all of its data in two places: one database that served all its development needs—with a few “fudged” processes to track group tours and facility rentals, and one POS system that tracked museum visitors along with Museum Shop sales and inventory. When visiting the ... more
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  • Nantucket Historical Association's Michelle Soverino: Featured Member, Blogger, and Champion!
    When we created the Altru community, the idea was (mainly) two-fold. We wanted our customers to have a place to connect with support. You can ask us questions, report problems, and submit ideas to product management. But another giant part of the community is connecting you with each other. Some users have embraced this wholeheartedly, reaching out to ... more
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  • What's on the Altru Roadmap?
    Mark your calendars for the Altru Roadmap Webinar  – Wednesday, June 26 at 2:00 p.m. ET! Join Altru Product Managers to see what we have planned for the second half of 2013.  We’ll give a sneak preview of current prototypes and offer some insight into what’s next for Altru, from Group Sales to Daily Sales, Merchandise to Program Events, and everything in ... more
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  • Gadget Review: Bluetooth Receipt Printer
    To go truly mobile with Altru , we have to cut all the cables that tie us to one spot. The last wire that was tethering us to the ground was the receipt printer. We have multiple tablets and barcode scanner recommendations. But, if I have to stand near a printer so that I can provide receipts, then our dreams of walking around the museum selling memberships, or ... more
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  • Today's Tip: Ask with Ask Ladders
    I recently read an  article  that pointed out some simple but extremely important things to keep in mind when determining what to ask a donor. The one that particularly struck me was doing your research, looking at what people have given in the past. It got me thinking about Altru and ways we leverage past giving to help guide future asks. Happy to report ... more
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  • Miniseries Roundup: What You Missed w. Events & Membership
    We try to accommodate all our customers, in all time zones, and around your work schedules, but inevitably everyone can't make it to every webinar. So we record them. Check out our training page to catch up on miniseries notes and videos. If you just missed our Event or Membership Miniseries sessions, check out the links below to watch at your leisure. Let ... more
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  • Blackbaud Twitter Hashtag Changes
    @bbsupport  shares product tips, upcoming webinars and classes, and Support-related information throughout the day on Twitter.  We're also available to assist with your product questions :). We've found our product hashtags bring in a lot of "noise" and make it difficult to listen for only information about those specific products. To help you ... more
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  • Altru 3.1: How to Get Started with Merchandise History
    Here’s a short course in how to best take advantage of the merchandise changes in Altru 3.1: Day 0:  When Altru 3.1 is deployed, the Cost and Quantity of all items will be put on hand as a  Physical Inventory Count  transaction. If an item has a negative quantity, we’ll just set it to Zero. The next time you receive a shipment in Altru, the current inventory ... more
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  • Get 20% Off Your First Blackbaud Forms Order
    First time Blackbaud Forms clients will receive 20% off their first order (excluding membership cards and thermal ticket stock) with promotion code BFEFUN20.* Nonprofits use Blackbaud Forms products to make the most of their Blackbaud software. Our checks, forms, and other products are designed to provide flawless compatibility and excellent ... more
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  • Altru 3.1 New Feature: Constituent Record View
    In Charleston, we are all about the view. We love a porch, a dock, a patio - anything that let's us see the big picture. In Altru 3.1 , we've improved your view - of the constituent record. We've made it easier to digest and less congested; we've even given you the ability to select which information you would like to see and the order in which it should display. ... more
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  • Altru 3.1 New Feature: A Meeting of the Minds, err ... Transactions
    Friendship is a single soul dwelling in two bodies. – Aristotle. Maybe he said it best, but I doubt he was philosophizing about credit card reconciliation. If you do, drop us a line because we just got done with a marathon session and we can share some insights about matching transactions. In the next update for Altru, we’ve taken a fresh look at the ... more
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  • Altru 3.1: New Merchandise Features
    “It’s about time!”   That’s what we heard from many of you as we researched adding new features to the Merchandise area of Altru .  Well, it IS about time! The biggest request we heard was to make it easier to update inventory for multiple items at once, to see a history of changes for an item rather than just updating the quantity field, and for better ... more
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  • Wordless Wednesday
    I've been wanting to do these posts for a while; take a day to just show, instead of tell. So when  Michelle Soverino of the Nantucket Historical Association   tempted me with the content, her org's Happy Birthday Altru celebration , I couldn't resist. Here's our 1st (almost) Wordless Wednesday: more
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  • Altru 3.1: Great New Features Coming Next Week
    Next week, we'll release the latest version of Altru and you'll find new features included that are designed to save you time and increase efficiency. Visit the Altru New Release Page to get find out about new features and get in depth information about this release. Here is an overview of some of the new features coming in Altru version 3.1: For Those ... more
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  • Classes & Chats Available This Week
    Lots of opportunities for training and collaboration this week. Be sure to check out our Altru 101 Classes or join in with our Skype user group chat on Wednesday. Here are this week's options: Mon, June 3 - Introduction to Altru - 11 am ET Tues, June 4 - Webforms 101 - 1 pm ET Wed, June 5 - Query 101 - 1 pm ET Wed, June 5 - Children's Museums Chat - 1 pm ET * Read about ... more
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  • This Week in the Community
    Happy Friday everyone! Product management is looking for your feedback. You have a couple post where we want your top 3 Altru votes: Top 3 Ideas for Improving Guest Experience What are the top 3 things on your Altru wishlist ? Next week our user group chats kick off with Children's Museums. Can't wait to chat with you guys! Questions Do you ever host ... more
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  • Gadget Review: Which scanner is best?
    The WWS100i is a Bluetooth scanner made by WASP. With a Bluetooth barcode scanner, you can scan tickets, merchandise, and membership cards from a tablet or smart phone. So far, the only other mobile barcode scanner I have recommended has been the Opticon OPN-2002. For that reason, this review will be comparing the two scanners against each other. When I ... more
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  • This Week in the Community
    First up: We've got 2 great things going on - 1. We're hosting customer chat sessions on Skype. Check out the schedule below. 2. Product management is working on their to-do list and want your input. So get involved in the Altru roadmap by responding to her "Top 3" post below. Also: we will be closed on Monday for the holiday. Check out this post for all the ... more
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  • Altru User Groups: Chat Sessions Now Offered on Skype
    We're always encouraging our Altru users to talk to each other, so we're giving you another resource to make it happen: Skype chats. We started experimenting with these back in March and have had some great conversations among our membership, development, and visitor services group. We've heard you guys would like to talk to similar orgs, similar ... more
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  • Adults-Only at Your Children's Museum? How The Discovery Appeals to the Child in All of Us
    Imagine your children's museum flooded with laughter, music, and ... beer. Yes, I said beer. Sounds crazy, right? Not to the Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum . Starting in August 2012, The Discovery, a hands on science center, started offering adults-only fun with their Social Science event. Over 300 patrons came to "play like a kid again" with ... more
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  • This Week in the Community
    A couple big things first - the miniseries has kicked off again, covering Membership this time. Be sure to check out the schedule and register for the classes that interest you. If you can't make the times, no worries - we'll be recording. Second - we're kicking off live chats. We hosted an "all hands" chat yesterday and enjoyed great conversation among ... more
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  • This Week in the Community
    Was this week crazy for everyone? I'm still playing community catch up and I look at it every day! Here's what you missed, while being slammed at work: NEW QUESTIONS Not printing ticket dockets Override Program Capacity when checking in groups? multiple active memberships Reoccurring Events Prices for Price Types Deleting Constituencies from ... more
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  • Membership Miniseries: Increase Your Sales
    The Altru miniseries kicks off again next week with a 3 session series on Membership. So, Membership and Development users - this is your series. Rachel and Jen will be covering converting visitors to members, utilizing recurring membership programs, and increasing renewals through online sales. There is limited space in these classes (to ... more
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  • Today's Tip: Use the Finder Number to Save Time on Data Entry
    Wanna save time during data entry after running an appeal mailing or membership renewals?  What if I said using the Finder number field could save you 1 or 2 minutes per transaction entered in Altru?  Got your attention?  Thought so! Let’s say you run an appeal mailing or process membership renewals and checks start rolling in.  Whether you’re entering ... more
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  • This Week in the Community
    Here's the round up from the community this week. We announced a new champion, our accountants are getting together, a couple issue have been uncovered and fixes planned. Check it out: NEW ACTIVITY ON TOPICS And the champions keep coming ... Calling all Altru accountants! how can I mark one record so that the constituent will not receive renewal ... more
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  • Today's Tip: Use Your Receipt Printer to Print Tickets
    Looking to print tickets without investing in a ticket printer? You can always print the tickets on thermal paper using the same receipt printers you use for your itemized receipts. Not as elegant as ticket stock but if you just need to have something for a customer to present, they do the trick. Plus, they are much more cost effective than regular ticket ... more
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  • Shannon Knight, Champion #3
    Our search for Altru champions continues! We are excited to welcome Shannon Knight , Director of Special Projects for the RISD Museum , to the group, taking us from a couple to a few. Get to know Shannon below (or check our her Member Monday feature), and catch up with our other champions here . What do you like best about Altru? Narrowing it down to one thing ... more
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  • Help the National Museum of Civil War Medicine Win a $100,000 Grant!
    The Partners In Preservation Program , sponsored by the National Historic Trust and American Express, is currently giving away $1m to historic locations in Washington DC. Altru 's own National Museum of Civil War Medicine is competing to win $100,000 for  Clara Barton’s Missing Soldiers Office . During the Civil War, Clara Barton’s downtown office ... more
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  • This Week in the Community
    It's been a good week in the community. One year ago this week, we invited you guys to join the community. And you did - you asked tons of questions, submitted ideas, got to know fellow members, and got to know even more members of team Altru. So, happy birthday Altru Community ! It's been a great year; looking forward to many more. And here's what you missed ... more
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  • 3 Tips for Making the Most of the Community
    So, we've got a lot going on in the Altru community. You can post problems, ideas, questions, and praise. We're featuring members on Mondays , posting links to miniseries, keeping you informed about the release ... it's no wonder if you've missed a trick or two. Here's a couple ways to get even more from your community: 1. See which ideas we are going to ... more
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  • And Then There Were Two: Meet Our 2nd Champion, Judith Rickard
    With 333 replies, I have no doubt you already know Center for Wooden Boat's Judith Rickard . She's in the community every day - chiming in on other user's topics as often as she posts her own. She's the first to give you a "yes! yes! yes!" on your idea; and she'll praise new features as quickly as she'll call us on any delays. She's a firecracker; we like that ... more
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  • Become an Altru Expert with Our 101 Classes
    It was the topic of our most attended miniseries. It accounted for over 300 cases last year. It has just shy of 200 topics in the community. Yep, you guessed it: Query. We realize query can be tough, but we also know that you guys can master it, so we've created some training for you. This month we’re releasing our new Virtual Instructor Lead Training ... more
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  • On a scale of 1-10 ...
    You already know what happens to your survey responses (or if you thought they went into the abyss, check out  We Hear You (But Only If You’re Talking) ), but did you know there are other ways to let us know where you and Altru stand? We've got a couple options in the community that you should take advantage of. In Your Profile After you've joined the ... more
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  • New Feature: Ticket Scanning Advancements
    After releasing the ticket scanning feature last year, we received the following suggestion from Jason Sears , in the community: Another feature that would help is a list of the last ten tickets scanned - it could scroll as additional tickets are scanned - that would give ticket takers something to look at to ensure each number is going in and being ... more
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  • New Feature: Help is On the Way!
    We do our best to be thorough; you might even call us heavy handed on the resources. We have User Guides, Knowledgebase, the community, New Features Guides, 101 Training  Classes, our own YouTube channel … it’s a lot to keep straight. So in our next release of Altru, we've made help much easier to navigate. One of the Altru analysts, David, did a little ... more
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  • New Feature: Apply Event Registration Fees as a Donation
    In the 3.0 release, we've added the ability to credit a portion of an event registration fee towards a donation. Let’s say your silent auction dinner sells for $75 a ticket. It costs you $45 per person to cover the food, drinks, seating, and entertainment. You will now be able to credit the remainder of the fee as a donation to a specific designation. ... more
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  • New Feature: Group Sales - Adjust Attendees & Keep Overpayments
    Group Sales has been a primary focus here on Team Altru in the most recent updates . This next one is no exception. In fact, we are debuting a couple of long-requested capabilities for the group sales area. The first major enhancement will give you the ability to update the visitor counts and price types on groups regardless of the check-in status . In ... more
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  • New Features Coming in April
    Later this month, you'll find new features included in your Altru™ subscription that are designed to add flexibility to the way you work! Visit the Altru New Release readiness site to get all the information and guidance you need to begin using the new features right away. Here's a sample of new features coming in Altru version 3.0: Visitor count and ... more
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  • Hold Please
    I watch a fair amount of House MD reruns. You know the show – abrasive doctor who can diagnose illnesses that no one else can. He often writes on a white board all of the known symptoms; he calls this the “differential.”  I had to look up the term as it relates to medicine and here is what I found:  differential diagnosis is the characterization of the ... more
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  • Community Round Up: What Happened in Q1
    Alright community, this week's round up is giant. I'm looking at everything that happened this quarter. You guys talk in quarters right? For the non-corporate folks, Q1 is Jan, Feb, and March. So here's our most popular topics this year: Topics w. Most Activity Is the online membership purchase process user friendly? Can I search for a constituent by ... more
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  • Today's Tip: Rerun the Exisiting Export
    Say your query has over 500 records in the results, you’d click create export in the Tasks menu to get them all out, instead of just the first 500 that shows in query: You'd then give it a name and save it. You would then run the process and download the output: The next time you need the list of all of your constituents, don’t go back to query and create a new ... more
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  • Change is Hard: Putting the PRO in Process
    When I was a kid, I spent the summers with my grandmother at her cabin. She had a swimming pool, fishing poles, even a Nintendo, and we were not allowed to say, “I’m bored.” “Because we've always done it this way.” How often have you heard or said that? It is a phrase that is inherently opposing innovation and change and like my grandmother, it is a phrase I ... more
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  • Altru Team: Live, In Person!
    Come see us at the following A&C events in April: April 3-5, Beaumont Texas @ The Texas Association of Museums Annual Meeting Daniel Messervy and Jeff Heffner will be doing a session on mobile ticketing. We will also be at the Blackbaud booth all 3 days.  Come nerd out with us at booth 2. April 22, San Francisco California @ Blackbaud Arts and Cultural ... more
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  • This Week in the Community
    Weekly round up time! Being that it felt like Friday all day yesterday, I thought maybe I should look back and my week and see if there was anything else I missed. Here's your community hot spots for the week: Thank you Claudia Gomez ! Claudia wrote a blog for Altru about the benefits of using Jing. If you haven't checked out her Top 5 , I suggest you do that ... more
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  • Guest Post from Delaware Art Museum's Claudia Gomez: 5 Reasons Why You Should Be Using Jing.
    It's no secret that Claudia has been our Jing champion. David had the idea to let the Altru community know about Jing, a service that allows you to record your screen. If you missed that blog, check it out here . Well, Claudia ran with it. She entered our Most Valuable Query contest , included videos in her case notes, and began creating a training manual with ... more
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  • Let Your Patrons Bust the Line for You
    Lines are the bane of my existence. I deplore going to a theme park, where the better part of the day is spent waiting in line for rides. Luckily, museum’s lines are different. The lines at museums consist of patrons that have yet to purchase a ticket; putting a load on your front desk staff. But there is a cheap and easy solution that will not only lighten the ... more
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  • Sync Your Accounts: Single Sign on for Blackbaud.com & the Altru Community
    I think all of us would love to eliminate a login or two from our memory. Log in to Blackbaud.com, log in to Altru , log in to the community ... well, you will soon have one less login to remember - after you sync your Blackbaud.com account with your community account! This way, once you've logged into Blackbaud.com, you'll be automatically logged in to the ... more
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  • Meet Our 1st Champion: Allison Pate
    After weeks of watching and waiting, we have finally named our 1st champion: Allison Pate ! At 156 replies posted, you've probably already spoken with Allison in the community. Maybe she's helped you solve a problem, or answered a how to question, or collaborated with you on an idea; maybe you gave her one of those 56 (and counting!) stars for a good ... more
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  • We Hear You (But Only If You're Talking)
    Our team requests a lot of information from you; surveys after implementation, go lives, cases -  even occasional "Rate Altru in the Community " requests. I used to receive survey requests and think, "I’ll fill that out later" or just decline it. But after 9 years at a software company, I now understand the POWER of the survey. Surveys can give a unanimous ... more
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  • Let's Get Mobile, Part 3: Your future Visitors, Donors and Members are NOT in your lobby right now.
    You may be thinking, "Why go mobile?" You want people to come to your organization, but to make that happen, you may have to go to them first. If you have  Altru Museum Management Software , a Windows tablet, and are reading this, you already have the tools to take your museum to the people. Those potential patrons are participating in activities similar ... more
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  • Last Week(s) in the Community
    Just a little heads up on all the Altru community happenings in the last couple weeks, in case you were on a super sweet vacation or perhaps, have just returned from a super sweet vacation and had perhaps forgotten about your vacationless friends in the Altru community. Feel free to post pictures, so we can live vicariously through you. Hawaii folks, you ... more
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  • Today's Tip: Give Your Daily Sales Page a Tune Up
    We know why you bought Altru Museum Management Software : to create a more enhanced visitor experience, better learn your constituents, and make your life easier, right? Therefore we know saving time is key and that comes by making things intuitive. Check out these two quick tips to get ready to knock out your lines and make your front desk staff grin: Tip ... more
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  • Change is Hard: Hello, My Name Is Jen and I’m an Altru Community Addict
    It might sound hyperbolic to say that we need to be able to change or we’ll die . Changing to keep up with industry practices, patrons’ needs, or simply changing from outdated software to Altru Museum Management Software can all be critical to success. We have to be adaptable and innovative to respond to the rapidly changing landscape of our community. ... more
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  • March (Miniseries) Madness
    It's that time again. Time for picking your teams. Placing your bets. Pulling out your old (or perhaps new) college jersey. And time to wear said jersey to work for good luck, despite your boss' side glances, while you spend a little time with Team Altru. Alright, that's about as far as I can take this metaphor. The Altru miniseries is back in ... more
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  • MVQ Contest: Show Us Your Most Valuable Query
    Here on the  Altru  support team, we're always flattered when we get MVP nominations. We try our best to quickly answer your questions and solve your problems, and we take pride in being recognized for our skills. But we're not alone; you guys also have some solid Altru skills. You create some seriously detailed queries, pulling all kinds of ... more
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  • Let's Get Mobile, Part 2: Windows 8 Tablets
    Let’s talk tablets. Over the last 3 years, tablets have been steadily eating away at the desktop PC and laptop market share. Millions of new tablet enter our world each year; my household alone owns an iPad 1, iPad 2 and iPad 3. I love my tablets but there has been one glaring omission in functionality:  business. The world realizes this too, if you look at ... more
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  • Change is Hard: Work Together
    One of the main features of Altru is that it brings together all the different activities of constituents into one unified system. I could probably spend a whole day explaining why this is a good thing, but often times, making a change to a holistic system like Altru is not just a change for the technological tools you’re using, but affects two other ... more
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  • Altru Chat Support Now Available
    Here in Altru support, we like options. You can call us, create a case, post in the community, write a letter (not recommended), and even catch us on Twitter (@bbsupport). But we've been missing one outlet - chat. You may have seen this little bubble before when searching in KB: Or noticed this guy at the bottom of our website: Well, now these resources are ... more
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  • Let’s Get Mobile, Part 1: Microcom Corp 428TC Plus Compact Ticket Printer
    I can’t remember the last time the general design of the ticket printer changed. Ticket printers have always been these massive metal boxes that come with a huge footprint. Let’s take a look at the inside of the standard ticket printer: See the area highlighted in the black box? That is the actual printing mechanism; it really only makes up about 25% of the ... more
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  • New Feature: Group Sales Overpayment Refunds
    In the last release, we introduced the unearned revenue account, which holds group sales deposits (not applicable to security deposits) and payments until a group is checked in. Our next step is expanding on this functionality with the ability to process group sales refunds for any account overages, even after a group has been checked in, with ... more
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  • Champion-esque Behavior Spotted!
    You guys have really been awesome the last two weeks, continuing to demonstrate champion-like behavior. We love when you help each other. And when you voice your opinion. We know you're busy at work, so any time you take to help a fellow community member does not go unnoticed. Thanks for making the community part of your day to day activity. Here's how ... more
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  • New Feature: Reduce Duplicates in Online Sales
    A few releases ago, we improved duplicate matching for transactions added in the back office and daily sales. We've now added this new matching algorithm for online sales as well. You'll be able to specify the match confidence percentage for matched records, resulting in the transaction and any personal or contact information updates to an existing ... more
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  • New Feature: Group Sales Flattened Record
    Last year, we revamped the membership record view to get all the really important parts of a membership record on one screen. Less tabs = less digging. With Altru 2.96, we’ve taken this same approach with the group sales record. And the best way to show you what we’ve done is with an awesome graphic: Excited? You’ll have this in your hands next week! more
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  • Coming in the Next Altru Release
    Get ready.  Get set.  New  Altru features  are coming to a browser near you! We've been hard at work since the Altru 2.95 release (November 2012), building new tools that can save you time and add flexibility to the way you manage your NPO (and we fixed a few bugs too). I check the Altru Community regularly and know refunds and adjustments to group sales ... more
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  • Today's Tip: Use Jing to Share Your Screen
    If you've spent any time with Altru customer support, you've probably received a how-to video from us, walking you through the steps to solve problems or perform tasks. We're big fans of videos; maybe we're all visual learners here. In any case, we use this program - Jing - to record those videos. It's a great service that's free and allows you to quickly ... more
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  • More Than a Thank You
    In the last couple weeks, the Altru blog has been offering advice on how to generate ticket sales and additional revenue for your events. As a follow up, we're offering some advice on what you should do AFTER the event. Most organizations are great about thanking their constituents for attending an event, but there is an additional opportunity in here. ... more
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  • Are you a potential champion? See who is!
    As we start looking for potential Altru champions, we're interested in both amount and quantity of community contributions. We're running reports - looking at activity level, stars received, and stars given. But, we're also looking at quality of answers and overall attitude. Here are a couple stats to check out, with the top 10 users listed. They ... more
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  • Today's Tip: Altru & Windows 8
    Altru and Windows 8 play great together. In fact, the version you are currently on, Altru 2.95, is already compatible. Thinking back to the last 4-5 Windows’ releases, Windows 8 has been the smoothest, by far. There is one tweak we need to make to get the most out of Windows 8. This tweak is really only needed on your POS computers (or tablets) but feel free to ... more
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  • Change is Hard: LeMay Museum's Communication Strategy for Success
    We all know that change is hard, even when it’s for the best. As LeMay Museum prepared to open their doors to the public in June 2012, they knew they needed the 360 degree view that Altru Museum Management Software could provide. But Development Database Coordinator, Ashlee Taulbee also realized that implementing Altru meant that there would be some ... more
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  • Event Add Ons: 3 Ways to Generate More Revenue at Your Events
    So, you've been able to fill the room; packed the house. But once you've paid for the performers, the staff, and the resources, sometimes you're left with just enough to wonder, "was it worth it?" As I mentioned in the last post, my background is in live music. Most people are surprised when I tell them that I often felt like I wasn't in the music business; I ... more
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  • 3 Ways to Sell More Tickets
    My background is not in the nonprofit sector. I actually came from a very FOR profit industry; I managed a live music venue. So while I don't know all the ins and outs of the nonprofit world (yet), we do share one particular goal: selling tickets. Lots and lots of tickets. Tickets to concerts, comedy shows, fundraising events, dance recitals, movie ... more
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  • Could you be the first Altru Champion?
    We've spent the last 9 months promoting the  Altru community  as the best place for you to connect with our staff and other Altru users and we've seen some really great customer conversations (check out the Introduce Yourself post to start). In order to start recognizing you guys for all your contributions, we've created our Altru Champions ... more
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  • New Year, New Community Features
    With the new year comes new functionality in the Altru Community . We're rolling out a couple new features that will make it easier for you  to keep up with community activity and save you time when searching for answers. Daily or Weekly Community Updates You can now sign up to receive daily or weekly emails to keep up with community activity. These are ... more
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  • Change is hard.
    Resistance is inherently a part of change.  And when you make the change to Altru Museum Management Software , you are asking your staff members to rethink, re-evaluate, and change how they do their job.  That's tough- even if the change is for the better! Many people often recognize that Altru provides more efficiency, better reporting, etc. and yet ... more
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  • This Year in the Community
    To begin, I'd like to thank anyone who has participated in the Altru community this year. If you posted, followed, me too-ed, or just read, you're an integral part! This whole process has been trial and error, and we appreciate your willingness to give this new service a try. So thank you for your questions, problems, and ideas. And of course, your praise. ... more
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