Tendenci is an open source content management system for nonprofit organizations. Features include the ability to manage membership, events, donations, email marketing, and more.
Monthly plans are $129 (with certain functionality limits); $169 for up to 1,000 registered users; $249 for up to 5,000 registered users; and $399 for corporate memberships and greater bandwidth. A free version is also available for organizations that prefer to host websites themselves.
Jess Kelso, manager of online engagement for Advance, has been using Tendenci for three years. The organization has been using it for at least six years.
How do you use it?
Advance is a global membership organization for Australians living aboard. We’re unique because we have about 25,000 members, which makes us one of Tendenci’s biggest customers in that regard, but we don’t use it for processing membership fees because joining our organization is free. Rather, we use it to get a complete picture of our members.
We use the events function quite a bit. You can upload events, and if members choose to attend, all the relevant data is captured in their profile.
We’re an international organization that is 100% online, and we target members based on where they are in the world and what industry they work in. Tendenci has built-in functionality that allows us to segment people into groups when they join, and that facilitates targeting specific groups.
It also has an integrated email system called Campaign Monitor, which is really handy for us. If someone joins and they tick one box that tells us they work in PR and another box that tells us they live in San Francisco, we can automatically pull them into segments, which streamlines email communication.
Tendenci has great systems for recurring payments. We want to move to that eventually, but I can’t speak to it because we’re not using it at this time. Having the ability to do that is appealing to us because there’s not any other platform available that we know of that does that.
Once it’s set up, it’s easy to operate. The groups and overall structuring were set up when I got here. There’s a lot of data given that we have 25,000 members. Tendenci was very helpful when we updated our website and moved from the old version of Tendenci to the new version, but it was a process.
For the last three years, I’ve made changes to some groups and structuring based on the changing needs of our organization. It’s easy to make those changes.
If we have a problem, I tend to email customer support. Sometimes I tweet at them. You can also call. Customer support is really good and very responsive.
How does it integrate with your existing infrastructure from an IT standpoint?
Tendenci hosts our site, but we have the ability to make changes to our site. If you’re logged in as an administrator, you can change almost anything on the site. That enables us to make updates really quickly. Even our CEO knows how to make updates.
How does it serve your business needs?
As a purely online organization, our site is obviously really important. Tendenci allows us to have more than just website – it’s like a membership portal.
It helps capture information about all of our members; streamlines communication with our members; and facilitates targeting specific groups. Communicating with our members online is our only way of communicating with them. Knowing where they are in the world helps us serve our membership better.
As well as being a membership organization for Australians abroad, we’re also in the business of profiling amazing Australians abroad. The website gives us the opportunity to showcase Australians and their achievements abroad through article and video sections, which I use every day.
It’s really easy to upload content to the website that we can also then share with members through direct mail and social media.
What are the main benefits?
It’s really easy to use once it’s set up and is cost effective.
The Campaign Monitor email system is great for us.
Even though we don’t currently use it to process ongoing membership payment, having a system that can do that is important to us.
What are the main drawbacks?
Because we have so many members, some things can be a bit cumbersome. For example, if I want to create a new group I can do that in five minutes, but in order to find out which of our members fit into that group I need Tendenci to give me the database.
It’s really US-centric, but they’re working on this.
What would you like to see improved/added?
The ability to process international payments as part of the events and membership section would be great.
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