Interesting results in NTEN Data Ecosystem Survey

NTEN (the Nonprofit Technology Network) just released the results of their Data Ecosystem Survey. As they explain on their website:

The data ecosystem is the collection of tools we use to manage all the ways we interact with donors, volunteers, activists, and supporters. We wanted to find out how happy organizations are with each of the tools they use, but also what tools make up their ecosystems, and how happy they are with those ecosystems as well.

I’ve had a chance to review the report, and I found some interesting results. Two things stood out for me:
  1. Most users of CiviCRM seem to be exceedingly happy with the product. That’s very good news, because CiviCRM is an open-source membership and donor management system. I’ve written about CiviCRM in the past. (See this post, which generated a lot of comments.) I said in that post ” I think the product holds great promise, but like any other open source product, a critical mass of users is necessary to maintain its long-term viability.” I stand by that, and I’m encouraged to hear that organizations are happy using CiviCRM.
  2. Those organizations that use “integrated” systems (i.e., systems that provide multiple functionality, e.g., email, events management, donor management, etc.) tended to be very happy with their systems. This is consistent with my experience, which breaks down this way: The more systems you have in place that a user needs to access, the lower the overall satisfaction of the user. Simply put, the more systems I need to know how to use, the more difficult my job becomes. So I’m not surprised by these results.

Kudos to NTEN for putting this report together.

Click here to get the report.

Full disclosure: EDM is an independent third-party consulting firm. This means we have no financial relationship with any of the vendors mentioned in this blog. We provide unbiased opinions on what we see.


About Wes Trochlil

For a quarter century, Wes has worked in and with dozens of associations and membership organizations throughout the US, ranging in size from zero staff (all-volunteer) to over 700. In that time Wes has provided a range of consulting services, from general consulting on data management issues to full-scale, association-wide selection and implementation of association management systems.

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