Interested in Web-Based DONATION?

I’m wondering whether any of you would be interested in switching to a web-based version of DONATION, running on my own servers (so you don’t have to maintain a web application on your servers), if I developed one. To be clear, I have not yet decided to do so!

I would definitely also keep offering the current way of installing and using DONATION on your own computers (not web-based).

Advantages of using a web-based version include being able to access it from any computer with an appropriate web browser (it might require Internet Explorer 7 or 8), and having multiple people access the same data, without needing a network install in your organization. Also, you would never have to worry about installing upgrades again!

Disadvantages would probably include that it would work a bit more slowly, because web applications always work more slowly than installed applications. But I wouldn’t release such an application if it didn’t work fast enough to be very usable.

Charging for a web-based version would probably be based on a monthly fee per user/login, which would probably be a bit more expensive than my current base rates. That’s both because of the advantages of the web-based system, and because it would cost me more to run it. My guess would be it might be about $10/month, per user, but really at this point I have no idea.

Please let me know what you think, preferably by adding a Reply to this blog posting. Thank you!

14 thoughts on “Interested in Web-Based DONATION?

  1. Hi,
    I think it would be a great idea – it would help for any org’s that run on a national level with more then one office.

  2. As a church with about 230 donors per year and weekly inputs, I would see no advantages and thefore have no interest in it’s development.

  3. Hi Dan. I am very happy with the way it is. I can’t see any reason for wanting to switch. So I guess you can count me out at this time.



  4. Hi Dan.
    I am happy with the way the program works. The only thing that would make a web based version appealing would be if it could then be accessed with a Mac. Our church and other charitable organizations are gradually switching from PCs to Macs. I have spoken to other users of Donation and they all have said they would like to see it come out in a Mac version. Any plans for that in the foreseeable future?

    • I have no plans to have a Mac version of the current installed program. But on the other hand, a web-based version would almost certainly be usable from Macs. So that’s another advantage of it!

  5. Dan,

    I have been a proponent of this idea. I use Quickbooks Online Addition for accounting and find the ability to access from wherever I am to be an advantage worth some premium price.

    Having said that, there is a limit to the value.. $10 per month vs $40 per year renewal would be too much of a premium for me.

    So.. under these specific conditions, I would vote “no”.. but I really do like the idea of online access.. I just wish it was more cost competitive.

    BTW.. you said it might require IE 7 or 8.. this would not bring the Mac crowd into the fold.. It would need to be Safari (preferably) or Firefox for Mac compatible.


    • You’re right, David, IE 7 and 8 aren’t available for the Mac. So some of the solutions for conversion to the web that I was considering, which need a recent IE, would not work on the Mac, as you said. That would be a serious disadvantage to those options.

      I would have to think about the pricing. There are a lot more expenses in running a web-based application.

      Thanks for your thoughts.

  6. Re: Pricing, by way of comparison, here are some of the cheapest web-based systems I could find, after some quick web searching:

    – eTapestry (for charities, not churches) is free for up to 500 donors, but that doesn’t include support, which starts at $27/month. (It also doesn’t include any optional modules, some of which users might need.) And for over 500 donors, the base cost without support starts at $37/month and goes up from there.

    – Fellowship One (a more full-featured church management system) starts at $20/month for their least feature-full version

    – CongregationBuilder starts at about $20/month, for the version that includes a contributions module

    – IconCMO (Church Management Online) starts at $27/month

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