Groundwire Blog Welcome to the Groundwire Blog! daily12009-07-22T23:13:54Z
  • Groundwire's 2012 Holiday Survival Guide Groundwire's guide to surviving a holiday season full of hipsters, ugly sweaters and indifferent babies.Do the holidays have to mean stressing out about shopping and kicking our sustainability values to the curb? No!

    Here's our guide to help you surviving a season filled with hipsters, ugly sweaters and indifferent babies.

    Problem: I am drinking my weight in Eggnog Lattes and Caramel Apple Ciders

    Here at Groundlandfillwire, we know that caffeine and sugar power the engine of social change and technological innovation. Fun fact: experts agree  (by which we mean we think it's plausible to assume) that the internet would have 60% fewer LOLCats if Mountain Dew did not exist. So far be it from us to talk you out of your daily habit. Still, you know those disposable cups are crazy wasteful, right? Landfills and the holidays go together like...wait, those don't go together at all!

    ACE bottle


    Pick up this lovely reusable thermos from our friends at Alliance for Climate Education, winners of Groundwire''s 2012 Connector Award for Engagement Leadership!  Even better, skip the corporate coffee shop and pick up some apple cider from your closest farmers market!  


    Problem: I Need to buy a present for someone I'm mad at because they forgot my birthday gift tag

    Ahhh...nothing like the holidays to bring out long simmering aggression. A quick analysis of any given shopping list will likely reveal at least one person that the buyer is actively holding a grudge against.  


    Oregon Natural Desert Association's 2013 calendar is a truly stunning collection of photos. Just try to hold a grudgeONDA Calendar against anyone while looking at these gorgeous pictures. Feel free to "improve" on the calendar by writing in important dates about yourself so the gift recipient has no excuses not to call you on your birthday or anniversary or your pet gecko's birthday.


    Problem: My grandma bought me an ugly Christmas sweater. Do I have to wear it?

    Your grandma loves you. She may choose to express that love by purchasing for you (or, even more heart-breakingly, making for you) a very special holiday sweater that is so hideous you cannot believe it is an expressSweatersion of love. It is. Really, it is. If you are lucky, she gets you and her other grandkids the same sweater because then you have other people to commiserate with. Just so we are clear, you do need to wear that sweater at least once in your grandmother's presence. It is the least you can do.


    We repeat, you need to wear that sweater at least once in your grandmother's presence. But it's understandable if Baseball Capsyou don't want anyone else to see you in your sweater. And if you are a good environmentalist who takes public transportation to grandma's house, you're going to need to don a pair of dark glasses and a baseball cap to get you through the bus ride without being ridiculed. Conservation Northwest has got you covered for baseball caps and you will love knowing that you can protect yourself from mockery while also helping protect wilderness areas from the Washington Coast to the BC Rockies. Do it for grandma.   

    Problem: I am tempted to buy my friend's new baby ridiculously expensive clothingRalph Lauren Baby

    Don't waste your money. Babies have no taste for nice things. How do we know? Because they eat strained peas! No one with taste eats that. Besides, when you buy a present for a baby you are usually just buying for the parents. Why not just get the parents a what they really want? Probably vodka if they are new parents. 


    In Seattle, thanks to recent loosening of regulations leftover from Prohibition, you can get a great locally distilled vodka.

    But if you somehow find vodka an inappropriate baby gift, how about making a donation in baby's honor to IslandWood? IslandWood's mission of connecting kids with nature will inspire even the most indifferent IslandWoodbaby and you'll feel good about supporting a program that helps all kinds of kids appreciate nature. Seattle, thanks to recent loosening of regulations leftover from Prohibition, you can get a great locally distilled vodka.

    Problem: Is there anything besides PBR I can get for the hipsters on my list?  PBR Can

    True fact! PBR is a terrible beer and every single person in the whole world who says they like it is lying. Spread the word.  



    Buy your hipster friend a refillable growler and give them a map of all the nearby breweries where they might fill it up. (We have a special place in our heart for Fremont Brewing ). TWashington Bushen make a donation in said hipster's name to the Washington Bus. This merry band of "the kids these days" is a major force in getting Washington's hippest young citizens engaged in the political process. They are so awesome that we forgive them for drinking PBR.

    Problem: Am I allowed to have pretty things?pretty things

    Do you sometimes feels like caring about the world means embracing ugliness? Like you can't really love the world unless you live off a diet of flax seed oil and tofu and make your clothes out of table scraps and cardboard that you find in a dumpster?  

    Sadly, not everyone can pull off a dress made of table scraps (Lady Gaga excepted, naturally) and dumpster diving isn't for everyone. So what is an aesthetically inclined do-gooder to do?  


    Calm down, flex your mouse clicking fingers and head over to Pinterest, 2012's hottest social media site and the place where prettyinletkeeper mobile pictures go to hang out. If the Pinterest boards from groups like Grist and Natural Resources Defense Council don't convince you that you can have pretty things while caring about the planet, then how about checking out these definitely pretty note cards and mobiles available at Alaska's Cook Inletkeeper. Bottom line: you can have pretty. We promise.



    No publishertiffanyListen to Your Mother (Earth)2012-12-06T23:25:00ZBlog Entry
    Webinar: Measure and Increase Your Supporters’ Participation Here's your chance to learn all about how Groundwire Engage works! Join our Director of Technology Solutions Eric Magnuson as he demonstrates the features of this new application now available on the AppExchange. A nonprofit’s mission is nothing without supporters. They carry your mission and evangelize your work. But they also have different skills, interests, and capacity to help. They differ in motivations and have varying levels of commitment. How you work through these variables to engage the right people, at the right time, with the right "ask" is what Groundwire calls engagement.

    Eric Magnuson presenting the release of Groundwire Engage, our first paid product, to a packed room at 2012 Dreamforce in San Francisco.

    That's why we created Groundwire Engage. Its a Salesforce application that helps you track and analyze your supporters level of engagement in Salesforce so that you can uncover opportunities to most effectively engage your supporters for maximum impact.

    Here's your chance to learn all about how Groundwire Engage works! Join our Director of Technology Solutions Eric Magnuson on Wednesday, October 24 @ 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM PDT as he demonstrates the features of this new application now available on the AppExchange.

    The Foundation is hosting the webinar here:

    The development of this application was partially funded by the Foundation's Force-for-Change grants program. Thank you Foundation!

    No publishersuphatra2012-10-23T17:50:00ZBlog Entry
    Recap: 2012 Connector Award Event Check out the highlights of our annual Connector Award Event.Last night we held our second annual Connector Award Event. We started this tradition to bring recognition to organizations that excelled at the engagement strategies and theories we work on at Groundwire.

    This year, we presented the Connector Award to the San Francisco-based organization Alliance for Climate Education (ACE). ACE has made groundbreaking progress in engaging thousands of teens all over America in climate science, global warming and environmentalism. Using a multi-tiered model similar to the engagement pyramid, ACE engages its youth by involving them in small projects (called DOT, which stands for Do One Thing) and moving them up the engagement pyramid with larger and more encompassing responsibilities and activities.

    Groundwire Board President Steve Muran with Groundwire's Director of Project Management Ron Douglas.

    Here are some great quotes from the evening:

    "Groundwire has come from a long history of inspired visions and realized dreams. Now is another moment of reinvention. Now is the start of a new chapter."
    -President of Groundwire's Board of Directors Steve Muran, in his speech kicking off the night

    "This is a truly exciting time – to be an activist, to be young, to be alive."
    -Keynote speaker Erica Williams, Washington D.C. based activist and political commentator

    Keynote speaker Erica Williams talking about the importance of engaging young people in social change movements.

    "So as you heard in the video, I originally came to Groundwire as a client. And then they moved me right up that engagement pyramid and now I’m standing before you tonight at the very top of that pyramid!"
    -Wendy Cho Ripp, former Groundwire client and now on Groundwire's Board of Directors

    "[In the beginning] me and everyone else here sort of spent our time traveling around visiting people's offices, unpacking boxes of computers, arranging for donated software from Microsoft, which was possible but not easy to get then, and basically physically getting people connected to the Internet.  That was something that we couldn't take for granted then, and quite frankly not everyone was completely convinced it was a good idea." (laughs)
    -Jon Stahl, long-time former staffer in the event video about Groundwire

    "One of the things that we often say is that an investment in Groundwire is an investment that raises all boats."
    -Groundwire's Director of Client Strategy Karen Uffelman, in the event video

    "One of the challenges for an organization in this day and age with all the emerging technology, is figuring out what you need, versus what's icing on the cake... Groundwire provided that voice. Saying things like, 'you should thinking about mobile.' Those are things that can be challenging but in the long run are great, about having a consulting partner that cares about your long term goals."
    -Lauren Braden, Communications & Outreach Director at Washington Trails Association in the event video

    Left to Right: Poet Emily Warn, Groundwire Board Vice-Chair Joneil Custodio, and Sinae Cheh.

    Don't forget to join us next year for 2013 Connector Award Event!

    No publishersuphatraConnector Award2012-10-10T19:30:00ZBlog Entry
    Sneak Peek: Erica Williams on Social Change Erica Williams gives us a preview of what she'll be talking about in her keynote address at our 2012 Connector Award Event.This is a truly exciting time – to be an activist, to be young, to be alive. The world is changing at a rapid pace and so is the technology that can help us make those changes positive and lasting.  For years I’ve spoken to audiences big and small, young and old, non-profit and corporate, about the beauty and possibility of the future and this generation’s unprecedented power to shape it.

    Like an evangelist, I have “preached” about the unconventional ways in which cutting edge visionaries are creating social change: new methods, new models, new theories, new outcomes. I’ve worked with early stage social entrepreneurs , armies of college students activists, and cutting edge next generation leaders from around the world, and for all groups one key theme has been consistent: Technology is only as powerful as the people who use it.

    In order for our social change movements to grow, evolve, and win, we must focus as much  energy on learning and developing new strategies for social change. I recognize now that the most important lessons to be learned aren’t just about the tools that we have at our disposal to change the world but about strategies that guide our usage of them. And underneath those strategies lie profound principles and values that drive us.

    It’s these principles and values that inspire me and that need to be shared. Diversity, experimentation & innovation, transparency and sustainability are just a few of the values that build the foundation of this generation’s social change work. These themes provide the framework for how people from all sectors – advocates, social entrepreneurs, activists, artists, technologists and everyone in between – is working to shape the world.

    Guided by these values, I am embracing an even more fearless approach in this next phase of my work. I am now partnering with a host of “unconventional” parties – individual influencers, socially responsible corporations, tech entrepreneurs, artists, - to make big plays in the quest for social justice and simultaneously dispel the myths around who and what it takes to change the world. I’m excited to talk more about this new work at the Groundwire Connector event and share the stories of how technology is empowering those of us with shared values to bridge sectors and interests and accelerate change faster than anyone ever thought possible.

    Groundwire is one of the shining stars in the constellation of leaders who are merging the right values with the right tools and the right people to make change. I look forward to inspiring you with stories of others doing the same and sharing ideas for how this tech-savvy, principled generation can create a new future for our communities and our world.

    No publisherErica WilliamsConnector Award2012-10-05T16:13:17ZBlog Entry
    New Product Release: Groundwire Engage™ Groundwire's latest innovation helps nonprofits turn passive supporters into advocates and donors.

    For Immediate Release

    SEATTLE, Wash. – September 18, 2012 – Today, Seattle-based technology consulting firm Groundwire Consulting announced the launch of Groundwire Engage, an engagement tool that delivers measurement and analysis for nonprofits that want to move constituents into higher levels of involvement in their mission. Though industry trends urge nonprofits towards online engagement, such as building social media followings, there are no products on the market comparable to Groundwire Engage to help nonprofits turn shallow relationships into leadership and advocacy for a nonprofit’s mission.

    What Groundwire Engage Delivers

    The product is centered on a Strategy Guide that provides the roadmap for creating an organization’s engagement model. It consolidates information on donations, advocacy campaigns, volunteering, event attendance, board participation, among many other types of data, and translates the data into analytics that help a nonprofit identify opportunities for moving a constituent into a higher level of participation and engagement. Groundwire Engage also comes with Gratitude Machine, which simplifies the process of recognizing and motivating key supporters to keep them active.

    Nonprofit organizations can get started at

    Unique Product Features

    • Always up to date on latest supporter activities
    • Fully integrated with campaign, contact, and opportunity records in your database
    • Designed for simple list segmentation
    • Highly customizable to fit your engagement goals and data conventions
    • Built around a proven model of engagement strategy
    • Based on, the cloud platform used by 140,000+ companies worldwide

    About Groundwire

    Groundwire and Groundwire Consulting provide technology solutions and consultation to nonprofits and mission-minded businesses — giving them the power to engage people and solve today’s biggest social and environmental challenges.


    Media Contact:
    Suphatra Laviolette
    (206) 286-1235 ext. 17
    No publishersuphatra2012-09-18T16:00:00ZBlog Entry
    Groundwire’s 10 Rules of Engagement At Groundwire, we design and build strategies and tools to help organizations better engage the people that matter most to their missions. Over the years we’ve come up with ten rules that are key to excelling as an engagement organization. *This blog was an exclusive post for Salesforce Foundation's blog, which you can find here.

    At Groundwire, we design and build strategies and tools to help organizations better engage the people that matter most to their missions.  Over the years we’ve come up with ten rules that are key to excelling as an engagement organization:

    1. Understand your theory of change

    A theory of change is a roadmap, or logic model, which outlines a chain of events starting with your campaign activities or program work and leading, plausibly, to your desired goal. A theory of change helps you most efficiently use resources like money, staff, political capital, etc. It also allows you to focus the right engagement efforts on the right audiences, and ensures the work you ask those audiences to take on in support of your mission is meaningful to achieving the end goals you share with those audiences. Don’t do “engagement” for engagement’s sake – your ask or offer won’t be as compelling and you’re ultimately wasting important resources.  Make your engagement efforts count – you’ll build stronger relationships with the people you’re trying to engage and be making the most of their participation in your work.

    2. Identify your key audiences

    Be specific with your audience definitions. These are the people that show up in your theory of change – the people who need to educate or be educated, influence or be influenced, make decisions or take action for you to achieve your vision. The general public is not an audience (unless you are Coca-Cola or have Coca-Cola’s PR budget, in which case, carry on).

    3. Know what you want them to do

    For each audience, it’s important to know exactly what you’re asking of them and what role you need them to play in your theory of change.  If you’ve completed a theory of change, cataloging roles for your audiences should be easy, as they should be explicitly or implicitly described in that document.  You may have multiple roles for a specific audience member to play, and some roles may be pertinent to several or even all of your audiences.

    4. Know why they would do it

    This is where many nonprofit organizations fall down.  They’ve figured who needs to do what, in order to achieve their vision, but they haven’t thought through why those audiences might want to take the actions required. We talk about this in terms of “value proposition.”  If you want a legislator to champion a piece of policy, or teens to help with trail maintenance, or commuters to use public transportation, it’s important to be explicit about what they get out of it.  It’s the other side of the relationship, right?  A balanced relationship means give and take, and you have to be clear about what you offer.  Good feelings about doing the right thing can be a value proposition, but if it’s the only one you’ve got, that’s not enough (otherwise, we could all retire).  Do you offer your members decision-making authority over programs they care about, or desired training to your volunteers?  Do you provide political cover to politicians taking risky votes?  Do you offer resources to the staff of partner organizations?  Be explicit.  This is where your engagement superpower may come into play.

    5. Have a plan for what’s next

    Every time you ask someone to come to an event, sign up for your newsletter, or take a risky vote, you should be thinking about what’s next in your relationship with that person.  How will you acknowledge their action and how will you show them that you noticed their interest or commitment?  If you ask someone to sign a petition and then they don’t hear from you for months, it’s the equivalent of asking for someone’s phone number and then never calling.  It’s bad form in the world of romance and equally bad in the world of nonprofit sector engagement.  Don’t do it!  For each engagement you need to have a plan for what’s next.

    6. Use an engagement framework

    So this all sounds well and good, you say, but managing engagement across an organization is difficult.  How do you get all staff on the same page?  How do you set goals?  How do you classify contacts?  This is where a framework can really help.  There are a number of different models out there – engagement ladders, organizing circles, engagement funnels – but the one we favor is the engagement pyramid.  It helps you think about and classify the relationships you’re building across your organization and can help you set goals with your team.

    7. Use an engagement platform

    A framework is important, but a platform makes it possible at scale.  If you’re managing 100 relationships, you could conceivably do it with an excel spreadsheet, or even 3x5 cards.  If you’re managing 1,000 relationships or 100,000 relationships, you need technology to help you.  This is where a CRM platform like Salesforce is key, and where a product like Groundwire Engage can make all the difference.

    8. Don’t forget the middle of your pyramid

    So important!  Many organizations do a great job at the bottom of their pyramid, with shallow relationships (Facebook followers or email sign-ups), and at the top of their pyramid with deeply invested leaders (board chairs or significant donors).  Moving the bottom of your pyramid to more meaningful roles for your organization takes investment, but it’s absolutely worth it.  A healthy middle of the pyramid is critically important for the long-term health and impact of your organization.  Don’t spend your entire outreach budget on list building!  Make sure you have the resources and time to more deeply empower and engage the people who can and will do more to advance your mission.  Here’s more guidance if you find the middle of your pyramid on the skinny side.

    9. Love your data

    The best organizers and fundraisers, and the best engagement organizations, know that investing in a good database, prioritizing adequate staff time and incentives to bank data, providing training and building data expertise are key to success.  Your database is the brain of your organization – don’t neglect it.  Don’t relegate it to one or two staff.  Your database should be an organizational affair from your director to your office volunteer.  Love your data and it will love you back.

    10. Constituents = friends

    Finally, when you think about growing your activist base or volunteer pool or donor list, try to be in the mindset that you’re in when you make friends.  This is the most important rule, and also the easiest because we all know how to make friends, and what it takes to keep friendships strong.  You need to be a good listener, lend a hand once in a while, respect their opinions, and show gratitude when a friend does you a favor.  You need to give as much as you get.  Just imagine that database of yours and all of those contacts as folks with whom you’d like to be better friends.  Keep it in mind as you evaluate your engagement strategies and tactics, and I promise you’ll be better at creating and cultivating the critical relationships for your organization.

    Happy engaging!

    No publisherKaren UffelmanEngagement Strategy2012-09-14T18:10:00ZBlog Entry
    Major Fundraising Application Canned, What’s Next for Nonprofit Databases Blackbaud's big news is surprising to some, but not to many. Nonprofit techies weigh in. UPDATED: Now includes comments from Blackbaud.UPDATED as of 9/10/2012: Now includes comments from Blackbaud at the end of the post.


    Blackbaud shook the nonprofit tech world last week with its announcement that they were canceling Common Ground, a popular fundraising application built on and used by small to mid-sized nonprofits.

    Common Ground was the brainchild of Convio, an Austin-based public software company acquired by Blackbaud in spring 2012 to the tune of $325 million. The application was a fee-based, customizable online database for capturing donations and engaging donors. It could work with a website’s front end, like forms and web profiles, and route form inputs to a database that any lay person could manage. It ran on, a cloud-based online database site relatively free to nonprofits.

    The news received a wide range of response, with bloggers and the Twittersphere describing Common Ground as “killed off” and speculations that Luminate, another Blackbaud fundraising application, may be next on the chopping block. There's even a petition asking Blackbaud to extend Common Ground licenses indefinitely and allow users to migrate on their own time.

    “The move is ultimately good for nonprofit customers,” speculates Dan Lammot, co-founder of roundCause, a fundraising suite for large, enterprise level nonprofits. “Blackbaud and Convio were not favored in the field and this move takes an application out of play that wasn't sustainable, wasn’t being invested in, and didn't belong in the marketplace.”

    Migration will be a big cost and burden for the 700 orphans of Common Ground, who have until March 2014 to move to another database. Blackbaud is promoting Raiser’s Edge and eTapestry as replacements, but neither fit. Raiser’s Edge costs considerably more than Common Ground’s already expensive $100+ per seat monthly license model. eTapestry, while more affordable, is watered down; for example, it doesn’t have functionalities like Chatter,’s social networking feature that allows real time chat and a group socializing platform similar to Facebook.

    What’s next for nonprofit databases? Fundraising applications built on are still the most popular choice for small to mid-size nonprofits. Cloud-based solutions are perfect for nonprofits with limited resources because it allows them to grow in scale at their own pace. Small to mid-size nonprofits paying for IT support and server infrastructure to host data on-site will find it costly, unreliable, and at risk to theft, natural disaster and fire. Also,’s user community is supported by boutique tech shops adept at customizing Salesforce (we’re one of them). is not without its own strings. The biggest draw – being nearly free – is also “free in the way one might win keys to a jet,” comments Robert L. Weiner, the first blogger to weigh in on the Blackbaud announcement. “Would you just climb in the cockpit and start flying?”

    Weiner stresses the importance of nonprofits partnering up with consultants who can get a Salesforce database off the ground and provide thorough training. Foundation released a public statement of the same vein, directing Common Ground migrants to utilize one of 76 certified consulting partners (we are also is on that list). A consulting partner that can customize a fundraising template may be a better road for nonprofits whose needs don’t fit any products on the market.

    While nonprofit techies wave “fare thee well” to Common Ground as it’s buried among the other formerly innovative products in Blackbaud’s acquisitions graveyard, I wonder: will nonprofit decision makers still be lured to work with the database provider/goliath? I asked William Nourse, a former Raiser’s Edge user and Chief Information Officer for Citizens Schools, an enterprise nonprofit with over 500 employees. Nourse left Raiser’s Edge with the impression that Blackbaud was “mired in an older view of how one deploys technology” and signed up with Convio’s Common Ground before the Blackbaud acquisition. "I have no interest in working with Blackbaud if I can possibly avoid it," shares Nourse.

    “Can I quote you on that?” I ask him.

    Without hesitation: “Absolutely.”


    UPDATE as of 9/10/2012:

    This morning, I got the chance to speak with Blackbaud's Sr. Public Relations Manager, Melanie Mathos, about her thoughts about this blog post and the Common Ground cancellation.

    Mathos requested a correction: the number of Common Ground clients is 400, not 700. She says 300 of the 400 were already on a conversion path to Luminate, an enterprise-level solution offered at Blackbaud.

    In response to the phrase "acquisition graveyard", Mathos says that in Blackbaud's 30 year history of acquisitions, cancellations of acquired products are rare and that Blackbaud has "a long history of supporting products" that they've acquired.

    I asked her what was next for small to mid-sized nonprofits that were well served by Common Ground, and she said she was not the right person to comment, and would recommend seeking answers at the Blackbaud/Common Ground townhall tomorrow.

    Please feel free to weigh in below with your thoughts on Blackbaud's comments.

    No publishersuphatraDatabase2012-09-06T19:30:00ZBlog Entry
    An Evening with Erica Williams Erica is an accomplished speaker, writer, and activist who is passionate about engaging the next generation in civic life.

    Groundwire is thrilled to welcome Erica Williams as the keynote speaker for our 2012 Connector Award Event.

    Erica is an accomplished speaker, writer, and activist who is passionate about engaging the next generation in civic life.

    Erica rocks audiences of all ages and backgrounds about a new way of engaging in societyinspiring them to tackle issues head-on, think big, and use technology to their advantage.

    As CEO of Foolish Life Ventures, she works with individuals and organizations to unlock the power for social change in modern, authentic, and culturally relevant ways. Erica's résumé includes work as Senior Strategist at Citizen Engagement Lab, Deputy Director of the Center for American Progress’s youth advocacy arm, and co-founding Progress 2050. She was listed by as one of 50 Top Politicos, and has also worked at the nation's oldest, largest, and most diverse civil and human rights coalition, the Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights.

    She has been regularly featured on a wide variety of programs from Fox News to Charlie Rose to MTV, BET and G4TV.  Her work has been highlighted in The Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report, and

    Groundwire is excited to welcome Erica to our Connector Award Event honoring Alliance for Climate Education for their achievements working with young people.

    Erica Williams and Alliance for Climate Education—October 9th at Benaroya Hall. Don't miss out on this opportunity to be inspired!  RSVP today!

    No publishertiffany2012-08-29T16:45:00ZBlog Entry
    Want to Turn Facebook Fans into Active Supporters? Wouldn't it be dreamy if you could run signature-gathering campaigns, pledge drives, and event registrations in Facebook AND track it all in your CRM? Now you can. Meet ActionSprout, a new Facebook app from Groundwire alums Drew Bernard and Shawn Kemp that makes all your geeky Facebook engagement dreams come true.How many times have you cursed the fact that you can’t access the email addresses of your own Facebook Fans? When was the last time you dreamt of giving your Facebook fans actions more engaging then Like and Comment? Wouldn't it be amazing if you could run signature-gathering campaigns, pledge drives, and event registrations in Facebook AND track it all in your CRM?

    A month ago, if you had asked the smartest people in the nonprofit sector if you could do these things they would have simply said "No! Sorry... Facebook just won't allow it." However, as of 12:37PM on July 24th PDT, those smarty pants would have been wrong. You see, that was the moment Groundwire alums Drew Bernard and Shawn Kemp launched a new Facebook app called ActionSprout that puts the full power of Facebook's Open Graph into the hands of nonprofits and not only makes these things possible, it makes them a cinch. 

    Drew and Shawn are in the process of inviting a small number of organizations to use the tool ahead of doing a public launch in a few weeks. Several members of the Groundwire team have been advising Drew and Shawn and we're in the process of building a Salesforce Connector which will allow orgs who are using the system not only to capture and export data about their most active supporters on Facebook but also get it into their Salesforce database so they can use it to support their overall engagement strategies. When we asked if our orgs could come in now and start using it for free, they said YES! 

    Everyone can start using the system for free but most organizations will end up opting for a $30 or $90 a month plan so they can power more social actions and get their data out with a click of a button. But for now, if you manage a Facebook Fan Page, we encourage you to give ActionSprout a try. For more information about ActionSprout, visit them at or send Drew an email at

    No publisherkuffelman2012-08-22T19:55:00ZBlog Entry
    I don't know why you say goodbye, we say hello! Hello, Hello! We welcome three new members to the Groundwire Alumni club, and five new members to the Groundwire team.Over the last two months we’ve said goodbye to three awesome staff here at Groundwire. One of our fabulous web developers (and ukulele player extraordinaire), Matt Yoder, is starting grad school this fall. Urban planning has always been Matt’s passion, and we wish him the best of luck as he moves forward on his new career path. We expect you to design some great cities, Matt! Long-time staff member, Sam Knox (who may have taught you the wonders of Plone or customized your Salesforce database), left his position as a CRM consultant with us to take on the information management challenges at Seattle’s Museum of History and Industry. They won’t know what hit them after Sam’s whipped their information systems into shape. And finally, after ten years at Groundwire, our Director of Consulting Services, David Averill, just accepted a position with the Salesforce Foundation. We do a lot of work with the Salesforce Foundation, and we look forward to partnering with Dave in his new capacity there.

    Matt, Sam and Dave are great colleagues and team members, and made huge contributions to our clients during their time at Groundwire. We welcome them into the powerhouse that is the Groundwire Alum community, but will miss them on a daily basis around the office!

    Okay - now onto hellos and we've got lots of them. Hello to five new Groundwire team members! Suphatra Laviolette is starting this month as our new Digital Content and Marketing Manager and will be taking over as editor of the Groundwire newsletter (among a score of other responsibilities). Suphatra comes to us from the communications department of the Marguerite Casey Foundation. Jesse Snyder has joined our web team, bringing a suitcase of mad developer skills, and is currently splitting his time between Groundwire and NPower NW. Haley Sample is our new fundraising intern, with an MPA in sustainable development and nonprofit management from the University of Oregon. Matt Mark is serving as our interim Director of Sales, managing contracts and our project pipeline. If you’re interested in working with Groundwire, Matt’s the person to contact. And, finally, if you haven’t met the very able K C Gauldine, she has taken the reigns as our interim Executive Director.

    And we’re still hiring! We have three openings: 

    If you’re interested in any of these jobs, send us your resume. We’d love to say Hello! Hello, hello!

    No publisherkuffelman2012-08-22T19:52:44ZBlog Entry
    And the award goes to...ACE! ACE—the Alliance for Climate Education—wins this year's Connector Award for Engagement Leadership!After last year’s first ever Connector Award for Engagement Leadership was presented to Washington Trails Association, we know you’ve been anxious to know…who will you choose for the 2012 award?

    Can anyone match Washington Trails Association’s ability to connect with people both online and offline? And create a community of engaged activists who care passionately about creating a sustainable world?

    It’s a tall order, but Groundwire is fortunate to work with some of the most engaging nonprofit organizations out there. In fact, we had a hard time choosing among several great social change movers and shakers. 

    But there was one group that really stood out for us this year and we are thrilled to announce that the winner of this year’s Connector Award for Engagement Leadership is Alliance for Climate Education (ACE).   ACE Kids

    ACE is an award-winning national nonprofit dedicated to educating America's high school students about the science behind climate change and inspiring them to do something about it—while having fun along the way. They’ve reached more than 1.3 million high school students, trained more than 1,900 environmental leaders and created 907 Student Action teams and the proof, as they say, is in the pudding— 33,900 students have joined Student Action teams at their school and are working to lower carbon emissions in their communities. 

    Groundwire has been lucky enough to work with ACE since 2009, helping them create the relationship-building infrastructure and organizing strategy that powers their fast-growing, nationwide work. It’s been a true partnership, as Kara Muraki from ACE expressed: “Your team has been instrumental in allowing us to scale and mature at the rate we have over the past three years. Plus, you all are just fun to work with!”

    Thanks Kara! The feeling is mutual. We are so proud to honor the great work of ACE!

    Join us at our Connector Award Event on Tuesday, October 9th at Benaroya Hall. Come meet the great people behind ACE and help support and cheer on the excellent work of all of Groundwire’s partners in the community.

    See you there!

    No publishertiffanyFundraisingRockstarEngagement StrategyEngagement TechnologiesConnector Award2012-08-07T18:45:00ZBlog Entry
    Welcome K C Gauldine The board and staff at Groundwire are excited to welcome K C Gauldine as interim executive director at Groundwire.The board and staff at Groundwire are excited to welcome KC Gauldine as interim executive director at Groundwire.

    KC Gauldine is an accomplished social entrepreneur with 30+ years of exceptional C-level leadership as well as operations and fundraising experience in both the corporate and non-profit sectors.

    For the next six months, KC will be leading Groundwire and Groundwire Consulting. During this transition time she will focus on day-to-day operations, conduct an extensive organizational assessment and support our Board in securing permanent leadership.

    "This is an exciting time for Groundwire, and I am excited to support our planning for the future, " says KC. "I am already impressed with the commitment and expertise of both our Board of Directors and the entire staff, and I look forward to building and nurturing community partnerships/relationships invested in this dynamic organization."

    We are excited to have you with us, KC!

    Watch this space for more information. We'll keep all our friends informed as we move through our transition and, as always, we welcome your input.

    No publishertiffanyStaff2012-07-20T14:00:00ZBlog Entry
    Are you dreaming of Dreamforce? Dreamforce 2008 was a watershed event in my professional career. Look for more articles in the coming months with our session recommendations, and developing a game plan for this massive conference. Four years ago, I took a job as a CRM Consultant at Groundwire Consulting, then known as ONE/Northwest, and thus began the process of learning all I could about the platform.  I consumed scores of training videos and help documentation and worked with a variety of clients in the nonprofit space.  I got it, or so I thought... and then came Dreamforce and I realized what I knew was just the tip of the iceberg.

    Dreamforce 2008 was a watershed event in my professional career. First and foremost, I discovered how much the platform had to offer, and the sheer pace of innovation and investment.  I was heartened to find out how dedicated this multinational company is to corporate philanthropy and amazed by the nonprofit turnout. A little known fact is that Dreamforce is one of the largest nonprofit tech conferences in the country, with 2,000 nonprofit attendees among 46,000 total attendees expected this year.  

    Dreamforce offers dozens of sessions geared specifically for nonprofits, and literally hundreds more for people looking to polish their admin skills, learn to code, of find out about the latest and greatest third party integrations. Three days are chock full of interesting keynotes, hands-on sessions, networking parties, and the feature band, the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

    Look for more articles in the coming months with our session recommendations, and developing a game plan for this massive conference. In the meantime, register here with the discount code: NPRCST300 to secure the $300 Foundation rate. This pricing is limited so register soon.  We hope to see you there!

    No publisherdavemConferenceSalesforceMeetingDatabase2012-06-29T18:45:37ZBlog Entry
    2012 Speed Geek Video! Missed this year's Speed Geek? Catch up with all 8 presentations on Engagement Pyramid, Engagement Superpower, Auctions for Salesforce, Eventbrite Sync, Megaphone, and much more.We had a Speed Geek in April and our partners and friends shared five-minute presentations showcasing our cool engagement strategy and technology. If you didn't make it, no worries, you can watch them all right now. Make yourself a Barbed Wire (official Speed Geek drink this year, vodka and rhubarb) and settle in:

    Dying to see a real-life Groundwire Engagement Pyramid? Matt Takach for Dogwood Initiative shows you.

    Weather and Tides Engagement Superpower! Even the name is cool. Here's former Groundwire Strategist Jon Stahl.

    I wish my Eventbrite online registration data could link to my Salesforce database. Oh wait, it can! Social Venture Partners' Willow Russell demos Eventbrite Sync.

    Transportation Choices Coalition's Shefali Ranganathan shares embedding petitions on a partner's website and tracking the source of the petition signer with Megaphone.

    The gamification of measuring energy use, with Groundwire's gamemaster, Evan Callahan.

    Auctions for Salesforce, it's not just for environmental groups: Caroline Renard on behalf of Kirkland Arts Center gives us a demo.

    Time and project tracking painful? It doesn't have to be! Groundwire's Ryan Foster shows what he did for Interaction Institute for Social Change.

    Yeah, a lot of donor bases keep track of stuff. But do they have the magic of Campaigns? David Gorton from Washington Environmental Council shares his love for Salesforce Fundraising Management.

    Thanks so much to our wonderful speakers and all who participated. See you next year!

    No publishersfreedmanKnowledge Share EventEngagement StrategyEngagement Technologies2012-05-23T17:25:00ZBlog Entry
    Eventbrite and Salesforce, together again Groundwire launches Eventbrite Sync, the new and improved way to import attendee data from Eventbrite into Salesforce. The app is generally available for free installation from the AppExchange. If you've been waiting for a replacement to the discontinued Eventbrite Connector app, your long wait is over! This morning Groundwire launched Eventbrite Sync, the new and improved way to import attendee data from Eventbrite into Salesforce. The app is generally available for free installation from the AppExchange.

    Why Eventbrite? We found it to be a simple to use ticketing system with good rates for nonprofits. Sign up with our referral link ( and effortlessly support a great nonprofit, Groundwire.

    More information including installation and user's guides are available in the apps section.

    Many thanks to the following people and organizations who invested time and money to get it built. This was truly a community effort!
    • Calista Carter - Idealist Consulting
    • Katie Pelly - Islandwood
    • Mitch Colleran - Eventbrite
    • Thomas Taylor - Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance
    • Willow Russell - Social Venture Partners
    No publisherericmSalesforceEngagement Technologies2012-05-15T19:10:00ZBlog Entry