is a complex activity based on a myriad of interactions with
external and internal constituents.
Advancement encompasses and crosses many organizational
boundaries and this results in the need for numerous and
comprehensive policies and procedures. i.e. Prospect clearance,
tracking, data entry and information requests, research
policies, and many more.
These need to be shared and deployed, and what better way to do
this than through an advancement Intranet?
What does the Intranet provide?
and one version of the truth.
reliable and up-to-date information.
accessing information through a web browser.
presentation of all advancement information.
yet consistent with other web standards within the
in workflows and other processes.
knowledge across the organization.
of the information need to be available to the general public
such as your gift transmittal form, and what portions need to
be restricted to advancement staff only?
This is one of the most important initial questions.
You don’t want to end up with separate sites as it will
greatly increase maintenance and technical complexity. Better
to have a “staff only” section where a login is required.
volunteers need to access parts of the site and how will this
be managed? i.e. Alumni branch reports, ability of volunteers
to find information on their prospects, etc.
Volunteers are often geographically disbursed and the Intranet
can provide a great resource to help manage them.
create and edit the content? How will updates of the content
be managed? How will tasks be assigned and monitored? Who will
manage the project?
What will be
the content standards such as fonts, images and page layout?
Will the Intranet have the same look and feel as the rest of
the organization? Will it match your style guide?
will be used for adding and editing content?
What will be
the timeline for implementation?
functionality such as database driven pages will be required?
Be imaginative. i.e. Information you now produce manually can
be done dynamically such as a staff list. Determine how data
on the Intranet can be deployed to multiple advancement
locations such as the staff list on your giving site.
and statistics need to be available, and how will these be
integrated into your overall performance management reporting?
to decide if items on the site will need to be interfaced with
PDAs or other mobile devices.
Who will be
responsible for the ongoing technical maintenance of the site?
Who will be
responsible for managing security and passwords? More
problematic in a larger decentralized organization. Think
about secure socket layers and site certificates since a lot
of the information may be sensitive.
or outsource the project? Each has its benefits. Will you need
consulting help to implement?
How will the
site be marketed to ensure staff use the Intranet and are
informed of changes and new features?
the site be organized? Around constituencies or around program
How will the
Intranet help with periodic reviews by internal or external
audit? Will all of your detailed processes also be included on
the site? Makes them easier to access and review.
content layers. If you have multiple internal web sites, it’s
an ideal time to combine them.
your Intranet will work and co-exist with your network file
sharing. Some web collaboration software can function in the
same fashion but can also do versioning and make documents
available to both/either internal and external users. This
technology can be employed within your Intranet.
As you design
your Intranet, a major goal should be to simplify a user’s
experience. Try not to add another complication to your
staff’s day-to-day work. Think strategically of ways to use
the Intranet to make your organization more efficient and to
How will your
Intranet work with your current development system? Can you
have all of your system help located within your Intranet so
you only have to maintain it in one place?
will be deployed? Policies and procedures, forms? Any thoughts
about deploying some of your reports? Interactive prompted and
real-time reports? Business process work flow and approval
Will the site
be capable of including news feeds from some of your other
sites so you can have additional interesting and changing
content? Will you in turn be able to send feeds to other
sites? i.e. Your gift and pledge acceptance policies to the
central finance site.
need to be managed. Different user groups will have different
needs and aspirations. Areas such as advancement services may
need assurance that the technical capabilities of the site
will be adequate.