LIVING UP IN THE CLOUDS
By Diane Feen
For someone who has always fluxuated between earth and gravity it is comforting to know that there is such a thing as Cloud Computing. As a matter of fact the newest technology involves being in the clouds quite often.
So I say bring it on.
And that is exactly what David Blyer has done. The former CEO of Vento Software and SPSS (later sold to IBM) was also in management and sales at Graphical Information, Tandem Computers and NCR Corporation.
Although this technological visionary sold software and solutions all over the world and was at the top of his game, he retired in 2004. It was then that he realized his talent could be used in a more altruistic way. That’s why he created DonorCommunity, a cloud computing software firm with a comprehensive, affordable way for mid-size non-profit organizations to raise funds online and to keep abreast and informed of donors.
When you speak with Blyer you will hear words like advocacy solutions, platforms, business intelligence, consistent revenue streams, fully integrated applications and other terms that make you wonder, is there a new language that trumps Spanish as more practical and widely understood than English?
“I have been in the technology industry for over 25 years, and with my experience as a technology entrepreneur I saw an opportunity to leverage cloud computing to help NPOs (in English that means Non-Profit Organizations) pursue their mission and goals more successfully and efficiently than ever before,” said Blyer, who has three teenage sons and a lust for life in the clouds by way of platform solutions.
DonorCommunity was in the works for a few years and has been up and running successfully for the past year. It helps non-profits track donors giving history and preferences, distributes online newsletters, launches viral fundraising campaigns through social networks, does personalized email campaigns, raises funds via online auctions and sponsorships, accept and processes online donations and tells people about the charity on social networking sites, blogs, Wikis and forums.
And if you’ve seen the websites that DonorCommunity has done you will want one yourself. They have created miracle online solutions for South Florida Performing Arts, the Jason Taylor Foundation, Make-A-Wish of Southern Florida, Police and Fire: The Fallen Heroes, Boys and Girls Clubs of Broward, The Haven, The Police Athletic League, the Dan Marino Foundation (and others). They can also get non-profit sites up and running (and created) in ten days.
But it doesn’t seem like work to Blyer, who thrives on a challenge. “I always knew that someday I wanted to help non-profit organizations, and one day I was sitting with board members of a charity and they asked if I could help them. Because I was good at writing software and I wanted to help, I tried to come up with a solution to help non-profits increase their data base and raise money in an efficient way.”
And so far his plan is working. His software solutions (and endless support) for non-profits is making a dramatic shift for donors, organizations and board members. If you ask Blyer what is happening with Cloud Computing via DonorCommunityhe will tell you that it is a real game changer. But that change is causing Disruptive Innovation.
For someone who enjoys a peaceful life and harmony among the species (and the political landscape) I was somewhat jarred by Blyer’s response. But he assured me that Disruptive Innovation was a good thing (perhaps like Haagen-Dazs).
“Disruptive Innovation just pushes other vendors to change, and that saves money and creates efficiency in an all-in-one fundraising solution.”
Blyer is indeed a good man with a hearty vision for charities that will help the needy and the infirmed. But for now I am headed to the clouds until I learn how to speak in a solution oriented society that values platforms in cyberspace rather than on the pavement.