Although it was no surprise to anyone familiar with Fundware and its history over the past 15 years, I was still saddened to hear the announcement from Blackbaud that it was discontinuing support. This is pretty much as official as you can get when it comes to the end-of-life for software.
When I started JMT in 1991, even though Fundware was starting to show early signs of technology struggles, it was still one of the great nonprofit (NFP) accounting software solutions out there. Having worked in nonprofit accounting since the early 1980’s, I remember Fundware as the crème-de-la-crème of nonprofit accounting systems and its slow continuous demise over the past years has been in a word – distressing.
One of the toughest, as well as most loved, parts of my role as CEO of JMT, is to look forward and try to envision where technology is headed. I don’t think anyone has any question on my use of the word “tough” when trying to determine where technology may be headed, as none of us have a crystal ball that can magically give us the future. However, the internet may be the closest thing to a crystal ball as it provides us with the ability to see signs and trends. In my many years in this business, I have learned to recognize the importance of reading the signs and understanding what they may be telling us.
This is where the “love” comes in. The evolution of the “cloud” has been one of the biggest signs there has been in decades and I have made no secret of my love of the direction technology is now taking us. Even though I am “old school” and worked for decades in legacy, on-premise software such as Fundware, I have shared many times that I view the “cloud” as the great equalizer for nonprofits. I’ve seen firsthand the quantum leap cloud solutions have provided our clients at a level they would never have been able to afford in the past, providing functionality that eliminates so much of the paper processes and manual work that get in the way of delivering their mission. That is what I truly love.
The circle of life exists for technology just as for everything else. Fundware will move on to its end as it should and it will be hard in the short-term, but hopefully it will help organizations move on to solutions that use current true cloud technology, which will serve them far better in achieving their mission for the long-term.
If you are on Fundware today and contemplating your future, we invite you to reach out to JMT Consulting. As an independent consulting company, focused exclusively on the nonprofit industry, we can help you make the right next choice for your business.