Convio Helps Nonprofit Community Tap the Power of Web 2.0 and Social Networks with APIs, New Applications and Data Integration Options

New initiative delivers Convio APIs, extensions for social media applications and database connectors to enable integration between Web 2.0 and constituent management systems

Convio, Inc. today announced the Convio Open Initiative, a combination of applications, integration tools, APIs (application programming interfaces) and partnerships to meet the nonprofit sector's growing need to tap the power of the new Web. Convio Open includes tools for social media, rich Web applications for a more compelling constituent experience and integration options to more effectively manage constituent data.

The growth of social networks represent a major new channel for nonprofits to reach constituents to support their missions, while new technologies are enabling a more compelling online experience for donors, advocates, and other constituents. By implementing these new Web technologies and applications, nonprofits are growing and expanding constituent data files, intensifying the need for simpler integration with donor database systems. Convio Open provides database connectors designed specifically to integrate Convio's online constituent relationship management (eCRM) suite with the most popular constituent management systems to capture valuable constituent data for the organization.

"We believe that leveraging Web 2.0 technology and new integration options will have a profound affect on the way nonprofits reach and engage new constituents," said Gene Austin, Chief Executive Officer for Convio. "Convio Open is about redefining online marketing and fundraising channels, creating new and diverse communities of supporters and harnessing the multiplier factor of constituents and their social networks. We're very excited to help our clients tap into these new capabilities to increase visibility so that organizations can connect with more people and better communicate with constituent communities."

At the Annual Convio Client Summit on Thursday of this week, Convio will be demonstrating Convio APIs to allow integration between Convio and custom Web applications, extensions that allow integration with open platforms such as Facebook® Platform, as well as Flickr and Plaxo™, and database connectors for popular donor/constituent databases such as salesforce.com.

To provide further details about Convio Open and support sharing of information, Convio has launched a dedicated Web site about the initiative at open.convio.com.

The Convio Constituent Management API

Nonprofit organizations are exploring ways to use emerging Web 2.0 technologies to deliver new and meaningful online engagement opportunities to their supporters. These interactions allow organizations to learn more about their existing constituents and also provide an opportunity to acquire new constituents. With Convio Open, organizations will be able to use the Convio Constituent Management API to ensure engagement and constituent data is captured in their Convio Constituent360™ database.

The Convio Constituent Management API is a REST-based API allowing direct communication with the Convio Constituent360 database. Using the API people will be able to:

  • Create New Constituent Records — create new records in the Convio Constituent360 database
  • Fetch Constituent Records — request XML or JSON formatted biographical data for a constituent record stored in the Convio Constituent360 database
  • Constituent Record Updates — create and/or update constituent records in the Convio Constituent360 database, and 
  • Manage Group Membership and Subscription — manage constituent group memberships and interest category preferences

Manage social networking and utility integration through Convio Extensions

One of the first products launched as part of Convio Open is a client-ready application using the Facebook Platform that helps nonprofits leverage the personal networks of the site's 47 million users to virally market on behalf of organizations they support, providing nonprofits with a major channel for new supporter acquisition. The extension will allow organizations to present personalized content to these users, who can complete actions on behalf of an organization without leaving the network. Organizations can track both activities they facilitate and the origin of any new supporter from the social utility. This data is stored in the organization's Convio online constituent relationship management (eCRM) system. The application is available to users on a limited basis in beta format at open.convio.com.

"Successful, creative strategies for nonprofit advocacy and fundraising today require a truly integrated approach that embraces Web 2.0 options," says Jim Jasper of Jasper Design. "Convio's leadership in providing nonprofits with a wide range of technology options we believe will allow us to deliver stronger results for our clients and open the doors to greater innovation and integration."

Convio Database Connectors help open databases to the Web

Convio Database Connectors help nonprofit organizations open their donor database applications to the Web and integrate with Convio's eCRM suite by facilitating the direct transfer and sharing of information between the two systems. Convio Connectors not only integrate data, but deliver application exchanges that help development and event directors, organizers and communication staff bridge their strategies to support integrated, multi-channel efforts.

"Today's powerful fundraising and advocacy tools need the ability to share data back and forth between systems," explained Keith Heller, principal, Heller Consulting. "Convio's Open Initiative is an exciting opportunity for companies like ours to develop and share new tools and services that give clients integration options that share data between systems more quickly and with less effort."

Convio Open Initiative built on client and partner experience, feedback and results

Convio's Client Advisory Board and partners have confirmed that nonprofits are concerned that traditional approaches and database vendors required them to sacrifice innovative online solutions and integration of offline and online campaigns, or do not provide the service and support to navigate the ever changing landscape of Web applications and providers. In addition to the technology solutions that address these issues, Convio's initiative offers clients strategic services from a broad network of partners and the company to implement strategies, campaigns and solutions based on the experience and results of more than 1,200 clients and 150 partners. 

Our work with clients and partners showed us that the time was right to not only deliver the appropriate code, documentation and products, but also to create an initiative that facilitates the development methodologies for people and technology to work together," added Austin

Convio Open creates additional opportunities for partners and clients to increase collaboration and innovation around Convio's platform while delivering strategies and solutions that meet the unique needs of each organization.

"Initiatives such as Convio's offer significant value to the nonprofit community," said Denis Pombriant, managing principle of Beagle Research Group, LLC. "Strategy, innovation and integration around a proven platform precludes the nonprofit organization or strategic partner from having to invest in software and infrastructure integration on their own. At the same time, the nonprofit with greater resources can focus on application integration, while other small to mid-size organizations have access to next generation application choices built around a stable and reliable system and single point of accountability."

About Convio

Convio is a leading provider of on-demand software and services that enable nonprofit organizations to more effectively raise funds, influence public policy and support their missions by leveraging the Internet to build strong relationships with constituents. The Company's online constituent relationship management, or eCRM, solution includes a suite of on demand software modules for fundraising, advocacy, email marketing and Web content management complemented by a portfolio of best-in-class consulting services. 

Convio's clients include American Red Cross, American Diabetes Association, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, AVON Foundation, Easter Seals, National Association of REALTORS®, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Sierra Club, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, and Thirteen/WNET New York. For more information, please visit www.convio.com.

Facebook® is a registered trademark of Facebook Inc.

Press Contact:
Karoline McLaughlin
Director, Corporate Communications
Convio, Inc.

Convio Helps Nonprofit Community Tap the Power of Web 2.0 and Social Networks with APIs, New Applications and Data Integration Options | Convio