Wild Apricot Updates October 2008

Dmitriy Buterin 30 October 2008 0 comments

Wild Apricot non-profit technology blog is sponsored by Bonasource, creators of Wild Apricot software. Our blog provides ideas and advice to small non-profits — charitable organizations, professional and business associations, social and recreational clubs, student and alumni organizations, churches, online activists, communities, and many others. Among the subscribers there are many people using Wild Apricot software, so we also do occasional posts about new features and development plans.

Wild Apricot software helps non-profits to automate tedious administration tasks, improve communication, and engage their community. It's web-based, so it does not require you to purchase servers or pay for setup and installation. Designed for non-technical users, Wild Apricot automates membership management and event registration tasks, lets you easily update your website and engage your supporters via blog and discussion forums, provides a secure and self-service member portal, handles online donations, and much more. If you want to check it out, feel free to open a free 30-day trial.

Our latest release is in the final stages of testing and is scheduled for release in the first week of November 2008.

Here's what's coming up:

  • Page management screen to see all your website pages easily and move them around.

  • Horizontal menu capability: Previous versions of Wild Apricot required the main menu to be placed vertically on the left side and only the most adventurous souls managed to tweak their website CSS code to set up horizontally-placed menus. The new release makes this option available to everyone — and it comes with new theme templates to get you started
(Hybrid - horizontal menu for level 1, vertical for Level 2 and 3)
(all levels are in horizontal menu)
  • More flexible workflow for new member applications:
  • Ability to activate new members immediately, or to activate them subject to payment, subject to approval, or both.
  • Ability to record partial payments and payment corrections for membership applications transactions, and to track partial outstanding balances

  • Ability to format automatic emails with fonts, colors, pictures, etc.

  • Ability to customize event announcements and reminder emails
  • Improvement in Advanced search to deal with empty values and unused criteria

      And much more — see Release history.

What's next?

Our next update — version 2.38 — is planned for release by the end of December. We are working on a detailed analysis of features identified as candidates for this release. We want to let you know what's being considered for that version, although it is still subject to change:

  • Customization of invoice template
  • Google Checkout option and/or Website Payments Pro for Canada
  • Additional design themes
  • Email newsletter drafts and/or templates
  • Self-service functionality for clients to update billing details, change billing plans, etc. (At the moment we have to do it manually because our current payment processor, Internet Secure, does not have the capabilities to automate these operations. We are now switching to PayPal Payflow Gateway Pro which gives us much more flexibility.)
  • Dynamic (fly-out) menus
  • Discount coupons for membership applications
  • Custom member database reports (ability to select record-filtering criteria and fields to be displayed in the report)

We are also continuing our work on unifying our members database, event attendees database, and donor database into a single database — but actual development work on this will only start in 2009, after we figure out all the details.

As you know, we are actively seeking your feedback via our Roadmap and Wishlist discussion forums — and we also have a backlog of feedback items received via emails, which we will publish in those forums to get more input and help us adjust our development plans and priorities.

We appreciate your ongoing feedback — and act on it. It sometimes takes us a while — because an item requires a lot of analysis work and additional thinking, or because we have other improvements ahead in the queue — but rest assured, we review and process each and every idea we receive.

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Dmitriy Buterin [Chief Apricot] Dmitriy Buterin [Chief Apricot]

Posted by Dmitriy Buterin [Chief Apricot]

Published Thursday, 30 October 2008 at 5:16 PM

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