FAQ

What is Affinaquest?

Affinaquest is a comprehensive, affordable database system supporting advancement operations at nonprofit organizations including demographic data, gift processing, events management, and CRM (constituent relationship management) functions based upon the Salesforce.com platform.

What is SaaS?

SaaS is short for “Software as a Service” and defines a model of software deployment where an application is hosted as a service provided to customers across the internet.  Data and software are both housed on on the remote service.

What is the relationship between Affinaquest and Salesforce?

The Affinaquest software is implemented on the Salesforce.com platform.  Affinaquest is a Salesforce.com ISV (Independent Software Vendor) and a Salesforce.com Foundation partner.

How is Affinaquest different from other fundraising software solutions?

There have been fundraising solutions that have been comprehensive, but very expensive.  There have been affordable fundraising solutions that weren’t comprehensive.  And there have been systems that have been provided via the SaaS model before.  But Affinaquest is the first system which combines a comprehensive database solution at an affordable price on a SaaS platform.

What is meant by a “community” of Affinaquest users?

Often times the most knowledgeable people using a system are those that actually use it.  We want to harness that knowledge and pair it with our technical support staff by providing tools to our users to form a community of users who, together with our staff, provide efficient, informed support to the benefit of everyone.

Who owns the software?

The ownership of Affinaquest remains with its authors.  Our clients fees are applied to a license fee which provides for the use of the software during the period of the license.

Where does my data “live”?

Your data lives on a server in California.  All of the data is backed up every day and is periodically mirrored onto a second set of servers located in Virginia which will automatically come on line in the event of a disaster at the California location.

Is my data secure?

YES, your data is stored in servers maintained by a company with a proven track record of maintaining data in a secure manner for over 100,000 clients.  In fact, most consultants will agree that data stored on Salesforce servers provides much more security than most nonprofits could ever hope to afford.

How are software updates accomplished?

Updates to the Salesforce software are scheduled in advance and usually performed on a weekend evening.  You simply logon the next morning and the updates are available to you.  Affinaquest updates are posted to the servers and users elect to update at their convenience by simply selecting an “Update Software” function.

How do I get technical support?

You get technical support by logging into the Affinaquest support site and make use of the various resources there.  There you will find a knowledge base which provides answers to various issues, copies of all help files, and training videos.  If you can’t find an answer there, you can interact with other users via our moderated forums.  In addition to all of these resources, you can directly log a support case into our system so that you can carefully monitor your case and we can provide a prompt answer as well as produce various reports which help us to monitor our support system and improve its effectiveness.

What kind of training will I need?

We suggest that you first learn to use Salesforce by taking advantage of the various free training programs they provide on the Salesforce Online Training Resources page.  Salesforce also provides free tuition to nonprofits for its System Administrator course.  Contact the Salesforce Foundation for this resource.  You can also take advantage of all of the free Affinaquest video training programs which include module training as well as just in time training including in the help files.

Can I produce acknowledgements with Affinaquest?

Yes, acknowledgement data can be exported from Affinaquest and then loaded into Word or other word processing programs to produce receipts and acknowledgements.

Can I support a Major Donor Tracking program with Affinaquest?

One of the strong points of a real CRM like Salesforce is its ability to support the type of ongoing solicitation efforts of a major donor program.  We have extended the basic Salesforce model with Affinaquest customizations to further fine tune its effectiveness in a major donor environment.

Can I use Affinaquest while traveling?

Yes, Affinaquest can be accessed from any computer having access to the internet.  It is also possible to configure Affinaquest from mobile devices such as Blackberry’s and PDA’s or even an iPod.  In addition, data from Affinaquest can be downloaded to your laptop so that you can use it even if you are disconnected from the internet.

How do I get started?

Start by obtaining your grant of ten free Salesforce licenses.  Subscribe to the Affinaquest newsletter to be kept up to date about our beta program.  See this page for more information.

What enhancements are planned for Affinaquest in the future?

Enhancements for Affinaquest are driven by the user community.


Free No Obligation Demonstration

You can schedule a live, web-based demonstration at your convenience. The forty-five minute demonstration will be followed by a question and answer period where you can get all of your questions addressed.