Just like relationships with friends, family members, colleagues and others… your relationship with the staff at your software vendor does well with a bit of care and feeding, too. I’m talking about those wonderful people who share email marketing best practices and social media tips.  Or the folks who help you raise money online and keep records of donations, too. And yes, the people you call when something doesn’t work as planned or when it is time to talk about your contract.

On this month’s episode of the Top Nonprofits Podcast, I leverage my experience as both a former software company staffer and non-profit employee to tackle this delicate topic.  Listen in and find out:

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  • Why shopping around, comparing your options and clearly determining your needs is so important… before you sign a contract
  • Tips on how to make your reference research most effective (hint: the references that are provided by a specific company aren’t the only ones you need)
  • What to share (and how to share it) with the staff at your software vendor for the most beneficial relationship
  • Why regular meetings with your designated points of contact are so important
  • Who to call in emergencies and non-emergencies and how to tell the two apart
  • Which in person events are useful to attend and why (and how to get financial assistance to attend them)
  • How to leverage online resources such as message boards to enhance your use of a specific software platform

I know what you’re thinking.  Will you really miss that much if you don’t take the time to nurture these types of relationship?  Yup!  Here’s a small sampling of what you’ll miss: best practices information, new release features and functionality, the ability to lobby for product changes and feature additions, the chance to meet and collaborate with other organizations doing good work, too.
Do you find these strategies work well with your software vendor?  I’d love to know what you think.  Tweet me @EmilyGoodstein or respond in the comments below.