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On September 1st, the latest version of Plone was released and a lot of innovation from this leading Content Management System is now available to new and existing Plone users! Plone 4 is more intuitive, more visually appealing, and faster. We’re so excited about this new version that we’ve been buried in working on it and launching new sites (check out the latest launch: SEEC) to get the news out for the last six week! Below are some of the key upgrades on Plone 4 that you may like:

ploneNew Look: Plone4 has a new template included when it is installed that is sleek, minimalist, and functional. After nine years of using a staple design, Plone 4 uses a modern table-less formatting and simplified CSS.

Performance Improvement: Plone 4 has a number of improvements that help it run fasterand more efficiently. It’s twice as fast as Plone 3 representing accelerating advances in performance for the platform (while many other systems are getting slower and more complex!). Plone 4’s capacity  to handle very large files has improved drastically since all file data is now stored on the file system rather than in the database. This enhances the ability of Plone to scale to handle huge content repositories out of the box!

Intuitive Visual Editing: The HTML editor in Plone 4 has been changed to a Tiny MCE which offers Plone users more ease and flexibility in design. It offers much stronger support of html tables and better support for embedded flash content. This visual editor is also widely used in other systems outside of Plone as well, meaning that it will have greater support and improvements over time. Overall Plone 4 provides better tools for creating the site you want with less of a headache.

Improved user management: Plone 4 has also streamlined the process of creating and managing users for your website. It is faster to create new users and place them in groups.

User Experience Improvements: You’ll notice several improvements in the way Plone leverages AJAX technologies in this version. The result is fewer page loads necessary to use and manage a website. Navigating to the back end administrative area of the website has been improved. Even small changes like allowing users to sign in with their email or username lend themselves to an improved user experience.

Other things we are excited about from this release:

  • Easy upgrading from Plone 3!
  • New version of the User’s Guide to Plone book!
  • The XDV templating tools that make it easy for designers to use html and css to create custom look and feel for Plone sites!

Plone 4 is a system that surpasses other CMS’s – open source and proprietary options – in terms of usability, security, community, and scalability. This latest release represents a lot of great work by the community and we congratulate and thank all those who have contributed to Plone 4!

If you’re interested to learn more about Plone, we invite you to:

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ifPeople has 2 nonprofit events coming up this Thursday (Feb 25). Be sure to sign up and join us!

Online Fundraising webinar: did you know that online giving has grown, even in the tough economy? Learn about how to take advantage of opportunities to raise money online. Sign up for the webinar, which takes place 11am on Thursday (Feb 25)

Nonprofit Technology Conference Pre-party: Join us to celebrate with local Atlanta nonprofit technologists! You’ll have a chance to learn more about the best nonprofit tech conference (coming to Atlanta in April) and hear some previews of great talks, including ifPeople’s Tirza Hollenhorst, speaking on 25 ways to increase your communications capacity. More info and sign up here.

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Struggling to figure out social media? Got a network question? Need some tips on fundraising tools? Want a crash course in multimedia for your nonprofit? Now’s your chance to get tech help thanks the the NTC Day of Service!

NTEN is coming to Atlanta! And with it, the whole crew of awesome nonprofit techie folks. A visionary program that NTEN put together as part of its conference is the Day of Service, where conference attendees volunteer their time to help meet the tech needs of local organizations. So mark your calendars for April 8, 2010!

ifPeople is delighted to be a partner in the 2010 NTC DoS. Our role includes getting the word out – can you help? It’s really an unbelieveable deal, so shouldn’t be a hard thing to get people signed up for (we’ve only got 60 spots now!). You get:

  • 3 hrs with a tech consultant helping you with your burning need
  • Free membership in NTEN for a year (including all the great webinars and other goodies that members get)
  • Discounted admission to the NTC conference (an amazing place to learn!)

If you’re a nonprofit, clear April 8, 2010 and fill out the survey to get qualified!

I can’t believe how good a deal this is. If you’re a Nonprofit in Georgia, please consider signing up to receive this help and be a part of an amazing event! If you know nonprofits in Georgia, pass on the word! We’ve still got space and we want the best orgs there to get this benefit locally!

More info:

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Plone-Salesforce IntegrationEver wondered how connecting the best content management system with the best CRM database? We’ll show you! You can improve your information flow and enhance your business relationships by connecting your website and database of relationships (contacts, clients, volunteers, etc).

This Thursday, August 27, at 1:00pm EST, ifPeople will lead a free webinar on connecting the Plone CMS with Salesforce CRM, which is the most easy to use web integration available for salesforce! This informative presentation will review the advantages of connecting Plone (an open source CMS) and Salesforce, as well as show attendees how to implement several integrations.

The one-hour webinar will cover:

  • using Plone forms to create objects in Salesforce
  • managing RSVPs on your Plone site with Salesforce
  • using Salesforce to make web data interactive
  • and more

Register for the free Connecting Plone with Salesforce webinar here!

You can also learn more about Plone-Salesforce integration here.

ifPeople has led numerous successful webinars and workshops both in-house and at the Georgia Center for Nonprofit’s Nonprofit University in Atlanta. We instruct innovative non-profit and for-profit clients on subjects such as effective uses of Plone and Salesforce, search engine optimization, online marketing, online fundraising, and writing for the web. Learn more about upcoming webinars and workshops here.

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The nonprofit action heroes at DemocracyInAction.org are giving away a year’s worth of their supporter management and e-advocacy product to 5 environmental organizations as part of their Green Grant program! Apply by May 22, 2009 to enter.

As a Green Grant recipient, you’ll get full access to the Salsa platform and community to help you start organizing, fundraising, and engaging people to make a difference either nationally or in their own communities. You get integrated tools to:

* Send out email communications
* Create online actions and petitions to elected officials
* Receive donations online
* Organize events (free or paid)
* Manage your supporters

Awards will be announced on June 1st.

Apply for a Green Grant here

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This month, salesforce.com, the most popular hosted CRM application, is celebrating its 10th anniversary by giving away free goodies! First salesforce.com announced it was giving away Mobile Lite, a way for mobile users to manage their salesforce.com data from their phones.  Additionally, during the month of April, you can sign up to get up to 10 free licenses for:

  • Customer Portal, or
  • Force.com developer accounts

Both are worthy so make sure to take advantage of them!

Customer Portal is a way to make targeted information available to people without having to get a full license for them. For example, provide an interface to support cases to each of your customers or provide board members access to information on events they are involved in. Read more on Customer Portal.

Force.com is the platform on which salesforce.com is built, and you can use it to make your own applications. Read more on Force.com .

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