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  • 1 Post By TheGAME1264

Thread: New Business Venture/Database question

  1. #1
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    New Business Venture/Database question

    I wanted to reach out to the board about databases...What type of programming and software is required to make a subscription web-based data management site geared toward non-profits, churches, schools, small businesses, etc...

    There are many out there already. I have some ideas on creating a new and unique product and am wondering how much the start up would be to hire a custom programmer/designer to make this a reality. Before I go out and get some bids and do more research, I wanted to get some opinions on this type of project to see how involved (And expensive) it could get.

    Some examples of what I'm talking about include: Fundraising Software for NonProfit Donor Management DonorPerfect

    Apricot Non-Profit Software ? Secure Non-Profit Database for Outcomes Reporting and Client, Donor and Volunteer Tracking | Community Techknowledge

    These are major projects, and I'm curious if anyone has experience with this type of detailed data management software project?

    Regards,
    Reece

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  3. #2
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    Hi Reece. That's a very good question. In fact, it's such a good question that the first thing I'm going to tell you is that which you probably already suspect...you're not going to find a lot of answers to it. As you've probably guessed, both of those services are fairly involved and the graphing alone, while not impossible, is pretty difficult. That will take out most of your possible development pool right off the top.

    There really isn't any one answer to your question as far as software and programming goes. The sites for those two examples alone illustrate two different server-side programming languages. One (DonorPerfect) uses classic ASP of all things (would have been my #2 choice by a distant margin, but I guess it can work), and that's Windows-based; the other uses PHP based on their site and Drupal specifically. So you've got some options that way.

    Mind you, the graphing, the custom forms, things of that nature are going to leave you with a handful of developers (if that) to pick from. Without knowing what specific features you have in mind, I'd say you'd be looking at somewhere in the 5-digit range to get done what you want to start, and then you'd have to pay for ongoing support and upgrades from there. Very, very crude estimate would be in the $20,000 to $30,000 range between paying for a developer and any components (s)he may need to get the job done.

    Now, you'll notice how I didn't mention a designer. There's a reason...that's a separate cost. You're not going to find a developer skilled enough to do a job like that and that will also be able to design well enough to keep up with your competition. The designer will probably set you back a few grand as well, depending on how many pages the designer has to lay out, how many adjustments need to be made, if a logo needs to be made, things of that nature.

    Then you'll have hosting...since you're looking at a dedicated server (the stuff you're asking is pretty resource-intensive, so a shared server isn't going to cut it and a VPS probably won't either), you're probably in about the $150 - $200 a month range to start.

    Like you said, though, this is major stuff. The two closest people I can think of that could handle what you want are myself and Webzarus. Your project would require a lot more time than I personally have to offer you myself, and I'm pretty sure WZ is in the same boat. There may be a few others, but chances are the sheer scope of your project will intimidate them.

    I'd say look on oDesk, but the developer pool there is pretty shallow.

    I'm not even sure where else to look, to be totally honest with you.
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  4. #3
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    Thanks. Very helpful response given the limited information. The price ranges you threw out were even cheaper than I had expected (But I am factoring in some maintenance as well)...As I go out and get bids and do some research, my biggest thing is I don't want to get totally ripped off! I can build basic and dynamic sites at the moment and I see many people out there paying WAY too much for some basic builds and monthly maintenance (even with a do it yourself CMS for their clients!)...

    Since this project will be bigger than anything I've been involved with, I feel kind of like a helpless baby in the woods!

    Based on your post and some other responses I've received from smarter people than me, I might have to look for bids in the 60k-90k range for the development, design, etc...

    I know I am not happy with the current subscription database management options out there, and this idea came out of my own frustrations I've had with a few of these companies. I think there is a HUGE market out there for someone who can fix some of these problems and make reporting, email marketing, importing, plan management, pledges and payments, etc...much easier for clients who use these databases. Also, the amount of up selling and module upgrades I have to purchase every year are ridiculous! An affordable, flat monthly rate for multiple users at one organization with all the features I have in mind should be pretty marketable. (Since there are only a few decent companies out there doing this...And many of them lack the features I'm looking for)

  5. #4
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    The only thing I can say on that is that the price won't be where you do or don't get ripped off...the value of the finished product will. If you spend $60,000 on something that does everything you want it to and then some, then yeah, that's money well spent. I very crudely estimated, though, and I didn't factor in maintenance.

    It's going to be high no matter what. even if you have a bit of an idea of what you're doing, this is a beast on a whole other level. You need to find a developer that can give you 100% of his/her time AND has knowledge AND isn't already hired by someone. Those are three big variables. The design is the easier part of the equation, and even it's going to be tricky.
    If I've helped you out in any way, please pay it forward. My wife and I are walking for Autism Speaks. Please donate, and thanks.

    If someone helped you out, be sure to "Like" their post and/or help them in kind. The "Like" link is on the bottom right of each post, beside the "Share" link.

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