Tech firm shifts gears

By Todd Cohen

A Silicon Valley technology firm that serves nonprofits has changed its name and focus, released version 4.0 of its fundraising and information software and launched a marketing blitz.

Founded in 1986 as a local consulting firm known as the Technology Resource Assistance Center, or TRAC, the company has evolved into a software-maker and renamed itself Telosa Software.

To market its new version of Exceed!, a desktop fundraising system targeted to nonprofits with annual operating budgets ranging from $500,000 to $20 million, Palo Alto-based Telosa has added a dozen staff members, mainly sales people throughout the United States, bringing its staff to nearly 30 people.

Susan Orr, the firm’s founder, CEO and sole shareholder, says she personally is making the investment needed for the expansion, and for an advertising and direct mail marketing campaign.

Nonprofits face growing pressure from funders to curb operating costs, yet typically lack software to manage fundraising and relationships with donors, so nonprofit investment in technology “infrastructure” will pay off over the long-term, says Orr, the daughter of Hewlett-Packard co-founder David Packard and chairman of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation in Los Altos, Calif.

Before the release of version 4.0, the firm had 1,000 customers for Exceed!, which costs $3,000 to $10,000, based on whether the nonprofit buys additional modules for the basic product.

Telosa aims to at least double the number of its customers in the next two years, says Carolyn Moore, chief operating officer.

Exceed! is designed to help nonprofits manage their relationships with donors, volunteers and other groups such as board members and event participants.

New features let individual users bookmark frequently-run data reports and mailings to donors, set up their own preferences or default settings, and “soft-credit” individual donors who give indirectly through organizations such as the United Way.

The product also lets users track separate donors, including those with different names and giving patterns, within the same household.

The company also is adding a module to give customers remote access to their data using the Internet.

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