Innovative shared database for Portland's arts orgs
I recently learned about an innovative "Community Database" project being co-offered by the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) and TRG Arts. Participating organizations manage their mailing lists in a shared database and may opt to share lists with one another via this medium. In addition, the Community Database will offer free NCOA (National Change of Address) cleanses, and data analysis for individual organizations and on the community of participating organizations. Additional data services, including data hygiene and response rate tracking, are available for a fee.
The part that is unclear is whether this database can be used as a primary constituent database, or if participating organizations will need to create integration with another product. That could be a downside, but outsourcing like this could provide some significant upsides, especially for smaller organizations lacking dedicated data management staff.
In my shop, I have been looking a lot at the role of outsourcing work. Not to replace core staff functions, but to provide extra bits of expertise or simply time, on an as-needed basis. Especially as cloud computing (there, had to get that buzzword in!) becomes more dominant, it is easier and easier to employ off-site workers.
Sadly, I was unable to find a link to information about this program on RACC's website. If you find it, leave it in the comments!