Tonight, I went to the DC Open House hosted by Democracy In Action, which is a very hip CRM system enabling non-profits to create targeted online marketing campaigns, manage their subscriber databases and track their fundraising revenue.
The two things that make it stand out for me:
- It is optimized to work with Mozilla’s Firefox browser. I truly believe Firefox to be a better quality browser than Internet Explorer (and honestly, I’m still undecided about Google’s Chrome), so any company that agrees with me on that has earned my respect.
- The platform is open source (I believe) meaning that people can add functionality via plug-ins. This is a great way to take advantage of a knowledgeable and committed user community to improve a product. Again, I respect a company that sees its product as a community-based initiative.
But, an interesting point that was brought up during conversation at the Open House was the fact that Democracy In Action only works with progressive non-profits. Yes, Democracy In Action is a non-profit itself with a mission to enable progressive non-profits, so by excluding others, they are working towards their mission. And yes, there are other organizations that do the same for Republic organizations, declining to work with the Democratic ones.
This seems to me to be a case of “separate but equal”. If Hewlett-Packard refused to sell to homosexuals, would it be okay if Dell refused to sell to heterosexuals? What happened to accepting everyone? Isn’t it ironic that a company whose mission is to further progressive organizations seems to be doing something so completely opposite?
My boss didn’t seem phased by this at all, so maybe this just bothers me as a liberal Bostonian. Maybe if I live in DC long enough, it won’t seem so wrong…