Announcement: Dawn Varley returns to Purple Vision

 Welcome back, Dawn!

After two and a half years as the Director of Marketing and Fundraising for the League Against Cruel Sports, Dawn Varley is returning to join the Purple Vision team as a Lead Consultant.

During her tenure with this high profile animal welfare charity, Dawn worked on an award winning public affairs campaign (#What the Fox?), was a well-respected media spokesperson and delivered a successful programme of 90th anniversary events for the charity. Dawn grew the charity’s voluntary income to more than £1m through the introduction of new income streams – including a very successful crowd-funding appeal.

Dawn currently serves on the Institute’s of Fundraising Standards Committee, and was previously a Trustee of the Institute of Fundraising (2010-2013).

Commenting on the move, Dawn said “I am looking forward to helping more charities boost their fundraising performance through data and digital technology – two areas I am passionate about”.

Purple Vision Managing Director Steve Thomas added, “We are very excited to welcome Dawn back to Purple Vision. Her outstanding fundraising skills and experience are already in high demand and I know she will make a big impact from Day 1.”

Dawn returns to Purple Vision on 2nd March as Lead Consultant, having previously worked with the consultancy team for two years.

Expanding Development team

Alongside Dawn’s appointment, Purple Vision are expanding their in-house development and configuration team to support more charities with CRM, web, data, training and integration requirements.

Daniel Ferrer will join on March 23rd bringing development skills and experience in php/Drupal, .net and Java, as well as the Salesforce platform.  He joins a small team who between them hold an array of Salesforce qualifications, including the coveted Developer, Service and Sales Cloud Consultant credentials, together with extensive experience of related cloud technologies for marketing and fundraising.

Trends in Payment Technology for Fundraisers

What this latest trend? Should I be using it?

You could be forgiven for thinking that payment tech is a little dull. Even our speaker, Tom Epplett from iATS Payments admits he might once have been the geeky one at the party.

But my goodness, were we engaged by the landscape that was described to us – and the challenges we share.

Steve Thomas (Purple Vision) described the UK landscape – a £1.3bn pot of online giving (just 15% of the fundraising pie) awaits our fundraising efforts. That’s 18m donations of about £30 each. So our question had to be, what’s out there to help us gain our share of the online digital pie in the UK.

Cue Tom. We invited Tom to speak not just because he is one of the partners we work with to implement payment solutions in our CRM work. He is. But he is also a thoroughly nice chap, with a very neat and clear way of explaining the technical details of different options and tools and their pros and cons. Just the chap to whizz us around what’s going on in the big wide world of payments.

We laughed as we recalled the days of dial up modems, until we realised that made some of us in the room feel old, and the rest had no idea what we were talking about. Moving swiftly on, Tom went on to take us through the payment structure landscape – this put context around discussion and decisions about models to adopt.


payment routes

See the slides: Payment Technology Trends for Fundraisers

The ‘reality check’ around the market and growth opportunities in the market showed the year on year growth in online donations globally to be around 13% – compared to just 4% for offline donations. It is easy to be diverted by facts and figures – despite the lower year on year growth offline fundraising is still by far the biggest income generator for charities. So, we have to keep on doing what we need to do to service those customer requirements, many of which we established are very ingrained – some charities report high percentages of cheque income, as it is a trusted and safe method of handing over money.

Even in the world of offline payments, there is room for checking your arrangements fit requirements and are compliant with rules and regulations.

But back to Payment Tech trends … how do you evaluate all these new opportunities?

Tom offered us a 6 point approach to help guide our choices and decisions.Tom's 6 points for evaluating payment solutions

For each of these points, finding out whether a solution is either or in each case will help you weigh up the risks and opportunities around areas like privacy and security, customer acceptance and costs which each point raises. In turn this will allow you to undertake a more robust evaluation and be a good ‘due diligence’ exercise.

[EMV = Europay. Mastercard, Visa, NFC = Near Field Communication or contactless types of tech vs QR codes (and the key here being to how they integrate and collect payment)]

We looked at several of the options out there on the market today and thought about their benefits and potential limitations – from the limitations of tools like wallets, the opportunities of things like square (plug in swipe card tech which turns mobiles into payment terminals) for events and how bitcoin fits into the puzzle (broadly, for most of us, it doesn’t!). We touched on the potential for concepts like crowd-funding, and how disruptive new entrants like Amazon and Google could be.

A lot of discussion and input into issues we each faced in our own charities in a helpful question and answer session – sending people away with new thoughts and ideas about how to tackle some immediate issues and address some of the problems faced every day at work.

See the slides: Payment Technology Trends for Fundraisers


Tom’s Take Home’sCRMWhite

Some of tops top bits of wisdom (all with the caveat of knowing your own customer and charities of course)

  • KYC – know your customer – what are they comfortable with – this is key to everything.
  • Mobile point of sale is likely to be more useful than wallets for most charities
  • You can tell the pioneers as they’re the ones with arrows in their back’ – if an idea is new to market, and you don’t have to use it straight away, wait. In 6-12 months they may not be in the game anymore and you might have wasted your time and money setting up. If you have funds to invest in innovation, go for it to capture the curve and gain some kudos for being early adopters. If not, listen, look and learn.
  • What do you want to use this for? Start with the question about what the problem is you are trying to solve, and then work out the best solution. It will be hard to find a one size fits all solution but it is possible.
  • Talk to your existing payment provider and make sure that you are using the right tools in their repertoire for your needs and the set up you have is robust and compliant. Are they doing everything they can from you.

About Tom

Tom Epplett is COO of iATS Payments. Based in Canada, the company provides payment processing and solutions for charities around the world, and solutions that integrate with a range of CRM solutions.

Can we help?

If you want to find out more about their products and services or advice about payment tools and integrations for your non-profit, call Keith at Purple Vision – 0845 458 0250

Keep Fit for RE – 5 integrations to stretch, extend and supplement your Raiser’s Edge installation

Keep Fit for Raiser’s Edge

Purple Vision Lead Consultant Haydn Thomas shares five integrations that will help you stretch, extend and supplement Raiser’s Edge

 All charities use Raiser’s Edge in different ways. So, it’s no surprise that one fundraiser finds everything they need in Raiser’s Edge and another is exasperated by a perceived gap in functionality.

The market for products which extend Raiser’s Edge is far from saturated (particularly compared to something like the Salesforce AppExchange).  There don’t appear to be innovative companies creating useful products lining up around the block. But, there are a few very dedicated offerings in two key areas of functionality. You may find that you can’t live without some of their tools.

Functionality Gap – Getting data into Raiser’s Edge

Many organisations use third party applications or other databases to gather data and run key business processes. For example, some universities may be using SITS to keep student records, andImplementationWhite some charities may be using a third party platform like Just Giving or Artez for event fundraising.  Sooner or later, you will want this data to pass into Raiser’s Edge.

Tool 1 –  Import-O-Matic is a revolutionary plug-in which allows users to build a bridge between a .csv file and Raiser’s Edge. Users can build ‘profiles’ associated with .csv files which drastically reduce any need for ETL (extract, transform and load) processes in Access or Excel. In addition, there are many intuitive and useful features – too many to list here.  If you want data to appear in AND interact with Raiser’s Edge in a specific way, you will love Import-O-Matic, and will likely join the chorus of fundraisers wishing that it came as a standard feature of Raiser’s Edge.

Functionality Gap – supplementing Raiser’s Edge existing functionality

Raiser’s Edge usually has one, maybe two ways of handling any given process. For example, Raiser’s Edge will bring in emails from Outlook, but not other email providers, and Raiser’s Edge supports email marketing via NetCommunity, but no other email marketing tools.

SmartTHING has 2 products which allow users some choice in email provider.  BusinessProcessesWhite

Tool 2 – SmartGMAIL allows users to add an email from within Gmail to Raiser’s Edge. Similar to Raiser’s Edge’s own Outlook integration, an action is added in addition to an action notepad with the text of the email.

Tool 3 – SmartOUTLOOK is an augmented version of the existing Raiser’s Edge integration. It works on Outlook365 and hosted Raiser’s Edge, and it is configurable, meaning less time entering data and more time communicating with supporters.

Zeidman Development also offer solutions

Tool 4 – Zeidman  broke the mould with Chimpegration, a plug-in which integrates MailChimp with Raiser’s Edge. As is typical of Zeidman products, the functionality of Chimpegration and subsequent email marketing plug-ins provides for much more than just an import file – it is a well-designed piece of kit.SystemWhite

Tool 5 – Monkey-ing about with Mailchimp wasn’t enough, Zeidman has also created a plug-in for Constant Contact, Contactegration to plug into their e-marketing power, too.

Our view on the future of Raiser’s Edge 3rd party tools

This is by no means a comprehensive review of all the Raiser’s Edge tools that are on the market. There are a few more, but not many.

Raiser’s Edge is a niche tool.  It takes real expertise and an in-depth understanding of the platform to develop it and create a work-around for some of the gaps in its functionality.  It’s hard to see how a thriving and diverse group of developers can exist around something which appears so complex to adapt.  The result is that there is a real limit to the potential pool from which users can gain additional support to help it meet their needs.People,process,techWhite

We keep a firm eye out for new tools and innovations – and upgrades – and hope for great strides to support non-profits, but fear that perhaps there really will be some functionalities that Raiser’s Edge will never be able to support.  So in the interim, we keep turning back to the tried and tested favourites shown in this blog.

We remain optimistic for the future of RE and are adept at helping make a real difference to how you use the tool and the investment you have already made in this fundraiser’s favourite.

Our other Raiser’s Edge resourcesCMSWhite

Blogs: Read other posts for advice and guidance on making the most of your donor database

 Breakfast Briefing: Attend our event on 27th March – What’s NXT for Raiser’s Edge? to hear our thoughts on how you can develop and adapt RE to your current needs and how to start BreakfastBriefWhiteconsidering what your next steps will be.

Register via this link.

Please note we are now making a small charge for breakfast briefings, refundable on attendance.  See link for details.

 Contact us for help – our Raiser’s Edge services include training and consultancy, database management on demand, signposting and health checks.