Dulwich Picture Gallery

Client: Dulwich Picture Gallery

Location: Dulwich, SE London

Type of Project: Technology Signposting

When project completed:  October 2014


Dulwich Picture Gallery is the world’s first purpose-built public art gallery: it was founded in 1811 when Sir Francis Bourgeois RA bequeathed his collection of old masters “for the inspection of the public”. Today the Gallery is a vibrant cultural hub hosting some of the UK’s leading exhibitions alongside its Permanent Collection of Baroque masterpieces while staging a wide-ranging programme of public events, practical art and community engagement.

Why they asked for support

Our remit was to review technology architecture and infrastructure to identify solutions and how well the current tools work with the organisation’s planned strategic goals.  The decision for the review was driven by challenges with integration and the use of multiple tools that come from systems which have grown organically and over time, and which have resulted in inefficiencies and data silos.  Their base supporter management system is Raiser’s Edge, and they are using multiple tools for social media, ticketing and more, with very limited integration between them.


What we did

We spent time with the team discussing and understanding the organisation’s strategic goals and vision, as well as investigating the tools currently in use and how they connect.  We also documented their key functionalities and use for the team, and any particular issues and challenges they face in using the tools.

The immediate consideration was based around whether to keep the existing Raiser’s Edge platform and do more to integrate areas like email marketing and gift aid processing.   A second phase looked at social integrations and CMS (content management system) integration, with a third tranche addressing whether in fact it is better to more or less start from scratch with everything.

As a result of our exploration and discussion we were able to recommend two options – one based on Salesforce CRM, the other Microsoft Dynamics.  The needs and requirements of the charity are too complex to be managed through Raiser’s Edge or the planned upgrades via RE NXT.

We made the recommendation that the move would be planned and taken in steps.  The first stage would continue to use Raiser’s Edge with a new platform underneath to allow more efficient records transfer.

In the longer term, the recommendation was to remove Raiser’s Edge to leave a single platform, with integrated apps for specific functionality.

The overall aim is for tools to be  better integrated with improved data flow. It would mean fewer tools in use, and  all managed through the single interface of the CRM platform.

The purpose of a two phase approach is quite practical – what is manageable and scalable for the organization to achieve and afford, while also making immediate efficiency gains.

We left the client with a comprehensive series of findings and recommendations, as well as some quick wins that would help in the immediate short term. Outside of our remit, the team were also looking at finance and HR systems and integrations.

How the client has benefited

Decisions about changes in system are complex and difficult.  Evidence and research based on our Findings and Recommendations provided a basis for discussion at Board and management level about when and how to make changes.  We always expect them to take time and we like to give our clients time to properly reflect on their choices.

The team at Dulwich have started the change process with a focus on back office functions like finance, which will allow them to migrate other areas (such as stock control) onto a more robust and integrate-able platform.

After that their thoughts will turn towards other functions – and so we have been invited back to visit and discuss how they should proceed based on the advice we have already offered.

Our relationship with Dulwich Picture Gallery is like that we share with so many of our clients, a partnership which develops over time.

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