Tag Archives: Causeview

5 things we have learned from our ‘more to fundraising CRM’ breakfasts.

Since September, we’ve been running a provocatively titled breakfast series:

There’s more to fundraising CRM than Raiser’s Edge. Honest. 

Let’s be clear about one thing.  We’re not RE haters.  Far from it – many of the team here have used Raisers Edge for years, in fact, we started life consulting about it when Purple Vision was founded in 2003.  It is a stalwart of the fundraising world.

For every RE lover, we also know that there several more who are frustrated with where things are with the database – years of little investment and development. They’re stuck trying to adapt a dinosaur to the 21st century, and we hear the frustration of users feeling like they are stuck with this as there’s nothing else on the market that even compares for heavy duty, heavy lifting fundraising work.

Organisation and tech are intertwined

There are two parts to that issue obviously – just one is technology related, and the other is the organisational impetus, but both issues inform each other.

Often, one of the challenges that charities are facing in looking at Raisers Edge and whether to consider RE NXT or other tools is that other tech has been adopted to plug a gap.  The result is a  disconnected proliferation of tools that has only served to feed the frustration as data is not where it needs to be to run successful campaigns.

Hopes were high a few years ago when Raiser’s Edge announced NXT.

Hopes were dashed as charities realised it wasn’t all they’d dreamed of, and the price was as aspirational as they’d feared it might be.

Of course, options exist to upgrade to other Blackbaud products – let us not forget their full range (overview here) and the fact that there are many for whom these tools are just what they need.

Here’s what we learned from the breakfast series

Having delivered several More to… breakfasts where we outline the shared frustration (that’s news to some – they think they are alone in thinking RE is a beast!) and look at where technology is today, we’ve learned a few key insights about how fundraisers feel about their tech.

1          Everyone is REconsidering whether to move to NXT

2          Very few organisations are automatically upgrading

When RE NEXT was announced, it felt like a foregone conclusion that RE users would upgrade.  As time passes since its release, fewer charities are inclined to tick the box to update. Still more are waiting for insight into what the leading charities are going to do with their tech.

Aside from a few early adopters, there seems to be little talk about who is making the move to NXT and a lot of talk about who is looking at alternatives or looking at CRM projects.   Meanwhile, information about pricing and the like for NXT is still quite esoteric for those looking to eye up the marketplace – real costs are only really available if you speak directly to Blackbaud (which to be fair is the case with many tech providers, but we appreciate it does make it hard to get a full picture and there seems to be more “out there” on the net about other tools than RE).

3          We’re meeting Generation Y – and they don’t like it.

For a generation born with the steep uptake in tech and who are used to adopting tech and digital trends as they emerge, Raiser’s Edge is probably best described with some of the more colourful hashtags and emoji’s that form part of our modern parlance, with multiple exclamation points after each one.

It is a real dinosaur for this generation – our fundraising directors in the making – to get their heads around.  Where’s the flexibility? Integration? Why can’t I manipulate my data like I want to? On my phone?

Generation Z is about to enter the workforce – this is the generation born with a phone nearly surgically attached to them – just imagine what they are going to make of it.  How are you even going to get them to use it?! What will that mean for fundraising records?

4      Mid-sized charities are now looking to moving away from Raiser’s Edge

5      There are still question marks over whether Salesforce is a proven fundraising platform.

Of course, the alternative to RE is a platform based fundraising solution – recognising that there are multiple other fundraising database products around, there are two key players in the CRM market at this level – Microsoft and Salesforce.

Back in 2010, Purple Vision nailed its colours to the Salesforce mask and we’re a registered Salesforce partner.  We’re also still independent – we don’t work exclusively with Salesforce and so are perhaps more receptive to any criticism that is levelled at the platform than some others.

Right now, a host of charities aren’t convinced that Salesforce has fundraising crm all sewn up.  Much has changed in the past year about this, though, and we recognise that a lot of information isn’t yet fully appreciated by fundraisers.

How many know that the NPSP – the Non-Profit Success Pack – was fully relaunched last year (it was first known as the starter pack) and the content significantly ‘beefed up’?

More content for grants management and programme management was added and a comprehensive product roadmap outlined – it’s just an all-around better product for charities.  Meanwhile, non-profit discounts now extend to all the array of cloud services (from Marketing Cloud to Pardot, service cloud to communities).

Despite all this, we’re not seeing a lot of new non-profit adoption case studies that resonate with the mid-size charity audience.

None of these tools for Salesforce look like Raiser’s Edge though which is also part of the adoption problem.  The tech is current and so is quite a leap for some users to take to move to a completely new and unfamiliar interface with such a mix of users within their teams.

5 Causeview looks good – but can it ‘cut the mustard’?

The one tool for Salesforce that does ‘look’ like Raiser’s Edge (and by the look we mean that fundraisers review and see how they can immediately replicate essential fundraising processes with ease) is Causeview.

It is a managed package of fundraising functionality that sits on top of Salesforce and makes the most of the power of the behemoth CRM.  It brings together essential functionality for fundraisers, volunteer management and a bit of event management.

It’s already in use in more than 150 charities in North America, Australia and Europe – but only a handful in the UK.

The market response to Causeview is good when it’s demoed and the price is fair for the functionality – but a few more case studies will help those who are wavering between NXT upgrades and a platform shift to make their move.

The good news – a whole new crop of users will be going live shortly which will help build even more confidence.  Just watch this space.

Sign up for our next breakfast and join the debate: 

10 May 2017 – 09.30 (Purple Vision) 

Get in touch

Unlock your fundraising potential

We’ve published a new whitepaper – Unlock your fundraising potential.

Our thinking behind the paper is about our experience and how things have moved on.

“Worldwide, an estimated 13,000 non-profits use Raiser’s Edge – a database that has been around for more than 30 years.  It’s no surprise that it’s widely been seen as ‘the’ tool for fundraisers. Purple Vision has supported clients who use RE for more than a third of the entire lifespan of the product. Over that time, we’ve learned a few things.  In this paper, we share some of our thoughts and insights to help you with the next steps that you are likely to take as you consider your options with this tool. 

There will be a next step, because at the grand old age of 30, Blackbaud upgraded Raiser’s Edge to Raiser’s Edge NXT.  On the face of it, for many it will feel like a natural progression.  But we’re urging charities to look beyond an auto-pilot upgrade, and consider their options.  Of course, you may still choose to use your tried and tested favourite, but for others, this is a chance to take a fresh look at the options available”.

Get your copy of the paper

  • Unlock your potential -read as a PDF
  • Unlock your fundraising potential – read as a flipbook

    Making the right choice for your charity 

  • For the first time, as charities look at their fundraising infrastructure, there are a selection of real and viable alternatives available to what was once the only really serious option for fundraisers.

    We share just one of these options as a potential alternative to review and consider – Causeview. We’ve described it as RE but on the Salesforce platform.  Its an interesting comparison and we’d like to  show you what we mean.

    But of course, we’re realistic.  For some charities, Raiser’s Edge is just where they need to be.

    What’s key is to think and decide which is the right way to go for your organisation.  So our paper explains the points at which you might need to consider a change and what some of those drivers and decision points may need to be for your charity.

    See for yourself

    We’re hosting a series of breakfast briefings to showcase Causeview – join us at one of these to see the tool for yourself and see how it compares to what you have now.

    Join us at 09.00 on any of the three dates below – just click the link on the date to register.

    We’ll be holding these events in our offices – Purple Vision are based in Kennington Park, just opposite Oval tube station in London.  They’re fairly informal affairs over coffee and croissants with a chance to ask questions too.

And while we’re talking about Causeview, of course we know there are other tools on the market too. We’re happy to talk to you about these, too – we pride ourselves on being independent and on your side.  For us that means doing the right thing for you – not shoehorning your needs into a box.

Get in touch

If you have questions about this paper or would like to know more about Causeview, give us a ring on 0845 458 0250 or email [email protected]

3 reasons why we’re ramped up to be at the Salesforce World Tour London

“World Tour date is set”, my contact at Salesforce told me.  The first thing I did, aside from promising to write a blog, is tell all my colleagues so we could all get registered.

The Salesforce World Tour is an annual must-attend for the whole Purple Vision team and one of the rare days we’re all out of the office doing the same thing.  We’re interested in what’s new and exciting in Salesforce and checking out the developments, case studies on show and product demos.  We split the sessions between us and make sure we get as much information as possible.  So it’s a day for our learning – personally and for our business too.  Understandable, perhaps, as we’re Salesforce.org Impact Partners so are invested in the community already.

It’s also a great time for us to catch up with our clients and share some time with them. We always invite the non-profits we’re working with so they can catch up with what could be next for them, learn some practical tips and tricks and meet other users.   For our prospects, it’s a chance to learn more about the platform and tools we’re suggesting they adopt and see for themselves why we keep saying ‘awesome’ a lot.  Everyone quickly learns that it’s infectious rather than an affliction.

It’s good to be on hand for clients and prospective clients visiting the World Tour, especially for the first time.  There is so much going on it can feel overwhelming if you’re not just a tiny bit prepared.   So in preparation for preparing our colleagues and guests, I asked some of the Purple Vision team what they were looking forward to this year.

The conclusion is that we’re pretty ramped up to be there, and there are three key reasons why.

2016 SF World Tour graphic

  1. I’ve heard the hype…  One of our colleagues is new and while she’s got the ‘creds’ (Salesforce qualifications are called credentials) has never been to World Tour event before.  She’s heard stories and is keen to see if they match the reality. We’re pretty confident they will.  The all-singing, all dancing keynote, raft of new stuff, presentations and case studies will surprise and delight in equal measure.  And when you need a time out, there’s always a drink somewhere close by (snacks, did I mention snacks yet?).  The challenge as I said up thread is seeing it all.
  2. Introducing the all-new. Our development team are extra keen to see what’s new.  I find it fascinating to see things we’ve been talking about as trends and concepts become real products and tools that we can use (donor journeys are good example here – we used to do these with bits of string, willpower and a spreadsheet, now we can use marketing automation tools like Pardot and the Marketing Cloud Journey Builder).  But it’s not just the shiny and new that’s interesting, it’s the updates and new features to the familiar that matter too.  There’s often a chance to get your hands on tools and have a bit of a play and a look.  And how are other people using the products and tools?  Case studies offer us inspiration that we can take home and apply when we’re back behind the desk.  We’re quite excited by the non-profit stream this year which includes the RNIB talking about how they’re using Salesforce apps in some quite clever, life changing ways.  I heard mention of Augmented Reality ….  I also heard there may be puppies in the keynote, but might have been wishful thinking.
  3. People, people, people. Salesforce community is more than a product. Salesforce attracts great people and you can meet these people – be they Salesforce staff and partners, fellow Salesforce users, people checking it out but not using it yet, super-admins, developers and the tech teams that build and work with the tool.  The enthusiasm you will feel from the community around the cloud will leave you feeling charged up and ready to roll. If the idea of networking gives you a bit of a cold shiver, panic not.  You have never met a friendlier bunch of people and pretty much everyone is up for having a chat.

We’re all registered and ready for May 19th at Excel and looking forward to seeing you there too

Register: https://www.salesforce.com/uk/events/details/london/

Ps One final reason just from me.  Last year, I got to meet SaaSy – the no software cloud – in person. You’ve made it as far as I am concerned when you’ve got a picture with Sassy for your social feed and I need to better last year’s pic !


Introducing causeview

Introducing Causeview

Take a look at this” said Steve.  “It’s like everything Raiser’s Edge should be for fundraisers, but on the Salesforce platform”.  A flurry of questions ensued, but this was the start of us finding Causeview.

Not every new tool attracts our attention. But when it does, we start by identifying  our evaluation criteria. As a team (tech, fundraising, operations, developers, strategist, data experts, users) we look for a range of factors in a new tool, system or approach – everything from ease of integration, features and functionality, ease of ‘switch-over’ for teams in charities using one system and migrating to a new one … the list goes on.

We’re also looking at the track record of the developers (in this case, Canadian-based, Breakeven), and where else the tool is in use.  We were keen to find out how they approach everything from customer feedback and input, through to development and ongoing service. We also look at where a new tool might sit in the broad spread of offers from a wide range of providers – where are the points of difference? Who will it suit?

And so, here we sit after a good few months of to-ing and fro-ing, with Causeview ready to roll.  It’s complete with updates, adaptations and localised features for the quite specific demands of UK fundraisers – particularly direct debit and gift aid.

Another CRM – surely there are enough of these in the world?

Let’s be clear, there are lots of great tools out there for fundraisers. But everything in life has limits, and the roadmap and pace of development for some CRM systems is slow and taking a while to catch up with the pace of fundraising.  Some are just plain expensive. And some are suitable-ish, but not really ready for a digital future.

Fundraisers are working faster – and need (not want any more, just plain old need) full integration and a cohesive, no-fuss approach to data sources.

The ‘Jack of all trades, master of none’ effect

We’re quite pragmatic at heart, and realise that it’s a ‘big ask’ to have a tool that is everything we need, has an unlimited road map and is fantastic at everything.  It doesn’t stop us asking – if anyone deserves perfection, it’s a fundraiser who is, after all, just trying to change the world.

The reality is that with today’s ‘platform’ approach to fundraising CRM (like Salesforce) one tool doesn’t have to do it all.  The option to add a range of different expert components and plugins means a whole world of different tools can be joined together without fuss to enhance the ‘core’ features of a system but also extend, grow and develop our fundraising operations, and can support other organisational functions, too. So actually, we can have something that does do it all with Salesforce as a CRM. That means the ‘core’ is our critical choice.

Find out more about Salesforce for Fundraising 

Causeview as your ‘core’ choice

The Purple Vision team spent some time looking at the key features that are commonly used in fundraising.  Not all fundraising teams need all of the features. Any decent fundraising strategy is unique in its own way, and so to help deliver the plan the features of fundraising tools need to reflect this., so for some, the feature might not be useful or interesting.

So when you come to benchmark a tool like Causeview, it’s possible to have what appear to be some glaring gaps for a tool.  I mention this now as when you look at the things we benchmark in our ‘Game changing apps’ overview, and the fact we are recommending a tool that has limited functionality in these areas, your temptation will be to ask some quite unflattering questions about what we’re trying to say.

See the Salesforce CRM comparison via Game Changing apps

What we like about Causeview

One of the biggest things we like about Causeview is that it is what it is.  It’s not trying too hard to be something that it’s not and overstep the mark and try and achieve everything.  It’s not a jack of all trades.  It’s quite clear who it’s aimed at in the intro video – Debra, the slightly stressed fundraiser

Here’s what else we like:

  • Familiarity

For organisations using Raiser’s Edge and looking to migrate over to a new platform with minimum fuss, the features and approach will be really familiar.  We have experienced RE users on our team who, as they explore the tool, nodded along and saw the mapping.  We have Salesforce only users in the team who also thought it all made sense when explained, and we have people who have used a range of other tools, too (ThankQ, Progress, CiviCRM) –  who were pleased at how quickly they were able to ‘get’ the tool, layout and approach.

  • Good, solid fundraising

The day-to-day bones of Causeview is about fundraising.  Managing gifts, opportunities, major donors, batch entry processes, direct debits, gift aid, all the things you need and a data structure that will accommodate developments you might need.   A logical campaign and appeals structure helps you allocate funds and keep track of all your codes.

  • Scale-ability

If your strategy is to double your charity in 5 years, Causeview is a robust ‘heart’ to help you achieve this. Not only is it scale-able by user (so as you grow you can add more licenses), but the development roadmap for the system is focused on ‘onwards and upwards’ too.   The approach of selecting a ‘core’ product and adding around it with the tools and plugins means that you’re not tied to one full system and set of integrations.  An example e could be the trigger at which you are ready to scale-up and include automations and digital donor journey – it is as simple as plugging in a new email service provider (if you are an acronym fan, that’s ESP).

  • Reportability

The dashboard features and functions allow you to create graphs and charts from any field within the tool.  Reporting is real-time and easy to access – can be automatically send directly to the people who need to see key reports and is easy to ‘play with’ for creating new scenarios and ‘what if’ extrapolations. And because it’s all in easy-to-use Salesforce, pretty much anybody can do these things for themselves!

  • Event features

Basic event features are included with areas and elements to manage a range of event types and stages.  Future developments for this module are planned too*

  • Volunteers

The tool offers some superb volunteering features and ways of recording hours, signing up volunteers and keeping track of and reporting on volunteering hours.

Find out more about Causeview 

Sticking our necks out

Giraffe Aid - Purple Vision's 'fake' charity for demonstrating Causeview functionality

We’ve gone a bit bonkers about giraffes building a credible demonstration site …

We love a bit of humour (our Ops Director Dan is the master of groan-worthy one liners). As we pondered the best way to demonstrate the system so fundraisers can see how it works ‘in real life’ – and to showcase Salesforce Marketing Cloud in due course – we hit upon a plan.

We know lots of charities with great stories but didn’t want to just showcase one charity and can’t adapt something personal for every charity we show the system to.

Our solution – invent our own charity so we can showcase examples under a single brand without crossing any lines or confidences. And so Giraffe Aid was born.

Giraffe Aid – our fake charity example – has taken on a bit of a life of its own now.  It has a website, and a set up that has a programme, volunteers, fundraising events and a fantastic fundraising structure.  If only real life was as easy as this!

We’ve been able to apply all kinds of giraffe-led humour and creativity to our working day. Comedy nights called ‘you’re having a giraffe’ (for those who appreciate a bit of cockney-rhyming slang), developing imaginary giraffe education programmes, curating funny pictures.

All this ‘fun’ has had a purpose beyond making a demo a lot more interesting for a user.   As a team we have spent a lot of time playing with the system to set it up.  We know a lot about real-life implementation.  We *know* the system as a user would.  We’re better placed than ever to not only implement the system but also to support and train new users to make the most of the data and explore it more effectively.

But seriously, see for yourself

If you’d like to see Causeview for yourself, you’re very welcome to join us and take a peak.  Whether because you’re interested to see what the fevered fundraising minds at Purple Vision have cooked up with Giraffe Aid or are seriously interested in assessing your CRM options for the next 6-12 months.

We’re running a series of demonstrations that will

  • Explain the Salesforce platform
  • Share how you can grow and expand the platform to suit your needs
  • Showcase Causeview’s fundraising features
  • See how your fundraising strategy maps into a new tool
  • Identify how your fundraising could improve

Join us on any of the following dates at our offices (near Oval Tube station in London) for a cuppa and a croissant:

If you can’t make these dates but still want a sneaky-peek, just get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to arrange something with you directly – give Keith (our Customer Solutions Director)  a call via 0845 458 0250.

Note: these places are for staff, trustees and volunteers of charities only.  If you are a consultant, supplier, or other business  – even enquiring on behalf of a client – please get in touch directly to find out more rather than register at these events.

Purple Vision Salesforce Services

NGO Connect

idden away upstairs, in one of the breakout sessions at Salesforce World Tour, London was a session entitled:  NGO & Advancement Connect: The solution suite for non-profit and higher education. 

As an official NGO Connect partner, Purple Vision has already been trained and enabled to support non-profits to implement and use the tool when it is available in the UK – the planned release is autumn 2015.  We’re excited to share the details with you.

The background

NGO Connect was announced back in September 2014.   It’s a new app for the Salesforce Platform, designed for non profits.

Salesforce Foundation* has essentially built NGO Connect as a new an improved version of roundCause. roundCause – by software provider roundCorner – is a very successful native Salesforce app for non-profits in North America.

To launch in the UK and across Europe, several changes and adaptations are required – for things like Gift Aid, Direct Debit which are unique to our fundraising landscape – and the team are busy in development to finalise the tool.

The Salesforce Foundation will manage the NGO Connect product as they do their others, with regular updates and a planned roadmap – so it’s not a solution that’s going to stand still. Or go away.

*The Foundation is the ‘charity’ bit of Salesforce, that administers the 1% model they have adopted – with 1% time, 1% revenue and 1% product being donated to non-profits.  It’s a powerful model for a multi-billion dollar outfit to adopt, so the benefits for charity in the UK are tangible and real.  Starting with donated licenses (up to ten) and then significant discounts on linked products.

Bringing more choice to charities

There are already apps out there.   The simple start-up is the Non Profit Starter Pack. It’s great, but the clue is really in the name ‘starter’.

For a larger organisation with complex requirements and multiple teams, it’s not enough on its own. Of course, you can develop the NPSP by adding apps, and integrations are available to adapt it.

But its not the same as being able to install a fully featured solution that you know will be around and supported for many years to come.

The point of NGO Connect is that it starts to give more choice to non-profits, and enables them to choose and deploy Salesforce – and the myriad of benefits associated with it – quickly and easily.

But it’s not just a two-app choice

Of course, part of the joy of Salesforce is the depth and breadth of solutions, partners and developers who collaborate together to create solutions to suit customers’ needs. And so, besides these two major options, there are other considerations for charities, too.

Of the many solutions around, we believe there are two others that merit a direct comparison – Causeview and Donor Nation.

We reviewed the features and functionality of what we believe are the four key Salesforce game-changers for charities. 

The 4 main contenders (compressed)Matrix comparison (web compress)Spider Comparison

Your charity – your choice

What’s clear from our reviews is that it’s really down to each charity to choose the tool that works best for them, based on the features and options that are important to them now, and that will support them to deliver as they grow and develop, too.

And that’s the joy of the Salesforce community – select your key app, and expand your palette of options as you need to.

Nothing illustrates this better than some of the glaring gaps you may see in some of the scores on our spider charts.

A zero score means that the tool does not have the features or functionality included for that area of activity which you may (or may not) want. Not that its a bad choice. Who is really an expert at everything?

If you don’t need the function in the app, its no problem.  But if you do, a top quality app that provides the level of features you need for your specialist function will be available.  It will do what you need at the level you need and integrate with the other features you need in the main app you’ve chosen.

It’s the start of your palette of options – creating your own bespoke solution for your own specific organisation.

palette blank (compress)

We care that you get it right 

Our approach to working with non-profits is to support each client to implement the right solution for their own unique needs.

So, if NGOConnect is right for you, we will tell you, and if you wish we will help you to implement and adopt it.

But if you’re not sure which Salesforce tool or configuration is right for you, ask about our Signposting services, which will help pinpoint the right mix and blend – the right flavour – of Salesforce for your organisations needs.

Next steps

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