A stalwart of the annual fundraising calendar for those with a technological bias, the Institute of Fundraising Special Interest Group (SIG) Technology Conference is back. Friday 12 May will see hundreds gather at 1 America Place to talk through a varied agenda which includes keynotes from Just Giving and the Direct Marketing Association. Three streams sit alongside three keynotes – Nuts and Bolts of Compliance, New Fundraising New Tech and Technology Management – speaking each other’s language.
New Fundraising New Technology Stream – 14.15 Digital Thinking – Human Decisions
In this session Mags (Purple Vision) will speak with Matthew Warnock-Parkes (Disasters Emergency Committee) will talk about the fast-paced changing tech landscape that impacts the DEC and their appeal cycle.
DEC are the highly respected charity that engages its effective fundraising operation only in times of disaster, generating millions of pounds seemingly overnight. DEC have been looking at the challenge of fundraising with multiple fragmented data sources and the changing trends in fundraising channels, considering how tech can help with their unique challenges.
No, not a new game, but maybe it could be? Antonina Romanova, our german-speaking lead consultant headed to Germany for Purple Vision recently…
Over 300 representatives of non-profit organisations gathered in Potsdam and Dresden in September for Fundraising Tag. Organised by fundraisingmagazine.de, and supported by sponsors including Purple Vision, the days offer a mix of sessions, workshops and networking time.
A fairly standard format, but for us the exciting element was that it was in German and would give us an
opportunity to learn more about our fast-expanding customer base in Germany.
We saw these events as not just an opportunity to share our knowledge and experience but also to learn the needs and and requirements of German organisations and get a deeper understanding of the technology and tools they use and problems they face in their day-to-day activities.
We’ve all got something in common …
All non-profits, regardless of where they are in the world share some common factors, but it’s the specific requirements that determine best practices, internal processes, applications and solutions. These will always be different as they depend on range of factors including market, political and economic situations as well as regulations at a market and government level too.
Of course the other major factor influencing the people, processes and technologies in non-profits around the world is the vision, mission and strategy of the organisation – which will vary widely.
In the exhibitor area of the event we were interacting with Fundraising Day attendees. We shared our experience in non-profit industry, explaining how a proper strategy and a vision in combination with modern technology solutions can lead them to a more successful fundraising and brand recognition. Together with Account Managers from Salesforce.org Christiane and Lisa, we showed a number of people the power that Salesforce offers non-profit organisations.
Some of the common questions about Salesforce were related to various functionality modules, such as donation management, contact management, digital marketing, event management, grants, volunteers, data protection and, of course, costs.
A number of people were excited to hear that Salesforce.org grants 10 free licenses. However, a couple of people noticed that if you need a higher number of licenses, than they become quite expensive. I should mention that Salesforce licenses are heavily discounted for non-profit organisations. But them being not entirely free means that resources are actually invested into the product development.
Network and Learn
But Fundraising days are not just about representatives from non-profit organisations talking to the exhibitors who offer various solutions and services. Fundraising days are also about learning and networking. There was a number of sessions and seminars that attendees could attend. Each seminar was dedicated to a specific area or functionality.
For example, a Purple Vision speaker Klemens Karkow was talking about fundraising for small and medium clubs and associations.
Some other speakers were sharing their knowledge on how to build a successful partnership with corporate sponsors, how to better understand donors, how to work with major donors and how to benefit from social media and e-mail marketing. Each seminar provided not just a lot of content but also gave attendees an opportunity to ask their questions and get answers from the experts.
I have also attended one of the seminars. You can never know everything and I decided to use this opportunity to improve my industry knowledge. I attended a session on Practical Tips or How to Make Friends from Enemies.
It was very interesting to hear all the tips, related to organisation and contact donor journey communication. There were, however, a couple of aspects that made me think on how to bring together time proven best practices and the tendency of donors becoming more and more digital. One of the things mentioned by the presenter was that a research showed that if you send donors handwritten Thanks You letters within 7 days after the first donation, a chance to receive the next donation within 12 months is 16% higher than if you thanks them by email or print a letter and send it per post. I agree that for certain groups of donors, this will be the right approach. But if an organisation wants to attract younger donors, it should also consider other ways. And that’s were a marketing journey with 1:1 communication comes into play.
See you next time!
I found Fundraising Days to be a great experience for non-profit organisations that could learn best practices, talk about consultancy and technical solutions to exhibitors and discuss their problems and successes with other non-profits.
At the same time it was a fantastic opportunity for Purple Vision and for me personally as it allowed us to get a better understanding of our current and future customers on the German market and learn about other solutions offered within it. As we are an independent consultancy, we should keep looking and investigating what tools are available in order to be able to offer our clients the best options.
See you at the next Fundraising Day!
Antonina is one of Purple Vision’s Lead Consultants for non-profit projects. As well as being a Salesforce whizz, she also speaks Russian and German (hence being asked to help our German clients) and loves dancing. She’ll be attending the next Fundraising Tag days in March.
We’re attending Fundraising Tage in the German city of Postdam on 29 September.
Joining our German-speaking Lead Consultant Antonina – who will share with delegates how Purple Vision can help them succeed and share more about how the platform is transforming non profit technology.
Fundraising Tage (fundraising day) are organised by German publication Fundraiser Magazin, the go-to publication for charities, associations and community groups across Germany
We’re attending our first Fundraising Tage in the German city of Dresden on September 8th:
Joining our German-speaking Lead Consultant Antonina – who will share with delegates how Purple Vision can help them succeed – is Salesforce.org exec Lisa Grotenrath who can share more about how the platform is transforming non profit technology.
Fundraising Tage (fundraising day) are organised by German publication Fundraiser Magazin, the go-to publication for charities, associations and community groups across Germany
Purple Vision are delighted to announce that as well as speaking at two sessions at the prestigious Institute of Fundraising Convention (4-6 July 2016 at the Barbican, London), we’ll be exhibiting too. We’ll be sharing advice and info through our two speakers slots and our booth in the exhibition hall will give you the chance to drop by and ask us questions.
Steve Thomas (Chief Executive) and Jonathan Cook (Associate Consultant)
Invigorate your data insights – banish data dreariness
Data is the heart, if not the soul, of fundraising. Recent innovations make data visualisation more accessible, and as a result, easier to use to build genuine, real-time personal donor experiences that drive results. This session will invigorate you to take a fresh look at your data, and reveal new insights to fuel your fundraising. From business intelligence tools through to reports and dashboards we’ll inspire you to action by signposting tools and highlighting approaches for you to follow back at your desk. All without dreary spreadsheets!
Tuesday 14.15 – 15.00 – Digital Track
Mags Rivett (Director of Marketing) and Ian Fairhurst (Senior Consultant, Non Profit)
Email – moving away from the big bang theory towards personal engagement
How do you move from a culture of sending an e-newsletter to personalising content and driving engagement? In this session, we’ll help you make the leap. Our practical tips will provide you with a common sense, no-nonsense approach that will work in all sizes of charity, regardless of budget and tools. We’ll look at what you have got – data, content – and how you can use these to drive activity through very simple segmentation and testing. But it all starts with your vision and ambition.
Join Mags, Keith, Ian and Steve at the Purple Vision stand (stand 31) in the Expo hall of the Fundraising Convention. We’ll be around to chat through
“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.
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.
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.
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
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 !
“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.
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.
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:
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.
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).
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!
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*
The tool offers some superb volunteering features and ways of recording hours, signing up volunteers and keeping track of and reporting on volunteering hours.
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.