Centric Consulting skilled volunteers identified an integrated donor management/CRM system to support Access To Success Foundation’s growth. After their project, they anticipate increased fundraising revenue and freed time to focus on key strategic initiatives.
The Access To Success Foundation (A2S) provides education and opportunity to youth through after school and scholarship programs in Nigeria and the United States. A2S leadership came to Apparo for support because they were tracking donors, sponsors, events, and fundraising/grant data in multiple systems including Giveffect, Google Drive documents as well as manually in Excel. See photos of Access to Success
They sought a volunteer team to identify one integrated system that will allow for the collection, sharing, tracking, analysis and reporting of donor and grant data and potentially fundraising moves management information. Apparo matched them to a volunteer from Centric Consulting, Kevin Anderson, who reviewed their current processes and guided them in determining the best software application(s) to continue to support their growing organization.
As the project wrapped up, we checked in with Drema Craft (Director of Development) and Andrew Lovedale (President and Founder) to learn about their Community Impact Project experience and the anticipated impact of their selected system, Kindful.
A2S leadership anticipates an increase in operational efficiencies and fundraising revenue upon implementation of their new donor management system.
Currently, Andrew explains, “we have to manually enter data in multiple places. Having it all in one place will save us a lot of time. We are a small team, so we have to learn how to work better, not harder.” Drema adds, “I’m constantly flipping back and forth between different sources of data, looking for information I need and making sure everything is up to date. This takes 3-4 hours a day and I would like to reduce that by 25%.”
Andrew explains that the new system will support better fundraising and also free time to focus on more fundraising, even when he is traveling to Nigeria. “With a new integrated, interactive system, we will be able to engage with all tiers of donors in a meaningful way and also focus on building-up our 3rd party fundraising. In the past, we have only had the time and ability to focus on stewarding our top tier donors. First time donors need a lot of focus to steward and we have not been able to dedicate the time. Our short-term goal is to increase our recurring donor base by $30,000. We will also be able to apply for more grants because I won’t have to pull the data manually. We will hopefully also get more grants because we will deliver better data.”
Drema adds, “The Kindful dashboard will be a big timesaver and the system will be easier for recurring donors to renew their credit cards, which is a challenge now. We’ll also have better engagement and communication with all donors and better targeting of different audiences. I look forward to having more time to steward donors, especially in person when we can do that again.”
Freed time will allow an increased focus on not only fundraising, but also critical strategic planning.
Andrew shares, “Our capacity will be boosted and we will have more time for strategic thinking, strengthening our programs and carving a path to our future. That is huge for me. Having the time and energy to devote to programs and strategy will be priceless. We want to ensure that we are raising job creators and not just job seekers. For example, we want to see if we can build an earned revenue model with our entrepreneurship program. This will empower our communities. The students will learn what it means to run businesses and we also earn funds for our initiatives.”
The team members all shared appreciation for each other as the project came to a close.
Kevin Anderson (volunteer): “I enjoyed this project from the first moment and always looked forward to our Friday meetings. It was a joy to work with this team. The enthusiasm makes it so motivating. I’m excited for them to become more efficient and do bigger and better things with their program. It’s been a privilege.”
Andrew: “Thank you to Kevin and Lavonne. You have been so responsive and so flexible. It has truly been a pleasure and your timeliness has been priceless. We are ahead of schedule in our plans because of you.”
Drema: “We are so grateful for your time and so thankful for you.”
Impact Update: One year later increased revenue and freed time goals are realized.
One year after the project wrapped up, we checked in with Andrew Lovedale, President and Founder, to learn about the impact of implementing Kindful.
He shares “We thought it might slow down, but the pace picked up because of COVID.” Fortunately, the transition to Kindful freed critical time for Andrew and his team so that they could focus on serving growing needs and their capital campaign to build a new youth center. As he explains, “Now I’m spending a lot less time in the system. It’s given me back my time, so I can focus on strategy.”
Andrew explains the key benefits:
- Dashboard – having insights on donors in one place allows them to identify priority areas of focus and plan their time/effort strategically
- Integration of data, email and event management – “It’s seamless, saves us so much time and reduces staff stress levels.” While their initial goal was to save approximately an hour a day, they are actually saving closer to two hours a day.
- Responsive customer service team – keeps the team committed to adopting this new tool
As a result of this transition, they have realized:
- 17% increase in their donor retention rate (rising from 41% to 58%, year to date over last year.)
- $140,000 increase in unrestricted individual giving (over same time period, last year)
In closing, Andrew reflects on his time with Apparo and his volunteer from Centric Consulting, Kevin Anderson. “You both did a fantastic job navigating this project. We enjoyed the process. It was seamless and you were flexible with us. It was a crazy time and you were fantastic to work with.”