American Tire Distributor skilled volunteer delivered nonprofit donor management software selection support to Paula Takacs Foundation for Sarcoma Research, helping increase monthly donors 5x and saving 400+ hours annually for staff.
The mission of the Paula Takacs Foundation for Sarcoma Research is to raise funds that will directly benefit the fight to end sarcoma. By supporting local, innovative research with a relentless commitment to excellence, they open a pathway for scientists and other research professionals to develop and offer cutting-edge treatment options to more sarcoma sufferers. Thus helping to expand global hope for a cure.
The Foundation’s leadership reached out to Apparo for support in researching and selecting a donor management software system to replace their use of spreadsheets. Apparo matched them to a volunteer from American Tire Distributors, who conducted research and helped select a solution based on the Foundation’s needs: Kindful and Fundraise Up.
Upon completion of this project, we checked in with Susan Udelson, Executive Director to learn about the anticipated impact of implementing the recommendations.
Because of this Community Impact Project, Paula Takacs Foundation leadership will free 400+ hours of time a year and improve their ability to fundraise. As a result, they will be better positioned to support families in need and help find a cure for sarcoma.
Susan explains the administrative and documentation pain points that drew her to seek support, “This is a small organization. I can’t pay someone else to do these administrative tasks and they take away my time from other mission-focused activities. If your back-office is your Achilles heel, it keeps you from moving forward in your mission and having a greater impact. I also am thinking about succession planning for when I retire down the line, and how to put our foundation in the best possible position to continue succeeding with less disruption.”
“Before I came to Apparo, I tried googling CRMs on my own and found the results very hard to sort out. The recommendations are not necessarily pure of heart, some are paid. I did some demos, but even if a product seems interesting, software is really hard to vet. I wanted to have a real professional, experienced entity helping me, so that I could make the best decision possible. Now, I feel very confident in this decision.”
Upon implementation, Paula Takacs Foundation anticipates saving 400+ hours a year, incredibly significant for an organization with one employee, and decreasing paper mailing expenses considerably.
Susan explains that “Having donor information in a central spot will be life changing for me. Today, I have to go to many different sources and it’s time consuming and ridiculous. I waste 50 hours a year seeking out data and consolidating date from different platforms into spreadsheets. Now it will be instantaneous.”
She continues, elaborating on more benefits. “Donation acknowledgements will be my biggest time savings. Today I deal with a mail merge, lots of corrections and printing 10 envelopes at a time. Now the tax-oriented letters will be completely automated, this will save me about 300 hours per year. The tribute letters (when someone makes a donation on someone else’s behalf) will save me another 50 hours a year.”
Freed time, better processes and better access to better data will drive an increase in revenue.
Susan shares, “Freed time will mean more time for me to seek corporate support, solicit and steward major donors, create new fundraising events and strategize on revenue diversification. The more efficient you can get operationally, the more time it gives you to be a strategist, which is critical to keeping the organization strong, growing and powerful in the space.”
She is also optimistic that “Fundraise Up should help increase monthly donors by 500%. We have so few now because the enrollment process is not great” and adds that “there are always better fundraising results when you have a better picture of your donor base.”
Freed time will also allow Paula Takacs to provide expand vital support services to families touched by sarcoma.
In closing, Susan shares how meaningful this is to her. “I’ll have more time to spend providing one-on-one support to families who reach out for help. Because sarcoma is so rare, families impacted by it rarely meet other families who are also impacted. When they find us, it feels like an oasis in the desert. People need help to find resources, it can be overwhelming. It’s so important to me, I was that family too.”
Impact Update: Paula Takacs Foundation is meeting their fundraising and efficiency goals.
18 months after the completion of their work with Apparo, we checked in with Susan Udelson to learn about the sustained impact of this work. She shares:
“Fundraise Up has been a powerful, cutting edge tool. It saves us time, improves the donor experience and the AI driven technology optimizes our fundraising. Our process for in-memory tributes had been very manual and time consuming, now we can do this completely digitally.”
“With Kindful, it’s phenomenal to have all of our data in the same place. No more disjointed spreadsheets with moment-in-time data. Now we can see patterns and create the reports we need. We also save a lot of administrative time because generating tax receipts is automated.”
“With these two tools, we are meeting our goal of saving 400 hours a year. This freed time allows me to be more strategic. This is invaluable. We are also meeting our goal of increasing our recurring monthly donors by 5-fold.”