Deloitte and CapTech skilled volunteers delivered a technology plan and supported Echo Foundation in selecting a database tool to improve their ability to serve.
Through cutting-edge educational programs, The Echo Foundation develops in young people the moral and intellectual tools necessary to effect positive change in their local and global communities. Experiential learning opportunities, programs using the arts in service to humankind and facilitated dialogue in the pursuit of innovative solutions are hallmarks of the organization. Each year, The Echo Foundation brings world-renowned humanitarians to Charlotte to deliver messages that galvanize souls to action on behalf of humankind. The foundation has hosted 35 humanitarians, Nobel Laureates and world leaders and created curriculum about each; serving over 741,000 students in the greater Charlotte-Mecklenburg region, and forging partnerships to benefit students worldwide.
Recognizing a need to update their existing database and optimistic that a technology assessment could help improve their ability to serve, The Echo Foundation turned to Apparo for support. Apparo matched them to a corporate volunteer team from Deloitte who also generously sponsored this work. This project was comprised of two phases (an overall tech assessment and then an application selection for a new database tool) and was facilitated by a volunteer Epic Change Agent, Ilona Sengupta of CapTech.
As a result of this project, The Echo Foundation chose DonorPerfect as their new database.
At the conclusion of the project, we checked in with Stacey Schanzlin, Program Director, to learn about the impact of the work. Stacey shared the significance of this work. “We knew we needed to assess our technology infrastructure and invest in improvements. In regards to our database, our current solution had become cumbersome, requiring inefficient workarounds. Knowing that we’ll have technology and tools we can rely on is really exciting.”
Echo Foundation anticipates time saving of 240 hours annually, upon implementation of project recommendations.
- 5 hours/week will be saved by improved functionality of the database.
- Work by staff and student volunteers will be more efficient due to better hardware and infrastructure.
By enabling better donor cultivation, Echo anticipates meeting their goal of a 5% increase in fundraising.
- More accurate data will eliminate errors and help build goodwill with donors.
- Ability to keep contact information up-to-date will help ensure email deliverability of marketing materials.
- System will track every interaction with donors/potential donors and allow for strategic segmentation (e.g., reaching out to past program participants.)
- Operational efficiencies will free time to spend on fundraising.
The positive financial impact is expected to be bolstered by $10,000+ annual reduction in expenses.
- Reduced reliance on external vendors for support, especially as Echo staff get the training they need.
- Elimination of $90/month fee for Constant Contact.
As a result, Echo Foundation will be able to expand their reach.
“We want to grow the program by expanding into new counties and reaching new teachers who bring the curriculum to the schools. DonorPerfect will help us in meeting these goals,” explains Stacey.
Project team members shared their appreciation.
- Ilona Sengupta (Change Agent volunteer) – “I genuinely enjoyed the experience of working with the team on this project. I went into every meeting excited to see what progress we were going to make. I hope that all of our paths will cross again and that I can work on another project with Apparo.”
- Naveen Nannapaneni (Deloitte, volunteer) – ” Echo Foundation project has been a great learning experience for me personally and our Deloitte team. Both Apparo and Echo Foundation teams have been very helpful throughout the journey. I would like to thank team Apparo for giving us this opportunity.”
- Stacey Schanzlin – “Thank you to Apparo and Deloitte. Stephanie Ansaldo [President, Echo Foundation] and I are so appreciative and excited that we found Apparo and that they matched us with Deloitte. It’s been such a great experience to have so many smart people read through our documentation and ask us the questions that make us really think about our processes. We are so happy with the whole project. The levels of professionalism, thoroughness, feedback and responsiveness have been great. It’s going to have a dramatic effect in the years ahead. You are the reason we will be able to reach so many more students.”
Impact Update: One year after the completion of their project, we reached out to Echo Foundation leadership to learn about the ongoing impact.
Stacey Schanzlin shared the news that they are very happy with their selection and implementation of DonorPerfect: “One year later, the impact is very meaningful. The work led to a significant transition in our organization.”
As anticipated, they:
- Save $1,080/annually by eliminating need for Constant Contact
- Save additional expenses previously incurred for external support
- Save 5+ hours/week due to eliminations of cumbersome, manual processes
- Stacey shared one specific example: “We saved approximately 10 hours, as significant time savings, putting together our end of year fundraising mailer. It went smoother than ever because of DonorPerfect. And we’re still on a learning curve. Next year it will be significantly better than this year.”
- Appreciate the high quality training and customer service support they receive from DonorPerfect
- Experience a 10-15% improvement in accuracy of data, which will drive improved fundraising results and already drives decreased expense by minimizing wasted mail going to wrong addresses
Stacy feels confident that they are on their way to meeting their increased fundraising goals and also shares appreciation for the Microsoft365 coaching they received from Polypore volunteers: “They were supportive and receptive – really great volunteers.”