When I joined the board of Thrive Youth Center, I knew that a nonprofit doing as much as we do to accomplish our mission we would need to grow our capability to raise funds. After looking at our donor engagement methods & processes, I recommended that we pursue a CRM solution then a re-vamped website. With my background in IT/InfoSec and technology product evaluations, I started this process with the approval of the team.
Why CRM First? Our donor engagement and tracking was very manual, causing a significant amount of employee time to be lost due to inefficiencies. This meant that setting up events and getting donor engagement activities was a struggle. By bringing on a CRM and migrating from many tools with different data requirements to one, we could get better data quality, process improvements, more automation opportunities, and faster time-to-market for our campaigns.
Selection - A CRM is some of the most valuable data to an organization, and represents something that’s very difficult to move from, so it was crucial to do thorough and rigorous testing of available tools to best address the organization’s needs. In my standard methodology, I created the scorecard criteria, weighting, and test cases before building the evaluation funnel – this ensures fair comparison. Once the scorecard was reviewed and approved by the board and org, I started the survey and review process, moving from 25 -> 12 -> 6 -> 3 -> 1. Finally I completed this part of the process with negotiating for much better terms for Thrive.
Implementation As of April 2021, I’m happy to say that we have onboarded to our CRM and Thrive staff are now in the process of moving other tool capabilities into the CRM. We’ve additionally started our process for content creation/media production, a new website, and integrating with the CRM for a June (Pride Month) 2021 launch. What a way to celebrate 6 years in operation! We’ve also integrated our donations page directly into our domain so that users don’t have to ‘pop out’ to Paypal or similar, offering a better donor experience.
Learn more about Thrive
I encourage you to take a look at Thrive Youth Center, and if you can, please donate. We are on a mission to end LGBT youth homelessness and have a 6-year track record of doing so. Through today, we have provided housing for more than 100 LGBT homeless youths, including case management, education services, employment resources, and healthcare/HRT.
Want to get involved, get engaged, and/or visit Thrive and/or Haven for Hope in San Antonio? Let me know.