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9 Non-Software Reasons Nonprofits Should Use Bloomerang

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If you’re familiar with Bloomerang, you probably already know about the software’s focus on donor retention and donor engagement.

When you combine that with its affordability, ease of use, expert product advisers and the fact that it’s recommended by hundreds of nonprofit consultants and support service providers, one could make a pretty compelling case that it’s the best donor database out there.

But those aren’t the only things that make us a great fit.

Here are nine reasons you should use Bloomerang that have nothing to do with software:

1) We are intentional about hiring employees who understand nonprofits

We don’t necessarily require previous nonprofit experience when vetting candidates, but it’s definitely something we look for. The idea is that if we’re going to be working with nonprofits all day, we should probably be able to speak their language.

You can find summaries of all of our employee’s nonprofit experience here:

Just look at the street cred from this small sampling of employees:

  • Chris, one of our Account Executives, has been a top-10 personal fundraiser for the Tour de Cure Indiana (including being #9 in the state in 2014).
  • Kasey, one of our Conversion Project Managers, was previously the Database Manager at the Indiana State Museum.
  • Ron, one of our Customer Support Specialists, has been working with nonprofits since 1987 when he became Executive Director of the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame.
  • Kristen, another Customer Support Specialist, holds an MPA in Nonprofit Management from Indiana University.

I could go on, but I think you get the picture.

Any intrepid entrepreneur(s) can create a startup and fill a gap in the nonprofit sector. But as you’re vetting software providers, remember that operating in the nonprofit sector does not necessarily denote previous real-life experience in the sector.

2) We are not venture capital (VC) funded

Unlike most technology and software firms, we did not seek VC funding to get started. This means that no outside investors have a controlling stake (and no one is pushing us to be acquired so that they can see a quick return on investment). Sick of having your donor database provider get acquired? We’re a good match for you.

3) Our employees have an ownership stake

Early employees were awarded stock in the company, and more recent employees have the ability to acquire stock over the course of their employment. This makes an external acquisition even more unlikely.

4) We like to give back

One of our core values is philanthropy. We like to live that by giving back to the community that supports our company. Each month, we take time during normal business hours to volunteer at a local nonprofit. Sometimes it’s a customer, sometimes it’s an organization that an employee feels passionate about.

5) We have a transparent company culture

Once a week, we have a brief all-hands meeting where each department goes over the goals for the week, and reports on their progress from the previous week.

Once a month, we have a more in-depth all-hands meeting where each department dives deeper. Every employee, from the newest college intern to the founders, is privy to every departmental metric including financial information (we all know exactly how much money is in the bank at the end of each month).

We hold each other accountable and there are no secrets, which allows each employee to take ownership and pride in the company.

6) We think differently

As if our software design and feature-set wasn’t already an indication, we tend to approach fundraising, marketing and donor communications a little differently than most.

For example, look at how the new Facebook “Donate Now” button was covered by Blackbaud, NeonCRM, and ourselves:

Now, that’s not to say that our opinions and philosophies are the only correct ones, but considering that key metrics in the nonprofit sector – like donor retention – have been steadily decreasing year-over-year wouldn’t you want to work with people who go against the grain?

7) Our board of directors has a track record for success

Our all-volunteer board of directors draws on their many years of experience in the nonprofit and technology sectors to guide us in serving our customers.

  • Don Scifres is Co-Founder and Managing Partner at VisionTech Partners | VisionTech Angels where he focuses on angel and venture capital investments in technology and life sciences firms.
  • Gary Rush currently serves as CTO of Karmaloop, a Boston-based online retailer. He has previously served as VP of Information Technology at Angie’s List, VP of Technology and Operations at ExactTarget and CTO at Made2Manage Systems (now Consona Corporation).
  • Brad Love is an associate in Barnes & Thornburg LLP’s Indianapolis office. He is a member of the Corporate, Litigation, and Intellectual Property Departments.
  • Steve Jacobson is the President and CEO of Jacobson Consulting Applications, Inc. (JCA), a firm that he founded in 1988 to provide information management services to nonprofit organizations. (Board member from 2012-2016)

8) We have made a significant investment in creating educational resources

A majority of our marketing budget is spent on creating educational resources that all nonprofits – regardless of whether they use Bloomerang – can take advantage of. Instead of advertising or exhibiting at a ton of trade shows, we invest in our daily blog, weekly webinar series, weekly video podcast, monthly newsletter and frequent downloadables – all of which are totally free!

9) We love to help emerging nonprofit organizations in our backyard

For 18 months, we gave away the entire top floor (6,800 sq. ft.) of our new headquarters as a shared space for new nonprofit founders and social entrepreneurs. Moving forward, we’re supporting the community as an online resource.

There are a lot of good donor database products out there, and you should choose the one that works best for your needs. We think ours holds up against anyone.

But if who the company is matters as much to you as their product, you may find that Bloomerang stands alone.

Here’s to the crazy ones.

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  • Joshua Harber

    Adrian - During my graduate school coursework, one of the most enduring lessons I learned was your theory of the Long Term Value of a *current* donor. Bloomerang's focus on donor retention really gives them a huge leg up, in my opinion, over other products. I can see the influence of your research on how they have designed the product. Kudos to both you and the developers, and founder, Jay!
  • Steven Shattuck

    Totally agree!
  • Steven Shattuck

    We sure did, but it's angel, not VC funding :)
  • Sam Donalds

    We thought Bloomerang did have outside financing. Is that incorrect? I saw this:
  • Adrian Sargeant

    I'll add a tenth - your people are passionately committed to doing the best they can for their nonprofit clients. That's at the core of the corporate culture. A lot of companies claim that's what they do - but few genuinely live it.
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