It’s one thing to have a donor database that hold donor information. It’s another to have a true fundraising solution that turns data into actionable insights.

Bob Kizer, the President and CEO of Starfish Initiative, shares his thoughts on Bloomerang in the video below.

Full Transcript:

Hi. I’m Bob Kizer, and I’m the President and CEO of Starfish Initiative. Our focus is really simple. We are college coaches to help our young people pursue their goal of getting to college.

The Starfish program is anchored by this one-on-one relationship, this acclaimed mentoring model. Our staff really focus principally on helping equip our mentors to assist our scholars in their journey to college, and we do that in a number of different ways.

We have an annual leadership camp at Camp Tecumseh every year where our young people get a chance to discover what their leadership style is and opportunities for them to become even stronger leaders as they continue to mature and grow towards college.

We have a mega college visit every year where nearly 300 of our scholars will go on a guided visit to our colleges and universities.

We are constantly connecting our young people through workplace encounters to the Starfish Mission, and a lot of our support actually comes from our corporate allies. Ninety-eight percent of the Starfish Scholars who come to us as a rising 9th grader finish our program and go on to college.

We have always felt a little challenged around being able to take data from our donors and make sense out of it. One of the first challenges that I faced, when I arrived at Starfish, was really to look at ways in which we can better build donor relationships and to understand better the dynamics of those relationships.

The tool that we had in place we felt was a little clunky. It didn’t really help bring to us and deliver us the kind of information that we wanted to assist us in making better business decisions around how we were going to build these relationships. We were really attracted to the Bloomerang tool because of the focus around donor loyalty and the ability for us to be able to look at other qualitative factors in addition to just the frequency and the amount of giving that was happening.

So we were really attracted to this tool because of its simplicity and I think the elegance of being able to really get at the information that we needed to make better and more logical business decisions.

About Starfish Initiative:

Starfish Initiative inspires, encourages, and prepares promising, economically disadvantaged students for college and career success. To achieve this goal, Starfish pairs economically disadvantaged high school students one-on-one with college-educated mentors.

Starfish was founded in 2003 by a group of local businessmen, concerned that many of the academically promising but economically disadvantaged students in Indianapolis were not getting the preparation for post-secondary education they needed to be the future leaders of the community. They founded Starfish Initiative — the name taken from the famous “Starfish Story” — to help economically disadvantaged students. Currently, Starfish serves approximately 340 students in 40 public, private, charter and magnet high schools.

Billy Ratthahao
Billy Ratthahao was formerly an Account Coordinator and Product Evangelist at Bloomerang. He previously served as the Mentoring Coordinator at Shepherd Community Center.