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500 Festival Foundation

The 500 Festival Foundation is dedicated to making sure all Hoosiers have access to life-enriching experiences that celebrate the spirit and legacy of the Indianapolis 500.


A major challenge the foundation was facing was having to start from scratch after not actively fundraising in its 25-year history. They were looking for a solution that would allow them to move information off of multiple spreadsheets and into one central place, and to focus on successful campaigns throughout the year.

Christine Swarm, Executive Director for the 500 Festival Foundation, said, “we needed one place to keep donor and prospect information that also had a wealth screening tool integrated.”

In addition, as a one-person fundraising shop, it was important to the 500 Festival Foundation to find an intuitive and user-friendly system.


Christine was impressed with how user-friendly Bloomerang was, as well as the customer service she received while evaluating the database. “It made me confident I was choosing a company that would provide great support at all stages.”

With the ability to integrate with DonorSearch and easily have wealth screening tools, and the added service of a Batch Screen, Bloomerang made it possible for the 500 Festival Foundation to identify prospective donors for their new capital campaign. “With Bloomerang, I can successfully manage our annual fund while, at the same time, track helpful information on major donor prospects for our capital campaign.”


Bloomerang helped the 500 Festival Foundation acquire more than 3,500 donors through its capital campaign. By conducting a Batch Screen, Christine was able to assign targeted ask amounts based on their donor’s capacity and likelihood to give, saving them time and taking the guesswork out of who they should be focusing on. “Additionally, we now know who to prioritize in terms of major gift portfolios versus annual fund portfolios,” Christine shared.

Using Bloomerang, the 500 Festival Foundation was able to launch its annual campaign and capital campaign simultaneously. “We have gone from raising about $200,000 a year to over $300,000 a year in annual fund dollars and have raised $2.5 million to date through our capital campaign,” said Christine. They were able to see their first-year donor retention rate increase and are looking forward to seeing how their 2023 fiscal year ends now that they are communicating more frequently with their donors about their impact.

Christine and the 500 Festival Foundation were successful in their campaigns and improved their day-to-day operations using Bloomerang. Christine recommends Bloomerang to other organizations that are considering making a switch. “Bloomerang is very user-friendly and has excellent support and training resources. You won’t regret the switch!”