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American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture

The American Farm Bureau Foundation’s mission is centered on agricultural literacy. We strive to connect the American public with the people who feed, fuel and clothe them.

Challenge

American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture was looking to make the switch to a simple, user-friendly donor database solution with streamlined reporting. They wanted a system that wouldn’t generate letters for constituents marked as “deceased” in the database. “The system we had (iMis) was not user-friendly and made many errors. For example, even if someone was marked as ‘deceased,’ it would still generate letters. The reporting functions were also pretty clunky, so IT would have to code a report each time,” said Sydney Andrews, Program Coordinator at American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture.

Sydney and her team quickly became excited about the possibilities with Bloomerang. Even its basic functionality could improve their mailings. “We can also trust Bloomerang to actually mark someone as deceased or divorced so we don’t deal with that embarrassment.”

Solution

The team at American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture was impressed with Bloomerang’s user-friendly functionality and knowledgeable customer support team. “Bloomerang is simple and user-friendly. Plus there is a team dedicated to helping with issues!” Sydney and her team had finally found a donor management system with the reporting and constituent communication capabilities that they needed. “Customized reports and households were a huge improvement over iMis. Additionally, being able to create letters and manipulate them within Bloomerang has been great so we don’t have to use mail merge.”

In addition to Bloomerang’s functionality, it has fit nicely into American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture’s gift development and donor retention processes. “Bloomerang is user friendly and we all have access to it. It plays nice with accounting systems so there is far less double entry. It is great to be able to generate reports on lapsed donors and follow up with them. Bloomerang is great because it doesn’t have all the extra ‘stuff’ many management systems have- we only want a donor management system and that is what we got. Therefore it is pretty affordable.”

Results

Since implementing Bloomerang, American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture has benefited from improvements in the quality of their constituent communications. “We can thank donors in a more timely manner which is important for donor retention. We also can thank online donors almost immediately for their donations and give them their tax receipts. We now send quarterly letters to donors which reminds them we are a valuable foundation to donate to!”

Sydney and her team have also seen several fundraising paint points be alleviated. “We don’t need to be worried about sending mail to deceased donors AND we got rid of many duplicates. Creating donor thank you letters is a breeze and creating a donor list at the end of the year, we know the information we have is accurate.” On top of that, they’ve been able to increase the number of dollars raised since switching to Bloomerang. “We can now take online donations which have increased our reach and increased the dollar amount raised.”

At the end of the day, Sydney provides no shortage of praise for the free resources and training available (if you even need it). “What I like most about Bloomerang is that it is very user-friendly and basically self-explanatory. They also have tutorial webinars and staff to help you with any questions or issues we’ve had.”

It’s amazing what a user-friendly, donor retention-focused tool can do for the growth of an organization such as the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture.