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German American Heritage Center

The German American Heritage Center (GAHC) seeks to preserve the heritage of our German speaking ancestors for present and future generations and to enrich our knowledge of the German immigrant experience.

The Mission is to “preserve and enrich for present and future generations knowledge of the German immigrant experience and its impact on the American Culture.” GAHC’s focus is cultural programs and immigrant contributions. GAHC seeks to reach out to other cultural groups and demonstrate the contributions immigrants from many countries and from varied backgrounds have made to the ethnic palette which is the United States.


German American Heritage Center was ready to ditch Excel for an intuitive donor management system that would be easy to learn and use. “We were using excel spreadsheets for each campaign and had no way of connecting each donation to a donor to see someone’s history. We wanted something easy to use, easy to upload our past data to, and something that would allow us refresher courses or learn new ways to utilize the system,” said Kelly Lao, Executive Director at German American Heritage Center.

After attending an AFP presentation and speaking to a Bloomerang rep, Kelly came to realize that Bloomerang’s features and functionality might just be the best fit for them. “I saw a presentation at my local AFP lunch and learn from Chris at Bloomerang and really enjoyed the features.


Kelly had finally found an easy to use donor management system that could help them get their donor data organized and focus more on building and maintaining strong donor relationships. “We are a small museum, so each donor is very important to us from $25 – $1,000 donors. We are able to place notes in on each person which helps us remember who likes to donate when or even a special note about anniversaries or volunteering.” Kelly and her team are also excited about the idea that they can now use their data from Bloomerang to pursue endowment gifts and other planned giving options.

German American Heritage Center was originally drawn to Bloomerang’s intuitive user interface, but they’ve come to appreciate its custom field functionality and donor-centricity. “I like how clean and crisp the look is with the most important info displayed on each page. We like being able to have our own categories particular to our membership and donor needs.”


Since implementing Bloomerang several pain points have been alleviated for Kelly and her team. They now have access to detailed donor information and can use that data to make informed fundraising decisions, increase donor retention, and send better segmented communications. “We now know who are our top donors, who gives consistently during which campaigns, can easily see if a donor forgot about a campaign where they usually give and call them and remind them how much they gave previously and ask them to match or increase!” They also have visibility into their donor retention rate and have noticed the benefit of improving their communication with first-time donors. “We had no way to find out if we were retaining donors. Now we can make better efforts toward making first time or once past donors into sustaining givers.

The team at German American Heritage Center has benefited from spending less time pouring over spreadsheets and more time defining and improving their development processes. “Our whole staff now understands the development world better and we all chip in to help on campaigns instead of it being one person’s job to try and pour over spreadsheets.”

Kelly really appreciates how easy it is to use and train volunteers on the system. If she were to talk to another arts and culture organization about making the switch to Bloomerang, she’d cite the dedicated customer support team and intuitive functionality. “I would let them know how easy it is to use (we are training our 78 year old volunteer on it!) and how much support is offered. We find it to be very valuable and enjoy the format better than competing software.”

It’s amazing what an updated, user-friendly tool can do for the growth of an organization such as German American Heritage Center. “We are still finding out more and more that Bloomerang can do for us!