Since 1938, Girls Inc. of Central Alabama has provided gender-specific programs for school-age girls of diverse racial and economic backgrounds. Girls Inc.’s core areas of programming include science, math, technology, career development, economic literacy, English & creative writing, healthy living, arts, sports, and cultural enrichment. A variety of prevention education programs are offered through the Outreach Department covering areas such as health and wellness, life skills development, preventing adolescent pregnancy, substance & alcohol abuse prevention, and job readiness. Through all of these programs, the goal remains to help girls achieve at their highest level.
Girls Inc. of Central Alabama was looking for a database that would be easy to use, easy to pull reports from, and that would help them get organized.
“Our previous database was cumbersome, time-consuming to manage, and the reports were impossible to run. Also, there was literally no customer support platform. Other CRMs I’ve used were obviously created by software developers, not fundraisers, and they were reluctant to adapt to our needs,” said Karen Griner, CFRE, Development Director at Girls Inc. of Central Alabama. Enter Bloomerang. “Bloomerang’s team, however, is constantly taking user feedback and using it to improve the system so that it fits the needs of actual real-life fundraisers.”
Bloomerang is built for the modern fundraiser and Karen recognized that immediately after hearing Bloomerang’s co-founder and CRO, Jay Love, talk about his passion for the industry and the importance of donor retention. “He genuinely cares about fundraisers doing good by their donors, and so he came up with a system to help them. The end result was an awesome CRM.”
Girls Inc. of Central Alabama had finally found a dependable system that was built for fundraising and retaining donors. And Karen had found a system that could save her time and make her job easier. “I feel like I spend less time inputting data and more time using the data to do my job by interacting with donors and volunteers.” Being able to streamline their development processes was also a bonus. “I love how donor profiles are easy to read – even for busy board members – and how it streamlines all of our development operations.”
They’d also found a solution that they could customize to their specific needs, without it being complicated. They needed a balance. “Bloomerang is simple to use yet complex enough that you can customize it to your affiliate’s specific needs.”
On top of that, Girls Inc. of Central Alabama has been really happy with Bloomerang’s donor-centric functionality and its affordability. “It works great both with small and large development staffs, both in usage as well as cost. We use the donor engagement rating – as opposed to just gift amounts – to assess the level of stewardship to give each individual supporter.”
Girls Inc. of Central Alabama has seen several fundraising pain points be alleviated since implementing Bloomerang. One such benefit is that they’ve been able to save time entering donations, increase productivity and decrease cost by ditching their mass email provider, and run the reports they need to empower their development team.
Thanks to Bloomerang, Karen knows their donors better and can send personalized communications with ease. “We know our donors better – Bloomerang allows you to track interactions you have with them, such as their volunteer time, attendance at Vision Meetings, email conversations, or just run-ins at the grocery store. We also can spend more time meeting and stewarding donors and less time with data entry because Bloomerang makes it simple or automated.”
At the end of the day, all of this has allowed Girls Inc. of Central Alabama to meet their goals and benefit from an increase in revenue year-over-year. “Our revenue has steadily increased in the two years since we switched to Bloomerang. We had seen a 9% growth in income between 2013-2014 and 2014-2015; when we switched to Bloomerang in 2015-2016, we saw a 19% increase in revenue. Last year, we saw an 18% increase, and to date for the current fiscal year (which ends in April 2018) we are already 70% to our budgeted goal for the year.
It’s amazing what a fundraiser-focused, donor-centric tool can do for the growth of an organization such as Girls Inc. of Central Alabama.