Imua Family Services Is Doing More And Paying Less After Switching To Bloomerang
The Hawaiian word Imua means to “move forward.” For Imua Family Services, a nonprofit, community-based organization serving Maui, Molokai, and Lana’i, the word also neatly encapsulates their mission: to empower children and their families to move forward regardless of their abilities.
Imua Family Services has been around since the 1940s. Originally their purpose was to help Hawaiian children who had polio and lived with developmental disabilities as a result of that disease. With the eradication of polio, the organization shifted its focus to helping all children with developmental delays and disabilities. The organization now provides a variety of resources to the children and families it serves, putting an emphasis on play-based instruction and parent coaching.
They provide a number of services—including occupational therapy, speech therapy, and physical therapy—and they make sure that cost is never an option; the organization doesn’t turn away people because they can’t pay for these resources. This is critical because, as Imua Family Services found when the organization expanded its mission, the population they serve often comes from a lower income bracket.
Lindsay Shiroma first joined Imua Family Services as a volunteer. Today she serves as the organization’s Community Relations Manager, while also handling the many fundraising events they hold throughout the year.
According to Lindsay, one of the best things about Hawaii is that “everybody has a huge propensity to give.” Coupled with the strong sense of community, which is what she says Hawaii is really about, that gives the organization a ton of opportunity to raise the funds that will enable them to carry out their mission.
But first they had to overcome a problem so many organizations struggle with: finding a better donor management solution.
Looking For A Solution That Is Easy To Use
When Lindsay joined the team, the organization was using a different software that was the opposite of user friendly. In fact, there was an instruction manual with “hundreds and hundreds of pages” on hand for staff members who needed to understand how to use it. She says it was “a huge, huge struggle just to try and figure out a way to get things done,” including uploading data to the database. Even something as simple as pulling a report was very labor intensive.
There was also no “connection” to Constant Contact, the email marketing tool Imua Family Services uses. Lindsay knew they had to make a change because they needed a better way to communicate with their donors.
The team spent a lot of time comparing different donor management solutions, taking into account all of the things they needed the database to ultimately do for them. One of the main reasons Bloomerang stood out to Lindsay was because there were so many apps and integrations that seamlessly work with Bloomerang’s ecosystem. She shares more about some of her favorites below.
Empowering Children's Potential Through Discovery & Play Since 1947
Moving from a software solution that required a handbook to an easy-to-use solution like Bloomerang means Lindsay spends less time in the donor database and more time on the organization’s mission, enabling Imua Family Services to raise more funds and do more good.
Save More Time
“All the hours that we would spend trying to pull this information out of the (old) database or trying to get the data into the database…All those hours we can now put towards our actual mission,” she says.
Raise More Funds
Thanks to Bloomerang’s reporting feature, she can quickly find the people and businesses that have donated to the organization and make sure that they can hear what Imua Family Services is doing now. She plans on reaching out soon about an upcoming capital campaign, as well as looking through the database for lapsed donors.
Do More Good
Imua Family Services was paying “an extraordinary amount of money” for their old software solution. On top of their base annual fee, the company was charging additional fees in order to use the software’s donation pages.
Because Bloomerang doesn’t charge any additional fees, Lindsay says, “It really adds up to be able to save that kind of money.” The best part is that more money saved means more money they can put toward their mission.
Every Penny Counts!
"It really adds up for us to be able to save that kind of money just from eliminating something as silly as fees."
Doing More And Paying Less With Bloomerang’s Apps And Integrations
When asked about her favorite integrations, Lindsay shared that the Constant Contact integration made her life easier by allowing her to “mass add” people and automatically sync them to a list.
“I can quickly create an email list (after a campaign) and send everybody a thank you,” she says. “That was something that we weren’t doing before, which I thought was a huge disservice to everyone. So I’ve used that a couple times and it’s been really, really good.”
Imua Family Services had been paying “a ridiculous amount of money” for their old software system, as well as an “equally ridiculous amount” for their ticketing software. The worst part is that those tools weren’t even talking to each other.
Lindsay had been looking for a new ticketing software for a while so when she made the switch to Bloomerang, one of the driving factors was that the new software had to be able to integrate with Bloomerang.
“Because of you guys, I started using the Webconnex suite—TicketSpice, RedPodium, things like that—and that has been phenomenal. They’re much like you guys in regards to Customer Service, very responsive, very helpful,” she says. “Their fees are so much lower. And then the fact that anytime somebody buys a ticket or donates it’s automatically put in my system has been…I can’t even tell you how much of a time saver that’s been.”
Finally, when asked what she loves most about Bloomerang, she said it’s a toss up between how dynamic and user friendly the software is and how quick and helpful the Bloomerang Care Team has been.
“You guys really knock it out of the park with tech support,” Lindsay says. “A lot of the other companies that I was looking at it was something they charged extra for. If you wanted to be able to talk to somebody or have extra help, they were making it an additional fee. So the fact that you guys do it for free and that you do it quickly is really spectacular.”