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Pacific Union College

Founded in 1882, Pacific Union College is a Seventh-day Adventist Christian college with a strong liberal arts tradition. Located in the heart of California’s Napa Valley, the college offers a fully accredited four-year program and emphasizes academic excellence, authentic spiritual experience, and service to local and worldwide communities.

Challenge

Pacific Union College was looking for an easy-to-use web-based donor management system that could help them better organize and house data. “We needed to be able to easily grab data from other database products used within our institution, and easily export data from ours for import into the school’s financial system or for use in data-analysis and manipulation within our own department,” said Nic Miller, Database Manager at Pacific Union College.

After demoing several database platforms, they were drawn to Bloomerang’s “incredible client care” and focus on data-driven fundraising.

Solution

Pacific Union College had found an intuitive, agile platform with a nearly-flat learning curve that could help them better track their fundraising efforts during the year. “For small institutions that rely on volunteer networks or part-time staff to maintain their donor databases, these strengths are key to institutional success. You can purchase an expensive, technically-complex database product, but if no one know how to use it, it’s almost worse than having no database at all.”

Not only could Bloomerang help Pacific Union College consolidate data and alleviate fundraising pain points, but the customer care went beyond their expectations. “Moving a multi-thousand record database from one vendor to another is a challenging process for an institution, and the Bloomerang team made sure we were cued into the process every step of the way.”

Nic and his team finally had a system that could help them focus on what matters most: building better donor relationships. “Instead of worrying about the health of our data, we can focus on building better relationships with our donors, because keeping our records current now takes just a few clicks of the mouse.”

Results

Nic and his team have benefited from the accessibility they now get from Bloomerang. “Our database no longer runs on local servers to which we must connect to through remote desktop software, and is only accessible on-premises. Our database is now securely accessible from anywhere in the world via our favorite browser (Chrome).” They’ve also benefited from Bloomerang’s ease of use and training options, and from the visualization they’ve gained into their fundraising efforts. “Team members can be trained to comfortably utilize Bloomerang’s core feature set in one 60-minute training session. We can now visually monitor the health of our fundraising efforts and see how each donor is responding to our campaigns and appeals.”

Since implementing Bloomerang, Pacific Union College has seen improvements in donor retention tracking. “For the first time, we can visually monitor our retention — no more guesswork. We are able to recognize where we’ve fallen short in our efforts, and use easy-to-run reports to build meaningful and targeted communication pieces.” They’ve also seem improvements in donor communications by using Bloomerang’s Timeline feature. “Bloomerang’s Timeline is a fantastic feature that allows us to visualize our interaction history with donors. Easy-to-use note and interaction entry, which is saved to the Timeline, allows us to maintain high-quality, meaningful information about our donors, which is invaluable when making phone calls as part of our recognition process. Bloomerang doesn’t rely on a single server to which we remotely connect, so we spend less of our day waiting for reports to run and records to load. This is a major plus for our power users.”

At the end of the day, one of the most important things Bloomerang does for Nic and his team is adapt to their unique fundraising needs in an uncomplicated way. “Bloomerang is a perfect fit for small institutions like our K-12 academies because of its simplicity. Even for larger institutions like PUC, Bloomerang offers the flexibility and customization to handle our more complex processes. Put more simply, Bloomerang adapts to the institution it serves, meeting both user and infrastructural needs.”

It’s amazing what a user-friendly, data-focused tool can do for the long-term growth of an organization such as Pacific Union College. “We <3 Bloomerang!”