Pacific Wild supports innovative research, public education, community outreach, and raising conservation awareness to achieve the goal of lasting environmental protections for the lands and waters of the Great Bear Rainforest and throughout the wild Pacific Northwest.
Pacific Wild was looking to replace Salesforce with easy-to-use donor management software with knowledgeable customer support. They wanted a system they could make their own without needing to know how to code, and with support, they could rely on. “We have US and Canadian non-profits and were using Salesforce SNSP.
We wanted a user-friendly system where we could accept funds in both currencies, with EXCELLENT support – Salesforce had none and the lack of it crippled us at key times – and you had to know object-oriented programming to customize it,” said Laurie McConnell, Development and Outreach Assistant at Pacific Wild.
After researching and testing a handful of different donor databases, Laurie ultimately landed on Bloomerang as the best size, functionality, and intuitiveness for their growing organization. “We had a consultant investigate five systems, and winnow it down to three for me to test. Bloomerang was the easiest to use and fit our database size, and the support was very good. The reporting is superb. We also liked that Bloomerang was independently owned and not positioning itself for a buyout – that’s when support and continued development of the platform disappears and clients are left hanging.”
In addition to finding the best database solution to fit their needs, Laurie and her team were more than happy with Bloomerang’s product partner integrations and the ability to build out a robust, multi-channel, custom development machine. “We use almost all of the integrations. We import our Shopify and photographic print orders into Bloomerang through Zapier, segment and communicate by email through Mailchimp, and have GeoTargetly and Fundraise Up implemented on our site. We’ve even provided our sponsors and key donor partners a Fundraise Up donate lightbox that allows their site visitors to donate to Pacific Wild without ever leaving the partner’s website.”
Through the help of integrations, Bloomerang has fit perfectly into Pacific Wild’s donor retention and gift development processes to go into year-end fundraising with confidence, be more strategic in their planning, and do the best job they can at building and maintaining donor relationships. “Because of Bloomerang – and the recent integrations developed, including Zapier – we are now able to work on segmentation, stewardship, and long-range planning. It was always a chaotic ad-hoc end-of-year process and this year feels very different.”
Laurie recommends Bloomerang to other environmental organizations and provides hope that there can be a light at the end of the tunnel. You don’t have to settle for a donor management system that doesn’t meet your needs as well just because it’s always been used. “It’s always intimidating to consider switching donor databases, and it takes longer than you think, but when you’re done, the relief is so welcome and you really get an idea of a) how much time was lost on your old system and b) how much bigger picture you can plan when donor database headaches are no longer a factor. The ability to train a backup in the organization is also critical. Most organizations do not have adequate succession planning and it’s a real weakness. Bloomerang is easy to train on compared to most systems. And the webinars are excellent.”
Since implementing Bloomerang, Pacific Wild has alleviated several fundraising pain points, specifically around more easily accepting U.S. donations and ensuring donors have the receipts they need upon donating. “Oh, goodness. The US donations problem was solved. The new integration with Fundraise Up is excellent. We can now receive and receipt in any currency, and we can provide tax receipts on the spot for US and Canadian donors.”
Laurie and the team at Pacific Wild now have better insights into their donor retention and dollars raised statistics and can put in the work to start raising more money. They are now set up for development success. “We finally have the time to be able to do this work with all of our automation and integrations. I look forward to comparing this year over last year after year-end.”
Laurie has also been able to benefit from increased productivity and efficiency, especially when compared to their struggles with learning, teaching, and maintaining their Salesforce CRM. “The amount of time we were losing through Salesforce was astronomical. Unless you have a Salesforce administrator on your team (highly paid, highly specialized, which most small organizations can not afford) it’s a time boondoggle. I am cross-training another staffer on Bloomerang and it’s easy to teach!”
All in all, it’s amazing what an easy-to-use, innovative donor database can do for the growth of environmental organizations like Pacific Wild. “I highly recommend Bloomerang!”