Before moving to Veracross Online Giving, Saint Mary’s School was plagued by donor frustrations stemming from an impersonal and cumbersome online giving system. With only one form available for all online gifts, there was no ability to customize fields or add descriptive language. Consequently, there were many fields that were only pertinent to specific funds yet were viewable to all donors. This created confusion for donors, and they often abandoned the form before submitting their gift.
From a database management perspective, the process was similarly time consuming and inefficient. The system had a single payment processing portal, which required Christine Andrade, the database manager at the time, to print out all gifts and reconcile them individually before turning them over to be processed by the business office. The shortcomings were clear; as were the demands on the development office… As Christine describes it, “As is typically the case in development, we were being challenged to raise more money each year. We realized that the only way to do that was to be more efficient. We needed more focus on acquiring and stewarding the gifts and fewer touches on processing them which was eating up the bulk of our time and effort.”
We were being challenged to raise more money each year. We realized that the only way to do that was to be more efficient. We needed more focus on acquiring and stewarding the gifts and fewer touches on processing them which was clearly eating up the bulk of our time and effort.
Saint Mary’s switched to Veracross Online Giving for fiscal year 2018 and immediately saw massive growth in donations while also experiencing an improvement in their workflows. Gift processing went from hours of data entry to just seconds of single-click processing. With Veracross, gifts are processed with one button and the batch can then be reviewed or sent directly to the business office. Christine describes the transition as night and day: “There is zero manual entry because it’s fully integrated. Once the form is filled out and the gift is paid, the gift was there for me to process without any additional manual entry. This was a total gamechanger. The amount of time saved is hard to calculate. It is so customizable and easy to use that we could create multiple forms for each audience and tailored with only questions and fields that are pertinent to them.”
New targeting capabilities marked another crucial change for Saint Mary’s. “Strategically, we place a large focus on segmenting constituents and targeting messages, but it was nearly impossible to implement with our previous system. Veracross Online Giving forms made it easy and more importantly trackable. For instance, we can create an email, complete with an integrated form, for a specific graduation class and create a button to put on our website. The customization carries through from the look of the form l to the fields, messaging, and acknowledgements. From there, we can view donations per appeal, which makes it simple to determine ROI and concentrate our efforts accordingly.”
From FY17 to FY18, we had a 73% increase in the number of donations and a 150% increase in total dollars given online.
Beyond the workflow improvements, Saint Mary’s saw massive increases in donations. “From FY17 to FY18, we had a 73% increase in the number of donations and a 150% increase in total dollars given online,” says Christine. Through discussions and market research, Saint Mary’s constituents reported two main motivating factors: the ease of donating removed a huge barrier; and the specificity of the messaging made constituents feel they were being heard.The staggering growth was bolstered with additional benefits as well. “It’s really a turn-key solution,” says Christine, “and it benefits everyone in the process.” She continues, “For example, a simple stewardship report allows gift officers to make immediate contact with donors. And because the system is fully web-based and integrated, I can access and process gifts even if I’m not in the office. If I am unable to process gifts on a given day, the pending gift information is still available and viewable on the development page allowing our gift officers to access it and reach out to donors directly. This added touch has made a drastic difference in how our constituency thinks about Saint Mary’s.”
Looking back on the transition, Christine says : “It’s fair to say that Veracross transformed not only our online giving, but made a profound positive impact on all of our advancement efforts. There has been a major shift forward in our fundraising thanks to this system. Veracross is a great partner with a great product and our experience and our donations reflect that.”
It’s fair to say that Veracross transformed not only our online giving, but made a profound positive impact on all of our advancement efforts. There has been a major shift forward in our fundraising thanks to this system.
Interested in more details? Watch the full conversation between Don Humpton and Christine Andrade.