Small Business & Entrepreneurship

Agony & Ecstasy: Switching To New Online Fundraising Software

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Agony & Ecstasy: Switching To New Online Fundraising Software Clinton O'Brien Chief Operating Officer Engaging Networks Jen Maceyko Client Services Director Firefly Partners Walid Haddad Director, Development
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Agony & Ecstasy: Switching To New Online Fundraising Software Clinton O'Brien Chief Operating Officer Engaging Networks Jen Maceyko Client Services Director Firefly Partners Walid Haddad Director, Development Operations Human Rights Watch What We Really Think: - Plenty of Ecstasy - Not so much Agony 2 Purpose ecrm migration case study Knowledge sharing & preparedness Outcome Successful ecrm migration 3 What is an ecrm? (Online Customer Relationship Management) Broadcasts (e-newsletters, e-solicitations) Signup Donation Forms Event/Dinner Registration Forms Petitions 4 Why a new ecrm? Ease of Use Friendly user experience Flexible Non-US centric/ International Support 5 Items to consider before migrating! Who is going to use it? Ease of use Staff/Expertise Support Migration Support Migration Schedule Work continues Backup System Cost/Budget Learning curve & training period Stay Focused 6 ecrm Selection Process Identify Stakeholders & Form a committee Stakeholders Survey Request For Proposal (RFP) Review 6 RFPs, identify 3 for demonstration Select the ecrm Vendor 7 Selection Timeline Phase I Nov. Dec. Identify your Stakeholders Conduct a Survey Draft an RFP Migration Budget Approval Phase II Jan. - Feb. Identify ecrm Vendors Send RFP Phase III March - April Review RFPs Select 3 vendors for Interview & Demonstration Select Finalist Phase IV May - June Contract Vetting & Negotiation Sign Contract Identify Consultant/Help 8 9 10 Migration Timeline Phase I Strategize Audit July - Sept. Roles & Responsibilities Timeline & Go Live Merchant Processors Database Cleanup Phase II Oct. - Dec. Import Database Learn the tool USD Donation Form Template (newsletter) Phase III Int l Donation Forms More Templates Connector w/ Database Jan. - March Phase IV April Archive Old ecrm Monthly Sustainers Migration 11 Migration (Project) Management Identify primary decision maker(s) Develop project plan A, B, and C Expect unknowns Assess, understand, adjust Let people talk to each other 12 Survey of Engaging Networks clients Asked them about their experience of selecting and migrating to new ecrm software Nine responses (n = 9) All migrated to Engaging Networks within the last 18 months 13 Question 1: Did you allocate enough time for selection & migration? Allocated just enough time Did not allocate enough time Allocated more time than needed 14 Question 2: What were the biggest challenges you encountered? Creating new templates, building pages OTHER Selecting new software Integration w/ another database Migrating live pages to new platform Migrating data Question 2: What were the biggest challenges you encountered? (The four Other responses) Quality Assurance ( QA ) needing to test things before they go live Working through internal barriers, and transitional issues Needed to figure out legal implications of operating in different countries Turned out we could not migrate some items such as reports from our old ecrm 16 Question 3: What went well during software selection process? (Things that our nonprofit did right) 17 Heeded consultant s advice to pick software providing flexibility, to create fields as we dreamed them up Set detailed requirements for integrating with our primary database Created a thorough RFP that asked detailed questions of all vendors Invited several providers in early, to see a wide range of capabilities Did deep research on all alternative databases. We decided that ability to sync easily w/ Raiser s Edge was our most important criterion Made a huge chart to compare what each vendor could offer, for each feature Significantly reduced our cost to send s to supporters Question 4: What did NOT go so well during software selection process? (Things we did wrong or poorly) Did not make our detailed requirements fully understood Did not spend enough time documenting our marketing needs for indepth reporting this would have enabled us to set up our systems a bit more intentionally The time from RFP to implementation was painful We had too many requirements at first and needed to scale back to what was actually reasonable and within our budget Did not realize that EN has such great capacity for developing custom features, but thought it was more plug-n-play than it actually is 18 Question 5: What went well during software migration? (Things that our nonprofit did right) 19 Took it slowly. One page at a time Developed a content inventory and prioritized it Gave ourselves a long time for process double what was suggested Hired a consultant to help with migrating. A definite plus and a must. Also we kept our old ecrm running as a backup We did not rush it We took advantage of training classes on the individual features Utilized Josh Miller (Client Support Director); he s a wealth of knowledge Spent time with Charles Garner, our main Client Support contact Question 6: What did NOT go so well during software migration? (Things we did wrong, or poorly) Exported data out of FirstClass, which is an software. It would not export all fields or categories that we used. This required weeks of extra effort and workarounds. We never did get it all Did not allocate enough of our resources It was difficult to stay on top of QA, and to ensure very thorough QA of the key pieces before iterating them 20 Question 6: What did NOT go so well during software migration? (Things we did wrong or poorly) - cont d A few items in our internal process that lingered on months after migration was complete Lack of staff to see the project through. Not enough leadership, consultants and plain old help to make this major change less stressful I wasn't as involved as I could have been to verify all data was migrated correctly with existing fields. Plus we changed administrators at the end of the selection process, just before the implementation process started 21 Question 7: What is your biggest piece of advice for nonprofits considering switching software? 22 Delegate to a tech expert. Don't do it yourself. The learning curve is too steep Make sure that whoever is in charge is full-time on the project until completion. Trying to fit it in with your regular (or expanded) workload leads to not enough attention paid to either one Take time internally to inventory your current systems and document your needs and wants. Then resource the migration properly. Take the opportunity to clean up bad data and build a robust sync. Have fun! Make sure you are very clear about your reasons for switching software, and check with three users of the new software to confirm that it really meets your goals Question 7: What is your biggest piece of advice for nonprofits considering switching software? Cont d 23 Do your homework. Make sure you know what the software needs to do, and ask questions about each platform to make an informed decision Give yourself ample time. Make sure there are dedicated staff (more than two people) to make it happen. Make sure your leadership is involved Take your time in making a decision, be inclusive, and listen to opinions and suggestions from all stakeholders Discuss it with industry peers. Everyone will give you their 2 cents on which platform is best. The one you choose may be unexpected Make sure that you have a complete data map of all your existing data and you know exactly how it should be mapped to the new system 24 Advice from Amanda Foster Director of Account Services Engaging Networks Our standard onboarding timeline is 11 weeks. Many clients go over that, but we've done other on-boardings in as little as three weeks. The clients who on-board faster are the ones who have had a lot of internal discussions in advance, figuring out which data they want to move over and assigning roles in the process. Even before choosing our software, they've asked us which payment gateways we integrate with -- and started to figure out which gateway to pick (if they need to change to a new one). I highly recommend doing the internal research in advance. It takes time, sure, but it's going to take time no matter when you do it. Better to take that time before you start implementing the our software. Advice from Josh Miller It's never too early to starting thinking about data. Things like Do you want to bring over previous transactional data? Or just static data? Is the data clean? Do I want to keep records of former supporters who have unsubscribed? Thinking about those things will help make the process go more smoothly. Director of Client Support Engaging Networks 25 Q & A Agony & Ecstasy: Switching To New Online Fundraising Software 26 Agony & Ecstasy: Switching To New Online Fundraising Software Clinton O'Brien Chief Operating Officer Engaging Networks Jen Maceyko Client Services Director Firefly Partners Walid Haddad Director, Development Operations Human Rights Watch 27
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