Customizable Solution Enables Canadian Organization to Meet Unique Fundraising & Reporting Requirements
FEED NOVA SCOTIA’s immediate goal is to feed hungry people. But their ultimate goal is to eliminate chronic hunger and alleviate poverty. FEED NOVA SCOTIA is the provincial food collection and distribution center for approximately 150 food banks and meal programs across Nova Scotia. They provide year-round food deliveries to member food banks and meal programs who serve at least 38,000 Nova Scotians each month. But FEED NOVA SCOTIA is much more than a food collection and distribution center. While food banks play a vital role in the lives of Nova Scotians experiencing food insecurity, FEED NOVA SCOTIA is also dedicated to finding long-term solutions to poverty and chronic hunger that will reduce the need for food banks in Nova Scotia.
To accomplish such worthy goals, FEED NOVA SCOTIA needed a truly flexible fundraising solution. Kevin Lynch, Donor Information Coordinator, was hired in 2006 to help manage the donor database. “Soon after I started, I realized the importance of finding one solution that could manage all these tasks. The fundraising product we had when I started was not very good. The system lacked the flexibility to manage our unique needs. Plus, it was unsupported by the company who created it. We were basically on our own.”
FEED NOVA SCOTIA chose DonorPerfect because it had the capabilities to meet the problems they were experiencing with their former software.
What I like most about DonorPerfect is that it can be customized – you can adapt screens and fields so easily. We wanted a solution that allowed us to have robust control and editing to meet our needs, and DonorPerfect gives us that. For example, we collect data about monetary and food donations, in-kind donations, and such. For the food, we added a ‘Food Weight’ field that tracks the weight of food in kilograms. Now, we can run calculations in kilograms and regularly report on food donations.”
– Kevin Lynch, Donor Information Coordinator
To help bring in donations, FEED NOVA SCOTIA uses many types of fundraising activities such as direct mail and special events. “We have spring, summer, and Christmas direct mail campaigns. We select donors we want to target in DonorPerfect and then export the data into the form our mail house needs. The ease of extracting data gives us more focused and targeted appeals – it’s much more effective.”
“DonorPerfect is our primary tool for producing acknowledgments for donations. We can merge data directly into Microsoft Word. It’s so efficient; we can merge letters in two seconds with the hit of a button. We couldn’t do merging at all in the past.”
FEED NOVA SCOTIA is fortunate to have many benefactors, and it’s important to manage those key relationships. “We need to track events that groups hold on our behalf, such as the Canada Post Food Drive, and DonorPerfect lets us do that. We also have our signature events such as Canstruction, which is a contest to design sculptures out of cans of food.”
Flexible Receipts and Acknowledgements
The flexibility of reports was another key benefit. “Acknowledgments and income tax receipts are no problem – in fact, all receipting is easy because they’re treated like another report. You can just go in and change it to what you need. Add new fields – whatever you want – it’s so flexible.”
Trusted Support & Development
FEED NOVA SCOTIA’s past donor-software provider was not a stable partner and basically stopped product development. “With DonorPerfect, the functionality keeps getting better and better. DonorPerfect updates occur automatically, new feature allow us to do moves management for our major gift campaigns, and includes a new events manager, which looks great.”
“SofterWare (developer of DonorPerfect) cares about its customers. They’re interested in hearing from clients to improve their products. They hold-round table discussions to hear what’s good and what could be improved. They have a user forum in the clients’ website that I frequently read. I learn the details about how others are using the program. I read questions, offer suggestions, and learn possibilities – it’s a really helpful tool.”
“FEED NOVA SCOTIA has been very happy with DonorPerfect. We would definitely recommend it to other organizations for two key reasons: its customizability and the people who support it.”
• Track and report on unique data such as kilograms of food
• Create personalized direct mail, receipts, and acknowledgments in less time
• Easily produce communications and reports for board members, other agencies, and constituents
• Expand fundraising capabilities with continued product development and support from DonorPerfect.