Five Valleys Land Trust

5 Valleys Land Trust
Five Valleys Land Trust Logo

Land Trust Moves from Home Grown System to a New Home with DonorPerfect

Since 1972, Five Valleys Land Trust has protected and preserved western Montana’s natural legacy – river corridors, wildlife habitat, agricultural lands, and scenic open spaces. The organization has 9 full-time staff members, two part-time, and 40 active volunteers.

Business challenge

Five Valleys’ homegrown database had become inadequate for their growing operations, and their monthly giving program – which was separate from their database – was becoming harder and more expensive to manage each month.

Development Director Glenn Marangelo said, “It was clunky to pull information from it, to export information from/into it, and did not easily record and track all of the information we wanted – especially in regard to major donors.”

Glenn added, “As we continued to grow as an organization and needed to increase our fundraising sophistication, the roadblocks that our old database presented became more pronounced. Its inefficiencies cost us more time in terms of data entry (twice as much); generating reports (estimate of at least 400% more time); and generating thank you letters, renewal letters, pulling mailing lists, etc. (twice as much time). The only real option for us at that point was to start looking for a more sophisticated database and monthly giving system.


After reviewing at least a half dozen database options, we chose DonorPerfect Online. It was by far the most intuitive database to use right out of the box. Plus, it had all of the functions we were looking for and had a great customer support system. Lastly, as we became more comfortable with it, DonorPerfect gave us the ability to customize it to easily meet our needs as we grew.”

– Glenn Marangelo, Development Director

Key results

• Accurately track soft credits & gifts “In Honor of” & “In Memory of”

• Correctly reflect and analyze donor relationships

• Fully integrate & use online communication tools

• Easily process acknowledgment letters & gift receipts

• Successfully manage events with high attendance & revenues

The results were exactly as they had hoped. Glenn said, “Our DonorPerfect system was set up quickly and it was so easy to gain proficiency in using it from day one. Right off the bat, we can now easily look at a donor’s giving history, look at donor trends, and quickly segment the database for targeted fundraising efforts. I can quickly pull up my most frequently used reports and can easily create a report for just about anything without complication. Aside from the very basic ability to store name and contact information, everything that DonorPerfect can do is a BIG improvement.”

Glen also noted, “Collectively, we’ve decreased the amount of time needed for data entry, while increasing our donor base and amount of data entry work at the same time. We’ve significantly increased our major donor cultivation and stewardship efforts by better integrating and utilizing our staff and board’s personal connections to our supporters. This is something we could not track easily in our old database!”

“DonorPerfect significantly streamlined our donation processing, making the task of processing and recording monthly gifts a matter of a few minutes rather than an hour or two. It was a refreshing change that we needed. In addition, having online donations imported right into existing donors’ records has saved even more time for us.”

Glenn added, “Customer support has been fantastic. From the first step of speaking to a Regional Account Manager, to transferring our old data into DonorPerfect, the process was extremely thorough and easy. The staff and account manager were very knowledgeable and were able to speak on a non-technical level to move the process along and get us up and running. We primarily used customer support in that first year. After that, the database was so intuitive and easy to use that we have scaled down the level of customer support we feel we need. This is a welcomed feature in customer support packages since staff changes at times in the future may require us to increase our level of support once again when required.”

We’ve been using DonorPerfect for long enough now that it is hard to imagine how we could have ever gotten the results we’re enjoying now with our old database still in place.”

– Glenn Marangelo, Development Director

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