Upper Room Ministries

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DonorPerfect vs. eTapestry:
A Nonprofit’s Perspective

For Chris McCormick, Director of Development with Upper Room Ministries, there was never any doubt that they wanted a web-based fundraising system.

“It is a necessity for us. Our home office is in Nashville, I live in Texas, and I’m traveling 150 days a year meeting donors. For my job, if you’re in the office, you’re not raising much money. If I’m on the road the night before a donor visit, I’ll pull up a donor record and review the gift history, our contacts and notes to refresh my memory. It’s really nice to be able to do this wherever I am, and at any time of day or night. Any national or international nonprofit needs this capability.”

Business Challenge

Finding a web-based fundraising solution that could solve the problems they were having with eTapestry’s system and support.

The doubt he had was with the system they were using. “We were using eTapestry, and we reached a point where we just didn’t have confidence that the information we were getting out was accurate. Their system is hard to understand and we didn’t get any customer service.”


Chris decided to switch to DonorPerfect in 2008, and the timing was just right. As Chris noted, “We were switching to DonorPerfect just when eTap was being bought by Blackbaud, which made me even happier with my decision to switch. I don’t like monopolies. It’s not good for the industry to have one guy control everything.”

It can be hard to distinguish between online systems because they appear to offer the same features and services. However, once you delve into the systems, the differences become clear. Here are a few examples Chris shared from his experiences:

“I’ll pull up a donor record and review the gift history, our contacts and notes to refresh my memory. It’s really nice to be able to do this wherever I am, and at any time of day or night.”

Entering New Donors & Gifts

“In eTapestry, to enter a new donor and a new gift, you have to (1) go to the add screen to enter the new donor’s contact data; (2) save it; (3) get out of it; (4) look up the record; (5) then add the gift to the new record. With DonorPerfect, it’s easy to process new records and gifts. It’s all done in one screen, including adding the gift. It may not sound like a big deal, but we do acquisition mailings, and we can be adding 300 new donors and gifts at one time. This means I only have to go to 300 screens as opposed to 600 screens with eTapestry – it’s a huge time savings. We also save a lot of data entry time using DonorPerfect’s integrated payment processing (credit cards, bank drafts, etc). It works great.”


“Here’s another problem I’ve found while working in the field with eTapestry. If I want a report on a donor, it basically just prints all the information that appears on the screen. Well, we have donors who’ve given every month for 20 years – so it would print out a book. I didn’t need that.”

“With DonorPerfect, running reports has been a great improvement for us. It has a great summary – without all the useless info – that I can view on screen or in a printed report. It shows the basic contact info, and includes items like ‘Jane Doe gave 12 times, last gift amount, last gift date, etc.’ It’s very useful and indicative of how DonorPerfect works – its designed well to help the user do their job easier.”

Key Results

Since switching to DonorPerfect, Chris and his team have seen some great results. Noted Chris, “With eTapestry, we needed 1½ people to do what we can now do with just 1 person. We’re saving time and it’s led directly to saving money by not having to pay for that ½ position. In addition, we’re processing more gifts now per year than we have in the last 5 years. And what price can you put on a staff that enjoys using an easier system?”

DPO is a great product. It’s very user-friendly. Whether it’s entering data or running reports – it’s easy to get what you want out of the system, and you know it’s going to be accurate. Changing to DonorPerfect was a great move for us.”

– Chris McCormick, Director of Development with Upper Room Ministries

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