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  • I have used FundRaiser in my work with a couple of different nonprofits, and I always come back to them because the software brings a great deal of organization and focus to our work. I also feel like I have a personal relationship with the folks at FundRaiser, which makes working with them a fun experience. Their prompt return of calls, attention to detail and willingness to work outside the box adds up to unparalleled customer service. – John Mok-Lamme, Karis, Inc
  • Before switching to FundRaiser, we used an online donor management system by another company. After losing connection to our data several times during a major campaign, we urgently needed a better system. Now we use FundRaiser, and the software meets our needs perfectly and allows us to be much more productive. We are very pleased with FundRaiser Software. --Calvin Bader, WJIE Christian Radio
  • "With more than 300 staff members, 10 locations and 4,000 clients served annually, development here calls for a high level of professional ability. FundRaiser tracks all aspects of campaign fundraising - from participants, to responses, to sponsorships... it is a very valuable tool!--Regina Sheehan, Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health
  • For almost two decades, we've been using FundRaiser Software to help with our development efforts. The software is very user friendly; pretty much anyone can just sit down and easily figure out what needs to happen.--Amy Reidesel, Whatcom Humane Society
  • We receive a lot of in-kind donations for our store, and for our capital campaign; anything from discounted or free services, to materials needed for a particular project. In FundRaiser, we can easily send accurate, personalized thank-you letters for all types of donations. FundRaiser saves us a lot of time and works really well. --Kara Brinkman, BRING Recycling
  • The consultant we chose to help us implement new software was familiar with many donor management programs. We went through the programs together with a fine-tooth comb, and FundRaiser came out on top. For our purposes, the most complex programs were overkill. FundRaiser had the ability to get us started at an entry level and we could then upgrade as our needs increased. We haven't even come close to tapping half of the features that the software has to offer us.--Ward Orem, Lisner-Louise-Dickson-Hurt Home
  • We've been with FundRaiser Software for many years now and we're very happy with them. I've found all that I need in FundRaiser, PLUS a track record with me of years and years of the most stellar, responsive, accommodating customer service I've ever experienced. I've recommended FundRaiser to many colleagues and they, too, have found it more than meets their needs and enhances their fundraising efforts. --Ricci Levy, Woodhull Alliance for Sexual Freedom
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www.mariemontschools.org

Mariemont School Foundation
Until recently, Mariemont School Foundation kept their donation records on Excel spreadsheets and on paper. Encouraged to adopt donor management software by a new development director, they have quickly seen an increase in donations and members.
The Mariemont School Foundation is a FundRaiser Professional Hosted user. The Foundation supports initiatives that help the Mariemont School District preserve, enhance and sustain educational excellence.

The Foundation was established fifteen years ago and was very slow growing. “Records were kept in notebooks and on Excel spreadsheets. There were multiple Excel sheets. Nothing was ever carried over, so a new sheet was started every time,” says Ann Pardue, on the Board to Trustees for the Mariemont School Foundation, and now the main user of FundRaiser.

“It’s the first time we’ve worked with donor management software,” says Ann. “The people who were on the Foundation Board didn’t want to learn something new. Then they hired a development director who said in order to be a successful group and grow the organization, donor management software was something we needed. You start out as a grass roots organization and then you need someone to say, 'to grow your organization, this is something you need to do’.”

Core Donor Management with room to grow

“What we have seen is that we are able to stay more current than we were in the past, and our membership base has grown. We’ve seen an increase in what is being donated and designated as scholarships for grads and seniors,” says Ann. “In the database, we've recorded all the people who have donated and their gifts. Now we know what is coming in and who is giving it.”

They are keeping things simple at the moment. “We mostly use FundRaiser for tracking money that comes into the Foundation and goes into the schools,” says Ann. “We also use it for sending emails, generating letters, printing envelopes and reporting on the financial data.

"We also use the Product Sales module. We are selling commemorative engraved bricks for a sidewalk at the high school.  The software has certainly helped in tracking those orders. 

"I haven’t used the Volunteers or Pledge modules, although we have these  because we expect to use them as we grow.”

Alumni Tracking increases donations

As with other schools, alumni giving is very important for the Mariemont School Foundation. “Every year we have another class of grads to keep track of as alumni. We work with the alumni association and track alumni data for them. A lot of our donors are alumnus so we couldn’t see a need to keep a separate database,” says Ann.

For alumni, the Foundation track:

  • donation amounts
  • frequency of donations

They also track the sort of things that might influence an alumnus to donate to the Foundation such as:

  • marriage status
  • educational degrees
  • current address, especially if currently located in the school district
  • children in the school district 

The Foundation is also doing more segmentation with the alumni data for development, mostly by graduating class. “Representatives of specific graduating classes, who want to hold reunions and the like come to us for data. The more we can refine the data, the more they come to us and are motivated to donate,” says Ann.

Campaign Management improves fund drive results  

The Foundation also uses the FundRaiser Campaign Management module for tracking details of fundraising campaigns. “The Campaign Management module is easy to use. It helps us to see where our efforts have worked and to plan on what to do in the future. We have seen that the bulk of money comes from one particular effort,” says Ann.

“The more I work with it, the more it helps others. I pass the data on to members of the Board who are responsible for campaigns, for instance the marketing person or the person in charge of the next campaign. That way, they can build on and learn from past campaigns. We had a very spotty record on running a fund drive. Now it’s better.”

Multiple users, multiple locations works smoothly

Ann and the other three users are all able to access FundRaiser from the location which is most convenient for them using the Hosted edition of FundRaiser. “I use it in the office and at home,” says Ann. “I use it at home about 85% of the time and the rest of the time at the office, when I check in there. It’s very convenient.”

Three other people on the Board also use FundRaiser from their homes. This has worked smoothly, according to Ann. “We communicate with each other frequently, by email and by phone. We make sure that we each know what the others are doing. We assign tasks by weeks:  this week one person is responsible for a certain task and next week someone else is. Some people are responsible only for updating the alumni portion of database. Someone else does the receiving of product orders and inputting those. I do all of that and more.”

The impact of the economy

Like all nonprofits, changes in the economy have impacted giving. In spite of that, the Mariemont School Foundation is experiencing an increase in donations. The increase is coming from many individual donors, says Ann. “We’re not getting as many big donors and they’ve cut some of their donations, but we’ve seen more donors giving smaller amounts.”

When starting with FundRaiser

Although completely new to using donor management software, Ann got up to speed in a short period of time. She read the help file on topics of interest to her, watched training videos posted on the FundRaiser Customer portal, took training classes, and asked questions of the technical support staff. “The more you get to know the software, the more you realize what it can do for you. Whenever I call technical support, everyone is as nice as can be. They do a great job."

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