As the oldest nonprofit in the county, Whatcom County Humane Society (WHS) has been fundraising effectively for over a century. For almost two decades, they’ve been using FundRaiser Software to help.
Recently, the number of unwanted and abused animals they care for has risen to over 3,000 a year. In addition, each year WHS recommits itself to providing more and better services for these animals. This means ongoing improvements in fundraising techniques and effectiveness. Improved doesn’t mean complicated, though.
Amy Reidesel, Administrator at Whatcom County Humane Society is responsible for all the database entry and reporting at WHS.
A big part of the fundraising involves major donor solicitation. Amy produces the report that helps the development director target her solicitations. “What I generally do is grab a donation report and ask who has donated a certain amount of money over a certain period of time. For instance, I will ask: who has given $5,000 in a single donation in last 36 months, or $10,000 over the past year.” With that information in hand, the development director knows who is likely to give money again to support the work at WHC.
Amy uses simple coding and reporting to track the progress of campaigns. “We are just about to do our Masquerade Gala which is our biggest fundraising event of the year,” says Amy. “In the database, I mark incoming donations with motivation codes. I use a code for:
- Donating to Gala
- Sponsoring Gala
- Made purchase at Gala
- Bought ticket to Gala
“Sometimes the Board will want to see a report on how many people have bought a ticket before the event happens. The coding lets me easily pull that report,” says Amy.
“For event reporting, we compare income on the Masquerade Galas by year. We also compare income on different events. We use reporting to keep track of the progress of an event, such as asking how much the March appeal pulled in so far,” says Amy.
To other FundRaiser users, Amy says, “The software is very user friendly. Pretty much anyone can sit someone down and go. You can figure out what needs to happen. Don’t be afraid to poke around in the database and call FundRaiser Technical Support. They’ll answer in a day or less and tell you how to do what you want to do.”