Beginning last fall, the Business Process Improvement Team conducted a systems analysis of FODR’s business processes and looked for ways to streamline processing for memberships, donations and paddle registrations. The committee was chaired by Anne Atkins and members included Carol Kauffman, Debbie Rollins, Anne Ducey-Ortiz, and Meo Curtis.
The analysis confirmed that customer contact information (the records of FODR’s members, donors, and paddlers) was maintained in spreadsheets on multiple member’s personal computers and the spreadsheets were incomplete, not synchronized or backed up. This meant that if one of the members maintaining a spreadsheet left the organization or if their PC crashed, that contact data would be lost. Additionally, it was impossible to get demographic data or select target audiences for specialized mailings and campaigns.
Although replacing the spreadsheets and consolidating all contact data in a database was the most important goal, the committee reviewed other processes, such as payment processing, communication channels with members, donors, and paddlers, and managing sales inventory and data.
The Committee researched CRMS vendors, talked with sales representatives, and participated in product demonstrations. Following the initial research, the committee selected five vendors and submitted a Request for Proposal (RFP) to each one.
The Committee selected Flipcause based on the features offered and pricing. The Flipcause system will consolidate all contact spreadsheets into a database which will offer robust reporting capabilities for targeted fundraising campaigns in the future. Routine backups will be conducted to guard against loss of data.
The Flipcause database can maintain unlimited customer profiles for everyone who comes in contact with FODR (members, paddlers, donors, volunteers, and others). Participants can complete and submit forms online, such as membership renewal, paddle registration, and donations. The system will create a new record if the participant does not already have a record in the system; if the participant has a record, the system will update it with the recent transaction data. The system can also track volunteer hours and mileage and send out reminders about paddle registrations and other events. Participants will also be able to electronically sign and submit waiver forms.
The database enables FODR to identify specific populations and conduct targeted information campaigns and fundraising appeals. Using the database’s reporting features will allow FODR to assess membership and donation trends over time.
Flipcause provides bank-level security. The database is housed on Flipcause servers. Routine backups are provided. Flipcause provides a built-in SSL certificate and free certificate installation. SSL protects the transfer of sensitive data such as financial data and customer information.
The Flipcause CRMS will reduce processing points for transactions such as membership requests or renewals from 20 points to three. Currently, these processing points require manual intervention and exchange of data between multiple individuals responsible for the transactions. The CRMS will eliminate four spreadsheets by migrating data to the CRMS database, a centralized location for processing and storing FODR data. Members and other contacts will enter their data thereby reducing data entry errors.
Part of the package provided by Flipcause includes a new website with updated functionality and a new look and feel. The CRMS also provides capability to manage merchandise inventory electronically rather than manually.
To date, we have migrated our contact spreadsheets (members, paddlers, donors) to Flipcause. We are also transferring and updating information from our current website to the Flipcause website hosted by Weebly. The Flipcause online shop, once the website goes live, will enable guests to purchase the Dragon Run print through the online merchant account using credit cards instead of PayPal.
The website features a clean contemporary look and feel. We plan to continue to update and reformat some of the information that’s already up, such as the activities calendar. We’ll also add additional information under “More,” such as a collection of articles about individual species of flora and fauna indigenous to the Dragon.
We anticipate that the website will go live in early April and that the CRMS database will be fully functional around the same time.
Update: The new website went live on March 31st