Transcript: ClearView CRM: CRM Options Webinar

On September 19, Keith Heller hosted the SofTrek team to present the fifth installment of our CRM Options for Enterprise Nonprofits webinar series, showing the features and benefits of ClearView CRM. This series is designed to help organizations learn more about today’s CRM solution marketplace and develop strategies to overcome common obstacles preventing them from adopting new technology.

Below is the transcript of the webinar. To get the full context and view the demo of ClearView CRM, please view the recording here.

ClearView CRM by SofTrek

Keith: I want to welcome everybody to our webinar in the series of the CRM Options for Enterprise Nonprofits. Our guests today are from SofTrek showing their CRM tool, ClearView CRM. Just as a reminder, this is a part of a seven-part series that we have. This is number five, so we’ve got recordings already up in our website, overview around the process of CRM selection. A few vendors have joined us already, and a couple is still to come. Please enjoy the webinar today and look for information about future webinars coming to your inbox soon.

If you haven’t joined us in the past, just a brief synopsis or summary of what we do: we help nonprofits with CRM strategy and design, implementing CRM systems, and improving their fundraising and engagement with their constituents. We’ve done this for over 20 years, and we love it. We are happy that you can join us today and avail yourself with some of the information that we’ve developed over time.

Getting Started with CRM

So before we jump in with our friends from SofTrek today, I want to just revisit a thing from our first webinar that I think is really important about the selection process itself. A lot of organizations at a certain point realized that, “You know what? We need new CRM technology.” So they decide that they’re going to go ahead with this initiative, and they jump right in. The first thing they do is they start to look at solutions. They start their process by saying, “Well, what’s in the market? What can we buy and what other people are using?” You should not start there. Please don’t start your process by jumping in and trying to figure out what’s the best product for you. Now, if that’s where you’re at, please don’t get off the webinar today. Stick around, but I’m going to give you some guidance here based on our experience about what works best when you start to look for a new CRM product.

Consider The Big Picture

That is, first, just take step back and think about the big picture. What is the reason for going out and selecting a new system? Are the tools you have archaic or failing you in some way but you’re looking at really to optimize efficiency? Do you need more access to information across your organization? Do you have problems with silos? By the way, everyone does. Are you looking to probably collaborate these or some tactical underpinnings that you would want to discuss in your organization and prioritize and articulate? Then, talk a little in a minute about larger strategies, but as you’re looking your organization about what it is that’s compelling you to go and choose a new system, you want to be thinking more about the future than about your past. When you think about the strategies you want to support, the business processes that the system will have to support, how you’re going to collaborate, you want to look more towards what your intentions are for the future than what your patterns and habits have been in the past because when nonprofits go to select systems, of course, there’s kind of a rule at the business sector that you’re picking for three to five years. Well, we know in the nonprofits, so in the nonprofit sector, people say, “Well, I’m picking for 5 to 10 years.” The fact is, people end up doing systems for dozen or 15 years, and so we really want to be picking something that’s going to grow with you and that’s going to help you move towards your aspirations around strategy process, collaboration, rather than where you’ve been historically.

When you go to select, there’s some guidelines. You need to get buy in from people within your organization. The biggest risk in a CRM project is not the technology failing but a failure of adoption. To drive adaption, to support adaption, you have to get people in the organization participating from the beginning in talking about what’s not working about the current system, about what they would like, about how their roles might start to change. However, you don’t want to err on the side of too much participation. We like to say that CRM systems ultimately strive best in a benign dictatorship. You want input, but you don’t need a consensus model to go and select your software. But you do need to involve people early on. You want to articulate, as I said, those priorities based on the future or those needs that you’re going to have in the future and then start to prioritize them but in a flexible manner. You need to think about, “Are we looking for a tool that’s going to help us fundamentally adjust with fundraising and communications? Are we looking for a broader CRM that’s going to able to expand the organization including mission and program management?”

Change management, this is a great aspect of making projects successful, and we have lots of publications about it. It’s fundamentally different approaches, very practical to helping people deal with the fact that their jobs are going to change, they’re going to be asked to think and behave in new ways, and how do you help support that process.

The selection process itself, we see kind of a number of different ways that people go about this, but sometimes, we see people be overburdened with extensive checklists, hundreds and hundreds of different little boxes that have to be checked and features that have to be explained. It ends of being more of a mathematical exercise for people. I would say it’s more of an artistic one. You need the math to show that certain platforms qualify. You need some basic, the core needs that you have, but after that, you have to think about– you have to have a more fluid and flexible process where you’re thinking strategically about what you need over time, your interaction with the vendor and seeing how you feel that support is going to be, that relationship. It’s not just, “Well, the numbers show we should go to that platform A or B.” You want to knock within that. Also, that kind of intense analytical, solely analytical approach tends to burn people out over time because they find it exhausting to go through that process. They lose the enthusiasm and possibility that is there when they keep an open mind going into these types of processes.

Finally, as part of your step back, you really– that big picture is this isn’t just a technology project. This is fundamentally a strategic project, and it’s strategic in that it has two goals. One is that it’s going to improve your ability to deliver on the mission of your organization and you can articulate that and break that down into, “This is how it’s going to make it easier to expand the advocacy of our programs,” or “This is how it’s going to help us raise money to fund those programs,” or both. Then, the other strategic aspect is, “What’s the impact to your constituents?” You want to ask yourselves, going into this process, “How do I want my constituents’ experience of our organization to improve as a result of going and adopting this technology?” All right, so that’s a much different thing than saying, “This project is going to be successful because we converted our data.” It’s not enough. You want to be thinking longer term and bigger about, “Our constituents are going to have a better experience of our organization.” That, in turn, of course, rules out into they’re going to be advocates on your behalf, they’re going to be donors and fundraisers on your behalf, they’re going to maybe be partners in the delivery of your mission and your message. Those are the ultimate goals. Of course, setting expectations back to change manager, if we all get on board with those big picture vision of what the technology is going to do, it’s going to require us to change because we’re not simply swapping out one place to type in data for another place to type in data. We’re trying to really transform organization and the impact, positive impact for organization. So that requires at the bottom, a lot of communication. There’s plans to put together around that, there’s a practical ways to do all of this, and for that, I will point you to some of our resources on our website. We’ll be circulating these slides. They’re going to be available on our website, and the links there will point you to a lot of the papers and things that we have. So with that, I would like to turn things over to our guest from SofTrek.

About SofTrek and ClearView CRM

Steve: Awesome. Thank you for joining us today. Thank you for… I mean, including us today. It was definitely appreciated. My name is Steve Birnbaum. I’m the Vice President of Sales here at SofTrek Corporation. I’ve been here about six years. Before this, I worked for a firm that looked a little bit like Heller Consulting, but I was won over by the promise of what ClearView had to offer the market. I think that when you look out at the software vendors and the solutions that serve the enterprise space, there aren’t as many as there used to be. I guess that there are new people coming in and out all the time, but when you go back 10 to 15 years, it seems from my perspective, there was a bunch of consolidation. About six years ago, when I looked at what ClearView was working on, I definitely was sold on the need for some competition in the market and really the value of what this product can offer. We’re going to talk about that a little bit today. Joining me is Kelly Sallander, Client Solutions Manager, and she’s going to demo some of the software features as we progress.

Starting with the numbers, we have 45 clients that we would describe as enterprise. The definition is a little fuzzy. Let’s say raising over $5 million a year in contribution income is a decent metric for what would define you as an enterprise organization. It’s obviously not just about raising money, but if you’re raising $5 million, $10 million, $50 million, it’s just a measure of complexity. We have about 20 mid-sized clients. It’s going to be anywhere from let’s say 2 million to 5 million in contribution income; 7,500 users defined in our system at any given time, figure a quarter of them are logged in. Obviously, that number is going to fluctuate based on who’s doing what when. It would help us going in the right directions.

SofTrek, we’ve been around for 30 years. We are one of the first products in the donor management software market. If you go back to the first webinar in this series with Heller Consulting, Keith, I mean, your team talked about how a lot of these vendors, the CRM vendors today, came out of the fundraising software space. That definitely describes how we got here. We moved to the cloud very early. Right after Y2K, we’re based on Oracle, so we used some Oracle tools, some thin client technology back in the day that helped us do a very early move to the cloud and early development around 2006 of our data center where we host the ClearView application. Since then, we’ve just been working on developing our highly-configurable and really what we hoped to be the easiest to use CRM product on the market.

So why does 30 years matter? From our perspective, it’s important because we know nonprofits. When we say “we,” I’m not just talking about the people who work at SofTrek. I’m talking about the product itself. Natively, it’s going to do most of what most organizations need to do. We’re just talking baseline stuff. Now, of course, you can always add on customizations and configurations but there’s just core functionality, and we’re just going to know because we’ve been working with this market for so long. We also know our clients. As Keith was saying earlier, today, the tenure, people tend to spend a lot of time on these systems, and as a result, we know a lot not just about the market but how specific clients has set up their system to handle specific situations. In many instances, we’re going to serve as an extension of their team. We provide some service bureau. We’ll run functionality for you. Of course, it had to happen. Sorry about that. Let me on current slide. That’s going to be handy just because if your staff turned over at our client side, we can help mitigate that risk. You should never have to customize some standard stuff. When we say we know nonprofits and we know our clients, like if a vendor were to come in and say, “Can you explain how batch processing works for soft credits?” or, “What is a donor-advised fund?” those are bad questions. These are things that every nonprofit has to deal with. That’s got to be native to the software, and it certainly is in ClearView.

Strengths of ClearView CRM

When Heller initially invited to us to participate in this webinar series, they asked us to identify what are the three main strengths. We think we have more than three – we have so many – but we’ll start with three: integration, ease of getting data out, and supporting complexity and scale.

We do integrations all the time. It’s true there are silos in every complex organization. Those silos are going to be driven by departmental boundaries, internal politics. We strive to be the vendor who plays nicely with others. We build and support bi-directional integrations, and we do this all the time. We just don’t see it as that big a deal. I make a joke all the time that our clients are organizations who are unaccustomed to hearing the word, “no”. What we find is if… take a complex enterprise organization. If they’ve gone through the trouble of selecting a product for some functionality, to have another vendor come in and say, “You have to throw that out in order to play well in our world’s garden,” it’s a bad message. We have existing bi-directional integrations that work today with Luminate Online, DonorDrive, Crowdster, EveryAction, Salesforce, Constant Contact, WealthEngine, DonorSearch. There are more, but these are some of the ones that just sort of, out of the box, we can configure without too much heavy lifting. We’ve done them so many times.

Second strength, you need to be able to get data out of the system. Getting data out of the system is more than just reporting. Business intelligence means that you have this legacy, this asset of data for 20, 30, 50 years, but it’s more than just I want to run a report and see it on a piece of paper. I want the system to be able to intelligently process the information we have in our database so that it can help drive people’s behavior on a day-to-day basis. The picture you see on screen is our CEO, Bob Girardi, on the left, accepting an award from TIBCO, which is the owner of a tool called Jaspersoft. Jaspersoft, think of it like a crystal report for cloud-based software. When we won this award two years ago, this was for partner of the year, and there were– the other companies that won were General Mills and JetBlue. This is an enterprise-level piece of software, and we have really embedded it in a way that is completely seamless into the software and all of that functionality is available for our clients to use.

Third, we support complexity and scale. I try not to talk about Oracle; no one cares, it’s boring, until it matters. So things like database security and performance — these are happening at the database level, not at the application level. If anyone has a few hours, I can explain the difference in why it matters, but just take a trigger. Let’s just take your basic trigger to say, “Once someone gives over $50,000, I want a whole set of behavior in the system to trigger. I want there to be an assignment of a solicitor. I want certain coding. We want to create an opportunity record. We want to assign that opportunity record to an individual person whose job it is going to be to close that next-level gift from that individual.” Well, those rules can all be put at the database level, and if there are integrations, it really doesn’t matter where they come from. If that last gift that puts them over the threshold, the $50,000, comes through an API integration, it doesn’t matter; it’s happening at the database level.

Security to enforce national chapter-based hierarchy. You have a lot of instances where we have clients with the national organization that have affiliates all over the country. These affiliates, maybe they don’t want to share data with each other, or maybe they only want to share name and address data. Maybe they want to share name and address data and only some of the giving, not all of the giving, and maybe that giving is broken out by fund code and appeal code or some hybrid of the two of them. All of that security can be embedded at the database oracle level, and if you have a 100, 200, 500 people hitting the system, it doesn’t matter because this is a piece of software that’s designed to have thousands people on it at any given moment. You’re just not going to see any performance hit or stability hit when you’re dealing with those sorts of situations.

So who are our target organizations? They’re large and complex. They’re going to have annual contribution income over $5 million. There are other factors, of course, that contribute to complexity, but contribution income is a reasonable metric. They might want to outsource operations. This is important to us. If you want to keep your staff lean but still need to, say, run a direct marketing program, I know eventually direct mail is going to go away, but today, it still represents an enormous percentage of the overall transaction volume coming into many organizations. Let’s say you want to run that process but you don’t want to have five people running it, we can do a lot of that. We can upload files. We can write reports. We can deal with the bank files. We can deal with files coming out of the lockbox and sending it to the bank or the caging services. So all of these sort of add-on services, if an organization wants to be pretty lean and just use our team and then the organization can kind of behave like a general contractor and we’re the plumber or electrician and we’re doing all the actual work, totally fine. We might charge a little bit more for that, but it allows you not to have to staff around it. Last is if you have millions of records or hundreds of users, that’s another great reason that you should be looking at our software. I think some vendors are going to say, “Oh, 500,000 records, that’s a big database.” For us, most of our clients are going to have over 100,000 records. Our enterprise clients are generally at that million and up mark. When I say records, I mean people, like names. You can have hundreds– we have some clients with hundred million gifts. Forget this, the child record; I’m just talking about the name record. If you’re in the million, again, you should be looking at us.

We do a lot. Our software has been around for 30 years. There are hundreds of screens. There’s no possible way we could demo that in an hour and have it be meaningful to people, so we’re going to focus our demo today on just two main areas on gift entry and major giving, dealing with an opportunity, but just things to know that we do. Hopefully, if you do this stuff and you want to see a demo that’s more deep dive, more than happy to set that up as a followup. Direct marketing is a big piece of functionality in our software. This includes all of the segmentation and file creation around sending out complex omnichannel marketing that might include telemarketing, direct mail, email communication, coming to a web form. So all of the interaction around the entire campaign ClearView is designed to handle, we have very powerful major and planned giving tools. I’m going to show you a taste of that today. Most of our clients run or have ran some form of capital or comprehensive campaign, and we support that with no customization. We have our own online tools. I mentioned earlier when talking about integration that we’re somewhat agnostic about that. Our expectation is if someone is running, say, Luminate, well, granted that is made by a competitor, but we’re more than happy to build and support that bi-directional integration. So whether or not, you want to use the tools that we’ve developed for online giving and sustainer giving and donor portal, that’s fantastic, or if you want to use somebody else, that’s fantastic, too.

Gift processing — I like to say that if there’s a way legally to give money to a nonprofit organization, we handle it with no customization, and Kelly is going to show you some of that today. Granted that some of the more nuts and bolts stuff, going back to the fundraising systems days, but if your software doesn’t do that, you’re just not at baseline. If you can’t credibly take donor-advised funds money and make sense of it when you’re looking at the donor’s account, you’re missing core functionality that’s going to be important to any organization of any complexity. We’re not talking about anything custom. We’re talking about standard accounting that every nonprofit has to deal with, which leads to integration with accounting interfaces. If you went to a bank and that bank had a piece of software for their tellers and another one for their ATM and another one for their online systems and those were reconciled once a month by a hand and the balances were always wrong, that bank would clearly shut down. You look at a lot of nonprofits, and there’s a lot of manual keying of data into these finance systems, which is not best practices. We are set up to support the best practice of full integration with accounting. ClearView serves as a subsidiary ledger for all contribution income, and, again, all of that is a native functionality. Sure, we have to configure it, but there’s a difference between that and having to customize something because it’s a new concept.

Event management is a big piece of what we do. We’re talking about online. It can be walkathons. It can be galas. It can be cultivation events, golf outings. We have an entire suite of functionality surrounding event management that we would be happy again to show you as a followup. With that introduction, I’m going to pass control over to my colleague, Kelly, who is going to take you through the first part of our demo on gift processing. Kelly, I’m making you presenter, and if this works, you should be able to show your screen.

ClearView CRM Demonstration

Kelly: Yes. Let me pull it up. Thank you, Steve. So yeah, I’m going to show you a brief tour of batch today. Batch is the tool that we use in ClearView to enter in all gift transactions. As Steve was mentioning earlier on the slides, we have been around for 30 years, so there isn’t a way to take a gift that we haven’t seen before. ClearView is developed to make sure that all of those transactions that you’re receiving can be entered into the system without an issue. The real beauty of my job is not only melding together, making sure that you have the functionality that you need in ClearView, but also building a beautiful product that’s easy and intuitive. That’s the goal of what I’m going to show you here today in Batch.

Now, I could show you some simple donation entry. It’s a little too easy. We’re a big piece of software, so I’m going to show you a few more complicated transactions that are going to focus around events. I’m going to go ahead and I’m going to create a new Batch, and I’m going to do so from a template that I’ve set up prior to the webinar. I’m going to go ahead and look for my template. Here it is, “My Special Gift Batch.” What I brought to here is my Batch header screen. I’m going to change some data here. I’m going to give it a different title, and my goal here is to enter transactions related to my Buffalo Walk Event in 2017. I’m going to set my status as “Ready to Post” because I have my transaction set in front of me. I know what I’m entering, and as soon as I’m done, I’m going to post my Batch. My payment amount, I’m going to enter in advance because I’m a good data entry person and I’ve already balanced this out.

Two fields that I do want to point out very quickly on the screen: one is the “Currency Type.” ClearView does accept all currency types into the system, so it is currency agnostic in that way. I’m also going to point out just very quickly the “Credit Card Mode.” Now, we’re not going to deal with credit cards today. Some of our clients use their caging services to process credit cards. Other clients use their online donation systems to do that, but you also have the option to process credit cards through ClearView in our PCI-compliant vault. I’m going to go ahead and save my Batch header.

Now, my Batch, as you remember, is created from a template. I want to show you what that means. If I jump into my layout from tools, it’s going to open up a simple configuration screen. This view is something you’re going to see in multiple places within the system. Any time that you want to configure a screen in ClearView, this is the look and feel, and what’s really nice here is I can move field around if I need to. I can relabel them, so if I don’t like the word “Prospect,” that can say “Constituent.” I can set default values as you can see I’ve done here. I can make fields required. I can make them hidden. I have a lot of options here. As I scroll down the screen, you’ll see that I can even create groups of fields so that it’s laid out in a format that is ideal for my workflow, so I’m not going through a bunch of fields that I don’t need. I’m not accidentally entering data into a field that I can’t report on later. I’m making sure that, as I go through my screen, I have the fields that I need, I have the fields that I might need, but I’m going to close my section to see that in a minute so that I don’t get cluttered with a bunch of data entry fields that may not be used.

To the side here, you’ll notice that there are still many, many, many more Batch fields that I can pull on to my screen including some that, as an organization, I can define myself. As we mentioned there is no way to take a gift that we haven’t seen before. As you go through the functionality of ClearView, you’re going to see the depths of that functionality that we support. I’m going to go ahead and save my configuration and head back out to my Batch header, and we’re going to enter our first donation.

From here, I’m going to start with entering in my constituent information, and this is a cool thing. I’m just going to start typing her name, so I’m not remembering any ID numbers. I’m not opening up a cumbersome search. This system is searching through who it thinks I mean, and it’s pulling up my results. So here is my constituent that I’m looking for, and a couple of things happen when I select my prospect. To the side here, you’ll notice a number of hyperlinks, and these take you to the prospect record itself. As I’m looking over it, I’m saying, “Okay, 1 Fiction Drive. I thought it was 1 Beach Drive.” So I can come in here. I could right-click and open this in a new tab to edit the record. I also have the option to use one of the numerous keyboard shortcuts in our system, so if I hit ALT+T, it opens me up into her prospect record. From here, I can see, here’s my addresses, and I can come in and make any edits I may need to. I also see her spouse information here. In this case, her husband James Clark is deceased, and I got a nice, very clear reminder of that, some attribute information that might be important to know. Down here at the bottom, for those organizations that are heavy on the direct mail programs, we include the last five recent mailings for a constituent. If you’re coming in to do batch, maybe you have a piece of white mail and your business rules are to try to match that white mail to recent mailing, we make that very easy for you to come in and locate.

Going back to entering our record, there’s a number of things that I want to point out still. To the side here, we have Alert Messages. If you add an alert message to the prospect record, here is how I know that Susan is a trustee. That might be important when I’m assigning maybe my acknowledgement letters or my receipt letters to make sure that I’m assigning them as appropriate for someone who is a trustee. I also have a little money symbol. What ClearView does is it’s recognizing that I’m entering an event payment. In this case, I’m entering a payment against a registration fee, and it’s pulling together all of the open registrations that Susan Anne has on her record. So I can click here, and at a glance, I don’t see the event that I created for my batch. That’s not a problem. You do not have to stop the workflow for a batch here and close this window, open up an event, create the registration, come back to batch. We have some handy links here, in this case, create registration, where I can very simply come in and start entering a registration record. So I’m going to search again, just typing ahead for my event, and I’m looking at the Buffalo Walk for 2017. It opens up a blank registration record. Everything here looks good. I want to make sure I add a fee. In this case, it’s just an individual registration fee. The amount and quantity are filled in for me. I can save my record. When I save this record, it’s saving the registration to Susan Anne’s record. You’ll also see that, here, I now have the ability to apply this payment against her open registrations, so I’m going to do just that. I’m going to pay off full amount. You can see that the fields that we defaulted in my template are still here. I’ll enter check number quickly and a check date. A couple more fields to point out: we have the registration record itself that we just created. It’s automatically being linked back to this payment record so that when you go and look at the registration, you can see the payment record linked to it.

We also have prospect managers or your solicitor field, so if a fundraiser or a major gift officer was helped and was responsible for bringing this gift in, you can assign accordingly. If a volunteer, if a constituent within your organization was helping – so not a staff member but somebody within your community that is helping to bring in registrations – you can assign a volunteer here as well. Associations, we’re going to come back to in a moment. This is your ability to soft credit a gift. I’m also going to point out this unit field. As Steve was mentioning earlier with the ability to scale the database, if you’re a large national chapter-based organization, you can designate your gift entries based on unit to make sure that the credit goes where it belongs.

The last thing I’m going to do for this record is very simply add the premium. Susan Anne’s gift does qualify for a premium, so I’m just going to quickly search for my Travel Mug. We’re all good. I can also ship to a specific address. Susan Anne, I believe, has three addresses on her record, and I pick the one that I want to make sure I send that to. I’m going to save. Then, save my transaction.

Now, if I go back out to the Batch from my second transaction, I used my batch template, but now, I need to add a few more fields because I have one that has tribute information on it that I was not expecting in my normal template. That’s not a problem. I can come back out and just edit the layout of my one Batch, so I’m not editing the template for all of the Batches that used that template. I’m just editing the layout of this one Batch. I’m going to come back out. I’m on my Batch header. I’m going to go to layout again under tools. To assign honor memorial information, I’m going to search for tribute in my available fields. I’m going to pull this onto the screen in an area where I believe they make sense, again, keeping in with my workflow, making sure that I can efficiently enter my data. I will save my layout, head back to my Batch header, and add my next transaction.

For this gift, it is coming from a family foundation. Part of my gift is in honor of the memory of somebody, part of my gift is not, and I need to soft credit the person that timed the check. So I’m going to start with creating a split, and you’ll see right away that over to this side, the system is ready to start calculating my split. So I always know how much I’ve entered and how much is left on the split as I finish out entering my transactions. I’m going to enter in 1,500. This is coming from the Jetson Family Foundation, so I’m going to make use of my type ahead. I’m going to change one of my default values and make this as a donation. For my first transaction, it will be a thousand dollars. My payment method is check, enter in my check amount and check date. Oh, you know what, I think it popped me into the wrong batch. Let me start that over. Sorry about that. We’re going to start the split. $500, the Jetson Family Foundation, enter this as a donation for $1,000, enter in my check information, and as I scroll down, now, I come to my tribute section. This is in memory of George Jetson. The signor of the check is Jane Jetson. The credit for the gift, the hard credit in the receipt needs to go to the Jetson Family Foundation, but I need to give a soft credit to Jane as recognition that she signed and approved the check. So I’m going to place Jane in here. I can also apply a type if I need to specify with more details, so I may place donor-advised fund here. I can save my transaction.

ClearView is automatically going to open me up into a new batch detail filled out with the details of my previous half of the split so that I can finish it out. So I’m going to enter in $500. I have my nice balance over here to remind me of how much I need to leave in there. I’m going to associate this with Jane again. Again, this half of the split will not be attributed to George, so we’re all set there. Unclick create new. Save. Now, back in my batch header, we can see everything has balanced and I am now ready to post. I’m going to run the job immediately, and I get a nice success message that I’m all set to go. With that, Steve, are there any questions that have come through on entering batch details?

Steve:  No, there aren’t. Why don’t you hand me back control, and I’ll explain why we just showed you Batch. It’s super important that you can get the data into a system. I think that that has been the main challenge for software, which is, “Can I get the data in? Can I get the data in?” How do you get meaning from that data? So with the last few minutes of our webinar, we’re just going to talk about why it’s important that all of this highly-detailed, nuanced information is entered in a very specific way so that the people whose job it is to work as a team have the information they need to make decisions about their day-to-day behavior in a way that achieves organizational goals. Let me just confirm. Kelly, can you see my screen?

Kelly:   Yes, I can.

Steve:  Awesome. What I’m showing you here is the main dashboard. When you log in, you’re going to have a dashboard that could be rolled out at an individual level, but generally, it’s rolled out for you and your team so that everyone on the team is working off the same set of numbers, the same basic framework, the same information. Everyone could certainly customize it. We have this library of panels. There are a couple hundred panels in the system, and you can add in all sorts of custom information. If you have a business intelligence report, you can plug that into a dashboard panel. So think of it this way: most legacy software, ours included, presented you with a menu system, and the menu system demanded that a user understood their job well enough to put what they were supposed to do in the language and context of the software.

The idea behind the dashboard is when I log in, if I’m a major gift officer, I shouldn’t have to think that hard. The system should be telling me how to behave and showing me the information that is meaningful to achieve my goals. In this instance, I’m looking at a key metrics panel. This is a nice business intelligence that drills down to sub-reports that drill back into the system because you never want to be having a conversation of like, “How much money do you think we raised last year?” That is a known fact, and the system must be able to present known facts to people who need them instantaneously. This major giving alert is a good example. Wait a minute. Two people died. Who are these people? This is something that’s important to know. Well, you don’t want to have to log out and log in to a reporting tool that’s disconnected from everything to find that information. Let me just click on this hyperlink here and it’s going to bring me to the drill down, and I’m going to see, “Okay, Theresa Scott died.” If I hover over her name– so I haven’t clicked. All I’ve done is one click, and I see not just who died in the past 30 days but all of her information, mailing she has received, the fact that she is a trustee. “Okay. Well, I still want more information about this individual because I didn’t realize she’s deceased,” so I drill in to the name itself and it brings me to the donor information. You can see that her name is highlighted in red, red means dead. If I click on the ellipsis next to anyone’s name, I see some key information about them including their phone number and their preferred address. Just like a dashboard panel, the donor information can be set up with a series of– in this screen, we call them tabs, instead of panels. These tabs might show her giving breakdown over the course of her lifetime, or the giving summary for when she gave what she gave, or perhaps a more customized donor demographic view, which can actually be a completely custom report. Hold on a second.

While that’s refreshing, I also want to draw your attention up top to this menu bar only presents those options that you should have rights to see. For this demo, I did throw everything including political outreach onto the menu bar, so if you’re a major gift officer who also happens to do campaign management for direct mail, well, you have that option. But we can certainly hide and configure everything so you don’t have to see it. That’s just one example of just being able to drill down from a dashboard to information that is meaningful to do your job.

The other thing that you’re going to see on your dashboard are things that you’re supposed to do today. These are the phone calls that I’m supposed to do, so the bare minimum. If I do nothing else, I know that I have to log in, look at my action reminders for today. Maybe I want to look at them yesterday, look at all the things I didn’t do yesterday. Now, my boss can see that, “Why didn’t you make those three phone calls yesterday? It would have been so easy for you to click.” How easy, you ask? Okay. So if I see I’m supposed to prepare and ask for this foundation, I can click on this action, and it’s just going to drill me right into the action itself. From here, I have the same ellipsis where I can get the phone number of the organization, but in this case, I see that I’m supposed to be sending a proposal. If I want to complete that, I can simply just complete the action.

As a gift officer, maybe if I’ve set up the system, all I’m doing is logging in everyday and seeing the actions I’m supposed to do and then checking them off one by one. We do have a mobile app. That mobile app comes with the software. It’s included. There’s no additional licensing. These actions are right on the mobile app, and the mobile app can actually dial the telephone. It can connect to a map and direct you to where you need to go if you have a client meeting. You can see all of that person’s giving. You basically have the same dashboard view on your phone that you have on the computer, which is really great for a gift officer who shouldn’t be in the office all that much, right? Should be out raising money. Other panels might include sort of– these are the annual gifts that came, fund gifts that came in over the last 30 days. This is entirely configurable, so whatever that dollar amount, that’s okay. Under a thousand, let’s say, as annual fund, over a thousand is a major and planned gift that came in over the past 30 days, here are all the open opportunities, so here are all the gifts that I’m supposed to be working in the list view. This relationship manager is a really great example of business intelligence. This is a totally custom, this is intelligence report that we were able to build and plug into a panel that gives me in aggregate, “How am I doing as a major gift officer?” One thing I chose is my opportunity sunset snapshot. This means 182 days is the recommended number of days that a gift, ask, or proposal– you’ve targeted someone to make a major gift. That should be in your pipeline 182 days. Well, obviously, there’s something wrong with me, which just ask anyone and they’ll confirm, and mine $1,500.55. So something is wrong with me and my fundraising, and it just gives me and my manager a really good opportunity to look at some data and talk about what are the opportunities, why are they taking so long, what could we be doing to speed them up. So how do you do that? Where are the opportunities, themselves? Let’s start with the big stuff. I have two pending solicitations that are over a $100,000. If I want to see what they are just like everything in ClearView, it shouldn’t be me running down to the database administrator saying, “Please, please, please pull me this report because I don’t know how to do that.” I can simply click on a hyperlink, which is going to bring me into the detailed report of who are these two, what are these two asks. So you see I have a $325,000 ask and a $500,000 ask. Again, what you’re looking at here is a BI report, and all of our BI reports come in a way that you can copy and edit them. We actually give you the source code from most of the reports in the system because our expectation is if you wanted to add a column here, you shouldn’t have to call us, you shouldn’t have to pay for a consulting. If you have someone who knows SQL, and most store enterprise organizations do, they can simply go into the reporting tool and make that change themselves. The BI tool can have hyperlinks to different areas of the software, so if I click on the ID number, it’s going to bring me to that main view. But if I click on the opportunity itself, it’s going to bring me into the opportunity. When I look at the opportunities, I can see just information about that ask. What is the projected amount? How much did I ask for originally? What’s the probability? When did I make that original ask? It gets much more granular.

We worked with some organizations where major gift officers work in teams. We support that, so you might have one main prospect manager on an ask and then multiple people who have multiple different roles. The system can remember that and support that. It can also remember conversations you’ve had about how to designate this money. Where should this money go once it comes in? Now, this isn’t going to hit finance. This is a way that you can just have a conversation with the donor, remember that conversation in the system, so when the money does come in and you get this $500,000 check, it’s not some mystery that needs to be decoded. You can simply look at the opportunity if you’re the gift processor and say, “Okay, supposed to be 50/50 between these two funds.” Maybe you just quote it that way and maybe you call and double check, but at least you have some information. We tie together the action, so all of those things that you’re supposed to do, these are the actions that have happened so far to make this gift happen and this is the action that’s supposed to happen today. If I click on this, this is the thing I showed you a few minutes ago that showed up on my dashboard, as well. This is the thing that I was supposed to do today to move this $500,000 gift forward. The most important thing, it’s showing up right on my home page.

There’s a bunch of other stuff that we’re tracking on opportunities, as well. Perhaps, you have board members who are involved. Perhaps, you’re dealing with a corporation where you need to have an attorney. You’re in a state where there’s an executor. Finally, there is an audit trail of the opportunity itself, so my manager can see how long has this been sitting? I’ve been working this thing since April of 2016. Is that reasonable? Is that not reasonable? The nicest thing about the history, the audit trail, is that I’m not able to edit it myself, so I have to actually perform the behavior when I’m supposed to perform it. Then my manager can say, “Okay. He’s consistently moved this along month by month, and this is just how long this thing took,” as opposed to, “20 minutes before the meeting today, he updated his portfolio. Maybe this guy needs a little bit of help with his organization.” Not that I do; I’m perfect. No, just kidding. There is a lot more to the software, but from the demo perspective, that’s pretty much all the time we have today. Kelly, before I sort of go to the final slide, any questions popped up?

Kelly: There is one question. The question is, most CRMs include lots of pieces including a warehouse. Does your system rely on other software and warehouse or is it all in one?

Steve:  What I mentioned before with Jaspersoft, when I say business intelligence, we have embedded the Jaspersoft product into our software. We have embedded an Oracle data warehouse into our software, so from an end-user perspective, while there are pieces running on different platforms, from the end-user’s perspective, you will log into one system and you have one interface for everything you need to do. Good question. Thank you.

To wrap, here’s some things that the Heller team said in that original webinar that kicked off this series, “Nonprofits are different.” We couldn’t agree more. The accounting, the way they behave, totally different. We’ve been doing it for 30 years. You’re also not going to end up on a single product. This promise of a single product for everything means that you’re going to have to run custom software. Maybe you’re customizing things you should never have to customize like transaction processing, which is just craziness. There are things that everybody does that we’re going to do out of the box. and then we’re going to want to integrate. Last thing they said, “You need to develop a relationship with the vendor,” and this is key to us. Like we’re selective about the RFPs we respond to, about the clients we pursue because we know you’re going to be with us 10 to 15 years. Once an organization converts, that’s a somewhat permanent decision. To that end, we want to make sure the fit is right from the get go. We don’t want to take on clients that we think might not be happy down the road.

I know we’re at the very end, and here’s some contact information. The phone number extension 501 on screen is to get me directly, and I’m happy to talk to anyone about their CRM needs. I’ve been doing this a while. I may have a handful of opinions, but I would love to share them with you and we would love to do deeper dive demos for anyone that’s interested. With that, I’ll hand it back to Keith, but I want to thank Heller Consulting so much for including us in this enterprise webinar series. We are delighted to be a vendor in this space. We believe that the nonprofit organization market is sort of central to the Fabric of American Society, and I’m not even– those aren’t just words to me. It gets me up in the morning, and we are just thrilled to be a part of it. So thank you everyone.

Keith: Thank you, Steve and Kelly, for participating today for your product and your passion. I want to thank everyone who attended today. If you have colleagues at your organization or other organizations who are interested in seeing what you saw today, you’ll be getting an email with a link to the recordings and the materials. We’re happy to have you share them broadly. I want to remind everyone that we have another webinar coming up in about a month on Tuesday, October 24th. That will be with StratusLIVE showing their platform built on the MS Dynamics product, and of course, I want to invite you to avail yourselves of the resources that we put out there. We write a lot. We know that we will not be able to work with everybody, but we want to share our information broadly. We publish out blog posts and papers and webinars, so please go to our website and check it out. Thank you again for everyone’s participation today, and we look forward to seeing you next time.


About the author

Team Heller

Heller Consulting has been helping nonprofits establish and improve their communications, fundraising and mission management systems since 1996. Our distinctive methodology comes from our hands-on experience with the technology AND strategies utilized by today’s successful nonprofits to build rewarding constituent relationships.

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