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Stabilization and Optimization of Core System. How does a Raisers Edge® database get to where it is? Discombobulated, contrived, and dysfunctional. Why.

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Presentation on theme: "Stabilization and Optimization of Core System. How does a Raisers Edge® database get to where it is? Discombobulated, contrived, and dysfunctional. Why."— Presentation transcript:

1 Stabilization and Optimization of Core System

2 How does a Raisers Edge® database get to where it is? Discombobulated, contrived, and dysfunctional. Why should an organization consider a concerted process of system stabilization and optimization? When should the database be optimized? What is the process of enhancing the functionality of the Raisers Edge®?

3 Environment

4 Your organization has one of the most widely installed products on the market specializing in contact resource management for nonprofit organizations. The investment was both financially substantial and organizationally taxing. Oh, and the conversion was fun too. Your organizations leadership cannot understand why the fundraising department is not able to provide reports, meet deadlines, stay in budget on staff expenses, etc.

5 So why does it seem like the system wont meet your operational needs in any consistent way? The Raisers Edge® is a one size fits all solution. Data can be captured in numerous locations with widely varying results. Stabilize, Learn, Enhance

6 What version is your organization running? Did you recently convert from another product by your choice or due to a recent Blackbaud acquisition? How large and complex is your database? When is it an attribute and when is it a Constituent Code? Operational philosophies to be discussed following the break. What is your organization type and is RE the best option for it?

7 How large is the fundraising operation? - Number of staff - Staff areas of responsibility How has the staffing changed due to turnover, expansion or contraction? Where has your organization been? (Institutional memory) Where is your organization going? (Strategic and Development Plan)

8 Motivation

9 Information is so disjointed that basic tasks are daunting…data entry, queries, exports, reports, mail merges, etc. Your organization is in a state of strategic or staffing transition The Board and the management team need more timely, accurate and detailed information The fundraising department is embarking on a significant campaign or undergoing philosophical changes You recently converted to The Raisers Edge® and it is not behaving as expected Multiple organizations merged into one thus combining fundraising databases

10 Timing

11 Yesterday Today Tomorrow Never – scrap it; find a different solution After this phase of the fundraising calendar is complete Before the next big mailing, event, phonathon scheduled for next Thursday On an if-come basis; we will cleanup as we go along and notice problems

12 General Approach

13 Form a team of stakeholders (within reason and when appropriate) Get approval and buy-in from the top Consider hiring a professional consultant to guide your organization through the process or to lead the process Avoid the mantra, This is how weve always done it. Define what tasks are being done well, which can be improved, which are necessary, which are hopes and which are dreams

14 Maintain institutional memory; avoid deleting information simply for the sake of cleaning up the system Avoid capturing/maintaining unnecessary data points; if it does not help you do your job better, it is probably not valuable Identify and evaluate best practices Do not ignore the thing that makes your organization unique and special

15 Ensure the current fiscal years development operation can be successfully facilitated during the process - What data is needed and when? - What reports are needed and when? - How will you keep the operation running during this process Prepare the system for the needs of the 3-5 year development plan

16 The Raisers Edge® Triage

17 Analyze General Operational Use Direct Mail Major Gift Fundraising Prospecting Memberships Volunteers Events Clients Alumni Relations

18 Translate General Use Into Practical Applications Data Entry Queries Exports Mail Reports Microsoft Office Integration Integration with Accounting Package: Financial Edge, MIP, QuickBooks

19 System and Constituent Information

20 System Information Code Tables Addressee/Salutation Configurations Constituent Attributes Gift Attributes Address Attributes Gift Coding Structure - Campaigns - Funds - Appeals

21 Constituent Information Contact Information (Bio 1) Constituent Information (Bio 2) Addresses Addressees/Salutations Relationships Assigned Appeals Notes Gifts Attributes Media Actions

22 System and Constituent Information

23 System Information Code Tables - Within Code Tables (use table cleanup utility) Ack AddresseeAck SalutationBoard AddresseeBoard SalutationBoard/Comm Addressee Board/Comm SalutationConstituent AddresseeConstituent Salutation Contact Informal Salutation Contact Primary Addressee Contact Primary SalutationConversionCouncil AddresseeCouncil SalutationDonor Recognition Name ED SalutationED Salutation_53Female AddresseeFemale SalutationFormal Addressee Formal Husband Addressee Formal Husband Salutation Formal Salutation FormalWife Addressee FormalWife Salutation Honor RollInformal Addressee Informal Husband Salutation Informal Salutation Informal Wife Salutation PM Informal Addressee PM:Informal SalutationPrimary AddresseePrimary SalutationRE 7 Conversion RE 7 Conversion 46_3RE 7 Conversion 46_4RE 7 Conversion 47_2RE 7 Conversion 47_3RE 7 Conversion 48_2 RE 7 Conversion 48_3RE 7 Conversion 50RE 7 Conversion 72RE 7 Conversion 72_2RE 7 Conversion 72_3 RE 7 Conversion 73RE 7 Conversion 73_2RE 7 Conversion 73_3RE 7 Conversion 74RE 7 Conversion 74_2 RE 7 Conversion 74_3RE 7 Conversion 76 Secondary Formal Addressee Secondary Formal Salutation Secondary Informal Addressee Secondary Informal Salutation Secondary Informal Salutation_160 Solicitors SalutationSolicitors Salutation_50Solicitors Salutation_53 Solictors AddresseeWBoard AddresseeWBoard Salutation This is a real world example of an organizations Addr/Sal Type table

24 System Information Code Tables, continued - Between Code Tables and within system - Use Table Cleanup Utility - May require more complex use of queries, exports, imports and global changes Addressee/Salutation Configurations - Use standardized addressee/salutations to sync information - Avoid reliance on editable feature - May require more complex use of queries, exports, imports and global changes

25 System Information Attributes (within and across) that are unique to each organization - Constituent, Gift, Address - Action, Education, Campaign, Fund, Appeal - Package, Individual/Organization Relationship Gift Coding Structure: - Campaigns - Funds - Appeals

26 System Information Gift Code Structure, continued:

27 Constituent Information Bio 1 Tab: - Incorrect or empty prefixes (Possible global change) - Improper suffixes (III is proper;, III is not) (Corrected through improved code table) - Gender for demographic analysis (Possible global change based on prefix) - Deceased/Inactive, Solicit Codes (Possible global change to correct misplaced codes) - Marital status to improve personalization through refined addressees/salutations

28 Constituent Information Bio 2 Tab: - Primary Constituent Codes (Possible global change; more likely export, correct, then re-import) - Secondary Constituent Codes (Possible global change; more likely export, correct, then re-import) - Target based on propensity, capacity and history (Possible global change or import) - Religion, Ethnicity, Birthplace, Income as needed

29 Constituent Information Addresses - Type: Home vs. Business vs. Vacation, etc. - Indicator: Preferred vs. Business vs. Alternate - Address Formalization (Export, cleanup, import) Standard Data Entry:Recommend: 1234 Main Ave, 1231234 Main Avenue, Suite 123 Garfield Hts, OH 44125Garfield Heights, OH 44125 Formal addresses appear more professional on first-class mail (event invites) Standard (Bulk) mail is presorted, CASS certified/standardized Allows for more thorough use of duplicate algorithms

30 Constituent Information Addressees/Salutations* (Possible global change or import of new information) - Primary: Most formal configuration - Additional: Configure as appropriate Common Additional Addressee/Salutation Types Board/Volunteer AddresseeInformal Addressee Board/Volunteer SalutationInformal Salutation Contact AddresseeExecutive Director Salutation Contact SalutationRecognition Name * Records must be set as either/or: generally allowed to choose among 2 types of addressee/salutation in exports/mail, etc.

31 Constituent Information Relationships - Missing/incorrect Contact Types - Relationship v. Reciprocal - Links to existing individual/organization records - Primary business vs. professional affiliation - Print business name, print title - Spouse as separate record or relationship only - Education relationships, etc. (Correct using combination of global changes, imports and manual corrections)

32 Constituent Information Assigned Appeals Notes - Note Categories should be meaningful (addressed in code table cleanup; may require correction of existing notes) - Recommend manual review of notes to identify established database structure information which is more accessible and query-able - Notes may actually be more appropriately entered as Actions, attributes, constituent data

33 Constituent Information Gifts: Beyond scope of this discussion - Search for incomplete gift entry, i.e., missing C/F/A - Review notes for information more appropriately coded at the constituent level - Manage open pledges accordingly (Correct globally, manually, or via import updates) Attributes - Consider attributes when there is no where else in the system for proper placement of information; these are the customizable building blocks of the Raisers Edge Media

34 Constituent Information Actions - Raisers Edge® updates changed management of Actions to include Action Categories - Search for past due, open actions assigned to former and existing staff - Consider establishing Moves Management® in table codes - Explore use of Action Tracks in system (Correct globally and/or manually)

35 Change any Standard Operating Procedure manuals Train staff accordingly and allow for learning curve Establish protocol/calendar for periodic review Strive to enhance use of system from a position of strength and stability Modify and Test Queries (The Who) Modify and Test Exports (The What) Modify and Test Mail (The How) Reports - Modify - Compare to Benchmark Reports

36 Greater operational efficiency - Data entry is more expeditious - Queries are easier to write and maintain - Exports are more user-friendly - Mailings are constituent-centric - Reports are more accurate and meaningful Constituents feel closer to organization Public relations are stronger as publications are more accurate and more professional Staff members have less stress There is greater Board confidence Investment begins to show greater returns Process management is enhanced (cost-benefit analysis)

37 Dan Barney (216) 338-6072

38 Organizational Needs Assessment System Evaluation and Selection Conversion and Upgrades Stabilization and Optimization Integration Staff Training


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