With more than 20 years in nonprofit leadership, Lisa knew what she needed in a nonprofit CRM. She needed something user-friendly and robust. More than that, she needed a platform that supported the kind of fundraising she believed in: personalized and responsive, focused on donors. She chose Virtuous before the pandemic hit, but when she had to pivot quickly to a digital strategy, the value of Virtuous became even more clear.
Throughout her career, Lisa has championed what she calls, “Obsessive stewardship.” She explains, “You don’t have to support us, you don’t have to support anyone. If you give time, or talent, or money to an organization, just by your own free will, that’s huge! You should feel honored and thanked for that.”
Virtuous makes it easy to personalize donor communications and interactions. All of a donor’s data and engagement are easily visible within one platform, from gift history to event attendance. It’s simple to search, filter, and segment data, and to create donor segments for marketing and engagement.
With Virtuous, Heidi’s Village could deliver the personalization they needed for donor relationships. “That personal relationship is so important,” Lisa says. “Connecting with donors in a personal way and making them feel valued and noticed. That’s always been kind of huge for me. If you’re a donor, you’re probably going to get five or six different thank you notes, handwritten from various members of our board, me, my CEO. That’s just really important to me. I liked being able to personalize and automate a lot of that functionality.”
Automation and Workflows
“We had to build everything from the ground up,” Lisa says, “not just the building, but all our processes and the platforms we use for various components.” Previously in her career, Lisa had experienced the frustration of hard-to-use CRMS, so she had very specific requirements for choosing one for Heidi’s Village. “When I checked into Virtuous, it checked all the boxes.”
As part of a small team, Lisa knew she needed technology that would increase her reach. “It was important to me that whatever software or platform we chose was robust in functions that created ‘more of me.’ So I was very interested in the workflows and how you can create workflows and tasks in the same system. Then, it’s doing some of the work for me, while still appearing very personalized.”
Heidi’s Village began using workflows immediately. “The first thing I did was I set up a workflow for people that had just newly subscribed,” says Lisa. “That whole workflow was focused on, ‘Okay, how do I turn you into a donor? And how do I personalize that? And how do I create reminders for myself to do the non-automated pieces of that workflow?’” She followed it with a first-time donor workflow, that people were folded into as soon as they made their first gift. “We can do all of those things that we know we need to do that are so hard to keep on top of if you’re trying to track it manually.”
With workflows established, and donors receiving regular communications, “It felt like we had another staff person helping us with our work,” says Lisa.
Launching a nonprofit during a pandemic is enough work on its own. The team at Heidi’s Village didn’t have time to spare on wrestling with clunky software. “Virtuous is very user-friendly,” says Lisa. “I think it’s very intuitive, which is a benefit over a lot of other platforms. Virtuous was a nice way to get user-friendliness from a system that’s also very robust and has a lot of functionality.”
Lisa also regularly uses Virtuous features like social scoring integration and location mapping. “I love that I can look at a map and see which donors are close to other donors. That, to me, is just money. I love that feature. With Virtuous, there’s little stuff that just makes my job so much easier.”