Streamlined Systems for More Efficient Fundraising

How Morgan Autism Center Simplified Systems with Virtuous

Case Study

About Morgan Autism Center

Morgan Autism Center is a non-profit organization for adults and children with special needs located in the Bay Area. They operate both a non-public school and adult day program on their campus in San Jose, CA. Founded in 1969, today, Morgan Autism Center serves more than 118 clients each day, with 68 students enrolled in their school program and 50 clients in their Adult Program. Morgan Autism Center’s model is recognized internationally as a best practices demonstration of how to serve students and clients who are significantly impacted by autism and other neurological challenges.

Multiple Systems Complicate and Confuse

Before switching to Virtuous, the Morgan Autism Center used multiple systems to manage their fundraising and marketing activities. Development Director Lisa Lemke says, “Before Virtuous, we had separate databases for our email marketing and donor records.” The combination of eTapestry, Constant Contact, and Greater Giving lead to a lot of redundancy and made it hard to locate donor data efficiently and use it effectively.

“A common issue that would come up would be the inability to segment communications. We had no way of sending emails to certain donors and hard mailers to others. We couldn’t specify donor preferences for communication so that was really challenging,” says Lisa.

Data analysis was also difficult. “It was really hard to analyze donor data because some information was stored in Constant Contact and some in our CRM,” Lisa says.

The CRM itself wasn’t easy to use. “We came from eTapestry, and it was very archaic. It was not user-intuitive,hard to navigate, and the support just wasn’t there. There wasn’t an option to have email or other functions integrated,” says Lisa.

Spending time hunting for data, going back and forth between systems, and wrestling with clunky software, while unable to automate communications, Lisa didn’t have many options to grow fundraising. Morgan Autism Center needed a new system, one that could encompass all of their fundraising. They chose Virtuous.

How Virtuous Helped

All-in-One Platform, Streamlined and Simplified

With Virtuous, Morgan Autism Center can keep all of their donor data within one system, making it easy to access, analyze, and use. “Just to be able to have all of that stored in one place has been really great. All the records are there and it’s made accessing our donor information so much easier,” says Lisa. “The transition to Virtuous has been a lifesaver.”

Now, donor data, giving, email, events, and major giving are all contained within one system. “Everything’s under one umbrella, which really helps us streamline, especially for email campaigns, which are so crucial right now during COVID,” Lisa says. Tracking donor data is simpler, allowing the small team at Morgan Autism Center to off-load back office tasks onto Virtuous.

More than just a CRM, Virtuous allows the team at Morgan Autism Center to capture data more easily and communicate more efficiently. They added a call-to-action to sign up for their mailing list to their website, which pulls data directly into Virtuous. “Having that information go right into our database has been really helpful,” says Lisa. “We’ve had several supporters access that feature, whereas before we didn’t have that option.”

“We use Virtuous for many tasks – from sending communications to supporters, staff and Morgan Autism Center families, to tracking donor information,” Lisa says.

Personalized Communications Create Better Donor Experiences

With a complete view of donor data in Virtuous, Morgan Autism Center can now send personalized communications. “During last year’s Giving Tuesday campaign, we were able to identify the people who had supported Giving Tuesday the year before. We were then able to send a personalized email versus the generic one that went out to non-donors. Being able to really tease out that information has been helpful,” says Lisa.

This kind of personalization is important, because the majority of Morgan Autism Center’s donors are connected to the school in some way. They’re not just donors, they’re also parents, relatives, and friends of alumni. With that kind of personal connection, an impersonal approach from a nonprofit could be damaging.

Lisa can see the potential of greater donor insights and personalization as she continues to build Morgan Autism Center’s major giving program. An efficient system for tracking donor interactions over time and across activities is crucial for moves management and one-on-one relationships. “We really wanted a system that could house all of our donor information in one place and a system that could allow us to create customizable communication plans for our supporters. Virtuous has all of that functionality.”

Instead of juggling multiple systems and missing data between platforms, now Lisa can focus on growing fundraising. “Virtuous is a great platform that allows you to record donor information, customize communication, and develop individualized approaches for supporter engagement.”

“I recommend Virtuous to anyone who's looking to make a switch to a new CRM. It’s made a significant difference for us and has allowed us to streamline our donor engagement and communication. It’s user-friendly, the support is excellent and it has a lot of capabilities. It’s a great CRM!”
Lisa Lemke, Development and Communications Director, Morgan Autism Center
Nonprofit Multi-Channel Marketing
“I recommend Virtuous to anyone who's looking to make a switch to a new CRM. It’s made a significant difference for us and has allowed us to streamline our donor engagement and communication. It’s user-friendly, the support is excellent and it has a lot of capabilities. It’s a great CRM!”
Lisa Lemke, Development and Communications Director, Morgan Autism Center

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