The Freedom Story + Virtuous: Streamlined Fundraising for Growth

See How The Freedom Story Cut Their Admin Time in Half and Grew Giving with Virtuous

“Virtuous has been extremely helpful for our organization. It allows us to pull reports and data on donors very easily, and allows us to send out automated emails and see insights and feedback. That has allowed us to grow our organization organically and know what our donors respond to.”
Alaynah Morrow
US Operations Manager
Case Study

About The Freedom Story

The Freedom Story prevents child trafficking and exploitation in Thailand through culturally relevant programs for vulnerable children and shares their stories to empower creative, compassionate people to act. Their human rights education, scholarships and resources empower at-risk Thai students to stay in school, pursue their dreams, and break the cycle of poverty and exploitation. Their efforts in the US are centered around telling dignifying stories that encourage people to become a part of changing our world for the better.

Key Challenges

Clunky Systems, Manual Work

Before switching to Virtuous, the team at The Freedom Story was spending a lot of time moving data between systems. “We were working across so many different Excel sheets and different platforms. We had Salesforce and Mailchimp, and so we had to figure out how activities in those platforms connected to different donors and different Excel sheets,” says Executive Director Rachel Goble.

“It was a lot of manual work,” says Data Manager Alaynah Morrow. “Seeing who was up to date with their monthly donations, who was lapsed, who hadn’t given in months or years. I had to build all the reports from scratch. There was no best practice report that I could pull, it was just making whatever fields I wanted to for the report, and there was no training on it. It was very chaotic.” The system was so difficult that often team members asked Alaynah to pull information, rather than trying to tackle Salesforce themselves.

Without easy access to centralized data or a way to automate communications, it was hard to build the best donor relationships possible, or guide donors on personalized journeys. The Freedom Story needed a comprehensive system for their fundraising, marketing, and donor data. They chose Virtuous. “It had all the features we were looking for,” says Rachel, “It was user-friendly, while still being robust.”

The Freedom Story’s Challenges

  • Multiple systems required manual work and made it hard to see the full data picture
  • No automation to drive responsive donor follow up
  • Inefficient workflows and wasted time

How Virtuous Helped

Streamlined Processes

With Virtuous, The Freedom Story has streamlined their fundraising. “We have a centralized place for knowledge and notes. The automation was just not an option before, and that’s a huge pro with Virtuous,” says Rachel.

“We have better processes for reporting and with all the data in one place, anyone in our organization can go and look. Everybody is able to use Virtuous,” says Alaynah.  Coworkers in Thailand manage their own communications and donor relationships in Virtuous, and everyone can easily see the whole international picture of donor relations at once.

“The biggest piece for me is being able to see the donor information and know whether or not they’re up to date with their monthly or annual donations. I can compare two years by different criteria to see how our fundraising is going,” she says. “I work a lot with our monthly donors, and it’s really helpful for me to just be able to pull a quick report in a couple of seconds. I was doing that all manually in Salesforce.”

“Virtuous cuts the time in half if I want to do a project or report”


Alaynah and the Freedom Story team estimate that using Virtuous cuts down their administrative time by 50-60%.

 

Virtuous Automation for Better Donor Communication

“The automations are super helpful,” Rachel says. “The task triggers are really, really helpful. I like that there’s an integration with the marketing and the donor’s profile. It makes it seamless.”

Instead of spending time importing and exporting from endless Excel sheets, The Freedom Story now has the time and capability to create automated communication workflows to engage their donors personally.  “We are seeing conversions, for sure,” says Rachel. “We have seen a larger donor retention and we have seen more conversions to monthly donors.”

The Freedom Story uses Virtuous Automation to power new donor, pre-donor, second-time single donor and monthly giving workflows.

“The most effective has been our pre-donor workflow, converting into first-time single donors,” says Rachel. This series consists of three automated emails that guide supporters toward their first gifts over a few weeks.

Alaynah has noticed that people are opening invitations to the monthly giving program. “We weren’t even sending them before, so that’s a positive.”

Instead of one person wrestling an uncooperative CRM, The Freedom Story team uses Virtuous to work together.  Internationally, the team uses Virtuous to track grants and do marketing activities, like sending regular newsletters.

Since Virtuous surfaces relevant donor data and signals, Rachel can watch for opportunities to engage and assign tasks across her team.  “Our strategic director supports our gratitude plan by sending thank you letters and videos directly from Thailand. So if a donor comes through and I see that they’re either new or if they gave a year ago and it’s been a minute, I’ll often assign a task in Virtuous so our strategic director can send the thank you video.”

“Virtuous has been extremely helpful for our organization. It allows us to pull reports and data on donors very easily, and allows us to send out automated emails and see insights and feedback. That has allowed us to grow our organization organically and know what our donors respond to,” says Alaynah.

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