Nonprofits tap Convio for integrated CRM

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Mobile Loaves and Fishes and Trisomy 18 Foundation, along with a handful of other nonprofits, have deployed Convio Inc.'s Aikido CRM platform.

Aikido, Convio's new, Web-based, on-demand program, tracks all constituent interactions across all channels for nonprofit clients. Mobile Loaves and Fishes and Trisomy 18 Foundation took part in the initial launch of Aikido; it will be generally available in the second half of 2008.

“When you're running a nonprofit, you're faced with a multitude of potential platforms:  donor management, constituents and potentially volunteer management, as well as online fundraising,” said Alan Graham, president and founder of Mobile Loaves and Fishes. “All of these different items require different disciplines and people to run them, so it's a tremendous resource saver to not have to dedicate staff to put in data in each system. An open source e-CRM platform like Aikido is going to revolutionize the industry for organizations like ours.”

Clients can get a single view of donors, gifts, advocacy and volunteers in Aikido's centralized database. Mobile Loaves uses Aikido to keep track of its 11,000 volunteers, as well as contributors and others interested in its cause. Trisomy 18 Foundation is deploying the platform to provide targeted information to families dealing with Trisomy 18 — a genetic disorder. The foundation also uses Aikido to connect nationwide staff and engage constituents in peer support events, fundraising, and community outreach programs.

“We are largely a virtual organization,” explained Victoria Miller, executive director and founder of Trisomy 18 Foundation. “Our staff members are all in different locations, but Aikido gives us a common platform to share constituent information and interactions.

“Most of first contacts are families who have been affected by Trisomy 18 and are online looking for information,” she continued. “This gives us way to distribute information in e-mail series that are specific to their needs at certain times, rather than just one-size-fits-all Web content.

Miller also pointed out that the software-as-a-service design of Aikido makes it scalable and affordable for small organizations like Trisomy 18 Foundation.

“A big challenge for nonprofits is finding quality staff, but we find it very easy because our systems allow us to work together and are not dependent on time, place and bricks-and-mortar,” she said. “Aikido also addresses systems integration — getting communications and fundraising and financial systems working together to inform decision making — without extraordinary cost.”

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