Amergent’s nonprofit data management software, Portfolio, was chosen following a lengthy search process, which included a formal RFP and presentations from three finalists. Portfolio will replace Mercy Home’s legacy system as the nonprofit works to improve its multichannel outreach and expand its constituent base.
“This change had been in the works for a very long time — for years prior to this,” said Tim Henry, VP of information systems, Mercy Home. “Our legacy system was designed by us and for us, but as our fundraising activities were really expanding and becoming more diverse, we determined it would take a lot of work to bring that system up to serve those needs as well as our direct marketing needs.”
“Fundraising is a very relational industry, and we were finding that our legacy system was not as apt at managing those relationships as some of the newer systems were,” elaborated Mimi LeClair, VP of development, Mercy Home. “Additionally, because of the plethora of other database systems across the agency, we knew we needed one composite system that would honor the relationships from all angles.”
Traditionally, Mercy Home has depended on direct mail to communicate with donors and volunteers — who have skewed female, Catholic and over 65 years of age. However, a key driver behind the new system was to better support e-mail, online and mobile communications, which are expected to expand the constituent base “exponentially,” LeClair said.
“From a fundraising standpoint, the climate is changing fairly rapidly,” she noted. “We were an organization that had great success communicating with our donors via direct mail, but that doesn’t work for all constituencies as well as it does for older constituents. We needed a system that would honor communications and be state-of-the-art for any kind of Web interface and text messaging.”
Portfolio also is expected to improve efficiency and user access within the system, enabling the nonprofit to see real-time turnaround on communications. It also will make it easier for Mercy Home to “tag” constituent affinities, meaning if a donor has shown particular interest in educating a child, the organization will know to build its messaging to that person around education.
Implementation of the Amergent system should be completed in about a year.