Central London Samaritans provides emotional support round the clock for anyone experiencing feelings of distress or despair. They are powered by volunteers and always on the look-out for warm, empathic people to help them continue our round the clock service. In addition to providing emotional support in our branch, they are active in the community reaching out to high risk groups including the homeless, young people, LGBT groups, those bereaved by suicide and prisoners.
As a charity, Central London Samaritans rely entirely on donations from the public, businesses and other organisations. It costs around £500,000 a year to run their Central London Branch and fundraising helps them to be there, round the clock, every single day of the year.
Looking for the right CRM
Rob Clarke, Fundraising Manager at Central London Samaritans, explained more about why they started looking for a donor management CRM:
“We're one of 201 branches in the UK and we haven't fundraised at this branch to any extensive degree up until this year. However, we have a fundraising need and it costs us half million a year to run our operation. We needed to build a strategy, identify our supporters and see where donations could come from. To help us manage this we want a CRM to help us understand those audiences and ensure we were getting off on the right foot with our data. This is our first effort in the CRM world.”
Donorfy stands out in the market
To help them understand their options, one of their volunteers who had experience in CRM systems looked at the market to compare the different options available:
“We wanted something cloud based so there wasn't a big software setup and that was responsive to our needs, efficient and cost effective so it would only really become a financial outlay as and when we start to have enough data to warrant large scale data management.
Donorfy is a new platform that seems really well linked into lots of systems that we use, like to Eventbrite, JustGiving and Mailchimp, and the ability to create very easy payment platforms appealed to us and our initial needs as a charity. And the fact that it seemed quite simple and easy to use for a smaller charity was important, as we are novices in this area but we could handle a platform as easy to use as Donorfy.
Building engagement with supporters
Rob and his team have so far used Donorfy to link their existing activity on Eventbrite and Mailchimp:
“Donorfy was really simple to get started. I set up the payment integration and it was very easy, and the guidance notes just made it really clear and simple. Anyone with the ability to understand and read a how-to guide could do it too.”
“We've run a few events through Eventbrite which has allowed us to post events internally and externally and then quickly get that data into Donorfy so we can promote other events to those people based on their interests. What we've also done is we've used the donation page app, which is embedded on our website. That allows us to build up a supporter group that we can communicate with and keep them engaged with what we're doing. Donorfy makes things really simple for us to get features like this up and running.
Future plans for future donors
This is just the beginning for Central London Samaritans, who have plans to build relationships with major donors using Donorfy to keep track:
“We have plans to put a lot more data into a campaign that will be running through Mailchimp that will then go into Eventbrite once people start signing up. It's quite early days and we're making sure that our data is safe and secure. Once we understand more about the abilities of Donorfy to look into our data and identify the links between our donors, it will help us prioritise our fundraising journey - especially around trusts, corporates and major donors - so we’ll be using Donorfy to help us manage those relationships.”
Want to learn more? Read about our 2016 Civil Society win, where Donorfy was voted BEST Charity CRM for cost, functionality, integration and more.