Scaling for Impact:

Central and North West London NHS Charity’s Growth Journey with Donorfy



charity profile

  • Migrated from: Excel/Spreadsheets
  • No of Constituents: Under 1,000
  • Annual Income: £150,000
  • Charity Type: Health / Saving Lives
  • Donorfy Package: Professional

Nestled in the vibrant heart of London, the CNWL Charity is dedicated to ensuring the wellbeing of every patient and staff member within their trust.

Striving to enhance the care, support and treatment needed for a life well-lived, they enhance the patient experience by funding vital extras such as beautiful gardens and exercise equipment. At the same time, they support staff wellbeing, whether it's through thoughtful gestures like wellbeing boxes for those working on Christmas day, or investments in creating comfortable rest spaces. 

Why the new CRM?

quick glance

Upgrading from Spreadsheets

The charity faced the challenge of managing donor records buried in a spreadsheet on a shared drive, prompting the need for a dedicated CRM system.

Scalability and Growth Aspirations

Donorfy was chosen for its scalability, aligning with the charity's growth plans. It proved to be a fit-for-purpose solution not only for the present, but for the future too.

Simple Pricing and Implementation

Donorfy's ease of implementation and transparent pricing structure appealed to the charity's preference for simplicity in the adoption of a new CRM.


Breaking Free from Spreadsheets

In 2023, the charity faced a common dilemma - a small number of donor records tucked away in a spreadsheet buried in a shared drive. It had served its purpose, but the time had come to shift gears from reactive to proactive donor acquisition. 

As the need for a dedicated charity CRM system surfaced, they embarked on a market exploration to find the right fit. Like all charities, they were searching for a long-term solution that meant they weren’t back in the procurement process in a few years time, all while being mindful of cost.  

The charity is closely adjoined to the NHS Trust they support, so following their procurement processes added some extra spice to the search. Their CRM choice had to showcase value-for-money, with the annual and lifetime value of the purchase taking precedence. Additionally, easy implementation was non-negotiable. The solution they sought had to be one that sidestepped extensive and time-crunching involvement from IT.



Scaling Ambitions, Simplifying Growth

Donorfy stepped into the spotlight as the solution for the charity, suiting both their size and growth aspirations. Neil Harman, the Charity Development Director, expressed how Donorfy seamlessly aligned with their ambitious plans, stating, “We’re small and Donorfy’s scalable. As we start to scale, to whatever our ceiling is, Donorfy will still work. It’s fit for purpose for us now and will be fit for purpose for our needs in 10 years, which was important.”

The scalability of Donorfy extended beyond accommodating an expanding donor base; it embraced growth through integrations. From DotDigital and Gift Aid to JustGiving and Enthuse, Donorfy integrates with the platforms the charity plans to use going forward, assuring adaptability over time.

A free trial allowed them a taste of the Donorfy experience too; Neil was pleasantly surprised at the ease of use and appreciated being guided by a team rooted in charity sector experience.

The team's charity background became a key factor for Neil, emphasising the "by fundraisers, for fundraisers" ethos within Donorfy. He highlighted the wealth of experience within the team, especially from previous fundraisers who had tackled large-scale initiatives and created income streams from scratch, as a real bonus.

These people know what they want from the system,”  Neil explained. “What Donorfy has as a whole is the benefit of all those different experiences with different clients and their setups. They can say ‘here’s a pitfall, don’t do this,’ or ‘get on with this sooner as it takes time,’ and that makes onboarding for the next charity smoother and smoother.“

We didn't want something that had to involve droves of stakeholders who are already working at capacity.”  he continued, “just something we could switch on and use, and that’s what we got. Donorfy was simple to implement without extensive IT involvement."

In their search for a CRM, they sought simplicity in pricing without the complexity of endless add-ons too. Donorfy's transparent pricing structure proved to be the final touch, providing Neil with "one less variable to think about." 


An integrated solution

These are the integrations they're already using, and planning to use as they grow.



Streamlining Operations and Enhancing Donor Experience

Donorfy is proving to be a versatile tool for the charity. The ability to tag donors has emerged as a favourite feature so far, allowing for a personalised approach and simplified data analysis. Neil expressed his enthusiasm, stating, “We can really learn how to do our queries and searches on tags and almost become tag aficionados. I'm looking forward to getting a small team in place and seeing the time savings and extra insights we can draw down from as we start working on our different fundraising streams." 

A CRM for Christmas

Their recent Christmas Campaign provided their first opportunity to really harness what Donorfy can do for them. Donations were processed through a Donorfy form on their website, implemented by a Partner, with donor details going straight into a constituent timeline. They were able to take payments via Stripe too, and this made gift giving smooth and easy for donors, with 40% of donors opting to use Apple or Google Pay. 

This new way of fundraising also meant they didn't have to manually process lots of offline donations as usual, saving time they just don’t have to spare. Neil underlined the efficiency gained, stating, "The manual process for all donations might have been a day or two's work to complete carefully.”



Looking Ahead

Excitement brews as the charity anticipates the full potential of Donorfy with a complete fundraising team. Plans to go live with a lottery in Spring further underscored the platform's capacity to handle diverse fundraising streams and anticipated growth. The planned integration of Gift Aid, JustGiving and Enthuse, plus the launch of the charity’s regular giving campaigns, signal a future where Donorfy continues to play a role in the charity's growth journey.

In summary, their transition to Donorfy wasn't just about adopting software; it was about gaining a partner in their mission - one that grows with them and is backed by a team that understands how it feels to be in their shoes. We, for one, can't wait to see what incredible milestones this partnership promises for the future of this fantastic charity.

Hear it from Neil


Hear Neil reflect on why he'd recommend Donorfy to other NHS charities.

Neil Harman: Charity Development Director
CNWL NHS Health Charity

Donorfy is a really intuitive and user-friendly system and it's made day-to-day work much more simple and straightforward - for the bit that I, as a team of one and a half at the moment, have used it! I'm looking forward to getting a small team in place and seeing the time savings and extra insights.

Gizem Fowler: Business Development Manager

CNWL NHS Health Charity has been great to work with. Neil joined the team with ambitious plans to grow its fundraising income significantly and introducing a CRM system was one of the first steps. It was wonderful to see their first Christmas Appeal launch as planned, despite the tight timeline, and raise much needed funds. I'm looking forward to seeing CNWL NHS Health Charity's fundraising grow in coming years with Donorfy's help!

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