A Kid's Place Tampa Bay builds stronger donor relationships with Virtuous

A Kid's Place Tampa Bay scales their personalized marketing efforts by 30%.

A Kid’s Place provides residential services to children who have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect, or abandonment. A Kid’s Place is a model program that adheres to and exceeds the best practices in the field. Their primary focus is to keep sibling groups together in a safe, stable, and nurturing environment until a more permanent placement can be provided.
Nonprofit Sector
Favorite Features

The Challenge

Unutilized Legacy System

A Kid’s Place Tampa Bay had a strong community and donor relationships, but they were mostly routed through their passionate founder. When the founder passed away in 2013, there had been limited notes or history left behind. “We just didn’t have that overall history, and the system we were using we weren’t utilizing a hundred percent, or even probably 50 percent.”

As Development Director at A Kid’s Place Tampa Bay, Samantha Mellen was in the process of building a new team, “It seemed like the perfect time. We had been talking about a new CRM, and if we were going to have to train everyone in it, we thought we might as well all pick one together.” 

Samantha also shares that having separate systems was also a pain point. “We used to use Constant Contact, so you have pretty much two databases going. You don’t know who’s opening what unless you know their name, and sometimes it was just emails in there.”

We love Virtuous and everything that it helps us do at A Kid’s Place Tampa Bay.

– Samantha Mellon, Director of Development

Inefficient and Time-Consuming for Staff

A Kid’s Place’s previous system had a lot of room for improvement. Juggling multiple systems for CRM and email was inefficient and time-consuming. “It was very cumbersome,” says Samantha.

“Our old system was like a dinosaur,” says Samatha. “I think in the nonprofit world sometimes you get used to using what you have, or what you were trained on. You just forget sometimes, every couple years to check what’s out there and how things are getting better. Technology had grown and changed so much and we had never looked at those systems and what they could do.”

The team began their search and found Virtuous. “We loved that we felt heard. Virtuous spent the time onboarding us to make sure our ways of doing things aligned with the ways that Virtuous was doing them, and how to have that happy medium moving forward,” says Samantha. Now, A Kid’s Place is able to build stronger relationships with their donors, send more email communications, and grow their fundraising. 

“We definitely invested more in Virtuous, but we got more out of it,” says Samantha.

A Kid's Place Tampa Bay

How We Helped


The team at A Kid’s Place had different levels of technical experience. Two team members had never used a CRM before, so Samantha immediately found a lot of value in Virtuous’s intuitiveness and easy navigation. Customizable dashboards made things less overwhelming since each team member could look at the things most important to them, without being overwhelmed by the big picture. 

You don’t want to make it super complicated to find data or create more work for your team. And I think that’s really one of the great things about the dashboard. It truly is customizable to everyone.

– Samantha Mellon, Director of Development

A Growth Partner

“It’s a great system – it’s very customizable, easy, and consistent. It’s not just a database, Virtuous is very actively engaged with us whether that’s through check-ins, chat, or support,” says Samantha. “Virtuous is part of the team.”

Samantha appreciates that the system is growing and changing to help her be more and more responsive to her donors. “The Responsive Dashboard kind of blew my mind,” Samantha says. “It’s definitely giving me focal points, helping drive what we’re going to work on in the future, and giving us guidance.”

The team also loves how quickly they can take action with Virtuous. “We love the call list at the bottom of the dashboard,” shares Samantha. “You just have to pick up the phone and call. Anyone on the team can do this. Our CEO is in our system quite often and sometimes he’s like, what can I do? And we tell him to check the call list. He’ll jump on there, look at some gifts that are over X amount, and make those calls.”

The call list was one of the greatest features right when we first demoed with Virtuous, because it really prompted us on what you can do today without doing anything else. If you have 10 minutes extra in your day, you can just jump in there and make some phone calls.

– Samantha Mellon, Director of Development

Email and Automation

The team at A Kid’s Place knew that using their Virtuous Automation tools could help them create more personal and engaging donor experiences. They put in the time to think through their automation, create them with care, and they’ve seen their hard work pay off. 

Email has become more consistent now that it’s in one system,” says Samatha. They’ve seen increased open rates over time. “I think it’s going in hand with automation.”

When we first started sending emails, we were at around a 15 -20% open rate. And now I believe we’re at around a 37% open rate. So it really showed us that the our donors really wanted to hear from us. They wanted to hear stories.

– Samantha Mellon, Director of Development

Email automation has also allowed the team to personalize their communications at scale. “[Donors will] reply to these emails that are automated,” says Samantha. “And I’m like I didn’t e-mail them and it takes a second for me to realize this is one of the automated emails. But these supporters are talking to me like they know me because the automated email felt so natural for them.”

Better Donor Relationships

Kid’s Place Tampa Bay is seeing better donor relationships as a result of using Virtuous. As part of a recent capital campaign, they uncovered the impact their emails had made. “One of our donors said that we were in his top two charities, and it’s simply because we communicate with them,” shares Samantha.

With clearer insight into their data, the A Kid’s Place team knows more about their donors’ interests and passions. They use that data to make more targeted suggestions, whether it’s volunteer opportunities or donation requests. 

“Talking to your donors more and keeping them informed helps bring in more money. By using a platform like Virtuous we can easily stay in regular communication with our donors—whether that’s a phone call, letter, or email.” 

– Samantha Mellon, Director of Development
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