Americans United for Life Creates Greater Trust and Transparency in its Data

Learn how Americans United for Life created better trust in its data and leverage wealth insights to grow donor generosity.

Americans United for Life
Americans United for Life
Established in 1971, Americans United for Life is a team advancing the human right to life in culture, law, and policy.

The Challenge

Prior to switching to Virtuous, Americans United for Life (AUL) was using Salesforce to help organize and access their donor data – with one major issue. Most of their team felt uncomfortable or unable to access data beyond the most basic information made available to them. Because their team was unable to fully utilize their Salesforce database it resulted in having to utilize outside consultants to help them make data and reporting more accessible. 

“The analogy I like to use is like moving into a new house but the old linoleum is still there. There were a lot of artifacts in the last six years that have accumulated that we weren’t using, so we were trying to account for a lot of data. But the sheer number of fields was daunting to someone who just wants to pop in and look at the database.” 

Terry Archambeault, Donor Relations Specialist

In an effort to better equip their team and better connect with supporters, AUL began searching for a new CRM platform that could help. On their list of ‘must haves’ AUL wanted a platform that was more user-friendly, could allow their team to easily pull reports and queries, dive into mission-critical analytics, and was a more cost friendly solution. 

“Looking for a new system was a great excuse to scrap away the old stuff and jump in with new stuff and incorporate new features that had been developed,” says Terry.

Additionally, the AUL team was using Mailchimp to conduct its email marketing campaigns that ultimately wasn’t able to sync all email data back to their Salesforce platform. Their marketing and fundraising teams yearned for data that would give them a 360 view of what their donors were doing. 

“Are they clicking links, choosing to make a gift, or are they even opening it,” says Kevin Tordoff, Interim President. “We weren’t able to see that information in Salesforce from Mailchimp easily because it couldn’t be translated into the system without a substantial investment.” 

How We Helped

Partnership with AmPhil

To complicate matters, AUL had a shortened time period to migrate their data from Salesforce and implement Virtuous with their team. To better manage donations made before their fiscal year-end, AUL needed to have their data migrated to Virtuous 6-8 weeks prior to June 30th. Having the data migrated over prior to their giving campaign ensured a smoother transition for donors and staff alike. 

Terry and his team quickly realized that in order to meet that deadline, they would need additional support to make the migration and implementation possible. After a recommendation to AmPhil from Virtuous, AUL was able to work alongside AmPhil to ensure that their data was transferred over correctly to their new Virtuous CRM. 

With the trusted support from AmPhil, AUL not only successfully migrated and implemented Virtuous at their organization, they did so 6 weeks before the deadline! 

“With AmPhil we were able to go live in Virtuous several weeks before our deadline! We were asking for completion by May 1 and we launched in mid-March.”

Kevin Tordoff, Interim President

Additionally, the AmPhil migration team helped make the transition a smooth and easy process for the AUL team. “Working with Erin was great! She was good at setting timelines for things we needed to do, making it clear, and sticking to the deadlines,” says Terry. “She was also helpful in giving us advice and guidance on where to put data in Virtuous and reassuring me that I wasn’t deleting something that would cause issues later on.”

Greater Access to Data

“Compared to the staff’s usage of Salesforce, it’s a night and day difference!” says Terry. While before, staff was daunted and intimated to use Salesforce, they’re more likely to work in Virtuous now and feel much more comfortable and at ease accessing data inside the platform. 

“Our Donor Relations Director now feels empowered to go in, look at records, and use DonorSearch for prospecting, which is something he’s never been able to do before switching to Virtuous,” says Terry. With Virtuous’ native integration with DonorSearch, AUL’s fundraising team can segment their donors and target lower level donors to increase their giving amounts based on wealth history

Additionally their team no longer struggles with inaccurate or duplicate data. They’ve begun to accomplish its dream of having a 360 view of its database. 

Leveraging Automation

Americans United for Life are just beginning to explore the world of automation but already have taken steps to implementing time saving automations for their team. AUL utilizes specific giving level structures to organize its donors and with Virtuous’ automation tools, their team can now quickly tag donors based on their giving level – strategic partners, champions, or grassroots. Doing so allows them to find those giving levels and communicate with those donors effectively using specific communications and campaigns designed for each level. 

“Now it’s easy to pull a list for each giving level. They’re tagged, it’s easy to find, there’s no sort of guessing or pulling complicated reports. We know who they are and we can reach out to them quickly,” says Terry. 

“We’re just at the tip of the iceberg in tapping into the responsive features but we’re happy to be installed and focused on year-end giving. Now we’re starting to gradually explore how to implement more responsive fundraising into our strategies”, says Kevin.

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Todd Shinabarger
Chief Information Officer