Arizona's Children Association Scales Automation and Reduces Admin Time

Learn how they reduced its administrative burden while scaling donor communications through automation.

Founded in 1912, Arizona’s Children Association is one of the oldest statewide comprehensive child welfare and behavioral health nonprofit agencies in Arizona. Located in all 15 Arizona counties, they provide a variety of programs and services to meet the needs of nearly 30,000 children, youth, and families each year.

The Challenge

Life Before Virtuous

Before Virtuous, Arizona’s Children Association used Blackbaud tools, most recently Raiser’s Edge NXT. As a long-time Blackbaud user and Chief Development Officer, Barbara Krusko had started to experience some frustrations with Blackbaud. “Our biggest challenge was the difficulty in running querying and we found that they kept taking things away from us. We had to do our thank you letters outside Raiser’s Edge because they took away the ability to do that. They wanted us to buy another product to be able to do that in Raiser’s Edge,” said Krusko. 

Another issue Arizona’s Children Association team encountered was that many team members were simply not using Blackbaud because it was so difficult or time-consuming. Krusko shared that her directors were avoiding using Raiser’s Edge, which was a significant issue. She pointed out, “We’re only as good as our data.” 

The ongoing frustration continued to build before Arizona’s Children Association was ready to make a change. “The final nail in the coffin,” explained Krusko, “was the service. We couldn’t get any help!” Dissatisfied with how difficult life with Blackbaud was, the team at Arizona’s Children Association decided it was time for a change. 

Looking for a New Nonprofit CRM 

When Arizona’s Children Association team started searching for a new nonprofit CRM, they had a few things that were important to them in their new tool: “Our database administrator was concerned with the ease of gift entry and grant management was an important feature for us.” They also wanted something that could help them with their moves management.  

Ultimately, one of the biggest factors for their team was automation.  As a nonprofit with a small staff, they needed a tool that could automate some of their processes to help them manage their donors and prospects more easily. Their ideal nonprofit CRM would have the functionality they needed and serve as a true partner to Arizona’s Children Association. 

Selecting Virtuous’ All-In-One Platform

Ultimately, Krusko and her team selected Virtuous to replace Blackbaud. In order to ensure her directors were bought in and would use their future platform, Krusko had Virtuous demo their platform to the wider team. 

The demo experience was a big plus for the Arizona’s Children Association team. They felt like all of their questions were answered, and they were able to really get a feel for Virtuous’ responsive fundraising tools. Through the demo process they were able to see that Virtuous checked off all of their boxes and then some. 

“And the biggest thing for us is that we looked at a lot of other different CRMs and this one was focused on fundraising, like really on the donor relationship. And that’s what really interested us.”

Barbara Krusko,
Chief Development Officer

Virtuous’ automation tools also played a large role in their final decision. “Virtuous does [automation], in my opinion, better than any of the other tools that we looked at. And that was a big, big decision maker for us,” shares Krusko. The team was thrilled about using Virtuous and excited to move forward with their migration. 

How We Helped

Migrating to Virtuous

Migrating to Virtuous has been a continuation of the experience they had during the sales process. According to Krusko, “the whole process has been amazing because while the migration was happening and we were doing the mapping, we were also doing training through Virtuous Academy and meeting with our success coach every two weeks.” The ongoing support from Virtuous throughout the migration has encouraged Arizona’s Children Association that they made the right decision.

“Going through the data mapping and everything has been, I have to say, almost painless. I was really worried about it but the data team that we’re working with have been so helpful in helping us understand. It’s just been seamless for us.”

Barbara Krusko,
Chief Development Officer

Looking Forward to the Future

Looking towards the future, Krusko and her team are “excited about the marketing piece. Blackbaud and what we work with is very, very limited in the types of forms and things that we can use so we’re really excited about that.” With only one person on the marketing team for a statewide agency, the marketing automation is going to help them better manage their large database. The team is looking forward to being able to “really drill down on who are the tier one prospects, who are the tier two, etc., and segmenting those people so that they’re not all getting the same stewardship and attention.” 

Not only is the team excited about Virtuous’ tools, but they are looking forward to implementing true responsive fundraising with the only responsive nonprofit CRM tool. Krusko believes that “the relationship building from responsive fundraising will really drive donor retention up.”  Donor retention has been a challenge for the Arizona’s Children Association in the past, but with Virtuous in place, they are confident that their fundraising future looks bright. 

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