Charlotte Rescue Mission Creates Deeper Connections

Learn how, powered by Virtuous and AmPhil, Charlotte Rescue Mission created greater trust in its data and deepened supporter relationships.

Charlotte Rescue Mission
Charlotte Rescue Mission serves those at the intersection of homelessness and addiction so they can achieve their greatest human potential. They do this by providing free, Christian based, residential recovery programs to help people struggling with the disease of addiction achieve long-term sobriety, find employment and stable housing, and restore and build healthy relationships.

The Challenge

Prior to switching to Virtuous, Charlotte Rescue Mission was utilizing Blackbaud’s Raiser’s Edge NXT while simultaneously using the database view in order to use the functionality of both platforms. They quickly discovered that neither of the platforms were communicating data across the systems which caused issues across their fundraising team. 

“There were some things we would put into NXT and the database view and discovered they weren’t talking to one another. Especially when it came to grant management, that was our biggest pain point. Our grant manager was trying to track grants but the information wasn’t flowing through to Raiser’s Edge and made it difficult to pull reports,” says Sharon Bremer, Chief Development Officer. 

Additionally, the Charlotte Rescue Mission team had difficulties with Blackbaud’s customer service which compounded issues. “We had multiple tickets that were never resolved,” says Sharon.

While there were parts of Raiser’s Edge that Charlotte Rescue Mission enjoyed using, they ultimately decided to begin searching for a new nonprofit CRM solution that was able to better serve their mission holistically and ensure they had a broader view of their donor data. 

How We Helped

Partnership with AmPhil

In order to better equip their team to utilize Virtuous, Charlotte Rescue Mission began working with AmPhil, a premier Virtuous consulting firm, to help with adoption and cleanup after the migration process. 

“I’m a huge, huge fan of AmPhil! I wish we had AmPhil to help with the migration at the very beginning, they could’ve helped us with the process.” 

Lea Love, Manager of Development Operations

The AmPhil team deployed knowledgeable consultants to walk hand-in-hand with the staff at Charlotte Rescue Mission to ensure the crucial months post migration were successful. AmPhil was able to accelerate time to value by conducting additional training, providing a strategic CRM point of view, and executing various large data tasks. 

Sharon noted, “AmPhil’s knowledge of Virtuous and ability to run very sophisticated data processing projects solved major problems and helped us enormously.”

“I cannot say enough good things about AmPhil and how they’ve helped us learn Virtuous,” says Lea.

Creating Donor Connections

“One of the reasons for moving to Virtuous was having the marketing automation piece built in. Which meant for us that we didn’t have to upload each piece that was being sent out to our donors,” says Sharon. 

Their team is focusing on using the first time donor workflow which triggers a series of emails to those types of donors. 

While their goal is to encourage further contributions to their general fund, the email series is an educational opportunity to inform donors about the various services and programs offered by Charlotte Rescue Mission – addiction recovery centers for men and women, recovery living for graduates, transition housing, life skill programs, and more. 

“It’s all about creating connections. Everyone that completes a first time donation receives a series of three emails that helps educate them and gives us a chance to talk more about our programs.”

Lea Love, Manager of Development Operations

“Using the automation feature and being able to send targeted marketing pieces and having it tracked in the system is really helpful,” says Sharon.

The fundraising team at Charlotte Rescue Mission is beginning to explore additional workflows which will enable their donor officers to raise more money for their mission. 

Greater Transparency in Data

Now with Virtuous, the Charlotte Rescue Mission team has greater transparency and access to their data than ever before. Each day, Sharon and Lea look at an ongoing revenue report to track donations coming into their mission. 

“That [report is] our benchmark. We get the notifications every day for when donors make gifts. It’s really helpful to receive that notification about donors that gave the previous day,” says Sharon. 

Additionally, their donors have greater access to their own giving history. With the use of Virtuous’ donor portal, donors can access a history of their previous gifts and receipts. . Transitioning to fully using the donor portal by year-end is a major goal of their team. It’ll also help them save their team valuable time spent on mailing receipts as well as the postage costs associated with mailing receipts. 

About AmPhil

As a leading provider of integrated professional services, AmPhil strengthens civil society by helping mission-driven enterprises flourish.

Founded in 2009, AmPhil exists to promote the art of civil association by helping philanthropists, charitable foundations, and nonprofit organizations grow and flourish through practical guidance, strategic analysis, and no-nonsense consultation. Rather than peddling secret methods or promising fast results, AmPhil focuses on what matters — doing the right things, the right way, consistently over time.

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“Virtuous truly understands nonprofits and the importance of our mission. And their open access to data and built-in custom reports gave us access to the data we need.”
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Todd Shinabarger
Chief Information Officer