Denton Freedom House easily tracks fundraising and donor data to grow impact

How Denton Freedom House has clearer data visibility and directly develops stronger donor relationships

Denton Freedom House is a faith-based nonprofit that offers rehabilitative programs for men and women dealing with substance abuse disorders and transitioning from incarceration.

The Challenge

Complex and Not User-Friendly

Denton Freedom House previously used Salsa CRM + Salsa Engage. The team was widely unhappy with the platform. “When I came on, there was just an enormous amount of frustration from end-users on how to use the product. It didn’t give them the information they wanted. The queries were very difficult to do. The way the records were stored in the database, they weren’t connected in any way, or you had to manually connect it and then the system would break,” explains IT Director Katrina Gaskill. “It was very complicated, not user-friendly. User-friendliness was the number one complaint. It wasn’t a robust system either,” she says.

A Growing Organization

“Salsa was really, really slow. I just didn’t use it much. I never got on there–it wasn’t friendly for me,” says Director of Growth and Development, Chad Eskew. This was a problem because Denton Freedom House is a growing organization. As they continued to add to their community, the need for more communication and greater insight into data grew, too.

The team at Denton Freedom House needed a platform to manage their fundraising and build donor relationships. They wanted something easy to use, that made it simpler to interact with donors. “One of the many reasons why we’re excited about Virtuous is the fact that we’ll be adding more and more constituents and donors and be able to communicate with more people,” says Chad.

Volunteers assist with Denton Freedom House's food pantry

How We Helped

User-Friendly for the Whole Team

“My motivation to change CRMs was I wanted anything that can help us interact better with our donors. Anything that can help us keep track, more up to date. I didn’t know that Virtuous would be this easy and nice,” says Chad. “You don’t know what you’re missing until you get into it and see the other side of things.”

Features are only useful if you can use them. “A lot of what we’ve seen with Virtuous is that these things might have been available with Salsa, but they weren’t as easy to get to, so we didn’t use them. The accessibility that we have in Virtuous makes it a lot more appealing for me,” says Chad. He finds the interface “friendlier” and data easier to access.

Instead of digging for information, or not using the software, now Chad can easily keep track of fundraising and donor data. “I use the widgets on the dashboard,” he says. “One of my favorites, being in fundraising and having goals for the year, is our year to date cash raised. I always love watching that. The recent gift log is very beneficial to me. I can see who gave, how much they gave, and the date their donation came in.”

Chad translates that data visibility directly into developing donor relationships. “I’m always seeing every gift that comes in,” he says, “And I can see if it’s a brand new donor that I don’t recognize. I can call them. I can make a note and say, ‘Hey, I talked to this person.’ That’s awesome.”

Virtuous makes it simple to see the big picture, as well as the details. “I also have the pie chart on my widget that shows me all of the different campaigns and how much money has come in on those. That’s really beneficial,” says Chad. “So it sounds like I’m a widget guy. It’s very easy.”

A Smooth Transition

Moving to a new CRM can be intimidating, but Katrina and Chad found that migrating to Virtuous was efficient and smooth.

“What makes the most impact for me is that my team had a great experience with the migration. Because when they’re hurting or tied up, it definitely bogs us all down,” says Chad. “I remember when we went from our first CRM to Salsa, and it was a much more pleasurable experience this last time, moving to Virtuous.”

Katrina agrees. “Having all our records moved over and set up in the correct way was a huge benefit. It was just so quick for us,” she says. “We had a lot of clean-up to do because of the old system, not because it was created during the migration. The migration was flawless. It was on time, it met all of our expectations.”

As they’ve continued, the team at Denton Freedom House has found Virtuous to be supportive and helpful. “The personnel at Virtuous are always really quick to answer questions and very friendly about it,” says Katrina.

“There’s a lot of training that’s always available, and Virtuous listens to changes and updates and is quick to implement them.”

– Katrina Gaskell, IT Director

Automation and Tools to Build Relationships

Virtuous Automation has opened up new possibilities for the team at Denton Freedom House. “We’re a small staff, so to be able to create things automatically and make sure things are getting done is really good,” says Katrina.

Using Letters on Demand, the team can automatically send new donors thank you letters, without adding staff time or even going to the post office. “That was fabulous. Just to have the technology at our fingertips is really good,” says Katrina. “I thought it was too good to be true.”

Donor portals are another tool that alleviates back-office tedium and frees up time at Denton Freedom House. “Donors can manage some of their own giving and take some of that work off our accounting department,” Katrina explains. “Having that portal has been very good. Virtuous lets us know when credit cards are declined. Our other system couldn’t give us that availability of information.”

Excitement for the Future

Chad and Katrina are looking forward to using Virtuous as they continue to grow. “If you’re looking to be more efficient with your current donors and with outreach, Virtuous is definitely a good way to go,” says Chad.

“We’re excited. I’m happy with our decision. We’re glad that we switched to Virtuous and looking forward to continuing to use all of the features as best as we can.”

– Katrina Gaskell, IT Director
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