The World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) needed a modern solution for their fundraising. Their previous system didn’t integrate with their other tools, and the outdated technology didn’t allow them to connect meaningfully with their donors or adequately segment their contacts. There was not much visibility into the data to observe trends and donor behavior.
“The database that my team worked with was so old that it didn’t have modern features. It didn’t have mailing opportunities. It didn’t talk to MailChimp – we had to run MailChimp separately. The database was only kept as an address book because something disconnected and we were not able to upload our financial statements,” said Inga Pikse, Head of Philanthropy and Individual Giving.
“We kept paying twice as much as we’re paying now for Virtuous, to have maintenance that couldn’t fix the problem. We had the same donors in three different places. How do you track a donor’s experience when you don’t know what the other parts of the organization are doing with the same person?”
The team chose an expensive solution, but when the COVID-19 pandemic began, WAGGGS had to re-evaluate their plans. They had already moved out of their previous database, leaving Inga and her fundraising team to work off of spreadsheets in the interim. “Facing a pandemic with an Excel file for fundraising was not going to work,” says Inga.
They agreed if they could find a great CRM at an affordable price, they would make the move.
“We went through the process, found Virtuous, and compared and vetted it before we made the plunge. We have never looked back,” says Inga.
With Virtuous, the team at WAGGGS has a clearer view of their data and can quickly and easily use it to build stronger relationships with their supporters and grow their fundraising.
When they began the migration process to Virtuous, the team at WAGGGS believed they had about 6,000 contacts. When they renewed their Virtuous contract after their first year with the platform, they had more than 20,000 records.
“By pooling all the various Excel files from all the corners of the organization, migrating some smaller databases, and just bringing everything together, we are sitting well beyond 20,000 now,” says Inga.
WAGGGS is a truly global organization and needed some adjustments within the Virtuous platform to fit European standards. Virtuous was able to work with them to accept British pounds, change the format of dates, and meet their requirements as a membership organization.
Now, the World Associate of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts can fundraise in new ways more efficiently and with an easier user experience. “We are able to segment, without many complicated queries. We’re able to see giving history and year-to-date giving. We’ve turned on automation, and the simple things like birthday greetings are being positively received,” says Inga.
The team has used Virtuous’ best-practice templates to create new donor and subscriber welcome series and synced the CRM with Eventbrite to capture information immediately from events.
“We are a complicated organization. We are not straightforward, we have to think through how to adapt things to our audience,” says Inga. “But I could not talk long enough about how happy we are with Virtuous.”
Since adopting Virtuous, WAGGGS has seen greater fundraising success. In 2021, they had a target of raising £450,000, which they surpassed, raising £600,000. While Virtuous was not the only fundraising tool she used to meet that goal, she credits the personalization she could do with Virtuous as a major contributor to her success. “Can I put it all down to Virtuous? No. Would we have done it without Virtuous? No. It helped us a great deal,” says Inga.
“Last year, we smashed it. So this year the expectations are high,” Inga says. She knows donor cultivation will be key to achieving her ambitious goals, but with Virtuous, she feels prepared.