Gathering Supporters Under One Roof

The Baker Institute for Animal Health, part of the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University, is one of the oldest research centers dedicated to the study of veterinary infectious diseases, immunology, genetics, and reproduction. It is an active proponent of increasing basic knowledge of domestic species as a platform for practical advances in animal health, with broad implications for human health as well.

 

Challenge

The Baker Institute was using an antiquated, difficult-to-manage customer relationship management (CRM) system for managing its communications, marketing and fundraising efforts with donors, students, faculty, volunteers and community members. The system was only partially computerized, with some records stored solely in hard copy. There was a lack of consistency and uniformity in the data, making it impossible for staff members across functions to share important information. They needed a more robust platform to help them manage and grow their base.

Solution

We researched, developed and implemented a fully custom, up-to-date, all-electronic CRM solution synchronized across multiple users.

  • This began with an audit of the old system, interviewing dozens of staff members affiliated with the Institute to ask them what was lacking, what was working, and what they’d like to see in the new system.
  • We also did an extensive audit of the daily activities and responsibilities of each user to determine various workflow scenarios that would need to be built into the new system.
  • We identified and recruited a key subject area expert from each team or business unit to advise us and do testing throughout the development process.
  • We met frequently with key stakeholders at the decision-making level to keep project goals and parameters aligned with the Institute’s outreach mission and budget.
  • The new system provided hundreds of unique fields to track biographical data, engagement activities, affiliations, and giving history. It also included several custom reports for regular data review.

Success

Soon after rollout, the new CRM platform helped the Baker Institute rapidly scale its constituent base of managed records from around 50,000 to well over 75,000. It also provided a secure, organized, reliable means of continuing that growth indefinitely in the future. Giving staff members a centralized way to pool all of their knowledge helped them execute their communications more efficiently, and with a higher level of sophistication. This greatly improved the Institute’s ability to engage its supporters, raise funding, and carry out its mission.

Amet Ornare

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