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How El Futuro Recession-Proofed its Fundraising Efforts with Network for Good

When Advancement Manager, Mary Coffman joined El Futuro, a small nonprofit offering mental health services to Latinos in Durham, NC, she encountered what she refers to as the “Cadillac of databases.”

“The database they had been using was really big and solid, but it was way too bulky and clunky and clearly meant for big fundraising efforts involving a big team and lots of oversight,” Mary recalls.

It was difficult for their small nonprofit to customize such a large-scale database to meet their needs without spending more time and money on intensive trainings and hiring someone solely focused on database management. That left Mary feeling like “we were using 1% of the database’s capabilities.” And with a recession looming, she knew the organization needed a better system.

At the time, El Futuro was using different databases for digital communication, data management, and donation tracking. From Mary’s previous experience, she knew that Network for Good would be a much better fit.

“Network for Good really knows its clientele because it gives us what we need, when we need it, and in a way that’s easy to use,” she said.

Mary spearheaded a plan to transition El Futuro to Network for Good, and the organization hasn’t looked back.

Below, Mary outlines her organization’s fundraising strategy during difficult times and shares how Network for Good’s all-in-one software made it happen.

Adopt an Abundance Mentality

As the saying goes, attitude is everything. That’s especially true when fundraising during difficult times. Mary says that El Futuro adopted an “abundance mentality” when communicating with donors, focusing on the greater good as opposed to the organization’s needs. El Futuro’s 2021 annual appeal highlighted the value of community and featured information about other Latino-serving organizations in the area that recipients could support. What’s more, the organization’s staff also offered to distribute donations to these organizations on behalf of donors.

Mary shared that people “loved” this approach and it “[pushed them to give to El Futuro] and other worthwhile organizations.”

Bring Efficiency to the Forefront

Resources that save time or money are always valuable— especially in the face of a recession. Network for Good is one of these resources for El Futuro.

“Network for Good has been crucial in our COVID-19 resiliency and makes us more efficient, too,” Mary explains.

She finds that the software is most valuable when it comes to training and coordination. When a new person joins the organization, Mary doesn’t need to spend hours showing them how to use Network for Good’s donor management system: “it’s so self-explanatory that I don’t have to spend time training people how to use it.” In fact, Mary said that using Network for Good at her previous organization allowed her to decrease staffing needs by 30%.

Network for Good’s task function also streamlines her staff’s time, allowing Mary to provide information and send requests to her team in seconds. But the system’s value goes beyond administrative tasks. Mary shared that El Futuro’s Development executive dDirector was “floored” when she saw how easily Mary could draft an email blast with Network for Good. The all-in-one system’s ease of use, paired with its donor data management and email capabilities, helped Mary and her team increase newsletter signups by 300%!

Turn Challenges Into Opportunities

The COVID-19 pandemic put a pause on in-person events, but that challenge became an opportunity for El Futuro. Their annual spring luncheon was transformed into a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign. Instead of having 30 table captains secure donations from event attendees, 10 community ambassadors raised $112 thousand throughout Mental Health Month using Network for Good’s peer-to-peer fundraising technology—12% more than their most successful fundraiser. El Futuro also received donations from 53 new supporters.

According to Mary, Network for Good’s software made the campaign possible.

“Without Network For Good, I would never have been able to host a month-long campaign,” she says. “Even though I hadn’t used the peer-to-peer that tool before, it was really easy and effective.”

You can make your organization’s fundraising easier and more effective with Network for Good’s all-in-one technology, even during challenging times. Contact us today for a free demo!


Published: December 20, 2022

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