The current database application has been in use at VCU since 1984 – 30 years! The cost of maintaining systems, integrations and customizations is unsustainable. The need for updated technology and business infrastructure has significantly outpaced the current database’s functionality. Today, the technology staff in Development and Alumni Relations spends most of its time supporting applications and integrations that compensate for functionality missing from the current database.
An integrated CRM solution eliminates development, manipulation and maintenance work and the need for other supporting systems, such as online giving, email communications, events, research, memberships, reporting, etc. Moving to the CRM creates significant cost and organizational efficiencies through better utilization of existing technology, staff and infrastructure.
The CRM will be used primarily by fundraising and alumni relations staff across the university. The current system has more than 200 licensed users. Within the past few years, the user list has expanded to include deans, department-level staff who raise money and colleagues in special events, communications, career services, new parent programming and more.
The CRM provides role-based user access tailored to the user’s job requirements. Such segmentation of access is a critical in the development of a grateful patient fundraising program.
The primary objective of this project is to implement a CRM system for DAR and the extended user community. The system will serve as the database of record for the university. The CRM tracks multidimensional relationships activity and engagement with students, alumni, parents, board members, volunteers and others across the university and the health system. It supports all methods of fundraising, including online giving, annual fund, direct mail, event fundraising, major and planned giving, recurring giving and membership.
Over time, the CRM should provide DAR with a 360-degree view of the entire VCU constituency, facilitating deeper relationships as well as more relevant and targeted communications.
The secondary objective of this project is to streamline and formalize the workflows that guide the business processes in DAR. The CRM will outline how these processes are initiated, prioritized and managed.