In This Article: Author cloudStack Team

How the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund managed a skyrocketing donor base and raised more money with cloudStack Services

Ensuring donor management and fundraising software scales with rapid growth

The Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund (DWF) was founded in 2018, and since then it has amassed thousands of supporters and created multiple programs such as Legacy Schools, Legacy Spaces, Artist Ambassadors and Youth Ambassadors.

DWF’s goal is to improve the lives of Indigenous people by building awareness, education and connections between all peoples in Canada. DWF calls on all people in Canada to take part in reconciliACTIONs, meaningful actions that move reconciliation forward. To date, DWF has reached over 5,000 educators through the Legacy Schools program, 40+ Legacy Spaces partners, reached over 33,000 newsletter subscribers, 9,500 individual donors and growing.

But as Reilly Goldsmith, manager of donor and partner engagement, explains, with meteoric growth comes challenges. Specifically, DWF was struggling with its donor management and fundraising software to stay efficient and build lasting personal relationships with its growing donor base.

She says as the organization began to grow, its pain points with their donor management system also increased.

There was no recurring donation functionality to track gifts that donors pledged over a period of time. The use of personas and relationship between constituents and accounts didn’t satisfy all DWF was looking to track and report to stakeholders. And, as a Canadian charity where tax receipting capability is critical, there wasn’t a straight-forward receipting option that satisfied the Canadian Revenue Agency’s requirements.

DWF was running tax receipt reports on a weekly basis, using a process that was needlessly complicated. “We really needed a system that our team could truly understand how to use so staff could take ownership of their data and processes within the system,” Reilly says.

DWF found a partner in Salesforce, a cloud-based software company, and implemented the Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP), an easy-to-use fundraising and constituent management application on the Salesforce platform.

And Salesforce found the perfect nonprofit consulting partner in cloudStack Services, to implement Salesforce and its NPSP for DWF as part of Salesforce’s nonprofit cloud.

Reilly says after making the decision to go with Salesforce, the hunt was on for the right Salesforce Implementation partner.

DWF needed a partner who could meet its extremely tight timeline of getting up and running with Salesforce. DWF’s donor management software contract was expiring, and one of its busiest months was around the corner. The partner also had to provide ongoing, one-to-one support as it grew into the platform. After a deep dive into all the options for implementation partners, cloudStack came out on top.

Painless and intuitive CRM management system, powered by Salesforce for the Downie Wenjack Fund

Painless and intuitive CRM management system, powered by Salesforce

According to Reilly, cloudStack Services and Salesforce has exceeded all expectations. Sending emails, monitoring donor engagement, running reports and generating receipts can be quite the task, but cloudStack Services, paired with the NPSP, has found a way to make it painless and very quick.

cloudStack Services’ CRM software, fundraisingManager, and complementary products, receiptManager and financeManager, are the perfect fit for nonprofits looking to scale up. Part of what makes it such an effective solution is its seamless integration with the Salesforce platform.

Getting set up with cloudStack Services’ CRM and Salesforce was straightforward. cloudStack’s dedicated team helped Reilly and her team with a full data migration, education, training and rollout. Within 48 hours, the cloudStack Services team assisted DWF with setting up its first campaign in Salesforce Pardot, a marketing automation platform. Acting swiftly to expand its reach was a clear indicator to Reilly that she had chosen the right Salesforce Implementation partner for their move to Salesforce.

First, cloudStack Services set up Pardot to allow DWF to personalize communications with constituents and track engagement with prospective and existing donors so it can see the results of specific marketing campaigns.

Seeing donor behaviour and being able to seamlessly plan out a donor’s journey was a roadmap item the organization needed for continued growth. The functionality of Pardot allowed DWF to automate different engagement plans with their constituents, improving the quality of their communications.   

Examples emails created by DWF in Pardot

Then, cloudStack Services installed fundraisingManager, a CRM that allows DWF to customize donation forms on its website and automate its acknowledgements and CRA-compliant tax receipts for donors.

DWF could instantly process donations through Stripe [a payment processor] and import all critical donor data into Salesforce. fundraisingManager handled donation receipts daily, and gave the nonprofit the option to email receipts as secure PDF’s or mail them to donors.

By adding receiptManager, DWF has the ability to send year-end giving summaries in batches, saving staff hours of valuable time.

Reilly describes it as a “true partnership” as opposed to just another piece of software you invest in and struggle to use or not use at all.

“Working with the cloudStack team was incredibly flexible, and the team was able to meet our crazy timelines and last-minute requests efficiently,” she says. 

DWF now has the ability to fundraise with ease, has transparency into what’s going on throughout the organization, manage every donor touchpoint, and pull reports for its staff and board. It’s all stuff they need—laid out in a way that’s intuitive and useful for them.

By pairing fundraisingManager and Salesforce, DWF is able to maintain the same exceptional, high-level of customer service that first catapulted the organization into the limelight.

And if something is unclear, DWF has an easy-to-reach, knowledgeable team of specialists at their fingertips, and they know that the cloudStack Services team is always standing by to help.

Better reach, engagement and retention

DWF continues to see increases at all levels of giving, and that’s wholly thanks to its donor-centric approach and meaningful ways to engage individuals and connect them to DWF’s mission and core values.

fundraisingManager is part of the solution that enables the organization to continuously deliver a charitable impact. It pays for itself over and over again.

With fundraisingManager and Salesforce, Reilly is confident that it will enable DWF to keep pace as it expands—which is good, because the nonprofit’s growth doesn’t show any signs of slowing down.

“In 2021, the DWF team grew from seven employees to 14, with more hires planned for 2022,” she says.

There was also an incredible uptake in DWF’s 2021 Walk for Wenjack event from the previous years: 27,040 participants which included 198 teams and 90 schools across Canada. DWF raised $117,185 in less than 60 days, doubling its initial $60,000 goal.

Having compared cloudStack Services to other solutions firsthand, Reilly’s glad to have finally found a partner that’s both saving DWF money and is invested in the organization’s success as she is.

“The transition has been really helpful while our organization is still young and growing,” she says. “It has allowed most of our staff to begin on Salesforce from day one.”

The Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund (DWF) aims to build cultural understanding and create a path toward reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. Their goal is to improve the lives of Indigenous people by building awareness, education, and connections between all peoples in Canada.

Looking for a better fundraising experience for you and your donors?

cloudStack Services delivers intuitive and flexible CRM management services that scales with you.

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Key Takeaways

The Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund (DWF) aims to build cultural understanding and create a path toward reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. Their goal is to improve the lives of Indigenous people by building awareness, education, and connections between all peoples in Canada.

Challenges

 Partnering with a CRM to get actionable, real-time data related to donor giving and CRA-compliant receipting

Ensuring the CRM software can scale with YOY growth

Gaining transparency into impact and challenges to ensure DWF is able to deliver exceptional service to constituents, while creating an authentic, sustainable movement

Solution

 Seamless integration with Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack and CRM fundraisingManager

Fast an intuitive capabilities for the DWF team

Quickly tie donor giving to the impact of campaigns and projects in real time

Results

 Over 600 donations automatically receipted saving DWF staff hours worth of manual donation receipt creation

100% growth in Legacy School program, with similar growth projected for the future.

7 new staff hired and trained by cloudStack staff