RNIB Improves Fundraising Effectiveness and Accessibility with Touchstone

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Touchstone's fundraising solution is expected to contribute to improving The Royal National Institute of the Blind (RNIB)'s fundraising income from individuals by 40%

RNIB has selected a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) application valued in excess of £350,000 from IT services group Touchstone. RNIB expects the Touchstone solution to ensure consistency of communications with supporters, and improve fundraising and cross marketing effectiveness, as well as meeting the legal requirements facing the voluntary sector.

RNIB is the leading charity in the UK offering practical support , advice and information to over two million people with sight problems, as well as campaigning for equal rights. In response to increased competition for funds and in order to improve fundraising effectiveness, RNIB identified the need to make cross marketing a key component of its fundraising strategy.

Sioned Jones, Head of Finance and Operational Support for Fundraising at RNIB comments, 'In order to increase fundraising effectiveness and identify cross-marketing opportunities, we needed to have one centralised system to manage our interactions with all our different types of supporters. Through sharing complete supporter activity history and profiling information, we are able to plan fundraising campaigns more effectively, such as recruitment to a committed giving programme or attendance at a fundraising event.'

Touchstone recommended the Pivotal CRM for its marketing functionality and integration capabilities as well as its compatibility with screen reading technology, such as Microsoft Narrator. Jones added, 'We wanted to take the tremendous amount of information held on various databases around the organisation including donor histories held on fundraising and make that information readily available to fundraising managers. The Pivotal CRM system will provide the basis for tying this information together. At the moment, accessing this information is very labour-intensive as the systems we have in place are old technology and not really open to integration.'

Jones continues, 'We have over 12 million donor records, and we needed a central repository to keep everything intact and optimise our fundraising assets. It needed to be accessed and updated by our remote staff, office staff based in different locations and by people with sight problems using access technology. The Touchstone solution will enable us to access accurate and up-to-date information on our supporters at all times.'

RNIB chose to work with Touchstone on the project due to their experience and success in working with organisations to overcome similar business issues. Jones explains, 'We went through a very thorough selection procedure and Touchstone demonstrated a good understanding of our requirements. They also showed how the Pivotal system even in its prototype stage could handle the specific issues we were facing. We were impressed by Touchstone's ability to build strong working relationships with our users and to work closely with them to understand fully what they wanted to achieve.'

The project is being managed in phases. Phase one will start with system specification in November 2004, and subsequent roll-out and customisation of Pivotal to some areas of Fundraising from April 2005 including integration with other RNIB databases to create a single view of the donor. The second phase will take place towards the end of 2005 with the plan currently to be totally live over all areas of Fundraising by 1 April 2006.

Jones concludes, 'Touchstone is helping us to realise the potential of CRM in terms of the superior benefits it can bring to our fundraising activities. RNIB places the highest importance on supporters and our relationships with them and the Touchstone solution will allow us to be far more focussed on providing a consistent and better service to them, which, together with the expected fundraising improvements, will aid our goal of helping people with sight problems across the UK.'

Copyright© Touchstone Group plc, 2004

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