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RMH_St.Louis

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Metro St. Louis

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Metro St. Louis Increases Online Donations and Constituents with Blackbaud NetCommunity Grow ™

The Ronald McDonald House provides a “home-away-from-home” for families of seriously-ill children traveling to St. Louis for medical treatment. The facility has grown from an eight-bedroom facility in 1981, to now include three houses, eight extended-stay apartments, and three Ronald McDonald Family Rooms. The Ronald McDonald House provides comfort, care and lodging for up to 59 families each night.

Challenge

RMHC of Metro St. Louis’ website was not helping the organization grow. The organization was experiencing high bounce rates — up to 55 percent — on its site. It was not collecting a lot of email addresses and it wasn’t raising much money online. The site was organized and focused on the chapter, instead of the user.

Managing, editing and updating the site was also too much for one person. For Stephanie Stangl, communications coordinator for RMHC of Metro St. Louis, using another program to make updates and changes to the website without any knowledge of HTML, was too time-consuming and limiting.

The organization knew that a better website, and a better system to manage its website, would enable it to do more. With the right website and content management system, the organization would be able to develop an online community of engaged supporters, increase donations, provide a more receptive communication medium, and ultimately help the organization better serve its constituents — both donors and the families it serves.

Solution

After evaluating a few solutions and asking other Ronald McDonald House chapters, RMHC of Metro St. Louis selected Blackbaud NetCommunity Grow®.

“The global organization had great success with NetCommunity Grow and felt that it was a good choice,” Stangl mentioned. “With NetCommunity Grow’s connection to The Raiser’s Edge®, its built-in template capabilities, and the consulting services, the solution was a perfect fit for us.”

NetCommunity Grow provides RMHC the ability to quickly and easily update its website without having to know HTML. Multiple people throughout the organization can update or make changes to areas of the site as needed. This ensures that the site always has the most accurate and up-to-date information.

“One of the things I like most about NetCommunity Grow is that when you make a change to a template it is automatically populated throughout the site,” Stangl said. “It saves a lot of time.”

In addition to the ease of use afforded by NetCommunity Grow, RMHC is able to use the website and the eCommunications functionality in Grow to build its community. With NetCommunity Grow and The Raiser’s Edge, the house is finally able to segment its email list.

Results

The functionality and consulting services provided by NetCommunity Grow has proven to be an excellent choice for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Metro St. Louis. Not only has the organization seen a significant increase in Twitter® followers and Facebook® fans, it has also experienced more tangible results.

  • Bounce rates from the website have decreased from 55 percent to 30 percent in the first nine months using NetCommunity Grow.
  • The number of website visitors has increased 60 percent. People are finding what they want and staying on the site longer.
  • Online donations have increased 30 percent and the organization has experienced a steady rise since implementing NetCommunity Grow.
  • Increased email communication open rates from 20 percent to 45 percent because of the ability to segment using NetCommunity Grow and The Raiser’s Edge.

Stangl attributes these successes to the implementation of NetCommunity Grow, the strategy services provided with the package and the opening of a new house. “Even with the new house opening, we wouldn’t have seen this much of an increase without Grow,” she mentioned.

Stangl found the strategy services with NetCommunity Grow to be exceptionally helpful. “Our consultant gave us practical, digestible, and most importantly, do-able things to improve our donation page,” Stangl said. “And it really worked! I submitted our donation page to a conference to be analyzed by an industry expert and she raved about how it was her favorite and the best one that was submitted. It really justified the work we did, both me and Blackbaud.”

The success RMHC has experienced so far has made the organization excited about the possibilities of the future. Spring is the organization’s busiest time of the year. With the organization’s web strategy foundation set, it will begin to use more and more of the features in NetCommunity Grow to further build its community.

“NetCommunity Grow has enabled us to increase our online donations while helping us build a very strategic online plan for marketing and development. It has helped us create a plan and strategy for eblasts and our social media activities. NetCommunity Grow delivers us the step-by-step plan and the tools to build our community, increase our supporters, and ultimately, increase our donations,” Stangl concluded.

 
 

Blackbaud (NASDAQ: BLKB) is the world’s leading cloud software company powering social good. Serving the entire social good community—nonprofits, foundations, corporations, education institutions, healthcare institutions and individual change agents—Blackbaud connects and empowers organizations to increase their impact through software, services, expertise, and data intelligence. The Blackbaud portfolio is tailored to the unique needs of vertical markets, with solutions for fundraising and CRM, marketing, advocacy, peer-to-peer fundraising, corporate social responsibility, school management, ticketing, grantmaking, financial management, payment processing, and analytics. Serving the industry for more than three decades, Blackbaud is headquartered in Charleston, South Carolina and has operations in the United States, Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit www.blackbaud.com.

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