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AID Atlanta

AID Atlanta Enhances Development and Increases Its Online Community with Blackbaud NetCommunity

AID Atlanta, Inc. has been saving and transforming lives since its inception in 1982. The agency was founded as a grassroots response to the devastating and fatal impact HIV/AIDS was having on the Atlanta community. AID Atlanta quickly began expanding to offer a broader range of services, and has grown to be the largest and most comprehensive AIDS service organization in the Southeast United States. The mission of AID Atlanta is to reduce new HIV infections and improve the quality of life of its members and the community by breaking barriers and building community. AID Atlanta has proven itself a leader in the fight against the AIDS epidemic in Atlanta.

Challenge

For approximately two decades, AID Atlanta has been using The Raiser’s Edge to manage and maintain its constituent data. As the Internet began to grow in size and popularity, and as the organization’s annual walk fundraiser became bigger, AID Atlanta needed to embrace and utilize the Internet to help it handle the growth of its walk and provide event participants the type of experience they desired. The organization also wanted to build its own online community. In order to effectively achieve this, AID Atlanta needed a solution that integrated with The Raiser’s Edge.

The organization originally chose a competitor for its event fundraising software. Sold on the promise that a Raiser’s Edge plug-in was available, AID Atlanta purchased the software and began to use it for its annual “Every Life Deserves Hope” Walk and 5K Run.

Over time, the staff at AID Atlanta became frustrated with the lack of support provided by Convio and tired of waiting for the promised plug-in to The Raiser’s Edge. They were having trouble getting in touch with anyone who could help.

The staff members at AID Atlanta knew that they wanted seamless integration between their events software and their database. They wanted to build their online community and in order to do that, they needed a website that was database-driven and supported the exchange of information between the organization’s websites and its constituent database. AID Atlanta simply wasn’t getting this from its previous provider.

Solution

To overcome these challenges, AID Atlanta switched to Blackbaud NetCommunity in 2006. Blackbaud NetCommunity provides the functionality, the support, and the single-system solution that AID Atlanta was looking for. It works seamlessly with The Raiser’s Edge to give AID Atlanta the information it needs. It also has email solicitation functionality and online event fundraising capabilities. With Blackbaud NetCommunity, AID Atlanta got what it needed.

“We liked Blackbaud as a company and had a good relationship with them,” said Ed Doolittle, donor services manager for AID Atlanta. “The customer support with Blackbaud for both The Raiser’s Edge and [Blackbaud] NetCommunity is fantastic. We know when we call there is good likelihood that someone will answer the phone. We always know that our problem or issue is being addressed and it is always addressed in a timely manner. People sometimes forget the importance of good customer support. Having experienced poor support, we know how important it is and feel that Blackbaud has continually gone above and beyond.”

Ed Hohlbein, annual fund manager at AID Atlanta, added, “We also needed the seamless integration of data between our website and our database. That was a must. With Blackbaud, we knew without a doubt that we would get that capability. It was essential in order for us to move the organization in the direction we wanted.”

In addition to Blackbaud NetCommunity, AID Atlanta recently began to use Blackbaud Sphere’s Friends Asking Friends for its online event management.

Results

The AID Atlanta website is now more development friendly. The site has a donate now button and enables donors to set up recurring gifts that are automatically withdrawn at increments chosen by the donor. Before, the organization was using PayPal®. Donors had to go in each month (or however often they wanted to make a gift) and enter it. Now they can set up how much they want to give and how often. Staff members at AID Atlanta do not have to rely on the donor nor do they have to remind the donor when it is time to give. Furthermore, the donor doesn’t have to worry or think about it either.

Additionally, with data pulling into The Raiser’s Edge from various locations, AID Atlanta has the ability to capture constituents early on in their involvement with the organization and add them to the cultivation process. For example, individuals that sign up for educational classes online are now seamlessly captured in The Raiser’s Edge. AID Atlanta can then use this information to recruit class members to become volunteers or participate in the organization’s annual walk, for example. This is extremely beneficial for AID Atlanta because many donors begin their engagement with the organization as volunteers. Now volunteers can be added to the cultivation process to become donors.

Another key benefit is the online registration capability. Before Blackbaud NetCommunity, AID Atlanta would have to collect cash or money orders at its “AIDS 101” class. Now it is all done online via Blackbaud NetCommunity. With five classes a year, each with an average attendance of 100-150, that creates a lot of manual entry and check processing. With The Raiser’s Edge and Blackbaud NetCommunity, registration is done entirely online and the process has been significantly streamlined. All AID Atlanta has to do is export the registrations and with just a few mouse clicks.

 
 

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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