ADOPTING NEW TECHNOLOGIES TO SUPPORT DATA-GATHERING AND FUNDRAISING
With new leadership from our Board Chair, Rebecca Smith, the Board, and the Ballethnic organization, we have created a fundraising committee comprised of Board members, staff, parents of our students, and other volunteers. Responding to our need for data collection software, one technical committee member (also a Ballethnic parent and donor) volunteered to take on the task. After some initial research and after the initial flurry of sales calls from software companies, I gladly turned it over to him. He spearheaded an effort to research data and fundraising software platforms that could move us to a data-driven approach in our marketing, operations and fundraising. Each software platform was assessed for its ability to help Ballethnic meet its goals of managing constituent data, performing multiple types of fundraising activities (e.g. campaigns, annual drives, monthly giving, one-time donations, etc.), tracking memberships, managing events and volunteers, automating communications, integrating with social media, offering online product sales, producing reports, and integrating with our accounting software. A tall order!
After comparing the features of six software platforms, Ballethnic has selected Neon CRM (https://www.neoncrm.com/nonprofit-software/). Now that the selection of a platform has been made, Ballethnic will be configuring the platform, entering data, and implementing a staged approach for fundraising and marketing campaigns. While there is much work ahead, Ballethnic is excited to reach this milestone of having a robust software platform on which to grow with a dedicated expert leading the work.
mdowdellADOPTING NEW TECHNOLOGIES TO SUPPORT DATA-GATHERING AND FUNDRAISING
I have been fortunate to connect with highly skilled volunteers and collaborators to support Ballethnic’s mission. This collaboration has allowed me the space to act on the “stop doing” concept. In past years, I often longed for the kind of space and opportunity that “stopping doing” would have allowed, however Ballethnic did not always have the staffing or volunteer base to support this. I am excited to say that now, with the work and generosity of amazing volunteers and staff, I am living out the power of “stop doing”.
What have we stopped doing? Anything that doesn’t contribute to building our capacity to attract and keep our audience!
As a result, I have been able to focus on our strategic direction leading up to our 30th anniversary in 2020 and concentrate on board development, our artistic direction and my own succession planning.
It’s too soon to report any concrete results in terms of numbers, but we fully expect that within the next 3-6 months we will be back to tell that next step in our story.
While all of this has been going on, we’ve also been rebuilding our e-commerce business. Through Bob Littell of CEO Netweavers, we met Mel Dowdell, President of Online Media Interactive, who has guided us in researching and redeveloping the Ballethnic site for e-commerce. We have worked slowly to build a site that will reflect who we are while still capturing the data that we need.