Bloomerang Case Study: Advanced Moves Management with Pipedrive [Webinar]
Your Bloomerang database is the central donor management platform for your organization, but Bloomerang likely isn’t the only app that you use day to day. We believe Bloomerang is your central system and that integrations supplement your Bloomerang database. Automation should start from a lens that Bloomerang is core to your donor management and fundraising technology.
Fundraisers can save time, increase outreach with key constituents, and streamline operational tasks by exploring custom Bloomerang automations via Zapier. Learn how Willamette Falls Trust supported and progressed its multi-year, multi-million dollar capital campaign by adopting Pipedrive for pipeline management and integrating the solution with Bloomerang.
The goal of this webinar is to show you an advanced donor cultivation tool like Pipedrive can be integrated with Bloomerang to achieve significant outcomes.
During this webinar, you will learn the following:
- Challenges that led Willamette Falls Trust to explore an advanced donor cultivation and pipeline solution
- The journey to implementing Pipedrive and deploying automations to integrate donor cultivation efforts with Bloomerang
- Outcomes the Trust has experienced since implementing Pipedrive
Webinar transcript (not including Q&A):
Good afternoon, and welcome to Bloomerang Academy! Thank you for joining us. My name is Diana Otero, and I am the Product Engagement Manager at Bloomerang. You might recognize me from attending Bloomerang Academy classes or listening to our release and help videos.
Today, we’re sharing a Bloomerang Case Study that explores Moves Management with Pipedrive.
I’d like to introduce our presenter today, Jessie Gilchrist. Jessie is a Zapier Certified Expert and Bloomerang Integrations Consultant at Sidekick Solutions. Sidekick Solutions is a Bloomerang Partner, specializing in system automations for Bloomerang. Sidekick Solutions has been a Bloomerang user since 2013 and most recently was part of the Bloomerang team that launched the Bloomerang Zapier app. We’re excited to have Jessie here today to share her expertise and explore how integrations with Bloomerang can take your fundraising efforts and donor cultivation to the next level.
Thank you Diana. Hello everyone! It’s great to be here.
We often get asked how integrations work in real settings, with real organizations, in a day-to-day scenario. To illustrate how Bloomerang remains the core, central system in an organization’s tech stack and fundraising strategy, we are going to share the story of Willamette Falls Trust’s journey to automation and implementation of Pipedrive for its major gift donor pipeline and donor cultivation.
Many organizations say that the thought of integrating other apps with Bloomerang feels overwhelming or unattainable. Our hope is that by the end of this webinar, you’ll see how one organization was able to successfully implement a donor cultivation solution and integrate it with Bloomerang to attain significant outcomes to further drive their mission and goals.
Our webinar today will…
- Introduce Willamette Falls Trust and the challenges that led them to explore an advanced donor cultivation and pipeline solution
- Explore the Trust’s journey in implementing Pipedrive and deploying automations to integrate their donor cultivation efforts with Bloomerang
- Share the outcomes Willamette Falls Trust has experienced since implementing Pipedrive for donor cultivation and pipeline tracking
- Discuss the Trust’s future vision as it leans into the solution and automation with Bloomerang
To get a sense for where each of your organizations are at, we’d like to do a quick poll. How are you tracking donor cultivation and moves management activities at your organization?
Now, let’s dive into the star of the show today, Willamette Falls Trust.
Willamette Falls Trust is the nonprofit organization raising funds and leading Indigenous Community Engagement in order to realize the collective vision for a spectacular public riverwalk at the Falls in Oregon City, OR, just 13 miles south of Portland. Willamette Falls has been a gathering place for Native tribes since time immemorial and is a place of fishing, trade, and industry. The Trust’s vision is to create a vibrant public space where the lifeways and histories of multiple communities come together at the continents’ second most powerful waterfall and the public can connect to the Falls through nature, culture, and community.
Now that you have a sense of the Trust’s mission, let’s talk about their journey to implementing a donor cultivation and major gift donor pipeline, and integrating that solution with Bloomerang.
A few years ago, the Trust embarked on a multi-year, multi-million dollar capital campaign with a Phase I goal of $25 million. They did not have a donor database and no solution for managing their donor cultivation activities and their prospect pipeline.
The Trust started with another donor database and quickly found it was not robust enough for its needs. They wanted to move to a database that could fit the campaign as it grew and make the switch before too much data was in the original solution.
It was at this time that the Trust researched other CRM options and identified Bloomerang as its core donor database. The primary drivers for Willamette Falls Trust choosing Bloomerang as its CRM were:
- Ability to customize the platform
- Ability integrate other software tools
- Ease of use and readability of the system
- Robust pledge tracking
- Ongoing support options
Upon adopting Bloomerang, the Trust reached out to Sidekick Solutions for technical assistance and guidance on best practice database design to support its campaign, donor cultivation, and major gift donor pipeline needs. The Trust is made up of experienced fundraisers, but needed help designing a solution that would help drive their campaign efforts.
For many organizations, Bloomerang custom fields and its easy-to-use reporting utility provide the customization and flexibility needed to deploy a simple moves management and opportunity tracking solution.
I’d like to take a quick moment here to point out that the solution we’re going to showcase during this webinar exists on a spectrum where tracking a major gift donor pipeline could occur in a spreadsheet, in Bloomerang, or in a cultivation tool like Pipedrive. All of these approaches are viable.
Willamette Falls Trust was embarking on a phased multi-year, multi-million dollar capital campaign and their need for advanced donor cultivation tracking and pipeline reporting extended beyond the functionality available in Bloomerang.
The Trust needed:
- Dynamic pipeline progress and conversion reports
- Activity tracking and management across its portfolio
- Software that reinforced the donor cultivation process (i.e., moving gift prospects forward)
I’d like to introduce Alexis Ingram, the Campaign Director at Willamette Falls Trust. I’ve asked Alexis to hop on the webinar and share, in her own words, the Trust’s experience. Alexis, we’ve touched on this a little already, but what led the Trust to exploring a donor cultivation tool outside of Bloomerang?
I have used Raiser’s Edge, Tessitura, Salesforce, Little Green Light, and now Bloomerang and Pipedrive. This is a path that many fundraisers find themselves on, whether they like it or not.
Although we were in the beginning stage of our fundraising campaign, this is a project that will need philanthropic support for many years to come. I wanted to pick a database solution that would grow with us. Bloomerang is great for pledge and gift tracking, but didn’t have the robust moves management tracking that we needed in order to be successful at managing our pipeline of donor prospects.
I knew which reports I needed and the kind of donor and activity tracking I wanted to see. I needed to see a snapshot in time of how many donors were in the Cultivation Stage at any given date, a pipeline report, a Gift Table report, conversion rates, etc. I just needed more robust reporting/filtering than what came canned with Bloomerang.
I searched ‘moves management Bloomerang’ online and an article written by the Sidekick Solutions team came up. I reached out to the team and felt that my needs were very clearly heard. And here we are today!
When considering adding a new app/tool to its tech stack, we often see organizations search for a new tool first and then adapt their work to fit the solution. This can often result in long-term frustration as the tool may or may not fully support the use case.
It is important to instead focus on your mission, strategic plan, and organizational goals, allowing real use-cases to drive the adoption of new apps/tools. If you start by identifying each use case, confirming its alignment with your organizational goals, and defining the experience you want to have, you can then go to the marketplace and find the tool that best fits your use case and that is integration friendly.
This is exactly what Willamette Falls Trust did. We spent time discussing use cases, donor cultivation strategy, and pipeline reporting needs before making the jump to add a new app/tool to its tech stack. During this process we analyzed what needs could be met in Bloomerang and which would require an external solution.
Ultimately, Pipedrive was chosen as the ideal app for donor pipeline, cultivation and moves management. This is where Bloomerang’s ability to talk to other apps comes into play.
It is easy to say that Bloomerang has positioned itself as the most integration friendly donor database in the marketplace. When we talk about Bloomerang integrations, there are two types we should differentiate between: native and custom. Native integrations, often called “direct” integrations, are built within the Bloomerang database. You are likely familiar with these as they include Fundraise Up, QuickBooks, Mailchimp, GiveButter, Donor Search, etc.
Bloomerang does not have a native integration with Pipedrive, and so we looked at a custom integration.
Custom integrations with Bloomerang are typically built using the Bloomerang app in Zapier. Zapier is the software that enables additional Bloomerang integration and fundraising opportunities. It’s a middleware that sits in between your Bloomerang database and other apps, helping them “talk” to each other.
Zapier is automation software. With Zapier, you can build one integration or many, automating hundreds of tasks around your Bloomerang system within a single platform.
So, why get excited about Bloomerang Zapier integrations? There are three primary reasons custom Bloomerang integrations with Zapier are a value-add for your organization.
First and most important, Zapier connects to 3,000+ other apps. Any apps in Zapier’s directory can be connected to Bloomerang. If it’s on Zapier’s list it can be integrated with Bloomerang. This extends the boundaries of your Bloomerang database substantially as many apps your organization may use are likely not natively integrated with Bloomerang. Additionally, if a native integration in Bloomerang does not meet your organization’s use case, Zapier can be used to design and deploy a similar, more customized version of the integration.
Second, Zapier was designed for anyone to build integrations. You don’t need to know how to code to build Zaps. Anyone can build and maintain a Zap.
Third, Zapier enables custom integrations. You aren’t limited to one-size fits all workflows, mapping, or formatting. You can build integrations that are perfect for your organization and your workflows. Flexibility is especially important because every organization’s fundraising strategy and needs are different.
We’d like to do a quick poll to see how many of you are using Bloomerang integrations currently.
Willamette Falls Trust’s major gift donor pipeline uses both Pipedrive and Bloomerang in a complimentary manner.
- Pipedrive is used for all donor cultivation, moves management, and opportunity tracking. For tracking donor gifts that are in process.
- Bloomerang is used for revenue (closed opportunity) tracking
With this relationship between the two systems, a core piece of their solution is an integration between Bloomerang and Pipedrive.
With Bloomerang and Pipedrive serving complementary roles, the Trust only needed a one-way sync from Pipedrive to Bloomerang.
The sync is designed to ensure major gift prospects in Pipedrive exist in Bloomerang as constituents for mailings and other general communications. This also minimizes the data entry on Trust staff when deals are won in Pipedrive and must be entered in Bloomerang for revenue tracking.
Prospects are only synced from Pipedrive to Bloomerang once certain criteria are met. One of the primary criteria is that the prospect must have a Steward assigned. This was added into the integration to ensure only prospects being actively cultivated are synced to Bloomerang. As many of you likely experience in your own cultivation efforts, the Trust has a large pipeline of prospects, but only some are being actively cultivated. Those not being cultivated sit in a “queue” in Pipedrive and may begin being cultivated once space is available in a Steward’s portfolio. With the Trust’s solution, these unassigned prospects will remain in Pipedrive until a Steward is assigned.
The one-way sync from Pipedrive to Bloomerang also creates Notes in Bloomerang for narrative notes and details of closed-won deals in Pipedrive. All donor cultivation activities remain in Pipedrive and are not synced to Bloomerang.
As you can see in this diagram, there is one point in the donor cultivation lifecycle that the Trust’s team needs to manually enter data in Bloomerang. When a deal is closed-won in Pipedrive, the Trust receives an email notification with the details of the deal and then manually creates a pledge (or donation) in Bloomerang for revenue tracking.
Now that we’ve shown how Zapier was utilized to sync prospect data to Bloomerang, we’d like to shift our focus to the moves and pipeline management solutions within Pipedrive that support and advance the Trust’s campaign and donor cultivation activities.
Pipedrive, at its core, is designed to help the organization work more efficiently. Across the platform, there are kanban-style boards and process indicators to help the Trust remain focused on moving donors through the pipeline.
The Trust’s pipeline can be viewed as a visual board, helping its team quickly view deals and projected revenue for each stage of the pipeline. While a simple feature, it helps the Trust maintain the pipeline and ensure it is sufficient to meet campaign goals.
This visual board is enhanced by the way it identifies deals and the indicators it provides to help the Trust move deals through the pipeline. For example, the colored lines on the card for each deal actually corresponds to different segments of major donors the Trust pursues: Leadership, Major Gift, and Community. With these labels, the Trust can quickly see the makeup of the deals in each stage.
Additionally, there are indicators to help identify which deals need action. The red arrow means that the deal has an overdue activity/task. And the yellow alert indicates that the deal does not have a next action scheduled. Prompts like make sure the Trust’s team keeps these prospects moving through the pipeline to close and do not “rot” (i.e., stall out due to inaction).
The next feature we’d like to showcase is Pipedrive’s activity tracking. Activities in Pipedrive represent both scheduled (i.e., to-dos) and completed actions.
Pipedrive comes configured with standard activity types like email, phone, mail, meeting, etc. to categorize the types of interactions you have with a prospect. This is similar to what you see for Tasks and Interactions in Bloomerang. Pipedrive then takes this a step further by allowing for customization of these activity types.
For the Trust, we added custom types to Pipedrive’s standard set to align with key touchpoints in their cultivation process and even identify the activity where the solicitation/ask was made. This is a prime example of the solution being designed for the Trust’s use case, instead of making the use case fit the solution.
The power of Pipedrive activity also comes from three primary features:
- Next action prompts
When creating a new activity in Pipedrive, the Trust can link the corresponding deal in the pipeline, person the activity was with (if any), and an organization (if pursuing a deal with a business/organization entity). Each of these links allows the same activity to be viewable in the timeline for the linked records. Meaning, if the deal, a primary contact, and the organization were all linked to an activity, it could be viewed in the timeline for each of these records in Pipedrive. Once linked, a grid view of activities can be designed to pull in the details of the linked record(s), allowing the Trust’s team to see all relevant data in a single view.
Each time the Trust marks an activity as Done, Pipedrive auto-prompts the user to create another activity (i.e., next action). This can be a powerful tool for donor cultivation as it makes it part of the Trust’s protocol to create a next action every time an action is completed with a prospect. This ensures prospects continue moving through the pipeline toward solicitation and revenue realization.
Like the visual board for the Trust’s pipeline, the activity view in Pipedrive provides indicators to help the Trust stay on top of overdue, upcoming, and completed actions. As you can see in this screenshot, overdue actions get flagged in red, to-dos are in black, and completed actions have a green check and are grayed out. Visual indicators like these help the Trust’s team work more efficiently and identify records requiring action.
For major gift work you always want to be able to see the last activity with a donor, and then follow your custom solicitation strategy with a next step for each donor. Pipedrive is really supportive about this and even prompts you to create one as soon as you complete the last one. While I find this slightly aggressive, my colleague Leslie loves it. She feels it keeps her both grounded and motivated.
On team meetings, we regularly review prospects that don’t have a next step. Even for folks on the team who aren’t as familiar and fluent with Pipedrive can easily see when we had the last activity. The system is visually easy for everyone on the team.
Leslie has also set up an automatic report that emails me her monthly activities. This is a helpful management tool to see how many ‘touches’ she’s had and when donors are getting stuck so that we can figure out strategies together.
Another feature in Pipedrive that the Trust uses to support its donor cultivation activities is the Smart Email BCC. We’re going to touch on this one briefly as the name is self-explanatory.
Pipedrive’s Smart Email BCC allows the Trust to include a Pipedrive BCC email on communications with prospects and automatically log the email as an activity in Pipedrive. Additionally, this feature will automatically link the related deal and prospect records with the matching email address. If the email address didn’t match an existing prospect record, this feature will create a new one, minimizing the amount of data entry required by the Trust.
We already touched on the projections available in the pipeline view, but there is another forecasting feature in Pipedrive that is equally impactful. Instead of seeing projected revenue for deals in each pipeline stage, the forecast view allows the Trust to see projected revenue based on the expected close date.
These forecasted projections include both open deals, as well as closed-won deals (i.e., revenue). This paints a more accurate picture of when the Trust can expect revenue and informs the Trust’s strategy for the capital campaign and project development.
The last feature we want to showcase are a few of the insight reports the Trust has developed to inform its donor cultivation efforts, campaign strategy, and provide metrics on campaign progress.
One of the primary reports the Trust utilizes is a Campaign Gift Table. This performance report calculates the number of deals in each of its prospect segments and shows the breakdown of those deals by status (open, won, lost).
The Revenue Forecast is another awesome visual aid that gives a snapshot of upcoming planned solicitations and which donors are at the center of our team’s priority list. As major gift fundraisers know, having your list of priority prospect names front and center in a variety of different reports and snapshots is essential.
The Campaign Gift Table helps in both high level planning and day to day activities. If, for example, I see that we have a lot of donors stuck in the Focused Cultivation Stage, and I know I need to move them to Briefing, I need to carve out time on my calendar to send out individualized emails asking for meetings. If we are wanting to move folks from Cultivation to Focused Cultivation, what’s the global strategy there? Planning an event, some kind of group activity?
For a capital campaign like the Trust’s, I also need to keep an eye out on the total pipeline numbers. Since we didn’t have a solid base of supporters to start with, we are operating at a 4:1 prospect ratio. If we want to raise $10, we need $40 worth of prospects. Therefore, I’m always trying to grow the pipeline.
Pipedrive’s conversion reports provide the Trust with valuable metrics on deal performance across each stage in the pipeline and capture the Trust’s success in converting deals to “won” from each stage.
These are crucial metrics, particularly in our campaign since we didn’t start with a solid constituent base. We are constantly reviewing our conversion or success rate and basing strategies from those numbers. We are keeping super flexible, but able to make decisions off of hard numbers, which is helpful in a campaign. Campaigns are a marathon, not a sprint, and metrics are crucial to monitor.
We don’t have enough time today to walk through the full reporting functionality in Pipedrive, but we hope these two reports show you how powerful the metrics in this solution can be.
At this point, you may be wondering how much time and investment it took to implement the Trust’s solution.
Here are some metrics to provide the scope for implementing this solution:
- Pipedrive system configuration and implementation of the initial sync between Pipedrive and Bloomerang was completed in 3-months
- Iterations to the sync between Pipedrive and Bloomerang were made over the 2-months following initial implementation
- The Trust dedicated around 2 hours/week of internal resource toward the implementation effort (this was only one staff member) for eight weeks
- Implementation costs were $4,500
- Following implementation, the Trust also paid $3,000 for ongoing integration maintenance and monitoring, as well as general technical assistance on the solution, Bloomerang, and Pipedrive
- The Trust pays $840 annually for tool costs — $45/month for Pipedrive (3 users/licenses) and $25/month for Zapier (750 tasks/month)
That puts the Trust total automation costs for 2021 around $8,500. That includes implementation costs, ongoing support, and automation tools.
I’d like to ask Alexis to hop back on and share a bit about the Trust’s experience adopting Pipedrive and using the solution to support its campaign.
This is the third data migration I have been through. One was with a large organization so there were lots of players and it was a nightmare. The second was from Little Green Light to Bloomerang and it was lovely. And this was lovely and easy, too. As I shared earlier, the Sidekick Solutions team really took the time to understand exactly what I needed, and then created the tools and automations to bring my needs to life.
My entire dream list was not able to work through Pipedrive. For example, manually changing the date between stages. If we don’t keep on top of moving deals to the next stage, our metrics on how long a deal is in a stage are not accurate. We also had to pivot in how we envisioned receiving some reports and metrics to align with what Pipedrive was able to provide.
However, the combo of Pipedrive and Bloomerang accomplishes nearly all my needs, and it is much more robust than Bloomerang on its own, or some sort of spreadsheet tracking that doesn’t get saved in a database. We all know we have those spreadsheets! Now I pull mine out of Pipedrive.
Being able to see my whole pipeline in a really clear visual with color codes, next activities, priority levels, it’s just amazing. It took a little bit of training for me to switch my mindset from ‘reporting’ to ‘filtering’, but my colleague Leslie got it right away. I think that it just depends on everyone’s level of comfort with technology.
Although Sidekick Solutions developed a solution that we could manage on our own, we kept our partnership with ongoing support to allow our team more time to focus on campaign needs.
Now the fun part! We’d like to share the outcomes Willamette Falls Trust has experienced since leveraging Pipedrive for donor cultivation and moves management, and integrating Pipedrive with Bloomerang. It is important to note that the Trust is still early in its campaign and revenue related outcomes are yet to be realized. The outcomes we are going to discuss today are directly related to the Trust’s ability to enact its fundraising strategy.
- Consistent progress with cultivating donors due to next action prompts, status indicators, and the ability to view link actions directly to a deal, person, and organization
- Pipedrive reporting insights and metrics on pipeline progress and stage conversion are informing campaign strategy
- Pipeline indicators help the Trust keep deals active and progressing through the cultivation stages
- Solution supports team meetings and planning for cultivation efforts
- User interface is allowing stewards to see history of a deal (ask) and track lost deals for future solicitations at a different level
As the Trust’s campaign has just begun, revenue outcomes and conversion metrics are not yet available. These metrics and outcomes will develop over time and be used to inform the Trust’s fundraising strategy.
I’d like to ask Alexis to hop back on again and share how this solution has supported the Trust’s campaign efforts.
Whole team actually likes the database, which is a big accomplishment in itself! We also continually work collaboratively to figure out new modifications and/or solutions to how to best use it.
For example, though there is one main steward assigned to each prospect, we have multiple volunteers – Board, Campaign Cabinet – working on cultivating the prospect. Sidekick Solutions created a field called ‘Solicitation Team’ where we can list multiple volunteers and staff connected to the solicitation strategy for the prospect.
Another example is the Giving Vehicles field. Oftentimes, in early conversations with donors, a fundraiser will get ‘gift clues’ from the donor about how they tend to make donations (e.g., stocks, IRA, bequests, etc.). We record that info in this field so that when we go to make the solicitation, each team member has the right materials (e.g., one sheeter on stock transfers, etc.).
The automation journey and use of a new app in your day-to-day operations is never over. As more use cases require automation or other apps are added to support the Trust’s campaign, we intend to continue improving and expanding the solutions integrated with their Bloomerang database.
Here is a taste of the future Willamette Falls Trust is working toward:
- Evolve progress and conversion reports to support long-term reporting and analysis
- Begin using Bloomerang for revenue tracking and iterate Pipedrive system, as needed, to support
- Iterate Pipedrive as needed to support new data tracking needs and use cases
- Create systems and processes that are easily scalable
- Strengthen the Trust’s ownership and role as database administrator of Bloomerang and Pipedrive
To wrap up today’s presentation, I’ll leave you with a few thoughts on the power of integrations with Bloomerang and the automation journey.
When we think about system automation, it’s helpful to think of it as stacking bricks. Once you have one automation in place, you level-up to the next layer, and so on. This can be adding another app to the tech stack or enhancing an existing automation.
The graphic on the screen, while it may look a bit complex, is illustrating this approach. And Willamette Falls Trust, without realizing it, has adopted this approach.
The Trust has built a strong foundation with Bloomerang as its donor database and center of its tech stack. This foundation is the springboard that allows Willamette Falls Trust to iterate forward to adoption of Pipedrive and future enhancements.
We believe Bloomerang should be your central system and integrations should supplement your Bloomerang database. Automation should start from a lens that Bloomerang is the core of your donor management and fundraising technology.
In Willamette Falls Trust’s tech stack, we can see this illustrated perfectly. Bloomerang is the center with data flowing in and out of the database via automation or internal Bloomerang functionality.
Native integrations and custom automation using Zapier supplement and extend the power of Bloomerang. They don’t replace it. By automating tasks and the flow of data between apps your organization uses day to day, you can save time, resources, energy, and more. Spend less time performing data entry and more time focusing on your mission and cultivating donors.
Thank you for attending today. It has been my pleasure sharing Willamette Falls Trust’s journey and advanced donor cultivation and moves management solution with you. I hope it has inspired you to explore how integration could help your organization with its fundraising efforts.
Again, my name is Jessie Gilchrist. My email is here and my door is always open.
If you’d like to work with a consultant to set up Bloomerang integrations or explore your use case and tech stack, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
I will hand it off to Diana for a quick poll before we open up for more questions.
Let’s take a few final questions.
Thank you to everyone for joining us today. We, at Bloomerang, are very excited for the extended capabilities possible with custom Zapier integrations. We’re very excited to see where all of you will take it. Zapier enables integration with over 3,000 different apps and we’ve only just scratched the surface of what you can do with Bloomerang and Zapier. We hope that you can find a way to automate your processes and work better with Bloomerang.
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