How This Nonprofit Director Finally Found A Donor Management System She Loves
Learning Community Charter School’s (LCCS) mission is to help students acquire the strong academic skills and deep social-emotional tools they need to be an important voice in their community. At LCCS, children excel in education through their CIRCLE values: community, independence, respect, leadership, and effort.
Founded by parents and educators in 1997, LCCS currently serves more than 600 PreK-8th grade students in Jersey City, New Jersey. More than 35% of those students come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Because of funding inequities, LCCS students receive $7,000 less per student per year in state funding. Despite those barriers to success, LCCS was recently named among the top 94th percentile of all schools statewide.
Friends of the Learning Community Charter School (FOLCCS) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing support for the school. The organization has a small development team, which Jennifer Hughes, the Development and Communications Director, called “mostly a one-person show with some additional volunteers to help out.” Because LCCS is a tuition-free school and the students receive less public funding from the state, Hughes and her team need to make up the rest of the funds they need through fundraising.
When Hughes joined the team, FOLCCS was using a different donor management solution. Because four to five people held Hughes’ role over the years, there was no consistency in how donor data was managed.
“Our data was a mess,” Hughes says.
Searching For A More Affordable And User-friendly Platform
Hughes says their previous donor management solution wasn’t intuitive or user-friendly. Nothing worked the way she expected or wanted it to. When she switched to Kindful, she says the experience was like “the difference between a BlackBerry and iPhone.”
Although she looked at other donor management solutions like DonorPerfect, she said it wasn’t a hard decision to choose Kindful.
“The second I opened up Kindful and saw the way it interfaced, I said, ‘This is it.’ It looks fantastic. It’s sharp. It’s modern. It’s fresh,” she says. “The things I needed were right on the dashboard. The steps to get there were two clicks versus 10. I love opening it up.”
It also helped that Kindful was a more affordable option. The price point of their previous donor management solution was “very high.” According to Hughes, it was “very frustrating to realize we were spending a lot of money on a program that we didn’t like using.”