Virtuous CRM helps charities do more good – interview with founder Gabe Cooper
Fundraising is hard enough for charities, let alone keeping track of all of the donors and going back to the well time and time again.
One startup is helping non-profits manage their gives and gifts through a cloud-based, CRM program designed with the executive director in mind.
Gabe Cooper, founder Virtuous Software, has been building software for over 10 years and half of their work has been for charity organizations.
With Virtuous, Cooper addresses problems within organizations around donor and marketing management and building relationships with givers near and far. These issues limit optimization of their connectivity and asks, he said.
“Every time we do work for a charity, it turns out we go in and have these massively CRM systems [to deal with]. It’s one thing to have ugly software, it’s another thing when your software brings your organization to its knees. Literally these great charities can do less good in the world and raise less money because they have such archaic systems.”
Cooper found that many organizations use sales-based CRM platforms that strain their budget that aren’t designed for a non-profit’s need.
Virtuous blends best practices for fundraising with sophisticated tracking, predictive technology and follow-up features to maximize the non-profit’s reach.
“There’s a big hole in the market and that elegant solution should exist for small- and medium-sized nonprofits, but it doesn’t,” Cooper said.
The dashboard provides an elegant and robust summary of fundraising activity including total revenue, giving trends, number of givers for the last 30 days, as well as follow-up reminders and effectiveness of various campaign efforts.
For many donations, the charity might only have a name and email. Whereas, “The typical executive director realistically maintains relationships with 80 to 100 people,” Cooper said.
To help manage and maximize an organization’s network, Virtuous creates robust profiles for each donor by crawling the web to gather information such as social media, address, email, occupation, interests, etc. Volunteers can also add more information. The platform also assigns a rank and score to each profile based on donor activity.
There are financial gifts, planned gifts, pledges and many more ways to donate. Virtuous Gift Management feature helps keep track of all the activity from each donor and, through their predictive technology, suggests actions for relationship management.
For the fundraiser on-the-go, Virtuous offers a mobile solution to stay connected with their donors, updated on giving activity and reminders for follow-up.
“It just gives executive directors the tools they need to build relationships while they’re on the road,” Cooper said.
Virtuous has an open API to integrate with various email marketing platforms.
“When you have marketing and relationship automation and relationship intelligence, you can start personalizing those messages and maintaining relationships at a much bigger scale. It’s game changing,” Cooper said.
The company recently raised $700,000 in seed money from a private equity group. The funds will be used for sales and marketing, with jobs to be added later in the year.
Virtuous is currently in Beta testing with five charities around town including St. Joseph the Worker.
“What we’re doing is in some ways less exciting and less sexy than most of what’s going on in the market. While the market is thinking about creating good, and doing good, generally, we are thinking very specifically what are the very tedious things that non-profit has to do to raise more money and create more good from a back-end [platform],” Cooper said.
Graphics courtesy of Virtuous