Client Spotlight: The Church Urban Fund Drastically Reduces Data Importing Time with ImportOmatic

Aug 31, 2017

About The Church Urban Fund

The Church Urban Fund (CUF) is a nonprofit organization who seeks to improve neighborhoods and provide a means of support for thousands of local citizens. They partner with an intricately connected network of parishes, local churches, and both faith-based and secular organizations to provide resources for volunteers so they can bring about positive change in at-risk neighborhoods. Just last year, their Together Network worked alongside 500 churches to deliver 365 workshops which were attended by over 12,000 volunteers. These workshops addressed topics such as fundraising, homelessness, the refugee crisis, volunteer management, and more. They also awarded roughly £490,000 to fund 113 social action and community projects aimed at tackling poverty. Due to the large amounts of data they capture as a result of these projects, it’s absolutely crucial for them to have an efficient means of getting that data into The Raiser’s Edge (RE) quickly and accurately.

The Challenge

CUF regularly imports three main types of data: 1) donations from everydayhero, 2) lists of newsletter recipients, and 3) event registrants and attendees. They were using a combination of three different methods to import this data—the everydayhero plug-in, the Online Express integration tool, and standard RE import—but determined these weren’t the right tools for them for several reasons.

“For our newsletter import, we used the Online Express integration tool. This didn’t work well because you had to import constituents one by one, the information wasn’t immediately visible, and it was difficult to determine duplicates and ensure all the correct data was imported,” says Sam Low, CUF’s Operations Manager. “With Everydayhero’s plug-in, we imported thousands of duplicates and had a difficult time trying to fix it. Standard RE import for our event registrants was just very time consuming and difficult to use.”

Because of the difficulty of use and the duplicate dilemma, the processes they were would often take their team months to clean up their database after an import.

The Solution

Since switching to the ImportOmatic, CUF’s process efficiencies have dramatically increased. It no longer takes several staff members months of data cleanup because the data is cleaned as it comes in.

“With IOM, you have several options to standardize data as it’s coming in and also to prevent duplicates,” Sam says. “Incoming constituents are easily matched to existing constituents based on rating and similarity score, and you can decide just how involved you want to be throughout the import process.”

Because duplicates have been such a major issue for CUF in the past, Sam’s favorite feature of ImportOmatic are the various duplicate search options such as non-constituent spouse and relationship matching; participant guest matching; and alias, phone, and email matching. He appreciates being able to prevent duplicates before importing, even if you don’t have an ID to match on.

“ImportOmatic is revolutionary,” Sam says. “It’s one of those things that you don’t realize you need until you have it, and then you can’t live without it. It saves me and the team so much time, and it’s not all just about the importing process. It’s all about cleaning up the data and making it useful. We use it to integrate all of our external systems with RE and have designed many of our new processes around it. We have about ten different IOM profiles that we use regularly.”

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Omatic Software
Omatic Software is dedicated to integrating disparate systems and democratizing data access for today’s nonprofits. Founded in 2002, Omatic has worked with thousands of nonprofits globally to remove their data barriers by integrating systems and enabling nonprofit teams to leverage their donor data rather than be burdened by it. The Omatic team has one goal – unleashing the power of data to show a complete view of your donor, enabling data-driven decision making and opportunity creation for your organization.