The Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany Reduces Donation Processing Time By 83%
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, established in 1847, has a rich history of serving communities in Upstate New York. Through the Bishop’s Appeal, the diocesan annual fund, the Diocese makes a difference in myriad ways, including through Catholic Charities, Catholic education, campus ministries, vocations and pastoral services.
With 126 parishes and four apostolates, the Diocesan Office of Stewardship and Development processes $7.5 million a year, via a staff of only three and a lockbox service. It’s essential that the staff maximize their time, because they have so many responsibilities to manage. One of their most time-consuming tasks had been importing pledge payments from their lockbox service into a separate database, processing it, and then importing it into Raiser’s Edge. Each batch of data was requiring a minimum of 20 minutes to complete. With daily import files, the Diocese staff needed to find a more efficient method.
Originally, the Diocese created their own Access database. When gifts were sent in electronically from their lockbox service, the data had to be uploaded into the Access database and formatted. From there, the resulting file would be imported back into Raiser’s Edge through a long series of steps. The process to import data into the Access and Raiser’s Edge took 15 to 20 minutes — for every batch of payments. The IT department managed the Access database. Whenever the team needed a change to the import process, they had to get IT involved. The entire process was a hassle.
“ImportOmatic is so easy and quick. I don’t have to think twice about it. For a small office with a large volume of gifts, this is invaluable.”
Rochelle Toomer, Database Administrator for the Diocese, was determined to find a better import process when she attended bbcon, Blackbaud’s yearly technology conference. At the conference, she was impressed that many of the Omatic team members had previously worked for Blackbaud, making them experts in Raiser’s Edge.
Omatic was already working with other dioceses, so they understood the struggles Rochelle and her coworkers were facing and what needed to be done to streamline the process. The Omatic team had extensive experience processing lockbox import files and knew how to format the information via data dictionaries, reducing complexity.
Omatic helped the team set up a system using ImportOmatic to precisely format and import the data file from the lockbox service directly into a gift batch in Raiser’s Edge. The Diocese no longer needed their Access database, eliminating the convoluted and time-consuming import method that they previously relied on. And the team could manage all the data within the front end of Raiser’s Edge itself.
According to Rochelle, the new process using ImportOmatic requires only five seconds to import the data from the lockbox file into Raiser’s Edge. She says, “It’s so easy and quick. I don’t have to think twice about it. For a small office with a large volume of gifts, this is invaluable.” The time that used to be spent dealing with tedious data imports is now devoted to more strategic work.
The comprehensive training that Omatic provided allowed the team to hit the ground running. Rochelle says, “The service does not disappoint. Our other vendors have great products, but Omatic has great products plus amazing service — immediate response. Not only do they make my work easier, but it’s less stressful dealing with them than any other vendor!”
Rochelle has this advice to offer other organizations considering Omatic: “Look at all of your processes, whether or not they’re involved with importing, because you might find that you’re doing something that could be turned into an import process. You might be able to automate more than you think. Talk to someone at Omatic who knows your niche. They have specialists who can solve specific challenges.”