To support their essential work, EDC runs an annual membership campaign and holds five large-scale events per year—four that draw 200 to 300 people each and one annual fundraiser that draws 400-500 guests. Before and during each event, EDC employees handle a variety of revenue streams including ticket sales, sponsorship solicitations, live and silent auctions, and raffle sales—meaning EDC employees process payments and donations over the phone, online, and on-site.
The trouble EDC faced was that they couldn’t find one payment-processing system that could handle these multiple methods of payment, leading to several data entry and management processes that wasted precious staff time. To process most one-time and recurring donations, EDC used a combination of Network for Good, PayPal, and manual credit card processing, which required calling donations and sales into the bank. For onsite processing at events, EDC used Square and manual credit card imprinters to handle inperson ticket sales and other event-related payments. After each event, EDC staff would spend hours processing payments, reconciling accounts, and matching up any data collected with what was already in the database.
In fact, data collection presented yet another problem. In addition to time spent processing payments, EDC staff used a separate system—Raiser’s Edge—to manage their donor data. “It was a terminal-based system that lived only on one computer and that was mine,” explains Pitton-August. This created a bottleneck in data entry and obstacles for general access to donor data, as Raiser’s Edge was somewhat clunky and not cloud-based. The lack of flexibility they were experiencing combined with the inefficiencies of working with multiple payment-processing platforms led EDC to look for a seemingly elusive solution: a CRM and payment-processing platform that could work together.