CDP partners with ROI Solutions for fundraising CRM

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The Contributor Development Partnership announced a partnership this month with ROI Solutions to provide a new customer relationship management system for public media organizations.

ROI Solutions, based in Medford, Mass., will provide its Revolution Online CRM system to help stations that work with CDP improve fundraising efforts through data analytics. The deal will result in the largest number of public media donors being managed on a single CRM platform, according to CDP.

“At ROI Solutions, our goal is to help our clients achieve their missions through the better use of technology,” said ROI Solutions CEO and founder Gina VanderLoop in a news release. “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work alongside CDP in serving their public media clients and help the growth of their programs.”

Through CDP, Revolution Online will be implemented by more than 40 public media organizations and will replace NGO Connect, a CRM system acquired by Salesforce in 2019 that will be retired by the software company.

CDP President Michal Heiplik did not disclose financial terms of the deal but in an interview described it as a multiyear partnership. ROI Solutions’ track record as a “mission-driven” company that works exclusively with nonprofits was ultimately a major factor in the decision, Heiplik said. Revolution Online has already been used by Maine Public; Vermont Public; Wisconsin Public Radio; WHYY in Philadelphia; KQED in San Francisco; WEDU in Tampa, Fla; and WAMU and WETA in Washington, D.C.

“[For] what stations are facing with changing audiences in public TV or radio, we will need quite a bit of data analytics, the predictive ability of data, to help figure out how to fundraise and be more responsive to the audiences stations have,” Heiplik said.

CDP convened meetings with station leaders last year and earlier this year to help select a new CRM. Amanda Morgan, director of membership for WQED in Pittsburgh, said she hadn’t heard of ROI Solutions before the discussions began but said she was impressed by the company’s small, responsive team. Morgan said she feels that ROI Solutions will be laser-focused on supporting public media organizations. She also said Revolution Online’s tools for managing sustainers, processing payments and awarding thank-you gifts will work well for public media and can be properly customized.

Typically, Morgan said, the potential problems with transitioning to a new CRM gives station leaders “heart palpitations,” but in this case she’s excited about working with ROI Solutions. “We felt that they were a company we could grow with,” she said.

WQED, which uses Salesforce’s NGO Connect, said the dual licensee will transition to ROI Solutions’ system in about a year or more because it will take significant time to migrate data.

Samantha Harris, director of membership for PBS Reno in Nevada, also uses Salesforce’s NGO Connect and previously used a product from MemSys. Harris said a dream scenario would be to shift completely to ROI Solutions’ system in the next three to six months but that it will probably happen sometime next year. 

“I think that will be possible with ROI because they have converted stations from Salesforce to their system before, so we’re not really paving a whole new path,” she said. “They’re used to having to map Salesforce data into their system.”

Harris, like Morgan, also said ROI Solutions’ smaller team can be more nimble.

“They’re willing to work to match our needs,” Harris said of the new partner. “A lot of the time with Salesforce, if you need something else, you’re probably going to need to figure out how it fits into the framework of Salesforce, because it’s a massive company. They’re not looking at individual solutions. They’re looking at global solutions. Whereas ROI is regularly releasing new versions and updates that are needed by their clients. For me, something like that … was very attractive.”

Harris also said ROI Solutions’ navigation and user interface was “friendly” to use. “For someone who’s in charge of staff training on that part, that was a big one for me,” she said.

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