How the Internet is helping Easter Seals build relationships with constituents
By Lisa A. Yorgey
Constituent relationship management (CRM) is a familiar concept to Easter Seals.
The nonprofit organization brings in $30 million annually, much of which comes from repeat donors, in its efforts to help more than 1 million children and adults with disabilities. Until now, it has been cultivating a relationship with its constituents primarily through its direct mail efforts. No formal program is in place, however, to integrate these direct mail efforts with its other marketing channels.
Until recently, Easter Seals hadn't heavily invested in its Internet presence. The organization, however, understood that it needed to build ongoing relationships with its donors to increase their lifetime value. The Internet, says Easter Seals' director of Internet marketing Shirley Sexton, was the logical next step in building a dialogue with its constituents. So, last fall Easter Seals hammered out an Internet plan—CRM was at its core.
Clearly, the organization needed to invest in a technology solution that would allow it to share content and a 360-degree view of its constituents with its affiliates. After some preliminary consultation, Easter Seals concluded it would cost too much and take too long to build its own proprietary platform. So, it began to look for an outsourced solution.
For Nonprofits Only
Easter Seals opted for a software solution developed by Convio, an Austin, TX-based company exclusively devoted to creating Internet-based CRM solutions for nonprofits.