Belvoir Theatre on the importance of data
Belvoir is an innovative and acclaimed theatre production company made up of one building, six hundred people, and thousands of stories. We spoke to them about their Plus1 campaign success.
Tell us about your Plus1 fundraising strategy.
Belvoir’s Chair is a key supporter of our Plus1 capacity building project. His support, confidence and initial financial contribution to the project were a boost to our early fundraising attempts.
The promotion of the ‘matched’ part of this grant was of interest to other supporters as they believed their dollars would go further. We approached a new donor who works within financial management and understood the importance of systems to streamline relationship management.
Keen to have an impact with his initial donation, our new donor chose to direct funds to this project, which were also matched by his employer.
Describe your project and the outcomes you hope to achieve.
Recognising the importance of developing strategies that increase our capacity to raise funds through private giving is the driving force of our project.
Our project will see us expanding on extensive research into international best practice in donor management where we identified several operational deficits that were preventing us from fully reaching our fundraising potential. These issues can be resolved by improving the way we utilise data, adopting new technologies and aligning operational processes across the organisation.
Given the varied historical treatment of data, with customer history living across hard copy files, spread sheets, databases and legacy systems – significant analysis is required to understand the current state, to perform an options analysis on technology solutions and to define a roadmap of changes that will enable deep customer insights through establishing a single customer view.
To that end, this project will see us (with the guidance of a specialist data consultant) research, develop and implement a consolidated, company-wide information management strategy. It will encompass departmental processes, existing company systems, the migration of historical data and tight integration with new technology to record, manipulate, analyse and report on the behaviour of our patrons, donors and all other stakeholder groups.
Capitalising on Belvoir’s rich history, dedicated audience and strong track record of producing high quality work, the project will allow us to manage and influence our stakeholder relationships in a more sophisticated way than ever before.
This project will increase Belvoir’s capacity to generate contributed revenue through private gifts and corporate sponsorship. While the primary objective is to increase Belvoir’s individual giving income through improved CRM functionality, better data management will allow us to share aggregate data with existing and prospective corporate partners to demonstrate positive brand alignment, influence cross-promotion targeting and measure the return on their sponsorship investment.
How does your project address challenges or needs within your organisation?
Instilling an understanding across all departments of the importance of this project was an initial challenge; with each department using data in different ways and with very different needs in terms of access and analysis of their respective stakeholder relationships.
Although access to and analysis of data was different across the company, there were common concerns such as lost communications, missed partnership opportunities, distribution lists conflicts and actions causing customer dissatisfaction.
No one source of truth existed across the organisation to share information and communications for best practice relationship management.
Upon completion of this project, a deposit for centralised information and sophisticated CRM tools will enable staff to interrogate data in a more sophisticated way than ever before, ensuring that our communication strategies are appropriately targeted, particularly in our fundraising endeavours.
What are the benefits of Plus1 to your organisation?
The research and discovery stage of our project has demonstrated to staff across different departments the benefit of consolidating information that has previously been siloed. The process has required departments to look at their current work systems and take time to analysis the historical reasons as current practices.
We have already improved various internal processes as a result of our many hours of system interrogation and work practices. At this stage of the project we can see more clearly the end result the company as a whole wishes to achieve and although still researching into the best methods of application we can see steps that need to be taken to reach it.
Have you increased your knowledge and skills in fundraising and partnerships as a result of Plus1?
Once the project is complete there is no doubt that we’ll be able to identify, obtain and maintain partnerships in a more meaningful, cost effective and successful way than ever before.
Do you see Plus1 as leaving a positive legacy in your organisation?
Yes! Successfully receiving the Plus 1 program has provided our organisation with the motivation to embark on something we had been intending to tackle for some time, it has created a purpose for analysing our processes and reaffirming company goals.
Of course without the financial support provided through the Plus1 program we would have struggled to justify the cost associated with the research and implementing required for our project to succeed.