Boys & Girls Clubs of the Mississippi Valley
Since 1994, the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Mississippi Valley has been serving the needs of young people, primarily boys and girls ages 6–18, offering after school and summer fun with a focus. Today the Clubs have more than 650 members attending one of two teen centers or two youth clubs located throughout the Quad Cities.
Their Clubs are in neighborhoods where kids need them the most and where similar resources are not available to them. Members pay no more than $15 per school year and no child is ever turned away due to their inability to pay. The Boys & Girls Clubs of Mississippi Valley intentionally keeps their fees low so that they are accessible to all children since their target population are those youth most at risk.
Because of this dedication to serving the youth in the community, the Clubs rely on additional funds gained through donations and events to continue to provide their assistance in their communities.
Before they began using Arreva’s ExceedFurther Software, the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Mississippi Valley was struggling with an array of disparate systems and fragmented databases. Due to the varied levels of individual experience in using the programs, volunteer and staff rotation oftentimes led to incomplete and inconsistent data. For example, it was difficult for staff to recognize if a person who attended a given event was also the same person who made a donation.
Not long after taking on the role of Resource Development Marketing Director in 2014, Jenny Garlach recognized the center needed a single database that would consolidate their multiple lists into an all-in-one system. The need became even more apparent when Garlach personally sorted through over 15,000 contacts from excel spreadsheets to identify duplicates and incomplete records. She knew she would need a software solution that would allow newcomers to get up to speed quickly and work powerfully enough to free up time for users to focus on the most important tasks of outreach and ultimately raise more funds for the organization.
After a comprehensive evaluation of products that could alleviate the pain points for the organization, the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Mississippi Valley chose Arreva’s ExceedFurther, a program with capabilities far beyond their existing software as well as others on the market. Garlach’s main mission was to consolidate and leverage constituents to grow revenue for her Clubs and Arreva’s one-stop, comprehensive solution made for an obvious choice.
“The big part was just being able to learn one system… The fact that we worked with one customer service group and had everything centered in one system and then everybody in our facility could be a part of it,” explains Garlach. “[Arreva] was all-in-one. We weren’t having to use separate systems like Constant Contact, something for donors, something for event registration. It was one place to go for everything we needed. That was the key selling point for us.”
With Arreva’s software in place, the benefits have been exponential. By consolidating disjointed lists, Arreva’s platform has provided the Boys & Girls Clubs of Mississippi Valley an ease of communication with their constituents—now at more than 7,400—that has resulted in higher donor retention.
Whether it’s the monthly email newsletter, Club announcements, the annual report or event invitations, the Clubs’ communication and fundraising happens with a level of efficiency that didn’t exist before. Most notably, attendance at the annual gala increased and helped the organization in raising over $100,000 versus $16,000 just two years ago.
“With all of our data centered on one system, and Arreva’s exceptional customer service bar none, we’ve seen increases across the board; our constituents, the frequency and quality of communication, donor gifts and funds, everything,” explains Garlach, now the Executive Director for the Club. “The ease of connection has allowed us to amplify our message while cutting down on operations time, giving us the ability to further support our beneficiaries, grow our programs and raise essential funds. Arreva has consistently proved to be our one stop for software and client service.”
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