Since 1947, the Boys and Girls Clubs of San Leandro has focused on helping the youth in their community forge meaningful connections with caring adults by offering a safe place for children and teens to grow socially, emotionally, and physically.
The Club offers a variety of programs to over 1200 children from first to eighth grade at 12 school sites, 10 elementary and 2 middle schools. The Club also serves an additional 700+ teens. For the over 45,000 youth that have been a part of BGC San Leandro’s past, the organization has left a lasting influence on the community at large.
In 2016, BGC San Leandro decided to launch a capital campaign to fund renovations and upgrades to their main Club site on Marina Boulevard, San Leandro, to provide the teens a dedicated teen center, an upgraded technology center and Smart City Maker Lab in addition to continuing the after-school program at the 12 school-site locations. The goal of this important campaign was to provide a space not only for teens but to serve as a community hub that offers workshops, workforce development events, wellness programs, and event space.
Pat Marino, Capital Campaign Manager and Grant Writer for BGC San Leandro, knew that the current systems in place at the organization (largely spreadsheets, and paper documentation) would present a significant challenge in successfully launching this important campaign and in realizing the ongoing growth opportunities it could provide. She was already aware that the current system was making it difficult to manage all the different aspects of the Club and knew that the organization needed to upgrade to a nonprofit software platform that could address the complex needs of their growing Club.
Marino undertook a thorough vetting process to evaluate Arreva and several other platforms, including Salesforce, across key criteria. It was especially important to BGC San Leandro, to have everything they need for donor management and online fundraising in a robust, easy to use platform. Additionally, customer support and a commitment to the Club’s success were essential factors.
She explains, “Salesforce was interesting, but what we found was there were too many cooks in the kitchen. They had three or four partners you had to work with, so if there was an issue, it would take quite a bit of time and people to get things resolved. We’re a lean machine, so we needed a software company that could move as quickly as we do.”
That’s where Arreva and its team stepped up to the plate. Not only did the fully integrated software meet their needs all in one place, but also the customer support was readily available to offer help and training right when Marino needed it.
"We chose Arreva for several reasons; one is it provides a pretty broad ability to do lots of different things, not just donor management, in a very concise way. Two is the level of support we receive. Being able to talk with someone and walk through the process has been helpful. The level of support is great and being able to get a live person on the phone, rather than having to rely on just online documentation has been terrific. Number three is that I think it’s very easy to maneuver within the site.”
The choice was clear, according to Marino, in selecting Arreva’s Online Fundraising and Donor Relationship Management Ecosystem from across the vendors she evaluated.
Marino was especially impressed by the way Arreva’s all-in-one platform, with all the modules rolled into one software and flowing into a single, unified database, saving her time, a valuable commodity for any nonprofit. In this case, since she works part-time on the capital campaign and applying to grants for the organization, efficiency is even more essential.
“With Arreva’s software, you don’t have to spend your time bouncing between multiple programs; you can get everything from donor and volunteer information to grant management in one single piece of software.”
Grants and databases are just the beginning. Marino has big plans for the online donation and peer-to-peer fundraising applications.
“Parents are always loyal to their specific site and Arreva’s software gives them an option to donate to their preferred location.”
Additionally, the Board of Directors runs the “One Campaign,” and Marino sees this campaign as a great opportunity to increase board giving through peer-to-peer fundraising by allowing each board member to set up their own fundraiser, creating an atmosphere of friendly competition.
With an increased interest in the Club generated by some building renovations paid for by the NBA and Golden State Warriors and the corresponding press coverage, Marino anticipates an exponential increase in donors and interest in the Clubs’ programs and new building, which will all be better tracked thanks to the implementation of Arreva’s Online Fundraising and Donor Relationship Management Ecosystem.
Rather than running everything from spreadsheets and paper documentation, the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Leandro will be able to manage their organization’s gifts, grants, events, and donors all through Arreva’s integrated software, allowing them to serve more people more effectively and efficiently, which is what the Club is all about.
When asked why she chose Arreva over other options, Marino says, “There are several reasons; one is it provides a pretty broad ability to do lots of different things, not just donor management, in a very concise way. Two is the level of support we receive. Being able to talk with someone and walk through the process has been helpful. The level of support is great and being able to get a live person on the phone, rather than having to rely on just online documentation has been terrific. Number three is that I think it’s very easy to maneuver within the site.”
With its fully integrated software, level of customer support, and ease of use, Arreva is poised to be a huge asset to BGC San Leandro as they continue to grow their donor base and program offerings.