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Royal London Society for the Blind implements Touchstone CharityPoint

 

The Royal London Society for the Blind (RLSB) is implementingTouchstone CharityPoint software to help it simplify and manage processes such as fundraising, payment and relationships with donors and users. Touchstone CharityPoint is a complete donor management and fundraising application built specifically for charities on the Microsoft Dynamics® CRM platform.  This implementation will be completed by October 2009.

The RLSB provides support services to both children and adults who are blind or partially sighted, including education and community-based services for children and young people; and community, business support and employment support services for adults.

Touchstone CharityPoint replaces the RLSB’s legacy database, primarily in order to speed up and simplify processes such as tracking Gift Aid on donations; setting up standing orders and direct debits from donors; and tracking where donations are coming from (for example, from individuals, or from specific promotional events). In addition to this, the system will help the RLSB increase efficiency and manage other areas, such as complex fundraising campaigns, and information about donors and users of the RLSB.

According to David Taylor, ICT Manager at the RLSB, the system will benefit the charity in very practical terms: “The great thing about Touchstone CharityPoint is that it is based on Microsoft CRM, using technology that people here are familiar with, such as Outlook, and that can be integrated with our other systems. It means that everyone can use it, which will simplify processes like data input for payments, that at the moment we have to do manually.”

He continues: “To build a bespoke system like this would have been way beyond the financial means of a charity. But here is an off-the-shelf application that has been designed specifically for charities.”

Touchstone CharityPoint has a wide range of benefits including features that let charities:

 

  • Connect information about all the people involved with the charity and allows the charity to manage its relationships effectively (for example, to understand which users of the service are also donors or fundraisers).
  • Manage complex fundraising campaigns and link which funds were raised by which promotional event or campaign, so that it is clear which are most successful.
  • Process and manage payments and income sources such as legacies, tributes and memorials, as well as payment methods including direct debits, standing orders, credit card donations, payroll giving, and donations via agencies. It also facilitates the tracking and processing of Gift Aid declarations.
  • Manage fundraising events, with features that help with planning tasks, recording invitations and responses (for example, it can automatically generate registration details and confirmations to web-originated responses).
  • Manage memberships, including different levels (tracking this back to donation levels, for example). Reminders and renewal notices can be tracked and generated automatically, and fees collected. In addition, the system can record and manage what method of communication a donor or service user prefers, as well as other preferences.

 

David Taylor comments: “The Touchstone team really understand what is needed for a charity database. The system makes complex tasks so simple that it will make us significant savings in time and effort – and so ultimately, money.”

Adrian McNay, Group Board Executive, Touchstone Group, says: “Charities have requirements that are very specific to them. Few other sectors have such a complex network of relationships to manage, where for example donors are also beneficiaries. There’s little benefit in attempting to retro-fit an off-the-shelf non-fundraising product. There is a clear requirement for a system tailored specifically for the charity fundraising sector and we are committed to using the latest and most familiar technology to support that.”

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