Uniting Together toMake a Stronger Impact“The idea behind Aid for Africa was to helpsmall, effective nonprofits working to overcomepoverty in the 55 countries of Sub-Saharan Africaby shining a light on their work,” said BarbaraRose, executive director for Aid for Africa.Rose added, “By working together, theseorganizations are able to address the complex,interrelated challenges facing African people inorder to create and maintain long term changesto their quality of life”.Aid for Africa is primarily supported through workplace giving and is featured in the CombinedFederal Campaign (the federal government’sworkplace giving program) and the employee-giving program at The World Bank. Aid forAfrica also supports the efforts of its memberorganizations through fundraising, educationand outreach, primarily in the United Statesand to individuals worldwide.“Ultimately, we would like to be the organizationto visit if you want to give to a cause in Africabut don’t know which organization to choose,”said Rose.What do you get when you unite 85 organizations under one umbrella tofocus on the needs of individuals and communities in Sub-Saharan Africa?The answer- Aid for Africa. The nonprofit began in 2004 with 19 members, allregistered in the U.S. and working on the ground in Africa, in hopes of makingtheir voices louder together.http://firstname.lastname@example.org/aidforafrica@aidforafricaAid for Africa
ChallengeUnifying Systems and Simplifying the Donation ProcessWith 85 partners providing a variety of supportfrom health care to arts and culture and evenwildlife protection, Aid for Africa had the challengeof uniting lots of supporter information andprocessing donations more efficiently.“Before Salsa, we had separate platformsfor sending email, managing supporterdata and accepting donations,” saidBrett Gerstein, outreach specialist.“The systems didn’t talk to each other,which was frustrating and made thingslike sending segmenting emailsvery unrealistic.”It also made donor management more difficult,without an easy way to look up a supporter’sprofile, previous giving or communication history.In addition to the multiple systems, the programsAid for Africa was using were not helping themtruly achieve their mission.“We were seeing a lot of traffic on thefundraising pages but there were relativelyfew resulting gifts,” said Gerstein. “We thought itmight a problem with the actual donation process,which was cumbersome.”To test this theory, Aid for Africa signed up withan online company that processed donations in amore streamlined fashion and almost immediatelysaw a significant improvement in donation followthrough. However, with 85 member organizationsand a charge for maintaining each one in the newsystem, the cost was too high.“We knew that our new supporters were primarilyfinding us online, and with donors from aroundthe world, we needed to make sure we had strongonline fundraising capabilities,” said Rose.With a goal of further developing their supporterbase beyond workplace donors, it was the righttime to put a reliable, efficient system in placethat would allow for growth, and a focus onattracting and engaging supporters, makingdonating easy, and not spending valuableresources on administrative tasks.
In July 2012, Aid for Africa began the processof consolidating their different systems intoone place- Salsa. Additionally, they were ableto create a unique donation page for eachmember organization, 85 in total, allowing themto process donations for the specific memberwhile still tracking the information in thelarger database.“One of the reasons Salsa was such a good fitfor us was that we could account for each of ourmembers but we weren’t being charged for themindividually,” said Rose.Aid for Africa was also able to establish a seriesof trigger emails linked to the donation pages,cutting back on the cumbersome administrativetask of confirming the donation with the donor,notifying Aid for Africa and alerting the memberorganization that the donation had been received.To their delight, Aid for Africa could alsostreamline the process of notifying those whohad a gift made in their honor, or the appropriatecontact for gifts made in memory of an individual.Gerstein added, “For the first time, we’re able tolearn more about our supporters- top donors,lapsed donors, those who have never given andthose who are new to our organization. Notonly that, but we’re also able to develop therelationship and better target ourpotential donors.”SolutionDonation Pages for Each Member and Supporter SegmentingAid for Africa wasn’t the only one happy withthe new system. “What I’m hearing from ourmembers is that they are happy with thetransition,” said Rose. “They like getting thenotifications of donations right away so theycan initiate their own thank you process.”For the first time, we’re able to learn more about our supporters- topdonors, lapsed donors, those who have never given and those who arenew to our organization. Not only that, but we’re also able to develop therelationship and better target our potential donors.”- Brett Gerstein, outreach specialist for Aid for Africa
salsalabs.com 866-796-8345 facebook.com/salsalabs @salsalabsResultsThe Girls Education Fund and BeyondIn Fall 2012, Aid for Africa was able to use Salsato launch its first online fundraising appeal,which opened the lines of communication withsupporters and introduced them to the Aid forAfrica Girls Education Fund. A new effort by Aidfor Africa, the Girls Education Fund seeks toprovide scholarships to African girls. Donationsgiven to Aid for Africa for the fund are disbursedamong 14 member organizations who haveexisting scholarship programs designed to helpgirls achieve their schooling goals.“The fact that we were able to start doingappeals [for the Girls Education Fund] in the fallwas fantastic,” said Rose. “We were able to usethe tracking features to see the success of theappeal, and we hope to be able to do more, andexpand our support base, in the future.”We have increased donations this year over lastat this time,” said Rose. “Ease of donation is partof it, finding us and coming to us is part of it. Wefeel like we have to the tools in place so as weincrease our exposure to people, theyfeel comfortable with giving on our site.”Salsa helps nonprofits and political campaigns ignite action and fuel changearound the world by growing and engaging a base of support online. Salsaprovides more than technology; it offers strategic best practices, training,highly rated support and a strong online community, so its clients can focustheir energy on their mission.