case study

Ethiopiaid Australia

People-powered Change

Ethiopiaid Australia raises much-needed funds for trusted community partners in Ethiopia. As a small team Ethiopiaid values collaboration and maximising it’s resources to set and achieve amazing fundraising objectives.

When Ethiopiaid wanted to deliver a better experience for their donors they chose Clarety as their next generation supporter engagement platform. Unifying their website, supporter management, campaigns and regular giving on one platform delivers seamless supporter engagement and greater community impact.

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Personalised donor experiences

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Boosted productivity

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Expert local support

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The digital makeover that changed everything

Manual donor management admin tasks waste your time and cost you donations. Here’s how Ethiopiaid Australia found a solution.

Tell me if this situation sounds familiar to you.

Valuable time that you could be spending with your supporters is instead being wasted on admin tasks that could be automated.

Meanwhile, your digital fundraising revenue is being lost because your CRM database doesn’t do what it needs to.

Well, that was the frustrating situation the team at Ethiopiaid Australia were faced with.

So when the organisation recently decided to overhaul its website, CEO Sharon Elliott decided to take a more holistic look at the technology it was using behind the scenes as well.

Taking a holistic approach

The first step in the process was a full needs analysis of the organisation’s digital work. This unearthed a number of time-consuming processes that could be automated, but weren’t.

“Despite being a very small team, we had the capacity to do stuff beyond what we were, if only we had the IT capabilities to do it,” Elliott says

“We needed to simplify tasks like recording the communications people had received during their donor journeys.”

The root cause of these issues was a clunky and expensive old database that didn’t integrate with other systems, or the organisation’s website.

“With the database we were using, the cost of integrating the other systems to make digital fundraising possible was completely prohibitive,” Elliott says.

“We were in this position where our income was not going to allow us to employ anybody else. We couldn’t afford all the upgrades to our database that we’d need. But we couldn’t find the time to do the extra fundraising that we needed to grow the income. We really were at a stalemate unless we did something different.”

Lost digital donations

As well as being inefficient, the old database was literally costing money, in the form of lost online donation revenue.

“We were predominantly driven by direct mail, but we were trying to increase our digital revenue.

“That was very difficult because of the limitations of the system we were using. We needed to be able to create lots of different landing pages and donation forms. It needed to be a quick and simple process.”

“Our online donation form was very slow and clunky. It was hard to personalise it. Our donors weren’t getting the best experience when they tried to donate. It wasn’t as easy for them as it should be.

“It was really affecting our ability to move quickly. If we saw an opportunity, we couldn’t just put out some advertising material to capitalise on it. Our database didn’t let that happen for us easily.“

One solution for everything

After carefully weighing up options, Ethiopiaid chose to go for one unified platform for all its donor engagement needs:’s Supporter Engagement Platform.

More than just a CRM system, offers modules for all aspects of supporter engagement, including data, communications, fundraising, events, websites and more.

“One of the really good things is it has as many features, or as few as you want it to,” Elliott says.

“You could just use Clarety for creating landing pages and donation forms if you were running Facebook campaigns. You could just run your regular giving program through it.

“As time goes on, particularly if you’re a smaller charity and you’re growing, you can add modules as you need them,” she says.

All in one place

According to Elliott, there are huge advantages to using a single, unified platform for all aspects of donor engagement.

“We can be looking at the website one minute and then look at a donor’s record the next minute.

“It has been phenomenal for us, just having it there in one system.

“There’s just one system to log into and only one password to remember, compared to having to log into three or four different systems.

“It doesn’t [need to] integrate with many external systems, because it’s all there in one place. There’s no extra costs of having APIs created and the headaches of testing and trying. It’s just an add on module.”

Customised website

Along with providing all the back-end functionality Ethiopiaid needed, the team at Clarety also designed and built a custom website using the platform.

“We can now design as many landing pages as we like as frequently as we’d like. We can give donors a more personalised donation form. And the donation form again was designed specifically to our requirements,” Elliott says.

“The real joy has been knowing all the members of the team we are working with. We know their names. We know their direct phone numbers. We’re not just talking to a customer service person who will change every time. That’s a complete game changer for us.”

Productivity boost

An example of the sort of problem the improved automation helps to solve is declined payments. Along with improving donor retention, this has freed up considerable time for the organisation’s hard-working donor relations coordinator.

“When a gift does not process, it is set up to automatically realise what sort of failure it was,” Elliott says.

“Donors are contacted by email and different donor letters are generated, depending on what information we’ve got on the donors.

“The retries of those gifts are set up in the background, based on settings that are specific to our requirements. We can change [those settings] at any time. We had to do all this manually before.”.

Advice for other fundraisers

If your organisation is weighed down with inefficient manual processes, Elliott says you should definitely consider

“Clarety is absolutely worth a look. It will offer you what you need now, but also be a long-term option for you to grow with.”

Sick of database dramas?

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