• "We doubled our expected revenue for this year's signature event. We're much more efficient with DonorCommunity through an integrated online fundraising and event marketing strategy."

    - Steve Shulman, Cultural Tourism DC

At a glance

  • Number of events

    10
  • Increase in Funds

    4000
  • Staff Members

    25
  • Revenue

    11,001,249

“DonorCommunity has streamlined our fundraising infrastructure. Our events now bring in fundraising dollars months after they're over.”

Learn About Event Management

The Organization

Cultural Tourism DC is a nonprofit organization with a mission to deliver memorable experiences and learning opportunities to audiences for the arts in Washington DC via signature programs that spotlight the city's heritage, opportunities for international exchange, and the humanities.

The Problem

In early 2014, the organization began planning the 6th annual Embassy Chef Challenge gala fundraiser, one of the group's most prominent signature programs. As in years past, top chefs from around the world would be invited to dish up hors d‘oeuvres showcasing their countries' cuisines while competing to win one of two coveted awards: the Judge's Choice Award (selected by a panel of celebrity chefs and food critics); and the People's Choice Award (selected by the event attendees). This year, Executive Director Steven Shulman and his development team were determined to address the structural problems that had made fundraising and event planning for the group such a difficult and time consuming process.

One of the challenges they faced was the proliferation of incompatible systems for fundraising and event management. The email marketing system used for emailing event invitations didn't communicate with the software used to sell tickets and reservations. As a result, the group had no convenient way to evaluate the success of an event marketing campaign by comparing the campaign list to the subsequent transactions by ticket buyers. Neither of these systems integrated with the online donation application on the Website either, forcing the team to maintain two separate lists of attendees; one for ticket buyers and one for invited guests. Both of these lists would then have to be retyped and consolidated manually to create the "door list" used to check attendees in when they arrived at the gala.

To make matters worse, none of their software shared information with their donor management system, making it difficult to centrally track attendee information and create profiles for use in planning subsequent fundraising campaigns. All in all, the group was determined to eliminate the inefficiencies and administrative headache that came with a collection of stand-alone applications and the separate silos of information they created.

The Solution

Their first task using DonorCommunity was to re-design and streamline the group's Website and assist in transferring the hundreds of pages of text to their content management platform. This would provide Cultural Tourism DC with a centralized, consistent, and simple flow of information for online interaction. Featuring a new elegant new design, streamlined navigation, and complete integration with DonorCommunity's application suite the organization brought everything under one roof.

The event team used DonorCommunity's email marketing application to invite attendees to attend the gala and its event management application to create an event ticketing and registration page on its Website. That automated the ticketing and reservation process for attendees and guests, helped capture the information into their database for later cultivation, and ensure a thank you and confirmation was sent out to the purchaser. The complete integration between email marketing, ticketing/registration and the CRM also eliminated the need to maintain and consolidate multiple databases to generate door lists and all of the administrative overhead and errors associated with manual data entry.

To solicit donations for the Pat Skantze Lifetime Achievement Award, Liane tapped DonorCommunity's Personal Fundraising application to empower supporters to send requests for donations to their networks of friends and colleagues via email and links on their social network pages. All of the resulting donations were automatically tracked in real-time on the personal fundraising page and also captured by the CRM for subsequent reporting and analysis.