SOS Children’s Villages International is an independent, non-governmental, international organisation that helps develop and protect childrens’ rights and best interests. Established in 1949 by Hermann Gmeiner in Imst, Austria. The organisation looks after over 2,500,000 children in 135 countries in the world.
The organisation came to Bulgaria in 1990 and it has been helping vulnerable families and children ever since. SOS Children’s Villages offers family-type care and support to families and is actively defending children’s and youngsters’ rights.
Ivaylo Guyrov, Fundraising and Communications Director, says that they are not a charity organisation that is only trying to spend its budget. ‘We are a global organisation but we are run like a business. We are a business with social purpose, we look after children in need 365 days a year so we can’t just rely on seasonal campaigns. ‘ – said Guyrov.
In the first year of its existence in Bulgaria and Eastern Europe, the organisation operates mainly with funds, raised in the so-called ‘rich countries’.’ In the last 3-4 years, and up until 2019, all money that is necessary for the organisation’s functioning have been and will be sourced from local campaigns. ‘We are ambitious and we are doing anything in powers to do this, even though it’s challenging at times.’ – said Ivaylo Guyrov – We act as a business organisation and by doing this, we treat our donors as business partners. We go to a potential sponsor with our brand name and we say to them that we can make them more successful too. Basically, we treat our sponsors as clients, which is why we call it a Donor’s Journey.
A Donor’s Journey is basically a Customer’s Journey, where every client is going through different phases. The person donating to us goes through various stages – first, they start with a one-off donation, then they become a committed giver and every month they donate a little something, then they rise to the level of attracting others, willing to help, and finally, they teach their kids to donate to – they pass it down the family. To manage this whole process, and that means over 60,000 givers, we need a good and reliable system.
For years, SOS has been using other software however they didn’t offer the full functionality that the company needed to manage their clients seamlessly. Choosing Salesforce was an easy task for them – it’s the best CRM company in the world and it also has a special charity organisation version of the CRM, which is free.
‘We did this the wrong way, I must admit’ – said Ivaylo Guyrov. – ‘ We met with a lot of people which weren’t quite right for our needs. We then chose someone who worked with us but eventually, they went abroad and got another job. So, we were left with a half-ready Salesforce system. ‘
After researching the market, they found Next Consult and asked them for help. 'We were quickly convinced in how capable and knowledgeable they are, with a great client portfolio and trained consultants.'
Next Consult managed to implement the system successfully and also integrated it with the various sources of donations (8 various channels to be precise) such as online payments, internet banking, and so on. One of the main challenges that Next Consult had to deal with is to link every donation with a specific donor and by doing this, to implement an SMS, physical letter or email donation confirmation.
‘My recommendation to everyone who isn’t yet a Next Consult client is – don’t waste your time, because we lost nearly 12 months’ – says Ivaylo Guyrov.
Salesforce is being implemented in the company one step at a time and the improvements are already easily seen. After implementing the system, SOS Children’s Villages see that there are over a thousand people who were ‘lost’ and haven’t been contacted in a while. ‘Thanks to Salesforce and Next Consult, now we have uncovered useful information and contacts that will help us grow.’
Alongside the Salesforce implementation, the company also built a new website with brand new strategy behind it, with many new functionalities. Salesforce is integrated with the website, which allows for automatization in the communication with potential customers. Right now, every person’s action is being filled in the CRM system so every donor knows exactly what is happening with their donations.