Cheltenham & Gloucester Hospitals Charity

How Cheltenham & Gloucester Hospitals Charity are automating their grantmaking with Beacon

Cheltenham & Gloucester Hospitals Charity work tirelessly, raising funds to help support the staff and patients of hospitals across the Gloucestershire area. From the popular Walk for Wards event, to half marathons and even bungee jumping, there’s no end to their creativity when it comes to fundraising. 

A large portion of what’s raised comes from grateful patients or family members who want the funds committed to specific wards. They also manage a general purpose pot, providing funding for other projects like specialist scanning equipment, ground-breaking research and mental health support for hospital staff.

Managing a complex web of projects like that is an impressive feat, especially given that their legacy database was restrictive, with little to no room for automation and lots of data silos. Having run out of room to grow within it, they needed a new platform to rid their team of endless admin and supercharge their fundraising efforts.

They jumped to Beacon in May 2020 and immediately hit the ground running. With Beacon being a fully customisable CRM for charities, the team were quick to tailor it to suit their specific needs and processes.

“Beacon is brilliant, you can set it up and customise however you want using custom fields for different complexities. The live data insights are invaluable and really help with our fundraising and supporter stewardship”

Donation forms added a whole new tool to the charity’s belt and they wasted no time in setting one up for each of their campaigns. Right away they had full oversight of what funds were coming in, and where they were committed to, at a glance. Donations were being automatically linked to the supporter’s record within Beacon, providing a fully transparent view of their interactions.

“You can clearly see the journey that supporters have been on so we can keep track of things, like, if everyone has been thanked or when we were last in touch with them”

The team made clever use of Beacon’s inbuilt automation tools and Workflows, saving buckets of time spent on admin each week and ensuring nobody slips through the cracks.

“We’ve got it set up so that if someone gives and has been in touch with a member of the team before, it automatically pings off a notification to them so they can reach out and thank them personally”

Previously if a hospital department needed funding for a particular project, it would involve a jumble of emails and application forms hopping between the department, the charity team and trustees. But with Beacon forms, it’s simply a matter of the department filling in the details and hitting submit, with all data stored in one place. On the charity side, Beacon’s grantmaking tool allows the application process to be tracked and progressed along the pipeline view with a simple click-and-drag.

“The grantmaking process is a lot more automated. Rather than lots of emails and word docs over and back, it’s just a Beacon form. It makes it a lot easier for staff to apply for funding too and with our staff bursary applications live at the moment, we've seen lots more staff applying with this online process. Keeping track of grants on Beacon will also make a huge difference for our impact reporting.”

Improved reporting has made Cheltenham & Gloucester’s data more useful than ever. Custom dashboards have allowed the team to collate and share the data that means the most to them.

“The dashboards make a big difference. Anyone within our charity team can see the cards that we have set up for each area of fundraising and that live data is something we’ve never had before”

The finance team can also easily process, manage and categorise payments so nothing is missed.

“It does make it easier for finance that they can just pull off figures from Beacon directly for reporting to trustees”

But putting the tech aside for a minute, the bottom line is that the team at Cheltenham & Gloucester Hospitals Charity have a lot more time on their hands - time they’re using to support those keeping their communities healthy and safe.

If you’d like to find out how Beacon could streamline your organisation, we’d love to hear from you! Click here to reach out to a member of our friendly team, or try it for free here.

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