Edinburgh Dog & Cat Home

How Edinburgh Dog & Cat Home skyrocketed their fundraising with Beacon.

Edinburgh Dog & Cat Home have been around since 1884. They take in animals whose owners feel they’re no longer able to take care of them or that otherwise don’t have a home. They’ll provide additional care and training needed to find the animal a new home.

More recently, EDCH have been running a pet food bank to help people keep their pets in their home. They’d been growing in lots of other ways too, and their legacy CRM simply wasn’t keeping up.

This was holding back their people, creating mistakes, and slowing down their operation. Like most charities, EDCH use a variety of platforms for fundraising, event admin, and email marketing.

We could import data to our old CRM, but it took so long. And there were always lots of mistakes and errors. It wasn't like with Beacon, where you just set up the template once and then you’ve got a one-click process.

Edinburgh Dog & Cat Home were performing a lot of manual process. Their previous CRM was eTapestry which required them to map the fields for each import every time. Make a mistake, the import fail, and you’re back to square one.

They also wanted to be able to see everything about a contact in one place. What donations had they made, their volunteer record, what events they had attended, animal adoption, and the rest. The much talked about “single source of truth”.

With somewhere around a dozen events a year, from free turn-up-and-see to VIP soirees, from a handful of guests to thousands of attendees, their new CRM had to be able to handle it all.

With Beacon we can set up a form for the event in seconds which is really great. Dietary, accessibility requirements, and everything else are all recorded on Beacon when they register or updated on an existing record.

And they didn’t stop there! Edinburgh Dog & Cat Home brought everything they could into Beacon. About half their entire organisation now have user accounts, so Beacon is supporting almost every department. And they’ve made good use of Beacon's flexibility to easily ensure that each of their 24 users only see what they should see.

From donors to volunteers to animal rehoming applications, everything is fitted in neatly. For the few functions which didn't fit into the standard setup, EDCH were easily able to create a custom home. It’s easy to click and follow the web of connections from record to record and understand the big picture.

The coolest thing for me is just that we can use it for every type of person that engages. I think that's testament to how effective Beacon is. It makes it really, really simple for people to give and for us to manage it all.

The amount of admin time saved here is incalculable. The work that they used to do was too widespread, complicated, and bitty to have been measurable; however, Edinburgh Dog & Cat Home’s team are now able to focus on the charity’s actual work. That, combined with how streamlined the donation process has become, has sent their fundraising skyrocketing.

In 2020, they ran their first campaign supported by Beacon, an emergency coronavirus appeal. The aim was to raise £50,000, but they raised over £176,000 and also gained over 500 new regular donors. They’ve got some outstanding audit steps prevent publishing any more recent numbers, but they’ve continued that initial success.

And, of course, with fundraising comes Gift Aid claims. These used to be incredibly time-consuming, and would have been more so with their increased fundraising success, but these are now easily managed with Beacon’s Gift Aid element. Edinburgh Dog & Cat Home are now claiming hundreds of thousands in Gift Aid every other month for a much reduced effort.

We’re exploring opportunities we just couldn’t see before because we were so busy with data handling and manual stuff that we shouldn’t have needed to do at all. We’re now thinking about projects we wouldn’t have been able to dream about with our old CRM.

Listen, we're not saying our continued support is dependant on this, but we are going to need you to send us some pictures of adorable cats and dogs ... please

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