Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice has been helping children with life-limiting or life-threatening conditions since 2006. They provide support in the family home, in the community, and at a specially designed building called The Ark. Their key aim is for those they help to live as children and families rather than as patients and carers.
The team won 2019 Charity Times Fundraising Team of the Year and were keen to continue that success and improve on it in support of their mission. It was felt the best way to do that was to make sure the fundraising was underpinned by improved systems and processes. Their journey to achieve this led them to Beacon to help manage their various funds and events.
These two things are mutually inclusive. In fact, you probably can't fulfil your mission without being rigorous in your business and data management.
Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice focused their first experience using Beacon on managing their 36-hour campaign. This campaign hinges on recruiting “Team Leaders” that act as fundraisers and each of them then brings in donations from various donors. Their fundraisers use an innovative digital crowdfunding campaign, with data from that platform coming back to Noah’s Ark. The team then marry up all the donors, payments, Team Leaders, and the rest of it.
They were able to implement real-time reporting showing how many team leaders they’d identified, how many had agreed to do it, and how many had declined. While managing their individual responsibilities, the team could also see the progress they were making to their targets. Being able to see how everything is coming together is so beneficial from a management perspective.
As a director, the dashboard functionality is incredibly helpful. It's really great to always have a homepage showing progress against both annual and project KPIs, ranging from income to supporter retention, to campaign or sign-ups. Beacon has definitely expedited the process for reporting progress to our CEO and board!
Prior to Beacon, Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice relied on lots of manual processes. Apart from simply costing a lot of hours, manual actions also leave plenty of room for human error. Even if you have the best people and processes in the world, if you rely on memory and manual actions, gaps are unavoidable.
To address this, Noah’s Ark leaned into how bespoke Beacon can be. They created all the record types, custom fields, and connections required to track and manage everything from campaign success metrics to the particular way individuals attended each event and even down to individual tasks of their processes. And automated as much as possible.
Now everyone is guaranteed a follow up - such as a thank you - which is still personal but follows an automated prompt or is itself automated. From the donor’s perspective, that communication comes from the person, but you’ve completely removed the chance for human error, introduced accountability, and slashed wasted administration time.
A friend called me after their husband had set up a regular donation and said, ‘*James* just received the most beautiful email only a few minutes after he set up the payment. Gosh, you've really got your team well drilled.’ Whereas in reality, we hadn't really done anything other than set the automation in motion weeks prior! Of course we provide numerous in-person and completely personalised touch-points to keep key friends of the charity engaged and enthused but being able to automate steps along the way expedites processes and ensure a high baseline for supporter comms.
You’ve probably heard the adage: anything that can be measured can be improved. If that holds true, then Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice are one to watch. They managed to get full visibility of all their fundraising metrics all automatically assigned to the relevant income streams, up-to-date and visible at all times.
As valuable as high-level reporting is, going through the implementation of Beacon has also given Noah’s Ark renewed confidence in their processes and their tools and thus their people’s ability to deliver on the charity’s mission. You can’t overestimate the value of that.
Now, we set supporters on a journey, we know those with the greatest propensity to get further involved will likely move through the stages towards regular gifting. To be able to set up an automated journey well in advance, and just let it run, gives us the confidence to scale at pace.