Fundraising Success Case Study: Switch to DonorPerfect from SalesForce

Former Salesforce and Common Ground User Switches to DonorPerfect for User-Friendly Solution

Hudson River Sloop Clearwater has been a leader of the environmental movement with a volunteer staff of over 1,000. They currently have about 40,000 records in their database.

Business Challenge

Salesforce and Common Ground (now called Luminate) were too difficult for nonprofessionals to understand and did not meet the needs of their staff.

Debbie Cohen is the database manager at Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, and has been with them since 1979. Previously, they used Salesforce and Common Ground (now called Luminate). As Debbie describes, “Salesforce is a good database, but it isn’t optimal for nonprofits. Once a report is set up, you have to follow it exactly and are unable to tweak it to get other information. Ease of use was also a big issue with Salesforce and Common Ground. We have a huge group of volunteers and didn’t have enough people who knew how to use the systems. It was very difficult for everyone to get what they needed in a timely fashion when only a few of us knew how to operate them. We also have a lot of people who work from home, and being able to access the database from anywhere is a big need of ours.

“Once Common Ground was bought out by Blackbaud, we knew we had to make a decision. Blackbaud was really pushing Raiser’s Edge, eTapestry, and Luminate (the re-branded version of Common Ground). I knew Raiser’s Edge was a good product, but I also knew how quickly the price could shoot up. The reviews of eTapestry I read were not as good as DonorPerfect, and the version of Luminate Online they were offering cost a fortune. Honestly, given their history, we didn’t entirely trust Blackbaud because they have bought out so many other companies and then discontinued their products.”


DonorPerfect Fundraising Software with WebLink online donation forms and DonorPages friend-to-friend fundraising

After doing some research of her own, Debbie found DonorPerfect Fundraising Software with WebLink online donation forms and DonorPages friend-to-friend fundraising to be the best solution for the organization. “A few of us have had previous experience with DonorPerfect and we really liked what we saw. I did a lot of research, and all of the DonorPerfect reviews were great. Its performance in the NTEN and Idealware report was fantastic and we felt it was the best solution for our nonprofit.

Now that their system is up and running, Debbie’s been able to see the difference DonorPerfect has made. “We have saved a huge amount of time, and we’re getting a lot more done since we switched. The flexibility to add the custom fields we need allows us to do so much more, and the reporting is incredibly powerful when compared with Salesforce and Common Ground. Although our staff has decreased, we’ve been able to keep up with all the database work without any problems because of how easy the system is to use. It is really designed for the end-user. Even those who aren’t good with technology have an easy time getting the information they need without knowing much about the software. DonorPerfect also offered a single price for unlimited users for a year, as opposed to a per-user, per-month cost, which was very attractive to us.”

Key Results

Before Debbie could see the positive impact of DonorPerfect, she was greeted with a great data conversion process to DonorPerfect. “The transition over to DonorPerfect was so smooth. The staff was unbelievably patient, caring, and supportive. We had no trouble at all implementing our new system.”

“We added DonorPages because we were looking for different ways to fundraise. We have so many volunteers and wanted to get them involved. DonorPages seemed like the perfect way to do this since each volunteer could reach out to their friends to raise funds. We were allowed to use the test system to try it out and thought ‘Wow, this is really easy, let’s go for it!’ Although we just began using DonorPages, we’re hoping it will make a big difference. We have over 1,000 volunteers, so if they all reach out to their friends, we think it will make a big, positive impact.”

The great customer service carried over to support. “Every time we’ve needed to call support they’ve been very responsive. But we rarely have to use them because of how helpful the online Knowledgebase is. I can search for almost any question I have and get the answer I’m looking for.”

Nonprofit Software Success Story
Hudson River Sloop Clearwater - Nonprofit's success ensures donations are processed quickly using DonorPerfect's fundraising growth platform

Key results:

  • Smooth implementation and data conversion process made transitioning a breeze.
  • DonorPages’ ease of use has allowed them to leverage their large volunteer staff and raise more funds
  • Powerful and flexible reporting has saved time and targeted fundraising efforts.
  • Helpful support staff and Knowledgebase have quickly and easily handled questions.
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