As the old proverb says, “Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime.” That’s the philosophy behind NetSuite.org grantee FH Canada, which strives to help build sustainable, self-sufficient communities around the world, including Bangladesh, Uganda, Haiti, Cambodia, Guatemala and Ethiopia.
As part of FH International, the Canadian branch of the organization (http://www.fhcanada.org/) focuses on aiding local communities in building and managing clean water infrastructure, sustainable farming, effective healthcare and education, and more. The key is giving local communities the knowledge and tools they need to grow and prosper.
With help from a NetSuite.org donation, FH Canada has similarly empowered its business users with self-service tools that have improved the organization’s effectiveness across the board—in fund-raising, donor loyalty, financial accountability and inventory management. Rather than relying on IT, business users take advantage of NetSuite’s intuitive interface and on-demand access to critical information to drive results.
“NetSuite has allowed us to be much more efficient in our fund-raising and focus on our core mission,” said Mark Petzold, IT manager at the organization. “A non-profit agency like ours is most healthy when everything is integrated and works together, and that’s what we’ve gained with NetSuite.”
Previously, FH Canada struggled with a patchwork of disparate, unintegrated applications, including Microsoft Dynamics GP (Great Plains) and Goldmine CRM for donor management. Manual data manipulation and poor visibility into fundraising, budgets vs. actuals and operations drained valuable staff time and undermined FH Canada’s effectiveness in aiding the communities it serves.
That all changed when FH Canada engaged with NetSuite.org, the corporate citizenship arm of the company, which provides no-cost and discounted software to qualified charities and social enterprises, to implement NetSuite’s integrated cloud solution for ERP, CRM, inventory management and eCommerce. Selected over the competing Sage Accpac Online application, NetSuite has helped FH Canada:
- Increase fund-raising by 15% to 20% each year since going live in 2005
- Focus staff energies on value-added activities and innovations rather than tedious manual tasks
- Reallocate the expense of four full-time personnel in finance, IT and call center operations who were required with an alternative approach
- Build donor loyalty by giving call center agents a cross-channel view of donor history and activity
- Speed report generation from a week with the previous system to a matter of minutes
- Maintain a low “administrative rate” of just 7.9%—an important metric that prospective donors examine when selecting charities to support
FH Canada also uses NetSuite SuiteCommerce to run its website, enabling fund-raisers at school, church or other community organizations to set up their own projects, from ending violence against women in Peru to promoting health and hygiene in Burundi. “Fund-o-meters” on the website update automatically with NetSuite’s back-end data as donations are made, visually illustrating fundraising goals and status.
Enhanced with custom functionality through a NetSuite.org probono volunteer service project, the interactive FH Canada website is one of many ways that the organization is leveraging NetSuite.org’s grantee benefits to promote collaborative fund-raising and improve its mission fulfillment. Petzold said that any non-profit would be well advised to explore the possibilities for improved effectiveness with NetSuite.org.
“NetSuite is ideally suited to enabling non-profits to run a tight ship,” Petzold said. “It’s certainly paid dividends for us in the long term.”