Client Case Studies

UCLA Unicamp: The Fundraising Impact of Giveffect

3 Mins read

UCLA Unicamp has had great fundraising success with Giveffect, particularly in fundraising campaigns. The new system allowed their fundraisers to easily set up new events and fundraisers that looked great. We sat down with Martin Mai, development director, and asked him some questions about the impact.

Download a PDF of this case study.

Q: What were the reactions of your supporters when you switched to Giveffect?

A. “Our student leaders (head counselors, specialists, and program directors) interfaced with the Giveffect system. They were excited about the new software because it looked brand new! It was a lot better compared to our previous system. They found that Giveffect looked professional, nice, clean and crisp. It was easy for them to process their donations, and they were also easy to pull up in the backend.”

Q: What’s the best part about Giveffect so far?

A: “In 2014 we used Kintera Sphere, 550 student volunteers raised $268,000. This year we used Giveffect, 420 volunteers raised about $267,000. We fundraised about the same amount with 130 fewer students! We found that Giveffect’s ease of access and use increased the funds we raised per student – up about $150 more compared to what they had raised with Kintera Sphere.”

“I truly believe that if we had the same number of student volunteers fundraising this year, we would easily exceed $300,000. While Giveffect doesn’t have every single feature that Kintera Sphere has, we quickly realized that we didn’t need every option. A lot of the functions they had were very cumbersome. Simplicity is key.”

Q: What systems were you using at UCLA Unicamp before transferring over to Giveffect?

A: “We’ve been using Kintera Sphere since late 1988. They were top of the\ line product for the first 6-7 years, however, overtime they started producing different suites of products that began to cost more and more money. They recently implemented Raiser’s Edge NXT, what they did was take Sphere and break it down to their components.”

Q: How was your support with the previous software vendor?

A: “Blackbaud then sold the components separately. If you edit the cost, it’s really expensive. It was the ‘same suite with a bit of makeup on it’. We had about 400-500 student volunteers that fundraised with us year after year. They found that Kintera/Sphere was ugly, not intuitive, took too long to login and create a fundraising page.”

“As our organization grew, so did our records. When our records went over a certain threshold, our overall cost raised by $4,000-5,000 more per year. The final tally was approximately $17,000/year, totaling $51,000 for three years. We couldn’t deal with it anymore. We found a way to sever our relationship with Blackbaud. It did cost us about $6,000 to break the contract but it was worth it.”

Q: How’s your experience with Giveffect so far?

A: “We wanted a system that looked better with more functionality in the backend database! Giveffect’s Smart Automation piece that goes on behind the scenes made a larger-scale impact on my workload for automating administrative tasks and reporting.

“I now use Giveffect a lot more than Kintera Sphere. When I started my role here at UCLA, I spent an inordinate amount of time trying to make things work with Kintera Sphere. At the end of year, I was avoiding that system as much as possible. I used to export everything into Excel because it was way easier to use than manipulating reports in Kintera Sphere. Their servers couldn’t handle the sheer size of our contact records. Their system would always timeout – one of my biggest pet peeves.”

“Since we’ve been working with Giveffect, we can manipulate our records because Giveffect doesn’t timeout. I now use Giveffect 4 to 5 days in the office per week – I even check it at home 1 to 2 times per week!”

Campaign breakdown by the numbers:

Campaign: 13th Annual UCLA UniCamp Camp-A-Thon!

Raised online: $267,104
Teams: 13
Participants: 420
Donors: 4141

“Fire and Rescue” Story: As UCLA Unicamp was launching their 13th Annual UCLA UniCamp Camp-A-Thon fundraiser, a fire broke out at one of their Campsites. It destroyed 31,000 acres in Barton Flats. To ensure the safety of 270 kids for their 3rd Camp Session, they needed to move locations. They secured a campsite in Big Bear, which cost a great deal.

UCLA UniCamp launched an “Emergency Fundraising” campaign and raised an additional + $44,000 in a month, thanks to all of their 174 emergency donors.

Giveffect demo