During Fall 2015, Pepperdine engaged ACF Solutions (a Salesforce business partner) to review and document Pepperdine’s current business practices in Advancement and to assess such practices against the Salesforce Advancement Connect. Salesforce Advancement Connect is the donor management solution that Advancement and IT/CRM have been considering for the CRM platform.
ACF concluded its work and presented their findings to Advancement and IT/CRM personnel on November 30, 2015. University Leadership and the CRM Governance Committee were then informed of the findings thereafter.
From the series of meetings ACF conducted with various Advancement functional groups and school alumni relations officers, ACF gathered the following themes:
Top Issues for Pepperdine Advancement
- 360 degree view of constituent
- Improve fundraiser productivity
- Increase alumni engagement
- Improve overall system usability and access to data
- Manage complex gift processing
FIT TO BUSINESS NEED*
** 0 = No Risk 5 = High Risk
Based on ACF’s assessment above, Advancement Connect - in its current first version - can meet many of Pepperdine's business needs except in the areas of Bio Demo, Gift Management and Membership. ACF has determined that until Advancement Connect matures as a donor management solution, it will not meet our current business practices in these three areas without significant and costly customizations.
From this assessment, Pepperdine has decided to continue using Raiser’s Edge as a donor management solution and a system of record for alumni records but adopt Salesforce (starting with Marketing Cloud and Eventbrite unified apps) for alumni engagement activities. Furthermore, chief information officer Jonathan See recommended that the evaluation of Advancement Connect be tabled until early 2017 when the solution’s maturity level would be re-assessed at that time.
In its January 2016 meeting, the CRM Governance Committee reviewed the CRM project's priority list and on February 18, the committee approved the latest revision to the implementation timeline.