Creating PledgePal, a Powerful Donation Management System for the Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign (CVC)

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The Challenge

The Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign (CVC) is a state organized workplace giving campaign coordinated and delivered by the Virginia Department of Human Resource Management. More than 1,000 charities apply each year to take part in the campaign, hundreds of employees volunteer their time each year to ensure the charity’s success and over $3.5m is raised annually.

CVC has been very successful supporting local charities, both financially and through volunteer time and other donations. However, when it came to efficient campaign management, they had no dedicated system to manage donors, donations, volunteers, charities, and federations. Instead, they relied on a combination of Excel and Quickbooks, neither of which offer the ideal solution. They put out a call on the Government Request for Proposals (RFP) portal to try and find a firm who could create a solution.



Our Approach

We were delighted to be awarded the contract for this project in 2017. We always talk to our clients first to make sure we fully understand their work and the challenge we have been asked to address. After this initial discussion, and also taking into account the information provided on the RFP, we produced a specification for the solution we felt best met the needs of CVC. Once this was approved, we set to work!

The financial processing object is very sophisticated and allows users to track campaign bank deposits, monitor disbursements to charities, process credit card payments and provide reconciliation of transactions. The data entry function was also deigned to respond to some of the specific challenges CVC had to deal with – in particular the ability to capture and record information from paper pledge forms and importing data from other online giving solutions.

PledgePal is also able to receive giving data collected from decentralized online giving solutions, including those operated by other organizations, such as the University of Virginia. This was achieved by developing the solution around the data format of these external systems to allow the data to feed into our Salesforce solution.  We also developed a custom charity eligibility portal which integrates with CVC’s Charity Application System to ensure only approved participating charities receive disbursements.

Our Solution

The reporting features included in the platform enable CVC to identify outstanding performance and opportunities for further improvement. All financial auditing can be managed online using electronic documents such as bank statements and pledges forms scanned and recorded in the system. This paperless solution is safe, secure and far more accurate than the previous data entry into Excel.

Our credit card processing solution uses credit card merchant IATS, which works exclusively for tax exempt agencies and provides discounted credit card processing rates.

We also developed Salesforce to provide administrative support to CVC. This has included scheduled emails of automatically produced internal reports, and the ability to batch mail merge directly from PledgePal into letters and check disbursements. These are then sent to charities and donors through an outsourced integrated printing service, so no one at CVC has to carry out any envelope stuffing and mailing – this is all handled remotely.

The Results

On 1st October 2017 we put the new Donation Management System, now branded as ‘PledgePal’ to the test. Before going live we ensured that everyone involved in CVC was fully trained on the new platform. This was achieved through a combination of one-on-one staff training, the provision of training videos and recorded training sessions. Everything worked well and the built-in reporting features are now able to compare campaign performance year-on-year as the system builds data which can provide an overview of annual performance as it becomes established within the business.

We are committed to the solutions we provide, and we continue to work with CVC to provide Salesforce administration and support, continuous improvement updates and training for new staff.