About the Delaware Center for Horticulture
Since 1977, the Delaware Center for Horticulture (DCH) has cultivated a greener community by bringing people and plants together. Their work includes creating and maintaining as well as planning and advising on a variety of urban farms, community gardens, public landscapes, and community events and educational programs. Because much of their work occurs in low income neighborhoods with higher rates of disease, environmental contamination, and poor access to healthy foods, DCH educational efforts also emphasize the personal health and sustainability benefits of gardening.
DCH is the only nonprofit membership organization in Delaware that mobilizes and inspires community greening statewide in urban and suburban environments. DCH has more than 600 active and dedicated volunteers from Delaware and surrounding areas, all with a passion for plants matched only by that of their staff members.
We spoke with Gordon Starr, Member and Volunteer Manager at DCH about how they plan to use CRM to automate more outreach, collect better data about anyone who visits their website, and use that information to improve donor retention, membership renewals, and paid event attendance.
We’re a group of dreamers. We only wish that we could do more.
The Challenge: an Antiquated CRM Housing 20 Years of Data
Before migrating to Lumaverse Nonprofit CRM, DCH was operating on a legacy CRM that housed an extensive 20 year old data set. The old system had a lot of broken features, was too expensive to update, and left staff unable to automate basic tasks. Activity like reaching out to lapsed members regarding renewal or thanking people who signed up for online events required manually looking up and re-typing contact information; more complex projects like starting an e-commerce store to serve the community seemed totally out of reach.
After researching a number of alternatives, the DCH team was drawn to Lumaverse Nonprofit CRM based on the completeness of its solution.
Lumaverse had all the stuff we wanted: website integration, membership, donations, events, volunteer management,” said Starr. “All that rolled into one option made it a really strong product.
The Solution: A CRM Built for Nonprofits
In early 2020, DCH completed migrating over 14,000 contacts from their old CRM into Lumaverse Nonprofit CRM. In June it launched its new website, with several Lumaverse solutions working in the background to help streamline and modernize its operations.
Online Event Registration: DCH currently holds online events as well as in-person garden tours on a time-ticketed, small group basis. In addition to powering online registration, Lumaverse for Nonprofits captures registrant data directly into the CRM, making it easy for DCH to send thank you notes, membership invitations, or other communications to anyone who has attended an event.
Online Fundraising and Membership: It’s easy for people to learn how to donate money, or become more deeply involved through a membership. Membership and donation pages are clearly laid out with pricing and checkout. All information is captured and stored in the same CRM.
E-Commerce Store & Covid-19 Response: in August 2020, DCH launched their Fall Bulb Sale, featuring rare bulbs that grow well in the region. By taking orders online instead of hosting an in person sale, DCH was able to continue with their project despite Covid-19. Throughout August and Septembers, members can place multiple orders as they plan their gardens; orders placed by people at the same address will be processed and bagged together for convenient pickup in October. DCH is proud to conduct this sale in a safe, easy to manage, socially-distanced way and welcomes all Delaware residents and flower lovers to check out their Fall Bulb Sale.
Reporting & Analytics: information like membership numbers, renewals, and 5-year retention rate are easy to pull into reports, providing value to leadership and the board.
Outreach and Communication: Because member, donor, and volunteer information is captured in the same CRM database, Starr and his colleagues can more easily communicate with different groups of constituents. Whether they want to send a members-only reminder about the Fall Bulb Sale or a year end thank you to all contacts, they can go to one place and pull both lists—no more logging into different systems or re-typing one spreadsheet into another. With a CRM in place, DCH began using email blasts to send more general updates to the community about upcoming volunteer opportunities, to announce their new website, and to provide general organizational updates. They’re also experimenting with sending personalized letters digitally.
Now that they have a CRM in place the DCH team is ready to start exploring more areas to automate.
“We can do a lot now [that we have Lumaverse], let’s start exploring,” said Starr. “It’s efficient, comprehensive, and ready for the future.”
Are You a Flower Lover?
Take a virtual visit to a garden by visiting Delaware Center for Horticulture’s 2020 Fall Bulb Sale. And if you’d like to create something similar for your school, nonprofit, or other organization, contact us today.