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    Chi Omega Foundation Boosts Online Fundraising Performance with iMIS

    The Chi Omega Foundation was started in 1982 to help meet the educational and leadership development needs of the Fraternity's collegiate and alumnae members and chapters. Each year, it processes an average of 13,000 fundraising transactions from approximately 9,500 donors. The Foundation also receives more than 3,500 tribute gifts and manages about 275 endowed funds annually.

    The Challenge:

    The Chi Omega Foundation’s previous fundraising management system consisted of a number of non-integrated tools for collecting donors' credit card details. Regular recurring gifts, for instance, were recorded via a paper-based system, while telemarketing and email vendors uploaded the information to a secure FTP site, where Foundation staff could then download and manually enter it into a database. Processing gifts was extremely time- and labor-intensive, and created many opportunities for errors. When new PCI compliance standards required that the Chi Omega Foundation change the way it handled gifts, the organization realized that it was time to not only mitigate security risks, but also streamline its operations and make it easier to donate online.

    The Solution:

    With the help of its Authorized iMIS Solution Provider (AiSP), Computer System Innovations (CSI), the Chi Omega Foundation upgraded iMIS in the spring of 2008. The web-based software solution allowed the Foundation to collect and efficiently process online donations, ensure PCI compliance and the secure handling of credit card information, and automatically log gifts directly within donors’ records. The Chi Omega Foundation also centralized the management of its fundraising initiatives in iMIS. The organization’s telemarketing vendor, for example, was able to log into the database system via a simple yet secure web portal, enter gifts and create donor records. Foundation staff only had to check the batches and produce receipts, saving them time and effort.

    The Results:

    Since launching online donation capabilities, the Chi Omega Foundation has seen a steady uptick in giving via the web. In just two years, the Foundation went from processing $9,600 from 170 donors to $52,000 from 310 donors. Staff also experienced a dramatic impact from streamlining fundraising management through iMIS. Approximately 50 percent less time was required for manual data entry. The Chi Omega Foundation has also benefitted from the more accurate reporting capabilities since upgrading iMIS. These improvements led the Foundation to integrate its email campaigns with iMIS, which have freed up even more staff time, allowing them to take back some items in-house and realize cost-savings.

    "iMIS offered what we needed to boost our online fundraising performance. The system significantly lightened our data entry load and provided us with the flexibility to implement integrated campaigns on-the-fly, among many other things," said Muffin Dixon, director of development operations, Chi Omega Foundation. "We are confident that, with CSI’s support, we can use iMIS to its fullest and focus on the continued growth of our online fundraising gifts year after year."

    Chi Omega

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