Jeff Jacobs: Tell me about the mission of The Exodus Road.
The Exodus Road: The Exodus Road is a counter human trafficking organization that is focused on finding and freeing victims of slavery. We vet, train, fund and equip operatives to collect evidence of trafficking and then work with local law enforcement to bring freedom. We equip nationals – through knowledge, support, training and technology – to find and free slaves in their own home countries including the United States. We believe that the anti-trafficking movement cannot afford to be isolated, so we encourage and invest in collaboration through the sharing of resources, technology and coordination of events with other practitioners and governments, particularly through our leadership in The Liberty Alliance.
We also support prevention and victim aftercare services throughout the rescue and transition process. We believe that justice is in the hands of the ordinary – people like you and me – and that every human being, every child, deserves freedom.
JJ: What are some of the challenges you face when trying to connect to your supporters as an organization that deals with such a serious and heavy topic?
TER: When trying to connect with our supporters, we find it challenging to communicate the impact they are having. We want to let them know that their money is resulting in rescue and real lives being changed forever. It can be hard to comprehend how $35 a month or sharing a story on social media can change a life forever, but that is truly what our supporters do: they help find and free those trapped in modern slavery.
JJ: That’s a challenge all nonprofits face, but I can understand why that’s so difficult for The Exodus Road given the serious and heavy nature of your mission.
TER: First and foremost The Exodus Road is victim centric. Everything we do is done so that these survivors are not further exploited in any way. For example, we blur the faces of actual victims in any pictures we may share with our donors. So, unlike other organizations that might share a photo with their supporters to help them feel connected to the cause, we must take great care in what is disseminated. We feel that accountability is critical to our donors though which is why we keep records, files and a global case management database that documents our activities. We will share that with our supporters as long as it doesn’t endanger our front lines, hamper investigations or further exploit victims.
JJ: What nonprofit CRM did you use before joining Virtuous? And how did that hamper your efforts to connect with supporters to communicate impact on the slavery trade?
TER: We had used eTapestry previously and Virtuous better supports our efforts to communicate impact with its user-friendly interface and organization. We are looking forward to using the Project feature in Virtuous to quickly see which supporters have donated to a project, which will enable us to then keep them updated on the impact being made.
JJ: How did you first hear about and connect with Virtuous?
TER: We had originally heard about Virtuous while doing a demo with iDonate. After, we decided to schedule a demonstration with the Virtuous team and instantly loved what we saw.
JJ: What was it that you loved about Virtuous that other nonprofit CRM solutions didn’t offer?
TER: We really appreciated that Virtuous was willing to work with and integrate with other systems. Virtuous isn’t an email marketing tool or Peer-to-peer fundraising tool, but instead focuses on being a great CRM and integrating with others. We felt that those that tried to provide a multitude of services under one platform could only do so by providing a lower quality of those services.
JJ: Why did you ultimately decide to go with Virtuous?
TER: Ultimately, it was ease of finding information in the system, confidence in the transition and support team, and the many features that were not available to us in our previous CRM.
JJ: How was your transition from eTapsestry to Virtuous? Was our Customer Success Team able to provide you with the information you needed to be successful and fully get your entire team on board with this big technology and process change?
TER: The transition process went incredibly smooth and stress free. Honestly, we were pleasantly surprised about that! A customer success team member was able to walk through our previous database and create a plan to move data to Virtuous. After a trial of data migration, we were confident and comfortable migrating all of our data to the new system. Given the user friendly system, the entire Exodus Road team was using Virtuous after one personalized training session. I also give enormous credit to Stephanie Trevino, our Donor Relations Manager, as she was able to provide Virtuous with the information needed from us for this transition to hum. It was truly a team effort and Virtuous was a great team member that we could count on.
JJ: What has Virtuous enabled you to do in recent months that you weren’t able to do in your previous nonprofit CRM?
TER: It has enabled us to build out segmented list of donors by “ tagging”. We know what supporters have photography skills, which ones have big social media influence, or which ones prefer to contribute financially. One of our favorite sayings at The Exodus Road is “Justice is in the hands of the ordinary.” This means everyone has a role to play in the fight against human trafficking. Virtuous helps us utilize our supporter’s skills and passions and do what they do best to fight human trafficking.
JJ: What are the top three things your staff and team members like most about Virtuous?
TER: First, the tasks that you can set up in Virtuous, which have revamped our donor stewardship program. Next would probably be the giving page being separate from the notes page. It makes it easy to glance through the giving page to see a detailed overview of giving history, and then the notes section to see the contact made with the donor. And finally, campaign tracking is more advanced and organized than the other CRMs we explored. Not only can we track the campaign, but we like that you can track the different approaches within that campaign such as direct mailers, social media, etc.
JJ: What advice would you give other nonprofits looking for CRM solution?
TER: To seriously consider Virtuous! Virtuous provides ease of use within a comprehensive information structure, and a support team that is responsive, knowledgeable and fun to work with! I know that the Virtuous team is always looking for ways to improve the system and will work with us when we have any questions or suggestions.
JJ: How has Virtuous helped you build better relationships with your supporters?
TER: I personally liked the tasks that can be set up in Virtuous. They are helpful and such a time saver. We love getting to connect with new donors, as Virtuous sets up an automatic task when a first time donor is entered. It has taken our donor stewardship to a whole new level.
If you’d like to see how Virtuous can help you connect with your supporters to help you accomplish your mission, schedule a consultation with our team.