Claire Kerr thinks her colleagues at Toronto's SickKids Foundation deserve an Agitator raise for making it easier for donors to make tribute gifts online.

Here's her story …

Hi Agitator !

I was inspired by your You Deserve a Raise column to tell you why I think a group of people at my own charity really deserve a raise for putting donors first.

Traditionally, SickKids Foundation has always taken online tribute donations as either in honour or in memory.

We asked donors to choose in honour or in memory, fill out an online donation form and type a message for their card in one of the fields. The card info was pulled as a report by a Donor Services Rep, then created in Filemaker Pro, printed and mailed to the tribute recipient.

This was a lengthy process on the back-end and was also pretty inflexible for donors there are lots of reasons that people might donate in someones name that dont fit into either category.

In the spirit of putting donors first, the tribute team worked with our marketing team to create a range of new colourful cards that are not occasion-specific. Our in-house programmers and new media team then built a web application that allows donors to choose any card image, type any message, preview the card fully, address it & make a donation online for any reason or occasion.

An integrated print application sends the information to our in-house printer to be printed on the cards. The application was also designed to be used by our reps on the phone — when donors call in, our reps can use the web application to create a donors card quickly.

The focus was to let donors tell us what they want to use the cards for, and were finding they are very creative.

Many people are using the application to create cards as party invitations, thank-yous, holiday cards, announcements, thank you for your business, and all sorts of functions that would not have been possible under the old in honour / in memory system.

The card application has been in use since Oct. 1st, under phase one, and they are working towards a phase two with upgrades and improvements based on donor feedback for the new year. Im super proud of my charity for building this and think they deserve kudos for giving donors new ways to interact with us.

Claire Kerr

You can look at the cards here.

Claire, The Agitator's elves agree, the tribute card team deserves a raise. And just in time for Christmas!

Roger & Tom

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