Exceeding expectations in project delivery

“Our fundraising teams are now empowered to own and manage their own data which has improved the quality of information and the level of engagement with the CRM system.”

Faye Cowley, Project Manager, The Outward Bound Trust

The Outward Bound Trust is an educational charity that uses the outdoors to help develop young people from all walks of life.

Through the generosity of their donors, The Outward Bound Trust run adventurous and challenging outdoor learning courses that equip young people with valuable skills for education, work and life. They help them become more confident, more effective and more capable at school, college and in the workplace.

In 2016 The Trust published its latest strategic framework “The Mountains Are Calling” which included, amongst other priorities, the goals of improving systems and financial stewardship.

Changing requirements and complex deliverables

Incremental was commissioned to build a fundraising financial management solution within The Trust’s existing Dynamics CRM system. In collaboration with The Trust, Incremental established a set of business requirements which necessitated a range of enhancements including:

  • Modifications and additions to the data structure within Dynamics CRM
  • New workflows to support management activities
  • New reports and data exports to manage pledges and donations, showing committed and received amounts.

These changes would enable The Trust to have a timely view of critical financial data. In addition, timely and accurate reporting would allow The Trust to focus its fundraising activities and effectively manage financial risk.

During the course of the project, however, requirements evolved and some of the key deliverables became very complex.

"There was a risk the project might have failed."

Working together to deliver project goals

To address the complexities of the project, Incremental and The Trust’s project team worked collaboratively. A simplified but effective solution was agreed without any change being made to the project funding. This required a strong commitment of both teams to simplify the solution whilst also maintaining a focus on the overall objectives.

Faye Cowley, Project Manger for The Outward Bound Trust said “We worked together to address any complexities of our evolving requirements and to ensure the solution would be easy to use, as this would encourage the critical people, i.e. the fundraising teams, to engage with the system.”

Faye continued, “Incremental was very professional which enabled us to turn the project around and reach a workable solution. There was a risk the project might have failed, but the collaboration between the teams got us over the line.”

"Incremental was very professional which enabled us to turn the project around and reach a workable solution."

Empowered and engaged users

Working together, Incremental and The Trust turned the project around and into a success. The project has delivered a number of key benefits to the charity including:

  • More transparent risk management
  • Empowered and engaged fundraising teams
  • Real-time information shared across the whole organisation.

In terms of users, The Trust’s fundraising teams are now empowered to own and manage their own data which has improved the quality of the information and the level of engagement with the CRM system.

Faye Cowley said “It is so easy for our fundraising teams to enter data; the adoption of the system has been tremendous. All the teams are now actively using the system.”

Another success of the project was the ability to share real-time information across the organisation and for users have better visibility of data. Faye explained “One of the big wins of the project, better than expected, is the ability for the fundraising teams to see how they are doing against target, what’s been pledged versus what has been received in a slick, click of a button – it is great!”

"The adoption of the system has been tremendous. All the teams are now actively using the system."

An open and honest relationship

The Outward Bound Trust was an early adopter of Dynamics CRM in the not-for-profit sector. We have therefore been working with The Trust for many years and enjoy an open and honest relationship. Incremental looks forward to this continuing well into the future.

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