Case Study: Autism Speaks Canada

As a small, emerging nonprofit, Autism Speaks Canada had been working with a large fundraising software company, expecting it would have every feature they needed to handle online giving for their annual event. But that wasn't the case. According to Executive Director Suzanne Lanthier, "If we wanted any customization whatsoever, anything that was slightly different, they weren't willing to do it in the way and in the time that it needed to be done." As a Canadian client, the biggest issue for Autism Speaks Canada was receipting in Canadian currency. "This was something they had the ability to do, but didn't put that into practice fast enough for us." The software had become a liability since it wasn't doing what they needed. "We spent an inordinate amount of time, money, energy and effort to send out receipts."

So, what happened when they switched to DonorDrive?

"DonorDrive was able to implement that immediately for us. We had very specific needs in terms of our receipting processes and it was their level of understanding about what those needs were, their willingness to listen and then take action. They really made us feel that we weren't their smallest client (which we probably were.) So it was taking their product and customizing it for what our needs were and really making us feel that we were the most important client that they had."

ASC hadn't felt important with their previous software company. "If you made the phone call Tuesday you want your call to be answered in a relatively short time, that you're not waiting and that you're not the one that's following up two and three weeks later."

Switching meant better service.

To Suzanne, DonorDrive took customer service well beyond expectation. "From the get go, we have always had incredible response. I'll give you a perfect example, when we launched our very first event web site, it was Memorial Day weekend two years ago. One of the DonorDrive employees literally had plans to go away for the weekend and we had him on the phone and online all weekend long. That was critical for us. In Canada that wasn't our holiday weekend, but I really knew then that we had struck up a partnership with a company that really did care, because we put some pretty high demands on the company and they came through for us."

DonorDrive made more events practical.

With the old software, managing one event was painful enough, but ASC wanted to add more events. With DonorDrive this was not only now possible, but also easy to do. "When we first struck up our partnership with DonorDrive we added two additional events. This year we added two more and next year we're going to be adding at least two, if not three more. In Canada we have significant room for growth and what we've been able to do is start out this relationship, build out the websites to what we need them to be and now feel really confident moving forward that we have the product behind us that's going to meet our needs as we expand even more in the future." Switching to DonorDrive made more events and more online donations possible, with no extra charge per event.

After frustrations with ASC's initial try at online fundraising software, Suzanne is really happy with the switch to DonorDrive. "The relationship between Autism Speaks Canada and Global Cloud has been a really positive successful one."

Quick Stats

Who: Autism Speaks Canada

What they do: Fund global research into causes, prevention, treatments and cure for autism, raise awareness about the effects of autism on individuals, families and society

ASC's Key Benefits of Donor Drive:

  • User friendliness from an administrative and end-user standpoint
  • The ability to customize the pages
  • Automatic receipts printed and emailed to donors

Metrics: Increased fundraising events from 1 to 4 the first year, 6-7 expected next year.

"So it was taking their product and customizing it for what our needs were and really making us feel that we were the most important client that they had."

-Suzanne Lanthier

Autism Speaks Canada


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