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Oh so close, but still proud to be recognised

By Mark Higgitt | November 30, 2016

IOF 2016-committed company-croppedThe donorflex team returned from the Institute of Fundraising’s National Fundraising Awards disappointed but not disheartened – with the distinction of being the only charity CRM database supplier shortlisted for the coveted Most Committed Company to the Sector category a huge reward in itself.

On an evening when the biggest ovation was rightly reserved for the four children nominated for the Best Young Fundraiser award, the Most Committed prize deservedly went to Bates Wells Braithwaite, the national law firm that has served the sector with deep commitment since 1970.

The other shortlisted organisations commended by judges at London’s art-deco Troxy venue were Ethicall, HOME Fundraising, and Pebblebeach Fundraising, which works with many donorflex clients.

The donorflex submission centred on the remarkable successes achieved by the team at Halton Haven Hospice over the past three years. Here’s a summary:

  • When Halton Haven Hospice’s Database Manager, James Caza, called donorflex in early 2014, he faced a challenge like few others.
  • It was costing £2.5m a year to support families in a small borough where home for many is in one of England’s most deprived council wards.
  • Where, as Chief Executive Shaun Pollard puts it, “raising £25 is a big total”.
  • The Runcorn hospice’s key operations were run on fragmented, home-grown systems and spreadsheets.
  • Without a big change, Shaun’s plan to transform the hospice’s fortunes would be compromised.
  • If ever a charity needed to forge a relationship with a supplier using a well-tuned ear for what matters, a willingness to be pragmatic, and a track record for delivering, this was the time.
  • That’s what the donorflex team has been doing for almost 30 years.
  • Two years on from James’s call, the corner has been turned. That makes us proud.

donorflex’s place on the select shortlist capped a pleasing run in IOF awards over the past four years.

In 2013 and 2015, the team won the prestigious Best CRM Database Supplier prize in the Partners in Fundraising awards. Those successes sandwiched the 2014 awards, when we were also shortlisted.

"It would have been a huge achievement to be voted as the most committed company, given the superb, sustained work of the other four organisations on the shortlist," says donorflex managing director Brian Todd.

"That’s not to say we wouldn’t have been delighted if we’d driven home with the trophy. We’re most disappointed for James Caza and Shaun Pollard, and their team in Runcorn, because the submission was a reflection to their remarkable efforts in partnership with the team here in Birmingham.

"We’re proud that the way we engage with clients and support them – particularly at such a challenging time for the sector – continues to be recognised, so we trust this reflects on them too. To be the only database supplier on the shortlist was a prize in itself. We love what we do!”