Calgary Drop-In Centre: Donor Information System
(6 pages of text)
In the spring of 2016, the director of finance and administration for the Calgary Drop-In & Rehab Centre was frustrated with the organization’s legacy donor and volunteer information system. The technology platform was outdated, data integrity was out of control, costs were spiralling, and most importantly, required information was not available on demand. The director was concerned that these issues with the organization’s information systems would interfere with its ability to maintain positive relationships with existing donors and to secure new financial supporters—ultimately, that it could have an impact on the agency’s efforts to achieve more good in the community. He was contemplating three options to solve this problem: build a new in-house system to replace the current Microsoft Access database system; purchase customer relationship management software specifically developed for non-profit fundraising and relationship management and install this on personal computers and servers in the offices; or adopt a cloud-based fundraising solution, where the organization’s data would be stored on a secure, shared platform administered by the vendor.
This case can be used with undergraduate or graduate students to explore common issues and practices related to data management. After working through the case and assignment questions, students will be able to
- understand common data management issues and practices, including an organization’s need to maintain data integrity via a single source of truth;
- compare alternative solutions for replacing legacy databases and achieving data integrity; and
- develop an implementation plan for adopting a new database system, identifying the critical steps to take in this transition.
Social Advocacy Organizations
Canada, Small, 2016
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