When it comes to offering support and resources to children and their families in Colombia, Project Hope Ministries walks the walk.
Rick Weesner, treasurer for Project Hope Ministries, oversees the finances for all ministry fundraising. He’s seen firsthand the impact the ministry has in providing education, nutrition and support to local children living in poverty and housing and assistance to adoptive families while in Colombia completing the adoption process.
Rick realized many of the tools Project Hope Ministries used to support this programming were hindering the possibility of growth for the ministry. They were time consuming and lacked flexibility and security.
Problems in the Past
Transitioning systems takes effort, but it’s an important and beneficial task to take on. It was a change the organization was ready for.
Prior to using REACH, everything had been done manually.
Accounting data was manually entered into QuickBooks. Recurring donations meant storing card information, permission forms and manual entry for each credit card update.
Sponsors were individually emailed with status updates on their sponsorships.
Square and PayPal were used to process donations and accept payments for sales at events and fundraisers.
This all worked, but was very time consuming. Flexibility and security were a growing concern.
Rick was in the midst of setting up an Access database when he thought, there must be a better way.
A quick Google search for ‘donor database with sponsorship capability’ led him to REACH.
He compared prices and features with competitive software and decided to take advantage of REACH’s 60-day free trial.
Rick learned that the number of tasks that REACH can simplify for his organization was immeasurable.
So much so, that he’s had to prioritize implementation based on need and incorporate REACH in stages.
“This is our first year with REACH. As one of our projects or fundraisers comes around, my immediate thought is now ‘how can REACH streamline this for us?’ So far, we have not come to the end of those possibilities. This is extremely encouraging.”
Solutions Moving Forward
REACH has now been easily integrated with their website.
“I am familiar enough with HTML to modify REACH’s existing themes, but not to write my own. I am also familiar enough to really mess things up so I’m glad REACH includes version control. All that to say that setting up the program does not take a lot of web knowledge.”
Sponsorships are offered through REACH to provide required uniforms and school supplies to local children who participate in their Prado Community Center programming. Otherwise, these children would not be able to afford them and could not attend school.
Updates for their sponsorships are now posted online for the sponsors, saving them time when compared to emailing sponsors individually.
Jewelry, made by the children and visiting mission teams to benefit their Jewelry for Education program, is now sold online using REACH’s online store. All funds raised help cover the cost of uniforms and any other costs that arise, such as graduation gowns and emergency medical care for students.
The organization’s annual 143 campaign is now set up as a fundraiser in REACH, allowing donors to choose a dollar amount between 1 to 143 to donate to an initiative of their choice. Donations are tallied, updates are posted and the goal is easily tracked online.
Recurring donations now process automatically. Card and payment details are securely stored in REACH’s certified Level 1 PCI DSS complaint payment card vault.
Donations to Project Hope House provides housing and meals to adoptive families traveling to Colombia.
Donations for post-adoptive support services provide counseling and medical assistance to adoptive families once they return home.
Possibilities are Endless
“REACH is the best thing that has come our way to benefit the ministry and make our work easier.”
Project Hope Ministries is looking forward to finding additional ways for REACH to streamline their processes. They know the functionality is there and are excited to continue to incorporate the solution.
To learn more about Project Hope Ministries, visit https://www.project-hope-ministries.org/.