Case Study

How Sense made sense of their supporter data through integration


At ENCCUK, the national disability charity Sense and Actually Data talked through how they integrated Raiser’s Edge and Engaging Networks to harness the power of their data.

One of the aims of Sense’s digital strategy is to better understand their supporters and how they interact and engage with the charity online and with emails.

Currently Sense uses Raiser’s Edge 7, however it might not be the system they use in the future. They are looking for a CRM that’s more future-focused. In the meantime, Engaging Networks would help them move forward with their digital strategy right now, whilst offering flexibility and the space to look at what their CRM system will look like in the long term. Whatever system they choose, they will be able to plug in Engaging Networks.

The charity wanted to move fairly quickly with the integration so opted to work with data expert, Anthony Fawkes, Director of Actually Data.

sense uk integrations case study

The integration process

Engaging Networks provided Sense with a detailed onboarding project plan, which the charity split between the digital team and the engagement operations team. A top tip from Sense is to set clear roles and responsibilities at the start of the project.

Some of the challenges they faced were how to keep stakeholders engaged at an appropriate level, and managing expectations.

One of the first things they did was work out how they wanted to map out their supporter data. They had conversations around what they wanted to collect – was it as much data as possible to get to know their supporters, or was it just enough to help move people to conversion? They settled more towards the latter with the knowledge that they could always change their processes if needed.

Coding the pages

Sense has campaigns, funds and appeals that use Engaging Networks. Their top tip is to set up the campaign codes in advance of coding the pages because once you start getting transactions, you can’t have them added later on. So get your coding right the first time, then get the page live and start getting your data through.

Mapping the CRM

Sense has different types of Engaging Networks pages, which include donation, events, advocacy and data capture forms. Different types of pages mean different types of supporter data and automation – for example, supporter and gift pages need the supporter’s name and email, date and gift amount whereas advocacy pages need the action they’re signing up for and their marketing preferences.

How to integrate your data

Unlike Salesforce, there isn’t direct integration into Raiser’s Edge so you need to use external tools. Sense uses Microsoft Excel, in particular Power Query which is embedded in Excel. Power Query is simple and easy to use and you don’t have to learn code or write VBA.

Sense then used the Engaging Networks data API to connect with Excel to transform it into something that’s easy to translate into any CRM – Raiser’s Edge in Sense’s case.

sense uk integrations case study

Where they couldn’t map data, they set up Look-up Tables to re-code transactions based on values from the Engaging Networks data, such as Page IDs. 

Tips to do this yourself

If you’re looking to do this within your organistion, without using a third party provider, here are some tips.

  • Request the Super Admin details for the API key
  • Use Excel and Power Query (Will work on Office 365 or Excel from 2013 onwards)
  • Have access to the master export layout

The most important thing is to know what you want to map and that you have the data to do so.

Want to learn more?

Do you want to integrate Engaging Networks with your current CRM to gain more insights about your supporters? Contact us for a free demo.

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