Lifeline Australia

Lifeline logo

Lifeline needed to partner with an Information Technology and Data Consulting team to identify and deliver our next generation of donations management technology. DCA had the know-how with which to deliver an optimised outcome in terms of determining a successor solution to donations management.

DCA had earned a strong trust and reputation for being true leaders in their bespoke data and professional services by the Lifeline team, and offered to help. Upon visiting their facilities and discussing the project’s need it was clear they understood how to apply best practice with their talented team to meet our requirements.

John Staines, CIO Lifeline Australia 

It’s always very important for us to work with a team who understand non-profit fundraising yet is still able provide a superior level of technical know-how and support. That’s why we choose to work with DCA. They always deliver projects to deadline and budget and invest themselves into learning our business so there’s no need to relay the ground work with each new project.

Stephanie Chan, Fundraising Database Coordinator (Engagement) Lifeline Australia 

Client Industry

Lifeline is a national Non-profit Charity, founded in 1963, that provides all Australians experiencing a personal crisis with access to 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention. Services and resources are provided through phone and online mediums.

Lifeline relies on community support to fund its vital 24/7 crisis supporter line 13 11 14 and its online Crisis Support Chat service which receives over 1 million requests for help each year.

Client Requirements

It was essential that Lifeline partnered with an Information Technology and Data Consulting team who could identify and deliver their next generation of Donations Management technology.

Solutions were needed to overcome the following problems:

  • Manual intensive,convoluted processes that were error prone requiring six separate applications to process and manage donations, and donation customer data
  • Security risks on customer data and donations
  • No Smartphone donation capability
  • No Data Integrity management, which required regular ongoing ‘cleansing’
  • CRM and previous applications unsupported due to the collapse of the incumbent vendor
  • Limited donor reporting and analytics

Requirements included:

  • Mapping and sizing of current Donations Management Process (current state model)
  • Problem and opportunity analyses
  • Market assessment of opportunities
  • Cost benefit analyses across ‘winning’ products
  • Implementation cost assessment
  • ROI calculations
  • A systems and data migration plan
  • Go Live incorporating data cleanse, deduplication, extract, transform, load – full data and digital transformation into the new database systems solution
  • Single view of the supporter (customer)
  • A clean central database, free of duplications
  • To have a data driven marketing environment optimised by the best possible data.
  • An internally accessible stable data platform providing an ongoing 360 view of customer activity
  • Flexibility of a Data Partner to handle complex ongoing requirements and deliver the desired outcome  .

DCA’s Solution – Consolidation, Data Cleanse, Data Enhancement, Data Migration, DB Management, De-Dupe, Salesforce, Single Customer View

The Solution put in place for Lifeline by way of a number of individual projects and ongoing services solved Lifeline’s business requirements and have seen Lifeline experience savings of up to 30% of resource time. This time is now being reinvested into other projects and income generating activities. A complete consolidation and cleanse of data has also made it possible for Lifeline to easily identify their most qualified donors and save costs in other areas such as direct mail. A mobile friendly interface generating over $20,000 in additional revenue, where in the past it was estimated that Lifeline was missing out on 20% of possible donations. A projected ROI on the implementation costs in less than three years.

The Solution included:

  • Assessment and documentation of business processes at Lifeline Australia and two additional Lifeline centres
  • Quantification of ‘current state’ effort in data processing
  • Identification of automation/cost reduction opportunities
  • Identification of data integrity requirements
  • High level assessment of solution options
  • Cost-benefit analysis of options:
  • Functions and features
    • Implementation
    • Integrity
    • Security
    • ‘Return on investment’ estimations
    • ‘Cost of not doing’ assessment
  • Final recommendations of most appropriate systems solution, measured ‘apples to apples’ with competing product(s)
  • Partnering with winning vendor and Lifeline to deliver an implementation, migration and Data ‘ETL’ plan
  • Full database landscape included the end-to-end data processing of almost 2 million associated records across 20 legacy data tables
  • Project management to successful completion
  • Early life support

In Summary, the main data consulting services and solutions provided by DCA to Lifeline were:

  • Full Business process analysis and consultation – extensive review of Lifeline’s legacy databases
  • Strategy – formulate a phased approach for Lifeline Australia’s long term Digital Transformation and created a Data Roadmap Plan
  • Execution – Data Processing and Management including full project management and delivery of data services and solutions which included Data Cleanse, Deduplication, Consolidation, Mapping and Migration
  • Successful Go Live (on time and on budget) – from full end to end data processing of Lifeline’s legacy Supporter 360 CRM records into their new Salesforce CRM
  • Support and Governance – Data Maintenance and continued delivery of complex data solutions for MS
  • Ongoing PCI Compliance for Lifeline Donations Management Process – current phase and beyond
  • Note: Lifeline Australia is the National Head Office and DCA are also data partners with a number of other Lifeline Centres such as Lifeline Harbour to Hawkesbury where DCA have performed a similar suite of end-to-end data services

In collaborating with other Lifeline Centres the analysis exercise revealed a local Sydney software implementation company (Alphasys) delivering a bespoke version of the Salesforce NFP product to be a good fit in terms of functionality, and excellent from a cost perspective (for Lifeline’s relatively small fundraising team size). The functional segment this solution caters for is Donations Management and Fundraising /Fundraising Intelligence for Small to Medium Enterprise.

DCA engaged with the Salesforce Implementation Partner Alphasys and Lifeline Subject Matter Experts to develop a project plan that was achievable and timed to launch just after the busy Christmas and New Year period to minimise disruption to busy donation cycles and business operations.

With DCA being vendor agnostic and providing a wide range of bespoke technology services, a number of distinct advantages were identified:

  • Experience: Hands-on experience with multiple products in this domain;
  • IndustrySpecific Information: ‘User story’ and ‘in use’ feedback for many of the products that were vying for assessment (this allowed Lifeline to lower costs and save time on the breadth of applications they would assess in detail);
  • Flexible and fit for purpose: DCA employs a wide range of technology experts and creates bespoke project team(s) to deliver the specific client requirement;
  • Reputation and Domain Expertise: DCA has a superb reputation across the Non-Profit sector with the diverse number of charities they have worked with and the many complex data solutions and services they have provided over the years.

Lifeline also needed a ‘best in kind’ Data Partner to continue to provide advice on Donor information – which can be increasingly volatile due to organisational and people movements. Higher integrity data would also be increasingly relevant in a market where Donors are becoming harder to source and therefore identifying the right Donors in a population that is increasingly experiencing ‘Donor Fatigue’ is of utmost importance.

Customer Benefits

Lifeline and DCA have developed a very successful Partnership over the years with DCA’s accumulated knowledge of Lifeline’s history and needs as a Partner proving invaluable for Lifeline’s business continuity. In particular DCA has proven to be highly responsive with a very dependable, helpful and stable team base.

Lifeline’s Donations Management services have become substantially more efficient, with high integrity, and robust and reliable data management. This allows the customer to focus their time on value-add activities rather than workarounds and break fixes.

Lifeline have obtained a true Single Customer View of their supporters – cleansed, accurate and duplicate free data that Lifeline can trust. Lifeline’s data is now clean and reliable, eliminating duplications and the wasted cost and effort of reaching out to invalid Donors.

This has also resulted in more efficient and improved processes, e.g. with fundraising, donations, payment processing and mail fulfilment programs among others. Significant cost savings in infrastructure have been another positive outcome by DCA purging redundant data for Lifeline and the decommissioning of their old legacy systems

In addition, immediate revenue savings included:

  • 30% savings in resource time
  • New mobile friendly interface potentially generating over $20,000 of otherwise lost income
  • Costs savings, increased donations, increased Donor integrity and ongoing data
  • Projected ROI on the implementation costs in less than three years.
  • Approximate total hours saved per annum – 1,380

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Consolidation, Data Cleanse, Data Enhancement, Data Migration, DB Management, De-dupe, Salesforce, Single Customer View
Not for profit
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