Managed integration for nonprofits

September 13, 2022
7 mins
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Creating a connected constituent experience is a top priority for most nonprofits today. To do this, organizations need to ensure their data strategy is on point, with all their platforms and data collection touchpoints (like websites and registration forms) speaking to each other. However, as you likely know, this is much easier said than done.

With many nonprofits moving toward cloud-based solutions such as Salesforce—or stuck straddling both worlds, working between Excel spreadsheets and cloud-based products—it’s becoming increasingly difficult to ensure all their data is flowing seamlessly between platforms. 

In fact, according to Salesforce 69% of nonprofits find sharing data across teams and platforms to be difficult. And only 24% of nonprofits have a data strategy in place at all. 

On top of this, the traditional high-costs of integration platforms and difficulties hiring and retaining IT specialists meant nonprofits were left with limited options. Or at least that was until the emergence of managed integrations. 

Why are integrations important for nonprofits?

Today it’s common practice for organizations to use a wide variety of platforms, tools, and technologies to operate their nonprofit. But as your organization expands, you may become overwhelmed by all these disjointed tools that don’t speak to one another. 

Software integrations ensure all of your systems are working together to reduce manual entry, increase productivity, and improve data quality. When your software is integrated, platforms can better communicate with each other and automations can run seamlessly which will optimize business operations and allow your team to work more effectively.  

For nonprofits, a good integration strategy can:

  • Improve your analytical reporting and decision making
  • Create a full 360-degree understanding of your constituents 
  • Save you time, resources, and budget by removing manual work
  • Personalized marketing and communications with donors and constituents
  • Increase your impact by removing barriers to scale 

What are the different integration approaches? 

Between point to point, Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS), middleware, and managed integrations, you would be forgiven for feeling a little confused. So let’s start with the basics:

  1. Point to Point (most complex and time consuming): This involves the use of custom code to connect two platforms together.
  2. Middleware (scalable but can be costly): A software that acts as a ‘middleman’ between two or more systems to help them communicate with one another. 
  3. Services (leaving it all to someone else): A services approach involves working with a cloud-based service to help you manage the connections between your applications and technologies. This could include an IPaaS or managed integration service such as Propel Integration Partners.

There’s a lot more to unpack when talking about different types of integration approaches. We take a deep dive in our blog here. But for now, let’s focus on number three, especially our favorite option for nonprofits, managed integration services.

What is managed integration?

A managed integration is where you leave all the integration to experts. It’s a fully managed solution that helps you with everything from data strategy and planning, to infrastructure setup, maintenance, and integrations. 

And whilst it may seem like a more costly solution, it’s actually a more budget-friendly option that’s well suited for nonprofit organizations. It enables them to modernize their systems without stretching precious internal resources or hiring an expensive in-house integration team. 

Why is managed integration a good option for nonprofits?

Nonprofit organizations across the globe have a couple of things in common: their hard-working teams often wear multiple hats and are expected to do a lot, with limited resources; they want to achieve a 360-degree view of their constituents and donors, but struggle to connect the data; and they’re expected to provide the same connected digital experience as the for-profit world, but with a fraction of the budget. 

All of these challenges, from resourcing and budget, to connected experiences and constituent-360 can be solved with a managed integration approach.

  • Powerful, seamless integrations: Provides the same flexibility, scalability, and reliability of middleware (without the unpredictable price tag).
  • Nonprofit-specific solutions: Utilize accelerators for commonly required nonprofit integrations, saving you time and money.
  • Resource-saver: Relies on an external team for their expertise, so your team can get back to the work that makes the largest impact on your mission.
  • Grows with your needs: Allows organizations to start off small and scale integration platforms as you grow.
  • More bang for your buck: Generally a lower cost solution, where you can plan for and  know the cost upfront.

How World Bicycle Relief is using managed integration to connect Third-Party Aggregators and Salesforce

“Since working with Propel Integrations, World Bicycle Relief is data-entry-free and poised for growth. Processing approximately 600 donations per month, the solution has cut processing time by more than 60%.” 

Like so many nonprofits, World Bicycle Relief utilizes online donation platforms known as Third-Party Aggregators (TPA’s) or Payment Processors to collect donations. While their benefits are significant, they also have their challenges:

  • Manual integrations: The World Bicycle Relief team was having to manually enter all the donor data into their CRM solution.
  • Limited staff resources: Managing their multiple TPA’s, each with their own integration processes, was time-consuming and prone to human error. It also meant resources were being diverted from mission-central activities to deal with integrations.
  • Data-driven insights: Due to the manual nature of TPA’s and the consequential resourcing issues, World Bicycle Relief was spending more time entering data than analyzing data.

Looking for a solution to their TPA woes, World Bicycle Relief reached out to Propel Integration Partners, a managed integration solution, for help.

Propel Integration Partners offers managed integration solutions for organizations wanting to focus on their mission, rather than manage their integration middleware architecture and services. They created a solution that would seamlessly integrate all TPA data into their Salesforce NPSP daily, improving staff efficiency, reducing human error, and freeing up time for World Bicycle Relief to focus on what matters most: mission.

Read their full story here.

How Propel Integration Partners can help you become a constituent-centric organization

Propel Integration Partners enables nonprofits, like World Bicycle Relief, to spend more time doing what matters most. It automates the exchange of core/common data across all applications to maximize your organization’s impact so you can:

  • Get back to what matters most: Reduce manual effort for key resources to focus on fundraising rather than data entry, file loads, and other time consuming tasks.
  • Become a data-driven organization: Create more accurate data with a reduction in manual data entry and file manipulation.
  • Protect constituent privacy: Rely on a more secure integration solution that leverages application layer security and access controls by user types.

A fully managed integration solution, Propel Integration Partners accelerates an organization’s integration modernization, offers flexible paths forward (without the large upfront costs associated with a full re-platforming), and provides all the benefits of a fully managed service versus internally sourcing and managing highly specialized resources.

Managing integrations has never been easier

Chat to one of our data experts today to see if Propel Integration Partners might be a good fit for your organization. 
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