A Stable and Secure Environment for Orphaned Children

Organization Information:

Organization Name:
SOS Children's Villages Canada
City & State:
Organization's Mission Statement

SOS Children’s Villages raises orphaned and abandoned children.We help them shape their own futures.SOS Children’s Villages helps poor families care for their children.We do this around the world in over 125 countries.SOS Children's Villages is an independent, non-governmental social development organization, which has been active in the field of children's needs, concerns and rights since 1949.

Submission Information

Impact Essay

SOS Children’s Villages Canada has recently moved to a secure stable MS Server environment for our donor database, which has a MS SQL environment to ensure great stability. They’ve served as an ideal base for our key software programs, volunteer activities, fundraising efforts, donor and government accountability, record keeping and communications and outreach.

In terms of software, we use Blackbaud’s RaiserEdge as a donor platform; they recommend MS Server for the stability it provides and MS SQL Server to maximize efficiency and speed in use of the database. As of yet, Microsoft’s support has been nothing short of excellent.

Our office is located in Ottawa, Canada’s national capital. Because MS Server and MS SQL are the standard in the private and Government sectors, switching to them has facilitated the recruitment and use of local volunteers for support and assistance with our server / database / donor software platform maintenance and customization needs. Open source systems, on the other hand, lack standard application and implementation. With this kind of stable, easily manageable system in place, we can better concentrate on our role of fundraising for our cause of raising orphaned and abandoned children throughout the world.

Our fundraising work has greatly benefitted; since installing MS Server and MS SQL we have increased our committed monthly donors by over 800%! Our data efficiency and reliability means we have been able to maintain a 92% retention rate with committed donors, to the envy of similar charities.

The added speed and stability have enabled us to record, track and report on our progress more effectively. With standard backup and recovery procedures, we are able to make sure we exceed Canadian Revenue Agency requirements for secure and reliable charitable donation record keeping. Moreover, the speed and efficiency of MS SQL has allowed us to respond quickly to donors and stakeholders, run adhoc queries more often and expand and maintain our records more accurately. It also means that we are able to concentrate more efficiently on major donors who provide the best value; in fact, we’ve increased our reach to major donors by nearly 400% since moving to MS Server MS SQL and we’ve increased our overall donations from $ 1.5 million in 2005 to $3.0 million in 2008.

Our messaging and communication has also been transformed for the better. We’re now able to customize messages to people more efficiently and more regularly. Our use of e-communications in particular has become more efficient, having doubled the reach of donors through our e-newsletter, thereby reducing our mailing costs and our use of paper.

Similarly, the implementation of e-receipting has improved our speed in delivery of tax receipts, while cutting back on paper use and mailing costs. This improved speed and efficiency has left a ‘Microsoft halo’ effect, where donors see us as progressive, environmentally conscious and effective in donor stewardship. By and large, Microsoft support has allowed twice as many Canadians to participate and grow in the experience of child sponsorship, witnessing where their donations are used, seeing first hand the value of their donations helping to raise orphaned and abandoned children in need.

Submission Category
Stable and Secure Technology
Project Image
Supporting Work Files