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Painless pledge processing

The mission of the United Way of Roanoke Valley (UWRV) in Virginia is “to unite people and resources to improve human life.” To help achieve that charitable goal, the organization has implemented a model software system that eases the pledge processing system.

The services offered by the new system include:

  • pledge form personalization by workplace;

  • interim and final Access database campaign reports that the workplace can use to evaluate its campaign and to upload data into its corporate payroll system; and

  • archival CDs of pledge form images that are passed to the workplace campaigns.

The solution that the United Way of Roanoke Valley is using to help carry out its mission includes information capture software from Cardiff, called TELEform Enterprise. The software enables UWRV to speed the capture of data on pledge forms received from workplace-based United Way campaigns and export that data to databases. UWRV can then use that information to track donations designated for a variety of charities and to complete what it calls an “electronic loop” with the donating companies, pushing back information about the campaign and the individual donors.

“The purpose of pledge processing,” says Roger Kienzle, VP of finance and IT for the Roanoke Valley group, “is to serve our customers, including workplace campaigns, individual donors, designated agencies, other United Way organizations and staff.”He adds, “Pledge processing has several realities that drive the design of the system, and the most important of these is the urgent need to turn information around quickly to the workplace campaigns ... We can handle the tremendous volume of pledges more accurately and offer our customers both the fast turnaround and the efficiency of electronic loops.”

To further explain electronic loop, Kienzle says, “Before a workplace campaign starts, a company can pass us its employee database file, and we merge employee information such as name, address, department code and social security number to the scannable pledge form. These forms are then distributed to the workplace, and when they are returned to our office, they are audited, batched and then scanned. After verification is completed, data from the scanning process is exported to a variety of databases and is sent back to the workplace campaigns in Access files. The workplace campaigns use this information to evaluate their campaigns and to upload directly to their payroll systems, which completes the electronic loop.”

The solution also incorporates IMR’s IMR’s Alchemy content management system, Microsoft’s Access and SQL Server databases, and Rainbow Campaign Managment Software from the KTS Systems Group.

In the future, UWRV plans to add Web data capture to give workplaces the flexibility to work with forms online and to give the orgnaization the ability to receive pledge forms online.

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