Best practice from Harlequin users

Best practice tips from our ‘client insight series’

Harlequin clients share best practice tips and insights on their use of Harlequin software; whether it be for CRM, fundraising, charitable accounting or membership management, these organisations are making the most of their system set-up.

Ronald McDonald House Charities – CRM and Fundraising Management

  • Job descriptions: To encourage widespread ownership, a commitment to use the database is included in all relevant job descriptions and is endorsed by senior management.
  • New starter training: When new people join, we train them quickly, using standard training exercises which are tailored to their role (and they can’t access the system until they’ve been trained).
  • User Guide: We’ve produced a user guide which has our own screen shots and step-by-step details using our vocabulary – this underpins common ways of working.

Julia Bevan, Database Administrator (read full case study)

Alder Hey Children’s Charity – CRM and Fundraising Management

  • Maximise relationships: Within the system we build multiple relationships between people and organisations. By keeping these connections up to date, we invite groups of ‘well-connected’ people to the right events, make relevant references to people in applications and understand our Major Donors better.
  • Gifts-in-kind: By logging gifts-in-kind on the system as ‘soft credits’, we can readily audit and calculate their value.
  • Meeting packs: For fundraising meetings, we can extract and print reports, charts and graphs in a concise format.

Anne Hodgson, Operations Manager (read full case study)

Sheffield Hospitals Charity – Charitable Accounting

  • Scanned signatures: We have scanned the signatures of fund managers and added them to their contact record on the system, so when requests for payments come into the department we can instantly check the required signatures on screen as well as ensuring that sufficient money is in the fund. This saves a terrific amount of time.
  • Email fund statements: Instead of sending out monthly statements in the post to fund managers, we are now able to email monthly and ad hoc updates. The monthly mailings now take hours rather than days thanks to automation within the system.
  • Bottom up fund balancing: For complete accountability and transparency, with Harlequin, we are able to produce accounts for every fund if required, as well as presenting results at the umbrella fund level.

Andrew Treherne, Head of Finance (read full case study)

Forces Pension Society – CRM and Membership Management 

  • Follow up Direct Debit cancellations: When DD cancellations are flagged up in our monthly BACs file, we are quick to contact members to correct any problems.
  • Target lapsed members: Recently we extracted a list of lapsed members and sent them a survey to try and understand the ‘lapse’ issue in more detail. The response was very useful. Many simply had forgotten to renew, so we are addressing our reminder process.
  • Consider online registration: Via an import file written by Harlequin, we are able to import information from our web application form straight into the system. We can check the quality of data before it is transferred.

Andrew Scott, Membership Secretary – retired (read full case study)

Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust – CRM, Fundraising and Charitable Accounting

  • User groups: We hold regular internal user group meetings with representatives from all teams, including fundraising, finance and community relations. We look at new features in the software, and encourage questions and requests for enhancements.
  • Templates: The template tool is a blank canvas onto which you can capture any information – I am always considering what processes can be replicated and automated on the CRM system. For example, we have template for our major givers; a summary profile is printed prior to meetings with donors.
  • Daily report: We create a daily income report from our fundraising system. This details funds from each team and department. If there are any anomalies, a discussion can be had at the end of the day before the information goes over the live link into the finance software.

Mark Olivier, Systems and Information Manager

Read full case studies about the organisations above, including more tips, hints and insights.


Posted on July 18, 2014 by Tom Ellis