Gloucester Cathedral Case Study

Gloucester Cathedral Case Study

Gloucester Cathedral uses Harlequin CRM to unify data and underpin major fundraising campaign.


In 2014, Gloucester Cathedral was embarking on Project Pilgrim. With a phase one target of £6 million, the Cathedral recognised that its aging database needed replacing with a modern CRM system to coordinate campaign activity and consolidate information across the organisation.

Why did you need a new system?

We needed a new CRM solution that key staff across the organisation could work on in a unified format. Also, with our biggest ever campaign soon to launch – Project Pilgrim – we recognised that the time had come to invest in the right technology.

What did you want to achieve and how far are you towards this?

The long term goal is for complete consolidation of information throughout the Cathedral. In the 16 months since go-live we are 50% there – it is an ongoing mission and Harlequin CRM is set to help us achieve this. We also wanted a system to manage our fundraising effectively, giving us complete visibility of Project Pilgrim and the multiple sub-campaigns and events that fall under it. Harlequin CRM has certainly helped us to achieve our phase one target of £6M – where we needed to raise £1.5M to access £4.5M in matched funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

"We have a much broader picture of donor relationships."

How and why did you choose Harlequin?

Staff had experience of a range of CRM systems so we researched the market. We also called other cathedrals and Harlequin kept coming up top in relation to both the software itself and the aftercare service. We had a demo and liked it – and were reassured that the ongoing support would be reliable and responsive, which was a particular priority for us.

Who uses the system?

Harlequin CRM is deployed across the Development and Communications team and in the Project Pilgrim team. Our events manager and volunteer manager also make use of the Events and Volunteers modules. Our music department even uses the software as a data repository.

How do you use Harlequin CRM?

Project Pilgrim is set up as an umbrella campaign with a range of sub-campaigns underneath. We also record all trust approaches as part of the campaign and manage our trust pipeline; this helps us to hit reporting targets and application deadlines. We also produce reports for a complete view of campaign performance. We record all donations on the system and have a complete log of the contact we have with our supporters. The Events module was tremendously helpful for organising our Christmas Market. Our volunteers play a vital part in Project Pilgrim and in Cathedral life in general. All their details are stored in the Volunteers module.

"Harlequin kept coming up top in relation to both the software itself and the aftercare service."

What are the key benefits of the system for Gloucester Cathedral?

The campaign tools helped us to achieve the phase one target for Project Pilgrim underpinning fundraising from trusts and foundations, major donors, individual giving and sponsorship. We have more centralised information and unified ways of working throughout key teams. We have a complete financial record of all donations and full log of communications. We have a broader picture of donor relationships and engagement. There is a big reduction in the amount of hard data we store. The system is easy-to-use; the staff who have moved onto it, love it. Lastly, there is the potential to do even more – the system helps to drive us forward.

What three words best describe Harlequin?

Reliable, user-friendly, full-of-potential.