Police Dependants’ Trust

Police Dependants’ Trust

Harlequin CRM is central to the Bigger, Bolder, Better strategy at the Police Dependants’ Trust.


In the first year of using Harlequin CRM, Damian Chapman, Head of Communications & Fundraising at the Police Dependants’ Trust shares how they are building valuable datasets, delivering on best practice and creating a progressive information culture. In the next 12 months, they plan to flex the system to the max, and design even more templates and workflows.

What were your business drivers for investing in Harlequin CRM?

In 2017, the charity launched a new drive to be Bigger, Bolder, Better – with a proactive approach to double the support we provide, triple our engaged audience, and double our voluntary income. We needed a CRM system fit for our future fundraising strategy that underpinned rigorous data standards and ensured compliant ways of working.

Why did you choose Harlequin?

I’ve used many charity CRM systems in previous roles; however, Harlequin CRM was clearly the right fit for the Trust. Firstly, as it is a local installation our highly sensitive data can work behind an encrypted network, essential for our data security requirements. We could also ‘open the box’ and easily start to work on the system straight away. Our decision was driven by need not budget; however, with Harlequin we got all the functionality required including the Volunteers, Events and Design modules, and this was still very competitive on price. Finally, it was the people who made Harlequin stand out.

How have you used the software in your first year?

We use the system on a daily basis. It is not just Donor information – we store all contacts and organisations that are valuable as part of a dataset, and now have a series of data quality criteria at the heart of our approach – quality in, through, and out! The flexibility of the Design module means we can capture information unique to us – in one central location. So far we have implemented best practice processes around Vulnerable Donors and consent for Wealth Screening, and are even building in our Data Protection Impact Assessments for all direct marketing activity. We also use the built-in Consent tool to address informed consent vs legitimate interest under GDPR. We also used the Events module for our Upbeat! conference. Tracking registration, streams and participation. This module made event management so much easier than in previous years and we even saw a 100% activation rate by using Harlequin to send out joining instructions!

“Harlequin CRM’s Design module is worth its weight in gold”

What are the key benefits?

Harlequin CRM is enabling us to embrace the opportunity the whole charity sector is facing: to be exemplary when it comes to data processing, capturing information and building trusted relationships. We are building a clearer picture of who we have in our audience sphere, we are providing a quality experience that our supporters deserve, and we have confidence around our compliance for the future.

What is your view of customer service at Harlequin?

Compared to other server-based CRM systems, there is a genuine commitment to evolving the software and regular updates are issued from the developers – I’ve had four updates in the last twelve months, and they’re hungry for new ways to improve the system – a rare quality!

"There is a genuine commitment to evolving the software at Harlequin"

What advice would you give to a charity implementing a new CRM system?

Create a checklist of what you want from a system now and in the future – make your system future-proof where possible. From the get-go, scope out the best practice processes that you want to root in the system. Also consider your reporting and integration requirements. Your supplier should be a key advisor at this stage. Only import once complete.

What three words best describe Harlequin?

Approachable, flexible, logical.