Keela Stories: How Black Health Alliance Used Keela to Engage Over 1,000 New Donors and Stabilize Operations

Itse Hesse • Apr 26, 2022

Black Health Alliance has garnered remarkable support in recent years and leveraged Keela’s innovative fundraising and donor communication tools to sustain its growth, steward new donors and supporters, and improve donor relationships.

Key Metrics

70%

Average Email Open Rate

1,087

New donors within 12 months of using Keela

$1.8M

Average Annual Revenue Raised

How Keela Supports Black Health Alliance

a. Donor Database Management

Black Health Alliance uses Keela CRM to store information about their donors, segment their growing contact lists and monitor their contacts’ engagement activity. 

b. Email Communication

Using Keela’s email communication tool, Black Health Alliance engages with supporters, donors, members, and volunteers in a way that deepens these relationships over time. 

c. Automatic Tax Receipts

Sending timely donation confirmation emails and tax receipts saves the Black Health Alliance team tons of time otherwise spent doing grunt work and allows them to leave a positive, lasting first impression. 

d. Donor Insights

Black Health Alliance use Keela’s smart insights and reporting to learn more about their donor’s giving behavior, demographies, and capacity to give. 

e. Nonprofit Management

As Black Health Alliance grows, the team can rely on Keela’s tools to streamline operations and improve fundraising and donor communication outcomes.


A headshot photograph of Paul Bailey, Executive Director of Black Health Alliance

“The story with us is […] here’s a grassroots organization that’s scaling up its impact nationally and using the functionalities of Keela’s tools to stabilize their work.”

— Paul Bailey, Executive Director of Black Health Alliance

The Challenge

For more than 20 years, the Black Health Alliance (BHA) has operated mainly as a volunteer-run organization. The organization was founded as a collaborative space for Black individuals with a common goal of improving health equity in their communities. 

Although the Canadian nonprofit has been in operation for a long time, it had little to no visibility. This made it challenging for the organization to reach potential donors, partners, and beneficiaries. 

Two decades ago, having conversations around Black Canadians’ issues was almost like “talking to a brick wall,” as Paul Bailey, the Executive Director of Black Health Alliance, puts it. Back then, social issues like racism and criminal justice reform weren’t taken as seriously as they are today. 

But in recent years, and especially with the murder of George Floyd and racial disparities in healthcare as highlighted by the pandemic, more awareness has been given to the issues that affect Black communities. This presented Black Health Alliance with an opportunity, and challenge, to reach and document the experiences of these communities.

Black Health Alliance’s Video Series on the Impact of the Pandemic on Black Canadians

The Solution

In 2020, Black Health Alliance stood up to this challenge by improving its communication and outreach processes. 

The organization redefined its mission to bring Black communities together, listen to and document the experiences of these communities and connect them to the resources and programs that would address issues they faced more effectively. 

The team also leveraged partnership opportunities with organizations like the Black Physicians’ Association of Ontario and grants from government programs to run mobile vaccine clinics and outreach campaigns focused on Black communities in Ontario and Montreal. Backdropped by the ongoing discourse about discrimination and racial disparities in healthcare, these programs and campaigns helped garner support for the Black Health Alliance

As it gained more supporters, Black Health Alliance accepted and tracked contributions using Keela’s easy-to-use and donor-optimized forms. Using Keela CRM, the nonprofit recorded each new contact’s information, donation history, and giving behaviors. This allowed the team to monitor and report on their progress over time and assess the engagement activities of their donors, members, and volunteers. 

The good thing with Keela is that it allows for the membership […] and volunteer tracking and […] to be able to have all of those pieces on the same platform is amazing.” Bailey said, “The next thing we are going to try and work on is leveraging the insights for our reporting. […] We haven’t scratched the surface of leveraging our communication strategy and the Keela platform.

Results

From April 2021 to April 2022, Black Health Alliance acquired 1,087 donors and raised over $1.5 million. Using Keela, the team was able to record these new contacts, interact with them via emails and get real-time donor data, recommendations, and insights all in the same tool. 

They also saved a great deal of time by using Keela’s fundraising tool to send timely receipts to donors. Sending timely, automatic donation receipts is essential for the team now that their donor base has increased significantly. This is one of many opportunities to cultivate good and trustworthy relationships with new donors. 

In the past, Bailey and his team had tried sending tax receipts to donors using tools like CanadaHelps and PayPal, but he notes that those tools weren’t as effective as Keela has been for them. He believes Keela’s tax receipting features make an immeasurable impact on the organization’s ability to cultivate its donor base.  

For organizations that are out there right now utilizing platforms like PayPal, they underestimate how valuable a tool like Keela will be.Bailey said,If we didn’t have Keela, I don’t know how we would have done those tax receipts; it would have never been possible.

Considering how widespread Black Health Alliance’s supporter base has been over the past few years, it was important for the organization to accept donations from multiple sources, steward new donors effectively, and understand their demography and giving behavior. Having a tool, like Keela, that provides comprehensive solutions on multiple fronts has been very useful for the nonprofit’s team.

Looking Ahead

Although Black Health Alliance has been around for more than two decades, Black Health Alliance is still very much in a startup mode. They have experienced significant growth over the last two years, going from $8,000 to over $1.5 million in annual revenue per year, some of which were donations via Keela Forms. However, with much success comes new opportunities and challenges.

As the organization looks ahead, its next challenge will be to implement strategies to become a sustainable national nonprofit. The team also hopes to move from a volunteer-led model to being staff-led while attracting the right partners who can help develop viable solutions for the issues they tackle. 

The big challenge is always going to be sustainability, and is always going to be how do we ensure that we’re being able to explain our work clearly and demonstrate our impact and generate the kinds of support,” Bailey said, “whether it’s coming from donors or whether it’s coming from the government or other places, to generate the revenue and sustainability to drive forward the results that we want to drive for it.

Bailey considers Keela to be a key part of his organization’s push for stable and sustainable operations. As part of their next steps, the team will be taking advantage of Keela’s Automation tool, which he says “will help [their] very lean team engage specific donor segments that [they] just do not have the capacity to engage at the moment.” 

They will also be leaning more on Keela’s best practices webinars and resources to learn more about the product and stay on top of trends in the nonprofit sector. 

You can learn more about Black Health Alliance’s impact here


Engage More Supporters and Create Meaningful Donor Relationships with Keela

Like Black Health Alliance, your nonprofit can deepen relationships with donors and supporters by having honest, engaging interactions with your community. Keela’s CRM has all the templates, automation, smart codes, and donor insight you need to share your story, send targeted appeals, steward donors and track your success. 

Now’s the time to turn your routine donor communication into meaningful connections.