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How Team Expansion Raised 10x its Average Fundraising Revenue Using Keela

Key Metrics

Using Keela, Team Expansion raised 10x its average fundraising revenue, met its campaign goals in record time, and refined its fundraising strategy to secure long-term donor support.

$130,000

Raised via Keela Forms

35%

Email Open Rate

12,000

Contacts reached and segmented using Keela


How Keela Supports Team Expansion

Personalized Communications

Team Expansion can easily segment its contacts using filters in Keela’s CRM. This allows the team to personalize its interactions with each contact.

Improved Donor Engagement

Since the Team Expansion started using Keela, the team has seen an increase in email open rate, click-through rate, and donations via fundraising emails. This has massively contributed to the success of their fundraising efforts.

Operational Efficiency

Team Expansion’s founder notes that Keela runs smoothly, despite the organization’s large contact size, and allows each team member to work independently and efficiently within the same system from anywhere in the world.


Challenge

Since 1978, Team Expansion has provided basic amenities for people in unengaged and underserved communities worldwide through mission trips and educational programs. This mandate is inspired by a commitment to spreading the gospel’s message and a desire to advance the common good. With over 350 team members working in more than 50 countries, the nonprofit organization is supported by donors’ generous contributions. 

Doug Lucas, the Founder and President of Team Expansion, has been at the organization’s helm for more than 40 years. He is quick to credit his teammates (and God) for working together to build an organization with well over 300 full-time employees in 50+ countries worldwide.

Together, they tackle some of the world’s toughest problems, including refugee relief, food insecurity, clean water, leadership development, medical care, education, advocacy for the disadvantaged, and more. All of their services are offered to all races and religions absolutely free of charge.

A group of children posing with Doug Lucas

As the organization has grown, the need to reach more unengaged communities and raise more funds has increased. To deal with this challenge, the team needed an affordable, easy-to-use nonprofit tool to manage its growing database, improve its extensive email communications, and provide actionable insights to make better decisions. 

In 2020, Doug and his team were preparing for a mission trip to a West African village. This community needed an educational training center and access to a safe, sustainable source of clean water. In previous fundraising campaigns, the team had raised an average of $12,000. But the budget for this particular project was considerably high, so they knew they had to approach this campaign with a better, well-targeted strategy. 

Doug is no stranger to digital fundraising and donor management tools. He’s used and trialed several nonprofit software — from CiviCRM, DonorPerfect, and Bloomerang, to Salsa CRM/Engage and many more — but he found them to be complicated and challenging to use. This was the case until he discovered Keela.

 “In all other nonprofit [tools], things seemed either convoluted, slow, old-fashioned, disjointed, or disconnected. It seems like no matter what [tool] we tried, we could not find the right fit. […] but when we found Keela, it was like finding the one.”

Doug Lucas, Founder and President of Team Expansion

Solution and Results

As the fundraising campaign for the village’s educational training center and water development project was about to get underway, Doug sought to learn more about Keela. 

Doug took advantage of our comprehensive catalog of video tutorials to get quick answers to questions or concerns he had about our tool. He signed up for a trial and tested the software’s core features, and learned how Keela nurtured donors seamlessly through the donor journey. He quickly realized that our software was designed to support his organization’s sustained growth. 

“I like Keela’s pricing rubric,” Doug said, “You’re giving us an economical way to start so that as we grow and get more partners, you grow along with us. We are saving $200, usually spent on a Mailchimp monthly subscription, because you’ve built Mailchimp capabilities into the software and gave us many custom fields without limits. It’s the perfect fit.”

Impressed, Doug recommended the software to his team. Our reliable customer care team ensured the onboarding and data-import process went smoothly and were readily available whenever the Team Expansion team needed help.

Using Keela’s powerful, intuitive email marketing platform, the team segmented over 12,000 contacts and sent 9,800 personalized fundraising appeals to kick off the campaign. 

When we started, I had to bring in data from many different sources — spreadsheets and other CRM platforms. The customer care team helped make sure the onboarding process went exactly as I would hope. They let me experiment with the data [and] whenever I ran into some problems, I could call or email and would get an answer back usually within three hours.” 

Doug and his team were also fascinated by how fast and efficient Keela CRM is at processing and organizing large batches of donor data, creating reports, and sharing analytics. Within seconds of importing data and sending appeals, they could gather smart insights about their donors, appeals, and campaigns and make changes right away.


Keela Thinks Like You Do

Throughout the campaign, Keela’s nonprofit CRM supported Team Expansion’s efforts to be more targeted and strategic with its outreach and fundraising efforts. 

The Team Expansion team leveraged our Campaign Recommendations Insights, Smart Ask, Donor Score, Donor Readiness, and other Keela Intelligence features to automatically predict which donors were likely to give and how much they would likely donate. These features helped the team improve their messaging, ask for the right amount of contributions, and promptly follow up with donors and supporters. 

Team Expansion saw a 35% average open rate for the campaign’s fundraising appeals (higher than the 17% average open rate for fundraising emails). Due to this high donor engagement, over $130,000 was raised using Keela’s fundraising tool — a 983% increase from the organization’s average campaign revenue. This incredible feat is a testament to Team Expansion’s commitment to improving their work by using smart tools and innovative solutions like Keela. 

Improved Donor Engagement

With the 35% open rate and 2% click-through rate for Team Expansion’s fundraising appeals, the team got more donors and supporters involved in a campaign than ever before. 

Record Campaign Revenue

The campaign raised over $130,000 within a 6-month period. This is 9 times more than their average campaign revenue.

“Keela thinks like I think.” Doug said, “It helped bring together all the nonprofit software features we need into one universe. Take whatever [nonprofit software] you want and compare it to Keela; you’ll find that Keela’s more affordable, gives you more power [to work efficiently], and they’ll listen to your suggestions better.” 

Today, residents of the West African village residents enjoy clean water without walking long distances in the scorching heat to fetch water from streams and lakes. They can continue to develop their community by receiving quality education at the training center. More so, Team Expansion’s work has revealed the community’s challenges to their local and regional governments.


Looking Ahead

Team expansion continues to uncover and leverage features of Keela’s nonprofit software to fuel its mission. They are streamlining their operations and working hard to attract more partners, delight donors, and mobilize workers and volunteers to reach more unengaged people groups worldwide. 

Learn more about Team Expansion’s Impact here.

A group of smiling children

Raise More Money in Less Time using Keela

Like Team Expansion, your nonprofit team can reach more donors, segment your contacts effectively, personalize your interactions, and do much more in less time. To achieve fundraising success, you need a tool that’s specifically designed to meet your organization’s needs. 

Keela has the unique features you need to reach the right donors at the right time, send targeted fundraising appeals, steward donors and track your success. Now’s the time to turn your routine donor communication into meaningful connections.

Start Growing with Keela Today

With tools to streamline your nonprofit’s fundraising and donor communications and a world-class customer care team excited to guide you every step of the way, scaling your organization’s growth with Keela has never been easier.


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