Summary:\nInspired by Ila Hukku's vision CRY centralized its donor management. Her foresight not only increased CRY's efficiency and profitability, it also revealed a transformed business.\nHighlights:\nHearing a cry for help, by fixing the fund-raiser's stunted donor management system, Ila Dikshit Hukku, director strategic Planning, Childs rights and you (Cry), and raised her organization to a whole new level.Centralization would also free up CRY personnel for more important things like donor relationship building.\nNon-profits need management even more than business does, precisely because they lack the discipline of the bottomline. \u2014 Peter DruckerThere aren\u2019t many IT executives who can propel the growth of their organizations and transform their businesses. It's even harder to find transformative leaders in the NGO space. But there are a few whose rare combination of vision, technology-savvy and business sense makes them exceptions. One of these is Ila Dikshit Hukku, director strategic planning for Childs Rights and You (CRY).\n"By focusing her energies on CRY\u2019s CRM, the NGO\u2019s customer base grew by 50 percent and forever altered the way the nonprofit operated."\nCRY raises funds through multiple channels including the Web, direct debits, and credit cards, among others. Raising funds and resources is it's sole focus; it does not implement, it enbles other NGOs. And to keep the money flowing, it has realized the importance of retaining and upgrade existing donors. CRY is not alone in this challenge. The growth in NGO numbers has made it harder and more expensive for mature NGOs to acquire new donors. \u201cSince the cost in acquiring new donors is very high, it makes sound business sense to retain and upgrade an existing donor base,\u201d says Meena Menon, senior manager individual partnerships for CRY\u2019s North East operations. \u201cBut retention and upgradation is possible only if you have an efficient donor servicing and monitoring system. It\u2019s the most effective way of enhancing the transparency and credibility of your organization in the eyes of donors.\u201d But till July 2007, CRY\u2019s donor management process was operated in a decentralized manner. Each region managed its activities on local desktop applications, which led to data duplication and high maintenance costs. Worse, CRY did not have a unified real-time view of their donor database. The bottom line? CRY was not able to access, analyse, and segment its donor base.\nAlso read The Top Technology PrioritiesIt also made CRY\u2019s collection-to-cash cycle long. This delay resulted in poor cashflow and also slowed down the issuance of receipts and tax exemption certificates to donors. Hence CRY was unable to process donor queries promptly making it difficult to retain, upgrade and build relationship with them.\n"By focusing her energies on CRY\u2019s CRM, the NGO\u2019s customer base grew by 50 percent and forever altered the way the nonprofit operated."\nWith over 11 years of heading diverse areas within CRY, Hukku is acquainted with the nitty-gritties of the fund-raising business. She was aware of the challenge and envisioned a centralized system that would fix the problem and lead CRY into the future. Because other NGOs with similar issues had not dared apply a technology solution, her foresight would also give CRY first-mover advantage. Centralization would also free up CRY personnel for more important things like donor relationship building. But before her vision could take off she needed users at CRY to subscribe to it. \u201cFor us, I think it was more about confidence-building. People needed to believe that Web-enabled services could be secure and productivityenhancing,\u201d she says. She succeeded and the project raised CRY\u2019s donor servicing standards by several notches. Hukku\u2019s vision reduced the time it takes to send receipts to donors from 13 days to eight days, a seemingly insignificant but very important part in getting people to donate over and over again. Post-centralization, CRY also cut the the time it takes to issue tax exemptions to donors from 45 days to about 20 days. It has also reduced the cash-to-collection cycle from 12 days to three days and freed up personnel for donor relationship building. That, in turn, has helped CRY add 1 lakh new donors in the first year since the implementation \u2014 a growth of almost 50 percent. And thanks to Hukku\u2019s vision CRY is seeing a 4 percent improvement in donor retention rates.