Convio Expands Common Ground by Incorporating Easy-to-Use Online Fundraising and Marketing Functionality

Easy-to-own and use, Common Ground lets nonprofit professionals focus on delivering mission and fundraising results

Convio, Inc. (Nasdaq: CNVO), a leading provider of on-demand constituent engagement solutions for nonprofit organizations, today introduced Common Ground Online Fundraising (CGF). By combining online fundraising and marketing in the Common Ground constituent relationship management system, nonprofit organizations can manage all fundraising functions, whether online or offline through one powerful, yet easy-to-use platform.

With Common Ground Online Fundraising small- to mid-sized nonprofits can now:

  • Plan and execute unified, multi-channel fundraising strategies leveraging online to increase results, without all the re-work, duplication of efforts, data errors, and manual report consolidation across systems that they face with current systems,
  • Eliminate the challenges of online/offline data integration and data silos that have been vexing many nonprofits for the last 10-15 years,
  • Increase staff efficiency and effectiveness through easy-to-use wizards and user-friendly interfaces that allow nonprofits to focus resources on delivering their mission and raising more money, versus dealing with technology infrastructure and programming,
  • Run their entire fundraising operation, both online and offline, plus manage their mission and program work through one, integrated solution.

"Common Ground is changing the way many nonprofits engage with and manage their donors, constituents and missions,” said  Sandra Jensen, Founder, KELL Partners a consulting firm focused on ensuring nonprofit organizations receive the maximum value from Software-as-a-Service technology investments. “Common Ground is making it easier for nonprofit professionals to focus on the people, programs and initiatives that support their mission, without worrying about technology and infrastructure.”

What Nonprofit Professionals are Saying
“As our organization begins its 30th year, we’ve started using new technologies to reinforce our focus on supporting students who cannot afford college to complete a university degree,” said Sandra Heidrich, manager of Donor & Alumni Communications for 10,000 Degrees, a nonprofit that advocates for equal educational opportunity and supports students in need to successfully access, pursue and complete higher education. “By using Common Ground Online Fundraising, our 2010 online campaign brought in over $16,000. We now have effective methods to reach more students and to gather support for our cause.  Common Ground has helped us create more college graduates who will become role models and dedicated leaders in our communities.”

“Since 1974, the Denver-based Greenway Foundation has led efforts to reclaim the South Platte River and create environmental and recreational pride through education, the construction of hiking trails and parks, and youth employment,” said Lisa May, development director for The Greenway Foundation the mission of which is to advance the South Platte River and the surrounding tributaries as a unique environmental, recreational, cultural, scientific and historical amenity that uniquely links their City’s past and its future. “Common Ground Online Fundraising assisted Greenway Foundation in building its individual giving strategy and online presence. Website and Facebook visits have doubled since Greenway conducted a three-part matching grant email campaign in Fall of 2010, and our annual campaign has benefited enormously.”

Online and Traditional Fundraising Channels Converge
Common Ground Online Fundraising can play a critical role in helping nonprofits more simply and easily capture donor dollars while helping the organization more efficiently and effectively manage relationships, steward giving and track operational and fundraising progress.  While traditional direct mail is still the primary channel for donations, online giving is playing a much bigger role. Two recent studies by Convio showcase the value of integrating online giving with traditional fundraising, particularly with younger donors and during the holidays. Research shows that donors 45 and younger account for nearly $40B in donations each year, and this number is expected to increase. These donors are turning to online channels, social media and other channels to donate dollars. A recent study on year-end giving shows that $48B will be donated to charities this holiday season, with more than $6B donated online. In the first nine months of 2010, Convio’s clients raise more than $1B online, a 64 percent increase over the same period in 2009. Common Ground Online Fundraising adds the best practices learned over a decade of online fundraising leadership and expertise to its open, flexible and easy-to-use platform.

“With Common Ground we are changing the game, making it easier for nonprofit professionals to do their job, helping them tear down internal data silos and opening their organizations to new and emerging technologies that expand their reach,” said Gene Austin, CEO of Convio. “Common Ground is making it easier for today’s busy nonprofit professional to more easily and efficiently integrate online, traditional fundraising and major gifts and build relationships with all diverse constituents while easily accessing information to make the best business and mission-driven decisions possible. Common Ground Online Fundraising can help fundraising professionals at small- and medium-size nonprofits more easily scale their fundraising programs, more simply manage constituent relationships, better engage with the next generation of donors, leverage new and emerging technology and do so more efficiently and effectively.”

Built on Force.com from Salesforce.com
Common Ground is built on the Force.com platform from Salesforce.com and delivered using the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) delivery model. By leveraging the leading CRM platform in the world, Common Ground provides nonprofit organizations with several major upgrades each year that deliver innovation and product enhancements without the hassles, headaches and costs of traditional software upgrades and maintenance. Common Ground and Force.com are supported by a network of third-party developers, system integrators and strategic partners to help nonprofits realize a higher return on investment and lower total cost of ownership.

See Common Ground at Dreamforce 2010, booth #129
Convio will be demonstrating Common Ground and the online fundraising features at Dreamforce 2010, in booth #129, December 6 through 9, at Moscone Center in San Francisco. At the booth, individuals can also pick up a copy of “The Nonprofit’s Quick-reference Guide to Dreamforce,” which is designed to help nonprofit professionals and service providers make the most of their experience at Dreamforce. The company is a proud sponsor of the Dreamforce Nonprofit Networking Reception on Monday, December 6, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in Room 135 of the Moscone Center.

About Convio
Convio is a leading provider of on-demand constituent engagement solutions that enable nonprofit organizations to more effectively raise funds, advocate for change and cultivate relationships with donors, activists, volunteers, alumni and other constituents.

Forward-looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements intended to convey expectations as to the future based on plans, estimates and projections. In particular, this press release contains forward-looking statements regarding our Common Ground functionality and the ability of our clients to leverage our solutions for enhanced results. Although we believe that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, future circumstances might differ from the assumptions on which such statements are based. In addition, these statements can be affected by inaccurate assumptions and a variety of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in this press release including, among others: tour ability to deploy Common Ground; the potential that our solutions do not meet the needs of our clients; technological problems; risks associated with successful implementation of multiple integrated software products and the ability to attract and retain key personnel. Other risks that could impact our business adversely are those risks generally associated with intellectual property infringement claims and other litigation; reliance on certain third-parties, including hosting facilities, software and application providers; legislative actions which could reduce the effectiveness of our solutions and increase the costs of our business. These factors and other risks and uncertainties are described in more detail, from time to time, in Convio’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission which are available free of charge at www.sec.gov or on our website at www.convio.com/investor. Should one or more of these risks materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those expressed or implied in any forward-looking statements. Investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. Convio does not undertake to update or revise any of these statements as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Press Contact:
Karoline McLaughlin
Director, Corporate Communications
Convio, Inc.

Convio Expands Common Ground by Incorporating Easy-to-Use Online Fundraising and Marketing Functionality | Convio