Supporting the LGBTQ community with impactful programming

The SF LGBT Center uses Soapbox Engage to drive donations, manage gifts, and establish relationships with donors who enable their mission.
SF LGBT Center

For more than 15 years, the San Francisco LGBT Center, has offered resources, support, and a safe space to gather and celebrate to all members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities. The Center hosts over 200 events each month where LGBTQ+ people can connect and organize. They also offer free information and services, including career counseling, job fairs, a computer lab, social activities, mentorships, youth meals, and numerous workshops. The four pillars of their mission are:

  • Foster greater opportunities for people to thrive;
  • Organize for the LGBT community’s future;
  • Celebrate LGBT history and culture;
  • Build resources to create a legacy for future generations.

To make these incredible resources free or financially accessible to their community, the Center relies on the generosity of donors. With Soapbox Engage, the SF LGBT Center found an affordable, user-friendly donation management solution that saved their staff countless hours by automating data collection and other administrative processes.

“Soapbox Engages is affordable, lightweight, easy to use, and customizable to our unique business processes with additional Salesforce side automation.”

Ryan Beaver, Database Manager, SF LGBT Center

SF LGBT Success Stats

Prior to Soapbox Engage, the Center’s donation processor did not integrate with Salesforce, their customer relationship management tool. Their processor lacked critical features such as address collect, email opt in, and source/conversion tracking. A lot of staff time went to manual gift entry. And with no quality data collection, the staff struggled to connect with donors and understand what motivated their giving.

“The lack of quality data collection was a barrier to engaging with new donors, we didn’t have insight into what motivated the donor to give, and a lot of time was going to administrative processes instead of donor cultivation. Soapbox Engage has solved all of this.”

Ryan Beaver, Database Manager, SF LGBT Center

Building meaningful donor relationships with Soapbox Engage

The Soapbox Engage Donations app alleviated these pain points by collecting and storing donor contact information, as well as tracking information like where a donor’s gift was made (email, social media, website, etc.). With accessible, accurate data, SF LGBT Center staff can quickly follow up with donors to thank them for their gift. The time saved from manual entry has allowed them to build up other engagement channels like social media and segmented email communication.

“Soapbox Engage makes it easy for donors to give online, instills trust due to brand continuity between donation page and our site, and has allowed us to shift staff time from manual entry to solicitation, cultivation, strategy development, and growing our fundraising program.”

Ryan Beaver, Database Manager, SF LGBT Center

The SF LGBT Center made use of a Soapbox Engage custom web template, which has maintained a precise and consistent brand experience across all of their donation forms. The forms are lightweight and mobile friendly, making a perfect, intuitive experience for donors on any device. Additionally, flexible customization options on the donation forms allow donors to put a separate billing name and donor name, which helps to ensure an affirming process for the Center’s trans and nonbinary supporters.

Donate to SF LGBT Center

Saving valuable staff time through Salesforce integration

In addition to automating donor data and communications, Soapbox Engage integration with Salesforce has provided more accurate conversion/source tracking. The Center’s donation pages are linked to specific campaigns in Salesforce, so they are able to see where a gift came in from— for instance, an End of Year Email v. Giving Tuesday. This data enables them to benchmark successful campaigns and plan goals for subsequent campaigns based on trends specific to their audience.

By playing nicely with Pardot (marketing automation by Salesforce), Soapbox Engage has ensured that the Center’s email and suppression lists are always 100% up to date. Database Manager Ryan Beaver commented that this is “great for development/communication staff to be able to proactively schedule email marketing content in advance – no time bound export/imports!”

Overall, this powerful combination of tools has resulted in time-saving automations, increased database accuracy with less human error, and tidy data with real-time reports.

“Time saved skipping manual entry can be put toward donor cultivation, proactive campaign planning, and mission driven work.”

Ryan Beaver, Database Manager, SF LGBT Center

SF LGBT Donation Form

Tangible results that empower the Center to do more for their community

After implementing Soapbox Engage as their donation management solution, the SF LGBT Center saw over 900 gifts in FY19-20, compared to 475 gifts in FY18-19 and FY17-18 via their prior donation processor. Additionally, their max gift through the Soapbox Engage Donations app was roughly $5,000, which was $2k more than their highest gift in previous years.

By adding an email opt in on their donation page, the Center grew their email list by 275 contacts in one year. Numbers aren’t everything, but they do speak to a growing body of supporters, that in turn allow the SF LGBT Center to expand as a home for LGBTQ culture and community.

“SF LGBT Center uses Soapbox Engage to engage supporters in creating a more equitable world for LGBT people.”

Ryan Beaver, Database Manager, SF LGBT Center