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Kentucky Nonprofit Network

The $15,000 grant received from First Nonprofit Foundation has been a fantastic investment in Kentucky Nonprofit Network and the nonprofits across Kentucky! Our request was for funding that would enhance our membership software to improve communications with our members; improve data management and member retention; streamline new member acquisition; adopt in-house online giving functionality and enhanced donor data management. The implementation process is ongoing as we continue to tweak usage of the software and take advantage of new features the company develops.

This funding from the First Nonprofit Foundation has been an important investment in KNN’s capacity to effectively serve Kentucky’s nonprofit sector. Thank you for recognizing the importance of a project like this! We are excited to continue our implementation process and opportunities to creatively connect and engage nonprofits across Kentucky with KNN and one another.



How will you sustain the project beyond expended grant money?

The First Nonprofit Foundation funding was used for one-time software licensing, data migration, implementation, and onboarding. The monthly software fees are included in KNN’s annual operating budget.

How will you utilize what you learned?

Like any software transition, we continue to learn new ways to use our new resources and continue to tweak our processes to ensure they are streamlined and saving KNN time and resources, as well as user-friendly for our members.

If you were starting over what would you do differently?

We were timing the launch of our new software with other events and looking back, we would better cushion for inevitable delays. Working with the software company required more hands-on time of KNN staff than we anticipated.

What was the problem the project solved?

KNN was spending an unnecessary amount of time managing our membership and events database. KNN’s existing membership software did not permit us to effectively streamline our renewal and acquisition processes. The existing software was also not as user-friendly as we’d have liked to actively engage KNN members across Kentucky. KNN also did not have the capability to accept online donations in-house or have sophisticated donor management software.

Who does the project help?

The project helps KNN be more effective in all aspects of our work to advance Kentucky’s nonprofit sector by streamlining our membership and educational programs – we are better utilizing our time to help members because of these improvements in technology. The project also helps KNN members more easily access resources they need online and connect with other nonprofits.

What makes your solution unique?

The benefits of this project/software are unique to KNN and our members – providing members with an intuitive online portal for accessing educational resources, tools and templates, as well as offering organizations across Kentucky with the opportunity to connect with one another more easily around issues of interest, geography, mission, etc.

How did the project make a difference?

What were the benefits?
▪ Streamlined processes.
▪ Staff time spent managing data has been decreased and can now be focused on direct engagement with KNN members.
▪ Enhanced member experience in our online portal – easier access to educational resources, tools, event registration, connection with other members, etc.
▪ Cost savings by processing online donations in-house.
▪ Improved donor solicitation with the addition of sophisticated donor management software.

What were the results?

The software implementation is rarely a stress-free process and while no software solution is perfect – we are very pleased with the results of our project! We continue to tweak utilization of the software and with the addition of a new staff person in late fall, will continue to explore and implement new member engagement strategies.
▪ KNN is spending more time on individual member engagement because the
membership renewal and acquisition processes are streamlined.
▪ Utilization of the online portal is enhancing the engagement of KNN members!
36% of KNN members have logged in and updated their member profile (added
their logo, described their mission, etc.) compared to 10% who had done so with
our previous database. Typically, login happens when a member needs to pay
dues, register for an event and/or access a new resource. The “one-stop shop”
has encouraged members to explore the resources and engage.
▪ Membership retention rates consistently exceed 80% each month. With our
previous software, these rates were not consistent and now we can better
predict monthly cash flow. The new software also allows KNN to accept dues
payments via ACH deposit in addition to credit card payment and this has been a benefit to many members.
▪ Members are accessing resources more! Document and webinar downloads and member postings on the event calendar have increased by over 50% from our previous software.
▪ KNN is saving money on processing our online donations because this can now
be handled in-house. We are also better able to solicit donors and maintain
donor records (we were previously tracking donations in excel).

How were the results measured?

Both the previous and current software provide KNN with various usage reports.

How is the project sustainable?

The improved member experience will result in enhanced member engagement and membership renewal. Access to resources and tools available only in the online member portal will attract new members. Membership revenue will cover the ongoing sustainability cost of the software.

Can the project be replicated? How so?

If a good fit, other membership organizations could certainly implement the GrowthZone software.