Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust (ACT) raises over £8m annually for one of the UK’s leading teaching hospitals and research centres.  The limitations of ACT’s legacy CRM system meant new technology and processes were required to increase support from donors, volunteers and grant givers.

Mast consultants worked hand-in-hand with ACT to scope and implement a Donorfy CRM solution on budget and on time. 


ACT’s Harlequin legacy CRM system was giving the charity a range of problems including slowness, complexity, accessibility and a lack of options to integrate with other technologies. Mast proposed a cloud-based Donorfy solution, one of the best supported and adaptable CRM systems for non-profits. The project needed to meet the requirements of teams throughout ACT to allow it to improve its support for Addenbrooke’s Hospital and its neighbour the Rosie, the country’s first purpose built maternity hospital.

The Challenge

ACT users and stakeholders included teams which looked after:

In addition to this large number of constituents, there was a fixed deadline of 1 April 2020 for go-live, with fully tested data migration and integration with key technologies including JustGiving. A week before launch the Covid-19 lockdown began, so Mast rapidly adapted training programmes for MS Teams, rather than face-to-face sessions.


Scoping a CRM solution

In the first phase, Mast and ACT arranged extensive scoping sessions with stakeholders. We believe strongly in engaging users and staff in this phase of a major project, to improve the engagement of all personnel and to overcome any resistance to such significant changes.

The scoping exercises involved pinning down redundant processes in the old system and evolving a more efficient and effective way of working. In the words of ACT project manager Freya Whereat, “Mast pushed us to make good decisions”.

Configuring Donorfy

The next step was to translate the requirements to Donorfy and the optimum use of its in-built functionality. The project also required development input from Mast consultants to produces fixes where required. The system also is set up for integration with key platforms sincluding JustGiving and Mailchimp. As a result, the ACT solution is tailor-made for their specific requirements.

Data Migration

Data migration for the project needed a painstakingly thorough approach. Mast experience in similar projects resulted in moving data across accurately with staged testing ensuring that data was in place for the go-live date. It was inevitably a lengthy process and in Freya’s words, “We simply wouldn’t have been able to do the data migration ourselves”.

Training for Donorfy

Mast lead consultant Sophie Pires originally planned training as face-to-face sessions with users. With Covid-19 lockdown coming into force just before launch, Sophie adapted training to Microsoft Teams sessions which equipped the ACT team with the skills they needed for a successful go-live.  

Ongoing support

Mast have handed over know-how to ACT and continue to provide ongoing support on training and the technology. Throughout Mast and ACT have followed a partnership approach which has empowered the charity to make multiple improvements for fundraising, communication and engagement. 

The Impact

Donorfy has become a key asset for ACT. The system offers step changes in automation, speed, accuracy and accessibility as well as meeting the strict requirements of GDPR legislation. ACT can now look forward to meeting the challenges of the future with CRM system tailored precisely for their present and future needs. 

“Mast’s expertise was invaluable in our migration to Donorfy. They acted like true partners, and on top of detailed technical knowledge of the system, their input on our general procedures and processes has helped us to improve the way we work. Among other steps forward, we now have very useful integrations with JustGiving, Mailchimp and other important technologies, we can automate our email fundraising campaigns and we’re much better equipped to handle GDPR.

Now that we’re on a Cloud platform, access is so much faster and easier, without system crashes. Mast consultant Sophie Pires became like a member of the team, and delivered excellent training in spite of the fact we went into Covid-19 lockdown the week before launch. Mast gave us some tough love at times to help resolve issues and went above and beyond to help deliver a successful migration.

Freya Whereat, CRM and Data Insight Lead, Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust

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