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Articles > School Advancement Q&A > The Big Switch: Q&A with John Roleke, VP for Advancement and Alumni at St John's Prep

The Big Switch: Q&A with John Roleke, VP for Advancement and Alumni at St John's Prep

We caught up with this New York high school about their recent switch from Raiser's Edge to an all-in-one integrated CRM platform with ToucanTech.

St John’s Prep, a private, coeducational school in New York, recently moved from Raiser’s Edge, to an all-in-one integrated CRM and community platform with ToucanTech to improve the alumni experience and better manage their donor and fundraising efforts. The switch involved moving more than 27,400 donations across to their new streamlined ToucanTech CRM and setting up an online community to engage their alumin with news, events and emails. Despite being in its early stages, the online platform has already processed more than $8,000 worth of payments within a few weeks of going live, a considerable achievement.

We caught up with John Roleke, Vice President for Advancement and Alumni at St John’s Prep, to find out how the school successfully launched their new platform, and his future plans for furthering engagement.

What prompted you to start looking for new software for advancement?

My search started with online community software as we have over 20,000 alumni. Helping our alumni connect with one another was the big goal.

What made you choose ToucanTech over different software options?

I contacted several companies, went through demos of their products, and spoke with their current customers. I also contacted colleagues at similar schools and asked about their software experiences. When I found out that ToucanTech could handle the fundraising work on the same platform as the community engagement, I was sold. I appreciated that it's an all-in-one tool, rather than a platform that purports to integrate with many different vendors or systems. Often with those, the data doesn't actually integrate. ToucanTech is also a growing company with an emphasis on customer support so that means a lot to me.

How has the data migration and setup process been?

Data migration was great, I can't believe I'm saying that! If you have ever been through a data migration, you know how arduous and expensive it can be. I found the data migration team at ToucanTech to be excellent. They paid great attention to my needs and the very minute details of our data. They also gave constructive feedback on the database organization.

What are you hoping to achieve with your new system in the year ahead?

I want to offer our alumni a robust way to connect with one another and the school, renew friendships, and offer career and other guidance. My goal is to have more than 2,000 alumni on board within our first year. I know the more engaged the alumni are online, the more engaged they will be with our events and fundraising.

Any advice for other schools considering a move to an all-in-one advancement solution?

I was apprehensive to move from a system that we had used for years, but it has already been worth the nerves and work. An all-in-one will change how you think about your constituents and their engagement.

Considering a big switch like St John’s Prep? Speak to a member of the team to find out how they can help you migrate your database across to a new all-in-one integrated CRM platform with ToucanTech.

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