Customer Q & A: IFAW

Customer Q & A: IFAW

The ongoing Customer Q & A blog series highlights a wide range of Jitterbit customers to find out what business needs drove their integration requirements and why they made Jitterbit their integration solution of choice.

In this week’s hot seat is Niels Petiet Associate Director at IFAW
Read the Customer Success Story

About IFAW
Founded in 1969, the International Fund for Animal Welfare saves individual animals, animal populations and habitats all over the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW provides hands-on assistance to animals in need, whether it’s dogs and cats, wildlife and livestock, or rescuing animals in the wake of disasters. IFAW also advocates saving populations from cruelty and depletion, such as their campaign to end commercial whaling and seal hunts.

How did you find out about Jitterbit and what were some of the reasons you chose it as your integration solution?

We have various offline fund raising programs, mostly direct mail and our Team Approach database/CRM is really mostly set up to support our offline fundraising needs. We also have major and planned giving programs, and manage foundations which are also managed through Team Approach. For our online fund raising system, we had kintera, but that really didn’t work as well for our international efforts. We replaced that with Salesforce. One thing that has always been a frustration to both our online and offline marketing groups is that they did not have clear visibility into what our offline supporters are doing online, such as take an action or sign up for emails, and vice versa, as they were managed on different, unconnected systems.

When we did our initial implementation of Salesforce we worked with an external vendor named Jackson River. They had recommended a number of ETL tools. One was Snap Logic and some others which had very high price points. We also very briefly considered using in-house ETL. Basically it came down to the two choices – Jitterbit and Snap Logic. We conducted a product evaluation of Jitterbit versus Snap Logic and decided to go with Jitterbit.

We tried the trial version and we had 2-3 calls with Jitterbit and talked through the product. We had a lot of questions that Jitterbit answered and then we were given the demo.

Jitterbit seemed much more flexible for data transformations, which was very important to us. We synch both ways between Team Approach and Salesforce. When we go from Team Approach to Salesforce we can do direct table updates or inserts and what was good there was that Jitterbit was already integrated with Salesforce. That was critical. Coming back the other way, Team Approach does not really have an API. The fact that with Jitterbit we could create the right file formats to import into TA was a key to picking you guys and it really came in handy that Jitterbit has all those wizards for Salesforce already in place.

How do you currently use Jitterbit?
We essentially had the two systems – Salesforce, our online CRM and then Team Approach, which is an Oracle based offline CRM from Blackbaud. These are the two systems that are integrated today and we added probably 100 custom fields, like pick lists and flags that we’re updating on the contact object.

Going from our database to Salesforce, it’s a sync that is scheduled at 4am our time each morning. We’re making use of our in-house developed data warehouse, where each day’s changes are being brought over to the data warehouse and put in stage tables. So what we’re doing is that at 4am, stage tables in our data warehouse have all the changes of the day before. At 4am the cycle kicks in and uses all the data in those stage tables in our data warehouse and updates the refreshed data from Salesforce. Any contact data, any transaction source codes that we’ve received transactions on, any source codes we’ve done solicitations on, classifications for the contact, interest codes, any changes basically to the donor, we set up at 4am each morning. When that’s finished, we bring down any changes that were made on Salesforce for certain pieces of data. Since Team Approach is our database of record, there are certain fields we are not going to update, but the two-way synch from Jitterbit takes that into account.

From a business perspective, how has Jitterbit helped you?

Before Jitterbit, we lacked visibility to activities that were core to our fundraising efforts. For example, our online team, whenever they needed to do any kind of mailing would have to jump through various hoops, including various excel file uploads to do things like exclude offline responders. It was very inefficient and we lacked the ability to look at our donors and know how they interacted with us both online and offline and have that full contact history and engagement history.

Because there was not a single system in place where you could manage both your online and offline campaigns, we decided to keep them in their own systems but have them sync back and forth to give us that full 360 degree view. Jitterbit allowed us to achieve that.

The result is that both our online and offline teams are much more efficient, can build better targeted campaigns, and most importantly fundraise more effectively. Integration with Jitterbit made this possible.

Thanks Niels! If you want to learn more about IFAW’s integration, be sure to check out their Customer Success Story.

Do you have a Jitterbit success story you would like to share? Drop us a line at customersuccess [at] or @jitterbit on twitter.