Solutions

Civil rights organization organizes national conferences and coordinates fundraising initiatives with FileMaker Pro

National Council of La Raza

A national civil rights organization depends on a strong presence to accomplish its goals. Conferences, fundraising campaigns, and other organized events keep its mission before the public. It's a vast task, and for the National Council of La Raza, it's made more much manageable, more efficient, and more productive with FileMaker Pro, the award winning database software application from FileMaker, Inc.

Overview

  • National civil rights organization working on behalf of Hispanic–Americans
  • Based in Washington, DC
  • About 120 employees

Industry

  • Non–Profit
  • Small Business

Solutions

  • Event management
  • Online registration
  • Donation tracking
  • Contacts management
  • Share data over the web

Benefits

  • Increased consistent, timely contacts with sponsors, contributors, and program participants
  • Reduced report generating costs to a fraction of time formerly required
  • Frees employees for other tasks

Our FileMaker Pro system has streamlined our workload—we're doing more with less… Where before it might have taken two employees three weeks to generate certain reports, now one employee can generate and print out those same reports in three minutes.

— Alex Perilla, vice president, Strategic Communications Group, National Council of La Raza

Business Challenge

With chapters in 39 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and more than four and a half million members, the National Council of La Raza is a prominent voice on behalf of Hispanic–Americans. It's a non–profit, non–partisan organization that makes public information a centerpiece of its program, maintaining strong ties with private–sector organizations and other civil–rights groups that share its vision.

Ensuring that event planning and fundraising efforts run smoothly is the responsibility of the organization's Strategic Communications Group. That's where you'll find Alex Perilla, the group's vice president, hard at work. "We have thousands of data points to track in organizing and administering events and raising funds," he explains. "There are corporate sponsors and past contributors to be contacted, and lots to be done in setting up conference activities, from arranging tables to scheduling speakers and workshops." Taking care of all these tasks demands a powerful, flexible database solution.

Successful Solution

"In late 2001, after a lot of thinking and false starts, I settled on FileMaker Pro," Alex continues. "It's the foundation of our database system, which we call the Event Management Information and Sales System, or EMISS. We started the development effort in October of that year, working with FSA Partner Steven Blackwell of Management Counseling Services, and since then we've continued to grow with FileMaker Pro, expanding the scope of the system far beyond what we envisioned."

The eighty FileMaker Pro components that make up the EMISS system contain tens of thousands of records, documenting contributors, sponsors, event participants, and other related information. "We can tell contacts how long they've been working with us, what events they've supported, and how much they've pledged," Alex notes. "Our FileMaker Pro system has streamlined our workload—we're doing more with less as we're able to automate and institutionalize our processes. I knew it would be helpful, but I had no idea it would free up so much of our employee time. Where before it might have taken two employees three weeks to generate certain reports, now one employee can generate and print out those same reports in three minutes."

We plan to take full advantage of Advanced Web Publishing in our online registration and workshop information request systems. The new features will give us greater flexibility in translating what's on our local client to the web.

— Alex Perilla, vice president, Strategic Communications Group, National Council of La Raza

Customer Benefits

Now that Alex is working on implementing FileMaker Pro 7, he anticipates even greater improvements in efficiency and increased organizational benefits. "For me, the most exciting thing is the ability to have several windows open simultaneously in the same file," he declares. "People today are used to working with web browsers and popup windows, and so many have asked me why they can't do that in our database system. And now, with FileMaker Pro 7, we can do that, and I'm so looking forward to taking advantage of this interface change. We can give our users a comfortable, web–like working experience."

The web itself plays an important role in his organization's work, and Alex is also looking forward to implementing the enhanced web capabilities of FileMaker Pro 7. "We plan to take full advantage of Advanced Web Publishing in our online registration and workshop information request systems," he adds. "The new features will give us greater flexibility in translating what's on our local client to the web."

For FileMaker:

Kevin Mallon
Public Relations Manager
FileMaker Inc.
408-987-7227
kevin_mallon@filemaker.com
http://www.filemaker.com

For National Council of La Raza:

Alex Perilla
Vice President, Strategic Communications Group
National Council of La Raza
202-785-5384 x108
aperilla@nclr.org
http://www.nclr.org