Case Study

Success Story | How South Texas College of Law Houston Overhauled RENXT to Grow Philanthropic Revenue

Holly Parrish

Senior Consultant

Holly Parrish, a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) since 2004, has worked for more than 20 years in fundraising, public relations, and marketing.
April 04, 2022

With JCA’s help, South Texas optimized RENXT and designed a new prospect management model to take their fundraising to the next level.

South Texas College of Law Houston (South Texas) is a private, independent institution that has earned a reputation for providing students an exceptional, relevant, practical legal education that fully prepares them for a career in the profession.

In 2021, the law school hired Darcy Douglas, JD as its new Vice President of Advancement and Alumni Engagement. In her new position, Darcy’s goal was clear—to reinvigorate a stagnant fundraising program and prepare the law school for new fundraising initiatives that would coincide with the school’s 100th anniversary.

However, as Darcy and her team began to build strategy around growing philanthropic revenue, it was clear that their current Raiser’s Edge system and data was going to need an overhaul to effectively support their aggressive plans.

Raiser’s Edge (and later RENXT) had served as the law school’s donor management system for close to 3 decades. However, staff turnover and lack of ongoing Raiser’s Edge training, had resulted in data that largely lacked consistency. Usage had evolved over time without periodic maintenance, cleansing, re-evaluation, and restructuring. This unsteady history left the current Advancement team questioning both the validity of its development data and the systems created to manage it.

In the end, the team needed to determine whether Raiser’s Edge was the right tool to support the law school’s current and future CRM needs. With these questions in mind, South Texas hired JCA to conduct a data audit and system assessment to examine the school’s historic data and its processes for system usage.

Time for an Overhaul

South Texas College of Law Houston classroom scenes (w/ faculty & Dean Bruce McGovern) in Houston, Tx. photos by John Everett on 7-14-16.

This initial system assessment, completed in April 2021, kicked off a year-long effort to clean and reorganize RENXT at South Texas. Once it was determined that RENXT was able to meet the overall needs of the advancement program, the law school enlisted JCA’s help to tackle a comprehensive list of data clean-up and restructuring. Based on assessment recommendations provided, JCA and South Texas worked through the following projects:

  • Redesigning the law school’s Campaign, Appeal and Fund structures to better support reporting needs
  • Removing outdated codes and data that were no longer relevant
  • Consolidating data housed in separate database areas into appropriate areas
  • Standardizing coding structures
  • Designing new configuration to support a comprehensive prospect management program

Poised for Growth

South Texas College of Law Houston held it’s 2021 hooding commencement ceremony in Houston, Tx., on 2-27-21. Photography by John Everett

Given leadership’s goal of growing philanthropic revenue, developing a prospect management data model and configuring RENXT to support the model was paramount.

To accomplish this, South Texas partnered with JCA to design a customized prospect management data model for the law school which included:

  1. Identifying prospect management staffing roles and data management responsibilities
  2. Defining prospect lifecycle stages, how stages are tracked and ideal lengths for each stage
  3. Clarifying how research and ratings data is used and stored
  4. Defining a solicitation lifecycle with stages and timeframe targets
  5. Developing standards for managing and optimizing fundraiser portfolios
  6. Customizing the team’s moves management strategy and how action steps are tracked
  7. Creating a set of reports and dashboards designed to monitor all program components

With a prospect management strategy framework complete, JCA then worked with Kristin Smyth, Associate Director and Database Administrator, to revamp eighteen separate RENXT system areas to support the strategy. Configuration work included adding new action types, creating new NXT lists to manage tasks, assigning a new classification structure and incorporating ratings for affinity and philanthropic inclination, to name a few.

With configuration in place, it was time to train staff to adopt and utilize the new prospect management framework. For this, JCA supplied a series of short training videos highlighting how to enter, monitor and maintain data in the school’s newly optimized RENXT system.

This year-long process of system optimization, from assessment to strategic design to configuration and clean-up, has positioned South Texas to effectively use its RENXT system to support a growing philanthropic program.

“One of the first things I did when I started in this role was to call JCA. I knew that we needed to overhaul our data management systems, and we wouldn’t have been able to do it without JCA’s support and expertise. Now we are ready to take our fundraising and donor management to the next level.” — Darcy Douglas, JD, Vice President of Advancement and Alumni Engagement.

Turn Information into Action

When your CRM is optimized, your team is energized and working at peak efficiency. We can help you tighten up your current technology and show you how to leverage your existing resources for future growth.

Contact Us