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Brain cancer is the most fatal of all childhood cancers and current clinical treatments help just half of the children in need. The Robert Connor Dawes (RCD) Foundation was founded in June 2013 in memory of Robert ‘Connor’ Dawes who died from brain cancer aged just 18. Established by Connor’s mum Liz with the help of family and friends, the foundation is on a mission to change the odds and make brain tumours go the way of the dinosaurs.  Its work falls under three pillars: research, care and development – to fund the science to end brain cancer and support patients in the meantime.

The Challenge

In the eight years since the foundation was established, it has raised a staggering $8.5m in funding and a further $10.5m in funding to better research for paediatric brain cancer. When the foundation celebrated a record year of fundraising, the realisation hit that it needed to prioritise the management of data in order to make best use of this growth.


The foundation had previously used a combination of HubSpot and Excel spreadsheets to manage their database.  Through the lure of free CRM software, the organisation had signed up to the free version of the CRM software HubSpot, but treated it like a glorified telephone book. The cost of additional features dissuaded them from further investment. Meanwhile data was spread across the business in multiple sources – on someone’s phone, in someone’s head, in an email. Compiling data was a manual and time-consuming process, which quickly became outdated as new campaigns were launched.


The result was a highly manual and fragmented process that hampered both marketing and business development efforts. Disparate data left the foundation struggling to effectively manage relations with both its corporate sponsors and private donors. This young but rapidly growing charity was data challenged. It had no visibility of donor history or future pipeline. And struggled to answer important questions like, who had given the most? Who had given little but often? Who had stopped giving completely?


Recognising data management would be the key to the foundation’s future growth, it turned to Pracedo as their chosen partner to navigate the digital transformation process with Salesforce.

The Solution

Pracedo deployed the Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP), a relationship management system for nonprofits, which provides a single view of all corporate sponsors and private donors. Now marketing, business development and all other departments within the foundation have access to a shared view of the database – a key priority for them as they continue to grow.


The single customer view means that the foundation has the ability to manage its key relationships with sponsors and donors efficiently and effectively. Through the integration of Mailchimp with Salesforce, interactions are now tracked centrally and visible to all internal stakeholders, while Integromat imports Shopify product and sales data into the database.

The RCD Foundation is now able to manage all donations and income in one place, updated in real time. It also has the facility to pull insightful reporting and analytics to keep all stakeholders up to date on their progress. 


Finally, the direct integration of the Fundraising platform makes the management of their own campaign assets like brand website and event ticketing, and those of third parties, much easier to manage. For example, fundraisers now have the facility to create their own campaign or event page on the RCD Foundation’s own site. 

RCD Foundation Are Saving 390+ Hours Every Year

The Impact

The RCD Foundation’s main goal was to bring together their disparate data into a centralised location to create efficiencies and ensure the continued growth of the organisation. 


Marketing now has the ability to identify key groups for which bespoke messages can be targeted. While business development has gained visibility of donor’s habits, ensuring a more focused and personalised approach to seeking future funds. The team has subsequently been able to build stronger and deeper relationships with their patrons. 

Going forward, the foundation is keen to understand new volunteer management possibilities.


The RCD Foundation team has taken full advantage of the Trailhead platform with its extensive range of training modules and active community.

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