Lutheran Association of Missionaries and Pilots

Lutheran Association of Missionaries and Pilots (L-US) consists of missionary volunteers and staff from Canada and the United States helping over 60 communities in remote Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and British Columbia.

L-US needed to quickly automate data from monetary gifts received and integrate accounting with existing software for electronic bank deposits.

Using PaperSave with Blackbaud Raiser's Edge, L-US processes gifts in a fraction of the time it used to take. PaperSave is also logging, categorizing and analyzing data provided by the bar codes on returning paperwork, previous entered manually into their system before PaperSave.

L-US now automates donor data and gifts nearly six times faster than before.


The Project

Challenge

A down economy can certainly take its toll on huge corporations. But for small ministries, like The Lutheran Association of Missionaries and Pilots (L-US), with only 14 employees altogether (four work from the head office in Brookfield, Wisconsin), tough times can be truly damaging. Yet as L-US’s Chief Financial Officer, Paul Flaa, learned, a wise investment in PaperSave at just the right time helped save his company in a big way.

L-US needed the ability to handle more volume without reducing staff, and since all donor information was entered in by hand, Flaa and a co-worker wondered how they would shoulder the burden during a busy fourth quarter. He sought software that would not only enable them to process donations and gather donor information via barcodes, but also eventually assist with electronic bank deposits under Check 21.

Solution

After a few months with PaperSave, Flaa admits he hasn’t even scratched the surface of the services PaperSave offers. For example, he can process gifts in a fraction of the time it used to take: “Now two of us are splitting that position in addition to our other work. Kudos to PaperSave. There’s no way we could do that before.”

He said the check scanner picks up nearly every dollar amount and then enters it into the Check 21 system for processing. All the while, PaperSave logs, categorizes and analyzes data provided by the bar codes on returning paperwork. “Those were fields we’d be manually putting into our system,” he said. Now he can enter information from 104 reply cards in the same time it takes someone to enter 20 manually.

Results

L-US no longer has to mail files to homebound fundraising staffers either, since they can access information via the Internet. Flaa reported it is easy to train new users. “I just created a 30-step procedure so anyone can do it. That’s a testament to PaperSave.” “When we were looking to get PaperSave we were hoping for growth,” he claimed. “We were at the brink of needing more help.” But rather than suggesting L-US spend thousands of dollars for a new employee’s salary and benefits, Flaa said PaperSave helps his company keep the same size staff and process more volume. “We’re able to do more with the same technology,” he explained. “PaperSave has allowed us to survive.”

Measures of Success:

  • Now, in mere seconds, teammates at satellite locations around the nation can access paperwork previously stored as hard copies in the main office
  • New hires and volunteers have quickly learned the program
  • Because of the time savings PaperSave provided, it helped the company stay afloat during challenging economic times