Paradigm Shift for Integrating Advancement CRM Platforms with Other Applications


Off-the-shelf Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) solutions aren’t the only approaches to address an organization’s data management needs. Many organizations choose to personalize their constituent database, increasing their supportability, stable environment, and standardization.


One way to customize your CRM platform is to implement integrations. The old way of doing this required the implementation of multiple integration platforms. Every time information needed to be exchanged from one application to another, a single solution was added. This might have included information that would be helpful to trade between the two systems, or it could be going in one direction.


For example, every advancement CRM system must post revenue to a financial system. It’s not good enough that you’re collecting donations and have an accounting of it in an advancement CRM platform. The actual system of record for any financials is the financial system for the institution. But that system needs to accept the donations from a financial system and collect information from a student management system because the two systems need to be reconciled. The way this was historically achieved was by integrating multiple platforms.


Paradigm Shift

Today, solutions or additional software help to establish an actual integration network. The network acts as a broker of information moving it from one place to another.


Specifically, if you wanted to move donation information from your advancement CRM system to your finance system, but you also wanted employee information to be shared, the old paradigm acted as a one-off integration point and would require two integrations.


However, the new paradigm creates an integration platform that serves as the “hub” and identifies where information can go from one system to another. The benefit of an integration hub is that you can create one standard for exchanging information.


Additionally, you don’t have to become an expert on the various platforms with an integration hub. In the old paradigm, expert knowledge would typically be left up to the programmer, and they would likely create the integration in their style. In this scenario, there would be nuances in each integration. It would be harder to support if it broke because you would have to investigate each integration individually.


But with an integration platform in the new paradigm, you eliminate the need to support platforms individually. And the knowledge you need to support an integration platform is more transferable.


Integration Platforms

An organization that wants to get more out of its CRM platform should consider an integration platform.


Here are some integration platforms to consider.




Workato is a low-code/no-code platform enabling business and IT teams to build integrations at five times the speed of typical integration platforms. This is achieved through accelerators like pre-built connectors for 1000+ SaaS, on-prem databases, ERP, and more; 500,000+ ready-to-use recipes for common business processes shared by 70,000+ community members. A fully cloud-native architecture built for scale and speed significantly reduces operational footprint and overall costs. Workato helps:


  • empower more teams in your organization to create integrations easily and quickly with a visually intuitive experience;
  • connect to the cloud, on-prem databases, ERP, legacy applications, and more;
  • sync data at any speed—real-time, scheduled, or batch—and any volume from a single transaction to billions of rows; and
  • build on a cloud platform that auto-scales eliminating the complexities of infrastructure provisioning and capacity planning.


Find out more here:




Jitterbit is another low-code integration platform that connects systems and processes, including your SaaS, on-premises applications, and cloud applications in days versus months. This integration platform helps you reuse trusted applications and extend them easily via APIs to create innovative new solutions with artificial intelligence.


With the help of Jitterbit, you can accelerate innovation, deliver richer customer experiences, and take immediate advantage of new business opportunities.


Find out more here:




Informatica is most used for larger institutions. Informatica helps you transform data from binary to the extraordinary with their Intelligent Data Management Cloud™ (IDMC).


Powered by CLAIRE®, their AI engine, Informatica helps you manage, govern, and unify your data on a single platform. With Informatica, your data is ready to deliver outcomes of unprecedented brilliance at a scale never imagined.


Find out more here:


If you haven’t transitioned to an integration platform already, consider looking toward it in the future to increase your supportability, stable environment, and standardization.

DonorSearch and Affinaquest Partnership: Here’s What Your Organization Needs to Know


Technology has leveled the fundraising playing field for organizations of all sizes—in many cases across the globe. Long ago, fundraising meant a letter in the mail with a return slip and the long wait that followed. Fundraising (not that long ago) required in-person visits and long lead times.


Today, it’s so much more.


Donors can contribute with just a few taps on their phones and amplify their impact with peer-to-peer fundraising platforms that integrate seamlessly with social media accounts. This means more up-to-date data is available to help fundraisers achieve ambitious goals.


Platforms are available to assist with constituent relationship management (CRM), data mining, and more. But often, especially in smaller teams, using multiple programs isn’t feasible, physically or financially. So, in June 2021, DonorSearch and Affinaquest announced a partnership to combine the best of both platforms. Here’s what your organization needs to know.


DonorSearch verses Affinaquest


Affinaquest is an Advancement CRM software powered by the Salesforce platform. Affinaquest is a leading provider of advancement software and services to educational institutions.


DonorSearch is known for its data research, data mining, and is leveraged by the advancement space to gain information about its prospects. Founded in 2007 and built upon years of experience in philanthropy. The purpose of DonorSearch is centered around helping more organizations identify, expand, predict, and connect with suitable donors.


By identifying suitable donors, expanding your donor list, and using intelligent technology to predict giving behavior, you can connect with the eligible donors at the right time.


DonorSearch provides any publicly available information about donors, including:


  • wealth;
  • assets;
  • publicly announced affiliations;
  • boards they belong to; and
  • companies they own.


The Partnership Benefit


DonorSearch and Affinaquest have come together to create a solution. This partnership combines the power of the Affinaquest platform with DonorSearch’s donor intelligence, launching DonorQuest powered by DonorSearch, a game-changing new approach to prospect research and managing major gift portfolios.


This partnership increases efficiency for data mining. Previously, organizations were required to research DonorSearch and put data back into their CRM platform. But because of the partnership, the data integration is now automated—offering customers a new level of innovative service in support of their essential missions.


According to a recent press release[1], features and benefits of DonorQuest powered by DonorSearch include:


  • Initial batch review of up to 20,000 prospects across all major giving portfolios.
  • Detailed profiles with over 65 different data points stored inside the CRM record.
  • Automated refresh of screening results for major gift portfolios every week with push notifications of significant wealth changes or new donations found.
  • Real-time relationship mapping in the Affinaquest platform based on known nonprofit board affiliations.
  • Optional full database screening or DonorSearch ProspectView Subscriptions are connected directly to the CRM.


What Remains the Same


The partnership between DonorSearch and Affinaquest increases efficiency and ease of use for donor relations. Still, there is no “easy button” for data and prospect research. Here’s what remains the same.


  • Matching accuracy is still important and just as tedious as before.
  • If you have limited information about your constituents, then the reliability of finding data or the right person hasn’t changed—that unknown remains the same.
  • Data mining of public information for DonorSearch doesn’t change the process of the research team’s performance.
  • The prospect management team must still have a strategy for the data you’ve acquired to make it actionable.


Getting the correct data into the hands of Development Officers will always remain the most crucial task—enabling them to qualify (or gauge) the interest of individuals and follow-up on a prospect. The partnership between DonorSearch and Affinaquest is a great tool, but don’t lose sight of your overall goals.