Sage Software is pursuing Canadian resellers to market and push its line of non-profit solutions. It is a space that has yet to be tapped by the Canadian channel community according to Dan Germain, vice-president of product management and marketing. “It’s a great opportunity and we have to do a lot of evangelism to build our channel,” said Germain.
At the base of Sage’s nonprofit solutions is Sage Fundraising 50 (formerly Paradigm), suitable for managing the entire fundraising process for small non-profits, it includes features like donor profiling, campaigns and communications, grant management, security and access controls.
Sage Fundraising 100 (formerly GT Pro) offers the same range of tools with added functions, including endowment management, grant making and moves management. A customized version of Fundraising 100 called Rainbow Edition, built in conjunction with the United Way, enables affiliate organizations a standard product with support for workplace campaigns and other United Way initiatives as well as internal reporting.
Currently, 74 of the 80 United Way chapters in Canada use the Rainbow edition and Germain is quick to point out that each was a direct deal.
“From a non-profit perspective, we entered Canada when we acquired KTS in 2003. They were selling strictly direct and we’ve been transforming that business to have a partner channel to pick up our products,” said Germain.
One problem that Sage has encountered has been the strict Canadian laws regarding receipting requirements. “Every receipt has to be unique and has to be serialized whereas in the U.S. the requirements aren’t as stringent,” Germain added. “Once we got those requirements into our product, we started selling in Canada.”
For its non-profit solutions, Germain said that Sage is looking for Canadian partners with CRM solution expertise. “Going into the fundraising space is a perfect add on since this is a specialized CRM solution,” he added.
As far as margins are concerned, Germain said Sage has an aggressive program with top tier partners getting up to the 50 per cent range. “It’s a graduated program based on sales volumes, they start at 25 per cent and we don’t take a cut of what they make on the services side,” he said.
JMT Consulting, a New York-based firm, is currently Sage Software’s only official partner for non-profit solutions in Canada. “We would like to sustain a good one to two dozen partners in the Canadian space,” said Germain.
Efforts like direct marketing campaigns through consultants and quarterly Webinars to expose Sage products are being made to garner the interest of resellers.
Michael Dailey, fundraising sales manager for JMT, sells both the Fundraising 50 and 100 to Canadian non-profits. He also implements the solutions and facilitates the staff training. Most recently he sold Fundraising 100 to the Maritimes chapter of the Parkinsons Foundation.
“More and more organizations are starting to understand they need the right product to help in their fundraising needs,” said Dailey. “What a lot of people like about Sage is knowing they can start off with the Fundraising 50 product and as they grow they can upgrade to Fundraising 100.”
According to Dailey, the marketplace in Canada is definitely strong for fundraising software. “It’s usually a longer decision process. In the U.S. it may take six weeks for a decision to take place and in Canada it would take double that time,” he said.
Most of the sales, Dailey added, come from referrals. “Because the product is so flexible, we don’t focus on a specific marketplace, we do the majority of the United Ways in Canada as well as the Jewish federations,” he said. “Outside of those two markets, we go from one-man shops to very large organizations.”
In the U.S. there are 1.3 to 1.5 million non-profit organizations, said Germain, in Canada that number is around 150,000, it’s about 10 per cent of U.S. market.
“In Canada most are concentrated around the border and in small communities, they support small non-profits in their geographies,” said Germain.
“There’s a lot of movement in the non-profit sector, various disasters have led people to increase their donations,” he said. “It has given nonprofits the opportunity to replace their systems.”