Reuniting Displaced Families
FrontRange links Holocaust survivors and their families with relatives and events from the past.
For the rest of the July 2005 issue of CRM magazine please click here
JewishGen is a Texas-based not-for-profit that traces the ancestry of Jewish families. Its original goal was to provide a way to connect families separated during the Holocaust. The organization began as a bulletin board service in the early 1990s, responding to email queries about family data. During that time the majority of participants were based in the United States, but that changed in 1994 when Susan King, founder and managing director, backed the creation of the organization's Web site. Once implemented, the amount of participants skyrocketed and international visitors became commonplace. Now accessed in 153 countries, JewishGen has a few new goals. There had been problems, however, managing the data. The problem came to a head after King hired a fundraiser who needed to know specific customer information, all of which JewishGen had, but which was inaccessible. "When the fundraiser would ask us questions, we couldn't provide the answer," King says. "We had no integration between our accounting and our contact management, and had no integration between anything and the Web." Enter GoldMine, a CRM suite from FrontRange Solutions. Because 99 percent of all communication with JewishGen's customer base is via email, King decided on a customizable version of GoldMine, which includes a capability called CURE, or central user registration environment. CURE allows participants to register once and provides them with a JewishGen ID number. King can track a wide range of individuals' activities on the site, including log-ins, areas of interest, and donations. In April 2004 the Web site registration was functional, and last September JewishGen completed the integration of databases. GoldMine has improved the marketing and targeting of JewishGen's fundraising customer base by helping King track volunteer activities on the Web site. Registrant information is now automatically added to the mailing list. King also used GoldMine's Details Plus functionality to create a volunteer-management system that can track information about volunteers' interests and donations. Finally, despite a growth rate of 5,000 to 6,000 new users a month, the administrative staff size remains the same. JewishGen also gained enough insight into its customer base to launch a new book titled Preserving Our Litvak Heritage. Specifically targeted for 3,600 users, the book is a detailed history of 31 communities in Lithuania. It began shipping in June 2005, with more than 300 copies already sold. "In the past two years we've put double the amount of data online than we had the prior two years, with less work,"King says. "We're spending less time running our business from an administrative standpoint and more time fulfilling JewishGen's mission: helping people search their ancestry." The Payoff By implementing FrontRange Solution's GoldMine application, JewishGen has:
  • seen a growth of 5,000 to 6,000 new users a month, without having to increase its staff;
  • improved its marketing and targeting of users and fundraisers;
  • integrated its front- and back-office operations; and
  • added double the amount of online data in the past two years than it had from the two years prior.
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