Introduction to the project.

Art Fund is part way through its digital transformation journey. A key element of this has been the implementation of a new CRM working with a technical partner geared up to deliver ongoing evolution of the technology. Art Fund exists to support the UK museum and gallery sector. It does this in a variety of ways - historically through grants to acquire new objects and lobbying/advocacy for the sector and more recently through a much wider grants programme and a variety of digital services, including a crowdfunding platform, Art Happens, and a ticketing platform, Art Tickets. Art Fund has around 150,000 members whose benefits include free or reduced price entry to venues and exhibitions across its 770 strong network of museums and galleries. It runs major public appeals when particular works of art are under threat, most recently a successful campaign to raise £3.5m to save Derek Jarman’s Prospect Cottage. It celebrates the very best of UK museums and galleries with the annual Museum of the Year prize.

Felinesoft are fun to work with and professional – fitting into a pre-existing client plus key tech partner relationship must have been challenging and they have done it very successfully. They are also very flexible – something we didn’t feel we would necessarily get out of a more conventional CRM provider.
Mary Pitt
Head of Technical Development and Operations, Art Fund

The Challenge:

Art Fund was running with a CRM that didn’t integrate with other components of its technical stack.  For example, it couldn’t communicate in real time with the audience facing digital channels.  It was also not possible to evolve the CRM in the same way Art Fund could evolve the front-end digital channels provided by their own web developers.

 

What was needed:

Art Fund recognised that they needed to make the jump to a modern CRM capable of integration with the other elements of their technical stack and, crucially, do this with a partner capable of delivering ongoing agile CRM evolution.  This all had to be achieved working closely with Art Fund’s existing web developers.

 

What was delivered:

Build and implementation of a brand-new CRM based on Microsoft Dynamics and Felinesoft’s Framework.

The CRM MVP was delivered in November 2018 after an 18 month project.  A continuous improvement operational model commenced immediately but for most of 2019 this was taken up with fixing bugs and addressing user stories and general issues that hadn’t made the initial MVP cut.

 

What was the impact:

In 2020 Art Fund are starting to see the fruits of the move to the new CRM – these include:

  • harnessing the insights they now have into their real time data to drive new initiatives for membership recruitment and retention
  • empowering their marketing team in running campaigns using the new CRM’s out of the box integration with the Dot Digital marketing automation platform
  • the continuous improvement of back end processes - for example around fulfilment, direct debits and renewals - is beginning to reduce the manual intervention/oversight that had previously been required.

 

Perhaps more fundamentally their core back end platform – the CRM – is now capable of ongoing evolution along with their audience facing digital channels.  This is essential for Art Fund to progress on its digital transformation journey.