Index on Censorship is a not-for-profit organisation that campaigns for freedom of expression around the world. The organisation was established in 1972 and started life as a magazine that published untold stories from behind the Iron Curtain. The organisation continues to publish its award-winning magazine but now also raises awareness of free expression abuses through hard-hitting journalism and analysis, high profile debates and innovative campaigns.
Index on Censorship manages relationships with many different people and organisations; subscribers to their newsletters; journalists; attendees of the events they run; as well as the people and organisations who fund them.
Prior to implementing Workbooks, Index on Censorship did not have a CRM system in place. Instead, employees held isolated records in separate databases and spreadsheets. “With no central system that held all of our data, we had no way of tracking all our interaction with any given contact. It was also difficult to share data, or any changes to data, with other employees.” said Pam Cowburn, Head of Communications at Index on Censorship, “Crucially, we had no way of running lists or using data intelligently, for instance, we could not easily segment lists for press releases. We quickly realised we needed a central CRM system to hold all of our contacts, track communication with them, and to give us the ability use our data in a smarter way.” ;
Having found Workbooks via a web search on CRM providers, Index on Censorship narrowed their search to two vendors; Workbooks and Capsule. Pam said, “The main motivation for choosing Workbooks was that we could adapt it and make it more bespoke to meet the individual needs of our organisation. The MailChimp integration was also a key requirement – we wanted to be able to track the emails that we had sent and analyse the number of click-throughs, opens and bounces.”
Pam went on to say, “We didn’t feel that Capsule was as adaptable as Workbooks and it didn’t look as good on the screen. With Workbooks, we were impressed by how simple and logical the layout is - it ticked the box for user adoptability.”
Since the implementation and training, Index on Censorship haven’t looked back. Workbooks has enabled the employees to have visibility of all of their data in one place, whether it’s the contact details of subscribers who receive newsletters, or the reporting requirements of funders. Pam has the confidence that her entire team can see the same information in real-time and this is invaluable to her. “Workbooks has helped us to share information that was previously held by individuals which in turn has enabled us to grow as an organisation,” said Pam.
Each year, Index on Censorship organises the Freedom of Expression Awards. Previously this was an arduous manual process for the events manager, but now that the necessary information is stored in Workbooks, sending out invitations is a much quicker and easier process. “Sending out invitations to our annual awards took about two weeks last year but it will only take about two days this year because the information is organised and kept up to date in our Workbooks system.” Pam explains. “And this kind of time-saving can be seen across the whole organisation - Workbooks has definitely made the team more efficient.”
Index on Censorship use the MailChimp integration and have found it instrumental when sending out newsletters and emails promoting events or other campaigns. Pam explained, “It is really useful to be able to monitor the success of our email shots in our CRM system. We can track which contacts have opened the email and which ones have clicked on the links within it. It has empowered us to send out follow-up emails to anyone who didn’t open the email and it is really comforting to know that any unsubscribes are fed back into Workbooks automatically.”
To sum up the benefits of Workbooks Pam says, “Workbooks has allowed me to do things I couldn’t do before. We now have a tailored solution that meets our specific needs and a real bonus for us is that it will be able to adapt to meet our future needs.”