YJP | Cleveland
Shluchim are a dedicated bunch. Hard-working, clever, and enterprising, a shaliach is ready to do whatever it takes to establish a Chabad House in their region. With the revitalization of Cleveland’s downtown area in recent years, the younger members of the mostly suburban Jewish community in East Cleveland began trickling in. In 2010, Rabbi Yossi Freeman, his wife Chaya, and their two children were there, ready and waiting to greet them with open arms.
As relationships developed and donations began to roll in, Yossi needed a way to manage it all. As a fairly savvy computer user, he found a program that could help him with that. It had many of the features he wanted, but not all. He could manage his donors and line items easily enough. It would even generate automatic thank you letters and receipts.
But he still needed a way to gather and track the information he collected about the people in his community. Between the meetings he had with them and the events they would join Yossi had a lot to keep in mind. He was also concerned about securing all that data he was gathering. This program was on his own hard drive, not on the cloud - if he lost that data all his hard work would be for nothing. So he had to find another CRM that could do all things that this one couldn’t do.
The second one he found had the features that the first one was missing. Unfortunately, the opposite was also true: the features the first one did well, were lacking on the second. So what was he to do? Well...use both!
To say the least, this arrangement, while functional, was complicated. It was far from ideal. With two different data sets to keep track of and no connections between the two CRMs, there was still a lot of time-consuming busy work that was necessary just to make the system work. There had to be a better way.
That’s when Yossi discovered Chabad Suite - an all-in-one cloud-based CRM that could do what the others couldn’t and more. “Chabad Suite answered a lot of problems that the other two were not yet able to do”, explains Rabbi Freeman. Some of the features that help him the most are the contact merge function, which helps him add additional phone numbers instead of replacing the old ones and the fully customizable fields. “A lot of things I would have been spending a lot of time on with database management and fixing errors, and things I would have to delegate are no longer necessary because with a click of a button, everything is done.”
In addition to the time he was saving with the improved tools, the reporting features of Chabad Suite have helped Yossi optimize his time. “I’m able to make proper reports to figure out where to find people I need to (follow up with)” he says. “(With the metrics) I’m able to see how many people I’ve gotten to know over this year or the next year- the reports make that very clear and easy to track my progress and improvement.”
Last, but not least, the security of Chabad Suite’s cloud system takes a huge weight off of Yossi’s shoulders. “I am way more relaxed and I know that all my data will be kept safe,” he explains. “It was a very stressful time before. I was very stressed out about how my data was managed until now and it definitely took (care of) a huge headache - knowing that may data is safe. With his administrative processes in order and his data secure, Rabbi Freeman is now more free to focus on growing his new community.
Thanks to Chabad Suite, the Jewish community of Downtown Cleveland are having even more positive experiences with their more relaxed Shaliach. His advice to other shluchim? “I would suggest taking a few months… just to learn the database and get used to it... once (you) do, there is no looking back.”