Oklahoma State University Alumni Association

Written byBjørn Koding

OSU Alumni Case Study

OSU Alumni enjoy instant association access thanks to Venn

The Oklahoma State University Alumni Association saw the handwriting on the wall. In a world where consumers demand instant-access and instant-gratification through Netflix-like experiences from every brand’s website, it’s no surprise the organization decided the time was right to embark on a digital transformation of its own.

To support the launch of this new initiative — the switch to a subscription-based membership model — the organization replaced its legacy Quickbooks platform with Sage Intacct.  The new membership model, kicked into high gear thanks to  a more robust accounting solution, freed up the leadership team to reassess. And with new clarity, they saw the potential to do much more within the platform to enhance its members’ overall user-experience.

As a result, shortly thereafter, the association’s own tech experts deployed a third-party donation platform, Custom Donations, on its website. This gave them both the flexibility they needed to offer subscription-based pricing, and  to replace its legacy payment gateway with Stripe, automating membership transactions directly on the website.

To build the integration between Stripe and Intacct, the OSU Alumni Association turned to Venn.

“We knew the transition to our new membership offering would mean a lot more transactions, so we needed to make sure we could facilitate that in a timely manner. And that’s what we’ve been able to do with Venn,” says Chase Carter, Director of Marketing & Engagement Systems of the decision to partner with Venn.

Kevin Cole, Senior Database Administrator for the association, added, “Leveraging Workato’s recipe-based automation platform, Venn built a webhook in Stripe to trigger anytime a payment is made, simultaneously updating the record in Intacct.”

Prior to the update, it was not uncommon for members to wait several days for their status to be updated after a purchase. The new membership model and Stripe/Intacct integration enabled the association to drastically shrink membership processing from 24+ hours to just seconds. 

The integration between Stripe and Intacct also helped the association in its long-term plan to bring its accounting back in-house, allowing the Finance Team to focus on other, thoughtful improvements. 

“Traditionally, we’ve struggled with reconciling membership dollars between our database, website, and accounting platform. Speeding up that time and automating a lot of the process allows those staff members to refocus their time on reconciliation,” said Carter.

Now, not only is the team able to complete month-end close in a couple of days (rather than a couple of months), but it’s also providing the organization’s leadership team the visibility it needs on real-time financials to make better informed decisions, sooner. 

Ethan Davis, Director of Finance for the association, highlighted the value in being able to see transactions in real time, which he said was the number one goal from the beginning. He added, “Because of the integration between Stripe and Intacct, that piece is working perfectly now.”

Since then, the team has also realized that using the power of using a middleware tool like Workato to connect different applications to create more efficient workflows is a benefit that extends far beyond Stripe and Intacct. 

“This is not only saving us on hosting costs, but within Workato we now have the ability to synchronize these different systems more affordably,” Cole emphasized.

Since its beginnings in 1897, the Oklahoma State University Alumni Association has been on a mission to build valuable connections among former, current, and future OSU Cowboys of all ages through exclusive programs and activities. Now, more than 110 years later, the nonprofit’s membership base has grown to over 30,000 strong. 

Venn is pleased to have been able to advance the mission of the OSU Alumni Association with the launch of its new membership model, helping to streamline the reconciliation process and enable digital experiences for staff and members alike. 

“We would wholeheartedly recommend Venn Technology to anyone looking for a solution like this. It’s going to be extremely valuable for us in the future as our membership program continues to grow.”

The team at Venn can’t help but bask in “America’s Brightest Orange” glow after those kinds of results!

Bjørn Koding

About the Author

Bjørn Koding

Bjørn hails from Tallinn, Estonia, and wears multiple hats here at Venn (mostly fur). He's got a knack for making the right connections and having the right conversations—which, in our business—is the name of the game. He's a blast to have around the office and brings a fresh new perspective to the party. Now, if we can only get him to leave the thermostat alone (55° is a tad low for us Texans).