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How the Multiple Sclerosis Trust created an engaging, integrated online store with the support of SmartTHING

The Customer

The MS Trust supports everyone affected by multiple sclerosis, from the moment of diagnosis and throughout their journey.

The Challenge

The MS Trust had for many years generated revenue and raised awareness for their cause by selling Christmas cards online, through a third-party website. In 2019 MS Trust funded a project to redevelop its own online store to incorporate the sale of Christmas cards and to create a tighter integration with their new  Blackbaud Raiser’s Edge (RE) NXT database.

The MS Trust also decided to use this opportunity to move to a modern content management system and ecommerce platform for their store. Based on a history of successful projects together, the MS Trust turned to SmartTHING to help integrate their new shop with Blackbaud Raiser’s Edge (RE) NXT.

The Requirements

The Solution

SmartTHING suggested using WordPress and WooCommerce (one of the world’s most popular shopping platforms) and proposed two options to support these platforms.

The first was a full ecommerce package where SmartTHING delivered a fully working store with Blackbaud RENXT integration – design, product population and more.

The second, which MS Trust chose and which is an increasingly popular option, was to run the project as a partnership between SmartTHING and the MS Trust’s chosen design agency.

The benefit of the chosen option was that the design agency did not need to learn a new technology and could concentrate on their specialities: the design and website delivery elements. SmartTHING used their integration tools and in-depth knowledge of RENXT to provide a fully integrated store for both the client’s payment service (Blackbaud Merchant Services) and database (RENXT).

SmartTHING provided:


SmartSYNC is a flexible solution which meant that MS Trust’s existing fulfilment processes did not have to be changed. SmartSYNC allowed MS Trust to perform complex data manipulation prior to order information being added to RENXT. This meant that SmartTHING could fit existing data structures that had been established with MS Trust’s outgoing store system and current fulfilment house.

Data Enhancement

Recording of WooCommerce orders and customers in Raiser’s Edge NXT. Ensuring rich database records and the option to use analysis tools within RENXT. The system has SmartTHING’s standard duplicate protection built in to ensure clean customer records.


Support for the design agency and client (calls, screen shares and support calls) throughout the project, as well as ongoing client support.

Consistent Payment Provider

A Blackbaud Payment Services gateway for WooCommerce, allowing customers to pay using Blackbaud-provided payment systems. This has proven very reliable and allowed a consistent finance provider to be used for the majority of MS Trust’s philanthropic income. This in turn has simplified the reconciliation process for MS Trust’s finance and fundraising teams.

Gathering Gift Aid

A solution for Gift Aid records, something which Blackbaud themselves do not yet support with RENXT.

Seamless data integration to Raiser’s Edge

Sitting at the heart of the solution, SmartSYNC enabled a seamless integration and provided the flexibility required to fulfil all of the functional requirements needed by MS Trust.

The process diagram and images below show how SmartSYNC manipulates and maps the incoming order data from WooCommerce before it is sent to Raisers’ Edge NXT.

SmartSYNC data flow for MS Trust

By using SmartSYNC’s intuitive UI (pictured below), the SmartTHING team built a data flow for MS Trust comprising 14 steps. 

The flow allowed for the splitting of WooCommerce orders into related funds, campaigns and appeals in Raiser’s Edge. It also intelligently checked for duplicates and added Constituent Codes and educational information where required. 

The data integration and automation provided by SmartSYNC has simplified and rationalised multiple processes allowing MS Trust to focus on user experience.

The Results

Increase in Christmas card orders
0 %
Double the amount of donations
x 0
Data captured for digital downloads
Gifts processed
MS Trust


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