Posts Tagged ‘Beth Kanter’

3 ways Salesforce can fundamentally transform your nonprofit operation

As a nonprofit, why would you need a “sales” database and a customer relationship management software solution? CRM software, such as Salesforce, and integrated technologies can help you not just run your organization more quickly and effectively, but also help you grow and sustain relationships.

Simplify your operation – and make your life easier – by consolidating processes

Tal Frankfurt, founder and CEO of Cloud for Good, shared a personal anecdote with Beth Kanter, author of Beth’s Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media, that captures what nonprofit life may look like for many in the sector: As a nonprofit resource manager, he inherited a hodgepodge of project management and data-management tools, ranging from Excel to Constant Contact.

The result? A vast, unruly donor database that gave the organization very little actionable insight into their constituent relationships. Sounds like quite the headache.

Using the Salesforce Foundation’s philanthropic model (allowing a number of free Salesforce licenses), Frankfurt was able to not only consolidate data using Salesforce, but track every donor interaction as well – giving them an “institutional memory,” enabling personal communication with a diverse range of constituents.

Instead of spending time maintaining parallel databases and interacting with multiple interfaces, Salesforce empowered stakeholders to spend more time nurturing relationships. By no stretch of the imagination, Frankfurt’s organization doubled its donation-related income within the first year.

Crowdfund your own campaign without the scary cost

Groundwork Opportunities (GO), a nonprofit charity that invests in health care, education and environmental ideas, seeks out leaders in neglected communities around the globe and provides them the support they need to bring their ideas to life.

According to Bart Skorupa, GO’s executive director, crowdfunding platforms were originally used to raise funds online, which was OK – at least at first.

During one of their first projects, as outlined in a Salesforce Foundation e-book, GO raised $12,000 for a biogas plant in Uganda. The drawback? Crowdfunding platforms charge fees – and depending on how much money you raise, those fees could be significant. Very significant.

By using <a  data-cke-saved-href=By using Salesforce, nonprofits become stronger and more focused.

“So suddenly we owed $850 for the privilege of using the platform,” Skorupa cited. “We thought at that point, how hard would it be to build our own crowdfunding platform?”

GO learned that, utilizing Salesforce‘s campaign feature, it didn’t need to use crowdfunding to receive donations. Instead, the nonprofit could run its own crowdfunded campaign directly from its site – without fees – by connecting the site with the CRM via a simple data bridge. That meant more of the money raised would go toward the causes it was intended for instead of supporting a third-party crowdfunding platform. Sounds like a win to us.

There are many integration tools available to nonprofits to streamline and automate Salesforce operations. Some solutions involve complex coding challenges that nonprofits may not be suited to tackle or have the budget for which to pay. Luckily, platforms like Soapbox Engage exist so you can easily create and build online engagement tools that integrate with Salesforce at a nonprofit-friendly price.

Ignite cultural shifts across your organization

Another successful tale of Salesforce CRM adoption comes from Hopeworks ‘N Camden, a nonprofit that introduces technological solutions and training to at-risk youth living in Camden, New Jersey.

According to Hopeworks N’ Camden Executive Director Rev. Jeff Puthoff, the No. 1 benefit of switching to a Salesforce CRM is the meaningful engagement it makes possible with constituents, as cited in the Salesforce Foundation e-book.

Before, Puthoff said his staff used an Excel spreadsheet, which was time-consuming to update. Nor could it track specific information. Puthoff explained this disorganization made it difficult to locate information, much less use it effectively.

Not anymore.

Now much of the organization’s operation is automated, pushing volunteers to new levels of engagement. Surprisingly, however, something else began happening, too.

Using Salesforce’s Chatter feature, employees began to communicate much more effectively with one another, increasing collaboration and sharing.

“Chatter is ultimately a cultural change,” Puthoff said. “It’s about understanding data, and defining opportunities, and grasping the importance of transparency and power structures. It’s a new kind of stream, much different from email, and learning how to use it can take some time…Culturally, as an organization, we need to understand that we have relationships with each of our volunteers, our donors, our trainees, and those relationships need to be managed with care. Salesforce and Chatter are helping us do that.”

Employing Chatter, Puthoff and his team organized a “reduce the murder rate” campaign. By sharing information and data across the organization, the nonprofit was able to successfully campaign an effort to combat the city’s murder rate.

Be it consolidating data, making data more actionable and flexible to the needs of your nonprofit or igniting a shift toward a more socially engaged organizational culture, Salesforce is a powerful ally when it comes to nonprofit management. And everyone needs allies.