For many nonprofits fundraising is not just a means of raising critical funds, but also a way to promote the message and goals of a charity. Given enough time and capital, a charity has the potential to go global with engagement, ensuring the organization can continue support its cause; for example, funding research. What can get in the way of potential lifechanging funding? Operations that aren’t consistently streamlined. This is where Salesforce can be a powerful tool in constituent management; with more importantly, the right training.
Salesforce has earned its place as one of the most comprehensive CRM software options on the market. A popular solution for for-profit businesses, many nonprofits tend to fall into the belief that because of their specific needs, it may not be the right fit – fortunately, that’s not true! Salesforce.org Nonprofit Cloud is the only complete platform for nonprofits. It’s the only platform that gives you a 360-degree view of an organization’s mission, and is the only platform built with a community of over 30,000 trailblazers. Its program allows users to deepen constituent relationships, deliver better programs, and accelerate its transformation into a connected nonprofit. A great example of its possibilities was established by DaizyLogik client, PATH, and case study: Understand Your Stakeholders: A Case Study in Agile Salesforce CRM Planning; specifically with client lead, Catherine Endicott. Catherine came into the project with no prior Salesforce CRM experience, but as an experienced fundraising professional. Our team worked alongside her and the PATH team throughout the project to drive the migration of the organization fundraising data and processes from Donor Perfect Online to Salesforce CRM.
Now, two years later, Catherine has not only grown more confident in her use of Salesforce CRM but, has started helping others in the community by sharing some of the practices that our team helped put in place at PATH. Don’t just take our word for it though, please allow Catherine to explain herself in our recent customer review, below.
[DaizyLogik]: Having worked in the nonprofit sector, what was your biggest challenge in constituent management?
[Catherine Endicott]: “I think the biggest challenge is just getting started in the first place – Being committed to the initial work of the users both understanding and articulating their business process, then getting everyone using the system cohesively is the end goal, but most importantly is having organization leadership lead the way – with training.”
From my own observation and experience, investing in backend systems is hard for them [nonprofits/organizations] to do because it’s not usually funded and employees are highly skilled at creating workarounds because they are simply used to not having the resources. All of those teams eventually reach their breaking point where if leadership doesn’t invest, the subordinate teams simply can’t do their work. It is imperative that leadership make the decision that it’s fundamental in completing their mission.
It’s linear, the leadership needs the insight as to why these services are the best to complete the mission, and then prioritize it into their budget. Being able to articulate that to leadership is also a problem in the industry as a whole. If they don’t believe systems like Salesforce are necessary, then it trickles down to affecting the mission. Once it’s a priority, and the organization receives the proper funding, can the mission be complete.
[DaizyLogik]: Since being introduced, and now trained in Salesforce CRM, what is the most important advice you can give other nonprofit teams?
[Catherine Endicott]: Make sure however Salesforce is going to be implemented – that it is accurately used via proper training; make sure everyone understands the ins-and-outs, and that each stage of the process is managed properly.
If an organization doesn’t invest the time to train, its launch will be a failure, period. It’s at the end of training when you’ll see the benefit of the systems.
Also, prepare for the future. Whoever is the lead of the division you are implementing the software [marketing/sales, etc.] needs to be prepared to train future employees. Turnover is inevitable, so you must have a seamless onboarding process.
[DaizyLogik]: How has [Salesforce CRM] training through DaizyLogik changed PATH operations compared to DPO [Donor Perfect Online]? Was having a consultant both train and support the transition important, and if so, how?
[Catherine Endicott]: The two are really different systems – Donor Perfect was out of the box where we didn’t really have to have someone trained in IT but\it was also limited in function. All Salesforce training was done internally with Daizy Logik, a company that knows the product ins-and-outs, and is conscientious of what the client needs. The DaizyLogik team gave us the tools necessary to not only learn the system, but were able to assist in all future needs by anticipating our hurdles.
[DaizyLogik]: What are the pitfalls of learning and managing your data and processes in the new system and how they can be avoided?
[Catherine Endicott]: DaizyLogik has an excellent depth in IT, and have worked with a lot of nonprofits, the variety may be different, but their specialty remains the same.
A piece of advice I can give in regards to avoiding pitfalls is to focus on bringing it to your clients effectively. The product is always changing/developing, and by staying on top of the technology is the best way to succeed. Continue to learn.
[DaizyLogik]: You are now giving back to the community by participating in the Power of Us Hub Office Hours and mentoring other Salesforce nonprofit users, which is fantastic! What piece(s) of advice is most important to you to pass along to new users?
[Catherine Endicott]: Set a goal for yourself! For instance, learn everything you can about campaigns, and then set tangible attainable goals. It’s easy to get distracted. Reach out to the community, don’t be afraid to ask, we all want to help! It’s a virtual community and there is a value there – we are a bridge between IT and boots on the ground. If you surround yourself with different strengths you can utilize that. Embrace your weakness, and then work on them.
[DaizyLogik]: Do you recommend that most nonprofits hire a consultant such as DaizyLogik to manage and support CRM transition training?
[Catherine Endicott]: Absolutely. Just make sure your organization has budgeted for it and is prepared by breaking down your needs in three stages… first, the assessment where they outline needs, design, implementation; and then second the launch; and thirdly training.
As a consultant, know how to market – and as an organization break that apart, stick to your budget and realize what you can’t do – and that’s where you can hire a consultant.
An assessment is the most important. If you get this wrong it’s going to be more expensive on the other side.
For CRM transition training to be effective – you have to know the organization can own the training, handle it, and prepare for the future.
PATH is an international nonprofit organization and the leader in global health innovation. They accelerate innovation across five platforms – vaccines, drugs, diagnostics, devices, and system and service innovations – that harness their entrepreneurial insight, scientific and public health expertise, and passion for health equity. They mobilize partners around the world and work alongside countries primarily in Africa and Asia to tackle their greatest health needs.
We encourage you to learn more about PATH’s global impact on their website.
PATH Project Background
PATH has grown substantially over the past decade, more than tripling their operating budget to more than $300M in 2016. About 97% of their funding comes from foundation and government sources, with relationships managed by the 25-person philanthropic development department of the Global Engagement (GE) division at PATH. This team had been using Donor Perfect Online (DPO) since 2009, in combination with Cvent for event management, but began the process of converting its legacy awards tracking system to Salesforce in 2010. Team members continued to use systems such as Cvent and Campaign Monitor, but these systems are not yet integrated into Salesforce. Teams at PATH, including some teams within the Global Engagement division, had increasingly used Salesforce to manage compliance and realized business efficiencies over the past few years, but without much consistency.
The goal of this project was to streamline the use of Salesforce as a true CRM across the Global Engagement division at PATH, and eventually across all of PATH, utilizing shared business processes wherever possible. Through this effort, PATH used the framework for cross-department collaboration on complex fundraising proposals and relationship management.