Can Salesforce.com help your charity?

Matt Moorut | 5th Mar 14

Enhancing collaboration whilst increasing productivity is today a top agenda item for many charities and other non-profit organisations across the UK.

With so many systems out there, it is difficult to determine which one is right for your organisational culture and which one will have the optimal impact on core charitable activities.

For this reason, a growing number of organisations are turning to Salesforce.com to not only enhance internal collaboration and customer relationship management, but to underpin the management of fundraising, volunteering, donors, campaigns, events and many other functions that traditionally take place in disparate systems.

The thing to remember is Salesforce.com is much more than a CRM tool. It provides a secure, cloud-based platform that optimises internal processes and transforms the way third sector organisations manage core activities by bringing together features that empower your workforce and intuitively present information in dashboards and reports for easy access to vital insights.

Charities such as Samaritans, RNIB and ACEVO have already implemented Salesforce.com and are using it successfully to manage a wide range of activities that support their organisational objectives within the feature rich platform.

However, getting to grips with all the potential applications and benefits of Salesforce.com can prove interesting. With that in mind, here are our top three pieces of advice for any charity embarking on the process:

1. Don’t go it alone

Engaging the services of an organisation that specialise in charity CRM platforms can save considerable amounts of time and money. You will receive expert advice on how to tailor the Salesforce.com platform for the specific needs of your organisation and how to harness maximum benefit from your deployment.

CloudSymphony, a leading Salesforce.com partner, is one such company that has built a credible pedigree and has already helped many charities successfully implement Salesforce.com for the better. CloudSymphony has designed a QuickStart programme which is crafted to get non-profit organisations up and running with Salesforce.com against a defined budget and project scope within just five days.View an overview of the five-day process here.

As a Salesforce.com Partner, CloudSymphony’s expertise provides non-profit organisations with an ability to shape the platform around their business and scale it as and when needed.

2. Utilise charity concessions

The Salesforce Foundation provides an initial 10 licence donation and steep discounts on all future licences and products to qualified not-for-profits. Enterprise edition Salesforce is exactly the same for anyone who uses it – so a charity using donated licences will get exactly the same features and support as a for-profit organisation paying full price.

3. Remember your users are key

There is no point installing a powerful new enterprise solution if your staff don’t know how to make the best use of it. Include your staff in understanding the requirements of the organisation and make sure the supplier understands the overall objectives of the business.

Staff training should be an integral part of your implementation planning so that future users of the system don’t feel alienated or overwhelmed by the new technology.

If you do opt to have a specialist consultant assist you with implementation, make sure that they offer a comprehensive training service as part of the package. CloudSymphony’s five-day QuickStart programme includes a whole day’s full on-site training for all users and system administrators –find out more here.

As organisations continue to evolve, technology should be able to enhance their ability to serve their purpose and fuel their missions with greater ease and transparency. Salesforce.com is proving to be the tool of choice for non-profit organisations seeking to future proof their organisations and utilise technology for good. With the right implementation partner, the sky is the limit for any non-profit organisation wishing to exploit the power of cloud based technologies.