I’ve come to realize that Salesforce.com appears in the most unlikely places. On weekends I spend time volunteering at Strongwater Farm, a therapeutic horseback riding facility in Tewksbury, MA. Back in January I happened to be talking to their Director of Operations, Patti, about what I do for work. When I mentioned that I was a Salesforce Consultant she immediately told me that Strongwater Farm was using the Salesforce nonprofit starter pack, but that unfortunately it wasn’t being utilized properly. It struck me that this could be a perfect Cervello Connects project where we could really make a difference.
Our first step was to sit down with Strongwater Farm’s office manager, Nancy to talk with her about the pain points within the system. We found four main areas of frustration.
• Strongwater Farm relies heavily on volunteers and tracking their information is key to success. However, information was stored in multiple places (excel, outlook) and needed to be captured in one centralized location – Salesforce.
• The ability to track and report on donations and grants outside of spreadsheets would be beneficial as they were currently slipping into spreadsheet hell.
• Mass mailings were often sent to multiple volunteers living at the same address so limiting this to one piece per mailing address was ideal.
• Salesforce had been configured by an employee that was no longer with the farm and therefore no one else had a good understanding of how to use it.
When we started reviewing Strongwater Farm’s Salesforce org we found a couple of glaring issues: many contacts had incorrect information or were duplicated, and their instance of the Salesforce nonprofit starter pack was several versions behind and the settings were not configured. In general, the record types, page layouts, etc. did not capture relevant data. We took the following actions to configure the system to Strongwater Farm’s needs.
• The Contact object received a cleanup of page layouts and some brand new custom fields were added to capture relevant information.
• A de-duplication effort was a great start to help with Strongwater’s dirty data issue. The next step was a coordinated update to the Contact and Household records to include all volunteers, riders, donors, etc.
• The Donation object (essentially the opportunity object) got a facelift to follow the different processes necessary to capture donation and grant information. We then configured the payment object from the nonprofit starter pack to record payment information.
• The campaign object for the nonprofit starter pack has a great way to de-duplicate household addresses in order to only send one mailing per household. However the settings had to be configured to point to the appropriate report.
• Once the system was configured we sat with Nancy to run through the different routines making adjustments when the wording or layout didn’t fit with her processes. Most importantly, we created a user manual so that our process is documented, easy to follow, and will not lead to confusion in the future no matter who uses the system!
This project was extremely rewarding and fun. I am grateful that Cervello gives us the opportunity to give back to the community through Cervello Connects. Who knows what the next Cervello Connects project might be, mucking stalls anyone?
POSTED BY: Carter Sartell