Cancer-fighting nonprofit launches with strong foundation built on Click & Pledge and Salesforce

By: Partner | 5.5.16

The original version of this Success Story was created by Click & Pledge. Learn more about them here.

Much like starting a business, launching a nonprofit is a huge task. Financially, emotionally, and mentally, there’s a lot to coordinate before opening your doors and making a difference in the world. Getting these systems in place early is essential; they’re what keep you running and organized as your organization picks up speed.

HeritX is a new nonprofit focused on preventing inherited cancers. Their primary goal is to prevent cancers caused by the BRCA genes, which indicate an increased risk of developing breast, ovarian, prostate, pancreatic, or skin cancers.  What sets HeritX apart from other cancer research institutes is their perspective; they look at the field differently:

“We are looking at it differently, with a plan to transform the current medical research system that works in specialized silos, by connecting scientists and innovators from different fields, the public and private research sectors, and together focus – from the start – on a path to an available medical prevention for inherited BRCA cancers.” 

Focusing research on how mutations in specific genes cause cancer and detecting the earliest changes provides the opportunity for interventions that could prevent the development of these cancers. “We believe that BRCA cancer offers a unique opportunity for cancer prevention,” explains Morris. “We are looking for preventative options that leave people healthy and whole.”

With such an important mission, Joi L. Morris, the General Counsel and Senior VP of Alliances at HeritX, wanted to avoid any pitfalls when she was launching the nonprofit. In the early days of their development, it was critical for HeritX to immediately capture not only payment and donor information, but also data necessary for the cultivation of relationships with constituents and partners. Click & Pledge and Salesforce helped HeritX accomplish this by paving their way to simplicity and success.

Getting It Right from The Beginning

HeritX’s mission requires financial support and community connections; building relationships with donors, constituents, and researches are integral to establishing a foundation in the research and advocacy space. Of course, tracking these relationships and donations requires software and staff time. HeritX started off using Excel but quickly realized that they needed a more robust technology solution.

After months of research, the HeritX staff decided it wanted to begin with Salesforce, a CRM that unifies every interaction with clients, supporters, researchers, members, volunteers, and staff. After interviewing three different Salesforce implementation partners, they decided that Idealist Consulting was the best fit to get them up and running on the platform. During the initial scoping process, Idealist Consulting recommended Click & Pledge.

Click & Pledge Donation Forms Essential to a Successful Launch

After getting to know HeritX’s needs and starting work on their Salesforce implementation, Idealist Consulting’s Jo Ann Lewis suggested they also integrate Click & Pledge for payment processing. “HeritX was headed to an historic conference that would be attended by researchers, industry professionals, and potential donors,” recalls Lewis. “So they needed to have a platform ready to collect donations as well as any information relevant to valuable contacts.” Lewis recommended Click & Pledge because of the low transaction fees, customizability of the platform, and ease of integration with Salesforce.

“There is a predefined interface between Salesforce and Click & Pledge,” Lewis explains. “Because HeritX was able to choose two tools that were already designed to work together, they were able to go to the conference and have the tools in place to capture donations and data.”

Firm Technical Foundations Lead to Strong Start

A strong early setup was critical to HeritX’s initial growth and success. Not only were they able to collect donations and data at the conference, but HeritX was also able to launch a fully functional website by their predetermined deadline. HeritX was focused on having a customized donation form that blended well with their website, and they didn’t have to wait for the form to be completed in order to launch. They started with ‘out-of-the-box’ donation and checkout pages provided by Click & Pledge: “It made a huge difference for us as a new nonprofit to have an online presence from the beginning,” says Morris.

Additionally, Morris is happy with integration between Click & Pledge and Salesforce. “It’s incredibly easy how everything just flows from Click & Pledge automatically into Salesforce,” says Morris. “Click & Pledge gives us the ability to not only accept a wide variety of donations online securely, but it also makes the recordkeeping that goes with it completely seamless.”

Morris reiterates that having these solutions in place from the beginning has been a tremendous benefit:  “We chose Salesforce and Click & Pledge in part because we needed to be efficient.  But more important is our ability to build relationships with our donors and track them over time.  Salesforce and Click & Pledge offered that to us in a way that no other solution could,” she says.

“I think starting with Salesforce and Click & Pledge has saved us a lot of the growing pains my colleagues in other nonprofits have experienced.”

Reprinted with permission from Click & Pledge.



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