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Highlight on Salesforce Experience Cloud: Thread and The Mission Continues

8.20.15 By: Kirsten Kippen

Although their missions and systems differ, our clients Thread and The Mission Continues (TMC) were both able to improve efficiency and user experience with Salesforce Experience Cloud.

Thread is a Baltimore-based nonprofit that engages underperforming high school students confronting barriers outside of the classroom by providing each one with a team of committed volunteers and increased access to community resources. The Mission Continues empowers veterans facing the challenge of adjusting to life at home by redeploying them to serve on projects within their home communities.

Before: Thread

Before moving to Salesforce, Thread was using Google docs heavily. They tracked information about students and volunteers, how students were doing in school and programs, report card information, and which events they attended. They also logged interactions between students and volunteers, managed the onboarding process of new volunteers, and tracked any info that would be helpful for placing students. It’s not difficult to imagine how this got unmanageable quickly.

Before: The Mission Continues

Similarly, TMC was using a “wide variety of tools that didn’t talk to each other,” says Brian Wilson, the National Service Platoon manager at TMC. Volunteer platoon leaders used Google sheets and communicated through personal email regarding new volunteers, platoon rosters, and events. This gave them a lot of versatility, but no consistency, and if they needed more data or support they had to contact TMC staff.

“We could never give an accurate count of how many events happened in the past or forecast toward the future,” says Wilson.

For both nonprofits, it was clear that a centralized system was needed.

Goals: Thread

In moving to Salesforce, Thread wanted to be able to look at all of their data together. Their three goals for moving to Salesforce were:

  1. Simplified data reporting

  2. Performance management for staff and volunteers

  3. Streamlined data analysis


Idealist Consulting built a custom interface (starting with the Nonprofit Starter Pack as a basis) to collect event attendance much more quickly than Thread could have otherwise. This way, they can access their information with ease and data entry is painless for users.

Now: Event follow-up and new data entry takes minutes instead of hours.

There are a lot of future possibilities for managing the student and volunteer population now that Thread is getting used to managing their data in Salesforce. “The great thing is, this is mostly just a question of what the front end looks like: we know our back end data management through Salesforce is solid,” says Nelson. Any Experience Cloud manager will tell you that it is key to develop strategy and user guidelines before launching Experience Cloud to your entire organization. Thread is starting small by using Experience Cloud to share graphs about volunteers and students, and sees great potential for using it more heavily in their performance management strategy moving forward.

Goals: TMC

Although TMC was already using Salesforce, they weren’t using it to the best of its abilities. They needed to refine their overall organizational processes and tease out access rules. Their goals for integrating Experience Cloud included:

  1. Better participant tracking with automated reporting

  2. Easy management of events and attendees

  3. Permissions that allow volunteers to access the information they need

Takeaway: Salesforce has helped TMC manage platoon teams and tag people at events as a team leader. Later, when TMC pulls reports about events, they can easily see how many times an individual has led, and will reach out to thank them accordingly. Wilson appreciates that it gives them, “ real data instead of anecdotal hunches.”  By being able to access the events in real time, participants don’t have to go through a long application process; this inclusive and user-friendly system ultimately results in a higher level of engagement.

Now: Everyone at TMC is loving the move to Experience Cloud for event management, and has found the transition to be fairly intuitive. To help with user adoption, TMC created desktop video trainings and did some Google Hangout sessions to show platoon leaders how to put an event in the system.

“For us, the best proof point is that one of our platoon members could input a brand new event in just eight minutes, after less than one hour of training,” says Wilson.

To read the full case studies for The Mission Continues, Thread, and explore how other clients solved problems large and small with CRM, check out our page of client success stories. Going to Dreamforce? Join us and The Mission Continues for a demo of their Experience Cloud Wednesday 9/16.

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