How Friends Publishing Corporation made the move to Salesforce
Friends Publishing Corporation is a print and digital magazine publisher dedicated to communicating Quaker experiences in order to connect and deepen spiritual lives. Based in Philadelphia with a staff of eight and the assistance of volunteers and interns, the organization has readership in all 50 states and 43 countries, as well as a YouTube project, QuakerSpeak, with 2 million views and counting.
Friends Publishing Corporation came to Idealist Consulting to help them migrate their business data and processes to Salesforce and customize their instance.
After a decade of using disparate, siloed systems, Friends Publishing Corporation began searching for a new way to handle their donations, subscriptions, and advertising management. They chose Salesforce for the ability to see a 360-degree view of their constituents.
But once they had Salesforce licenses donated through the Power of Us program, they needed to find a partner and begin planning how Salesforce would work for them.
“We did a lot of research on firms, locally [in Philadelphia] and nationally, and one of the things that brought me back to Idealist Consulting was their contribution back to the nonprofit and conscious for-profit sector. [The] team was really aligned with the kind of impact we were trying to make with our constituents. [They] had the capabilities that we needed for this project,” said Executive Director Gabriel Ehri.
After Idealist Consulting was chosen, we got to work migrating data from their disparate systems. Their main goal was to combine their business processes into a single package. They accomplished this through an intensive migration process.
“We decided that given the size of the project, we would allocate six months for the implementation start to finish. We knew it would be a lot of work. It was touching every function of our organization—all the data about our customers. We wanted to bring that into Salesforce so that we could work and collaborate with it. That meant a lot of people were involved on our side. Seven of our staff were all working hard in different functions for this, to make sure it worked for all of us,” said Ehri.
In addition to migrating them onto Salesforce, Idealist Consulting also built out custom Lightning Flows to ensure processes were kept in Salesforce, as well as web form, e-signature, document automation, and payment processing integrations to make it easier to grow their online business while keeping their overhead controlled and reducing their environmental impact.
Now Friends Publishing Corporation can track their ad sales and subscriptions start to finish, and use their data to drive engagement and achieve better communication with their constituents. Using Salesforce Lightning, they are able to easily perform in their roles and keep their data clean and up-to-date.
In their words:
“Exciting and somewhat terrifying, we have been live since March. We cut ourselves off cold-turkey from legacy databases. We decided we’d only transact in Salesforce. We knew there would be a learning curve, even though we all participated in user acceptance testing and training. We knew we’d feel stretched, but what I really like is that when we find problems or things we want to solve, and we fix them, they stay fixed. It’s just going to keep getting better and better for us. The more we use it and work with Idealist Consulting to fine-tune it, we really feel like we are going to get something very functional for us. The investment collectively and individually is really going to make us much more productive and efficient in the future,” said Ehri.
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