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How NPSP Helped Empowerment Plan Find More Donors

7.2.20 By: Luis Sevilla

The Objective

Empowerment Plan not only gives women and men from shelters in the Detroit area a job but the tools and the skills they need to lead a successful career and break the poverty cycle. The nonprofit teaches participants in the program sewing and manufacturing skills to produce coats that also function as sleeping bags. Those coats are then purchased and donated to homeless individuals throughout the United States, Canada, and 18 different countries.

Empowerment Plan has had Salesforce since 2013 but knew they weren’t utilizing it to its full potential. They came to Idealist Consulting to optimize their data and implement NPSP so that they can better track donors and increase their funding.


The Problem

Although they've been long time users of Salesforce, Hailey McInnis, Special Projects Coordinator at Empowerment Plan, explained that they were using it at a basic level for their complex processes. 

Unlike many nonprofits, Empowerment Plan has two main sources of funding: coat sponsors and donations. Salesforce acted as a container in which they stored the data they gathered. Data was organized through basic bucket accounts, which didn’t provide a complete picture of what was happening. Coat purchases end up in one account, and donors fall into another.

The unorganized data made reporting impractical because it produced inaccurate numbers, and it didn’t provide any new insights or information. This made it difficult for staff to engage donors, and also to project coat sales.


The Solution

Empowerment Plan always knew that eventually, they would need to make the transition to NPSP, but it was just a matter of time and money. After receiving a tech grant and acquiring a large enough staff to use NPSP to its full capacity, Empowerment Plan reached out to Idealist Consulting to implement NPSP and clean up its data.

To ensure that Empowerment Plan could use NPSP to its fullest potential, one of Idealist Consulting’s consultants trained the staff that would be using Salesforce. The team learned how to produce valuable reports, create useful dashboards, and fix problems themselves that could arise with Salesforce.

Idealist Consulting’s experience working with nonprofits helped them understand what Empowerment Plan needed from Salesforce to create a greater impact and fulfill their mission.


The Result

The results were easy to see once NPSP went live, data was clean, and training of the Empowerment Plan team was complete. Prospects and contacts were no longer in a few bucket accounts. Instead, they were neatly organized by organizations and households.

“Pulling accurate reports, organizing data effectively, and tracking donors is now possible. We can reach out to donors we would’ve never known to reach out to,” said McInnis. By strategically engaging donors on a deeper level with the new data from Salesforce, they are now bringing in more revenue and securing funds they would have missed out on before. 

In the future, Empowerment Plan plans to expand their use of Salesforce to track their programs. That will allow them to measure their impact, which will then give them hard numbers to apply to more grants.


In Their Words

“Nothing was consistent, our data, or our outreach. It was all over the map. Now, being able to run consistent numbers, and being able to reach out on a consistent basis is huge for us,” said McInnis.


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