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From Using Salesforce Experience Cloud to Building It

12.3.19 By: Luis Sevilla

Recently, we’ve seen nonprofits using Salesforce Experience Cloud in innovative ways. Our very own Rochelle Currier, a Solution Architect who specializes in Experience Cloud, actually got their start through managing one at a nonprofit. They were fortunate to be at a nonprofit that creatively used Communities. The creative thinking and problem solving involved in using and maintaining a Salesforce Experience Cloud helped shape their career and led them to become a trailblazing Solution Architect. We talked with Rochelle to learn about their start and why they think Salesforce Experience Cloud is a great solution to help nonprofits create a greater impact.


Starting Out With Salesforce Experience Cloud

Rochelle’s first taste of Salesforce Experience Cloud was at a HealthLeads: a nonprofit that connects medical patients with resources that a doctor wouldn’t provide but that could affect one’s health. Those resources would include things like housing, childcare, and transportation. The nonprofit used a customized Salesforce Experience Cloud to manage the connection between resources and patients. Though Rochelle didn't build the Experience Cloud directly, they took part in the initial user testing and Salesforce configuration for deployment. Later, Rochelle ended up managing the Experience Cloud and even built a sub-Exprience Cloud when the need arose. By working with Experience Cloud, they saw the potential of the tool, and that there were a lot of creative ways to leverage it.


From Experience Cloud Manager to Salesforce Architect

The experience Rochelle gained at that nonprofit shaped their career in a big way. “Unlike most Salesforce products where the interface is mostly pre-determined, Experience Cloud is blank canvas. Building and maintaining Experience Cloud is almost like building and maintaining a website: it’s highly customizable, and you can make it do a lot,” they explain. 

Working with Experience Cloud has helped them learn to consider different perspectives, ask the right questions, figure out the best user interface, and think like a business analyst. Those critical thinking and creative problem-solving skills are an essential part of the work they do now. It taught them how to think at a high level and determine how every decision they make will affect a user. Their Introduction to Communities, along with technical training resources like Trailheads, has led their career to where they are now: a Solution Architect who enables nonprofits to create a bigger impact.


How are Nonprofits Using Experience Cloud?

Rochelle has been a part of Idealist Consulting for some time now, and has seen Exprience Cloud become more popular and intuitive to use. They had worked with multiple nonprofits to build their Experience Cloud and seen organizations use this resource in many innovative ways.

Member portals are a great use case of Expriece Cloud. Rochelle helped build Nonprofit New York’s Exprience Cloud that connects nonprofit organizations through an online portal with resources, consulting, and a user forum. Nonprofit New York’s mission is to create a community and network of nonprofit professionals to help and support each other— Salesforce Exprience Cloud plays a vital part in making that happen.

Another nonprofit that Rochelle helped build a Salesforce Exprience Cloud for is one that runs school programs to help kids get the physical activity they need to help them mentally and physically. They use their Salesforce community to provide schools and volunteers in remote locations with resources and a knowledge repository. Volunteers at different schools use it to track programs, registration, and students.

The most creative way Rochelle has seen Salesforce Exprience Cloud used is at the nonprofit they used to work at. They had two unique features that stood out. First, they maintained a database of resources to aid the patients they served, including links to maps. Second, they connected an app to send SMS messages, letting them communicate directly with community members. This allowed them to connect with the community with methods they were already familiar with. 

Overall Rochelle says the more standard use case for Salesforce Experience Cloud is for knowledge repositories, forums, and viewing and editing Salesforce data. But as you just read, with some creative thinking, they can do much more than what you think.


Why Should Your Organization Use Experience Cloud?

According to Rochelle, there are two things that make Experience Cloud great. First, it gives people who do not work for the organization the chance to interact with you and allows for a more holistic collaboration for nonprofits. Second, because Experience Cloud is so customizable, you have control of who uses it and ensuring an easy user experience. You get to decide if it’s for members, volunteers, board members, the public, or whoever is best suited to use Experience Cloud. It all depends on what works best to leverage your nonprofit’s mission and impact.

Nonprofits large and small can get a lot from Experience Cloud. The only thing Rochelle thinks is necessary from a nonprofit is an internal investment: at least one person has to adopt and market the Community. No past experience is required because free learning resources, like Trailheads, are available online. They need to be interested enough to be willing to put some time to learn and maintain the community. 

Rochelle compared Salesforce Experience Cloud to a plant. If it’s set up well, then all you have to worry about is setting aside some time each week to make sure it gets what it needs. 


Want to Know More About Experience Cloud?

Contact us and we’ll help you connect with an expert like Rochelle to help bring your Salesforce Experience to life.


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