Why Salesforce is perfect for humanitarian organizations

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By: Rob Jordan | 4.3.19

Our experience has revealed a predictability in an otherwise very unpredictable industry. What we have come to recognize is that there are four clear solutions required for humanitarian organizations and those solutions can be addressed within the Salesforce platform: Community, Funding, Communications, and Relief efforts.


First, the use of Salesforce Communities for your constituents.

Salesforce Communities are branded spaces for your employees, internal and external constituents (from volunteers to members to donors), and partners to communicate freely with each other. The result is faster dissemination of information which will save time and ultimately lives.

This includes but is not limited to:

  • Knowledge share: For Organization/Program memory, Stop working in silos.

  • Help desk: Providing help quickly and efficiently

  • Document share: From anywhere in the world

  • Chat rooms: For Interprogram communication

  • Surveys: To learn and listen to your stakeholders

  • Event management: To organize events easily

  • Engagement reporting: To show the REAL value your program efforts

  • Mobile access: For remote field access and mobile capacity

  • Offline and online: For sporadic internet and cell access

These and other features can be represented within a “walled garden” allowing your partners and stakeholders to share information (notes, documents, Q&A etc.) freely, privately and securely within sub-geographies or thematic groups. What’s more is that you can track this exchange of information, measuring the strengths and weaknesses of your community allowing you to calibrate what’s working and remove what’s not.

Unlike most platforms Salesforce expands far beyond CRM which allows you to address your external stakeholders just as effectively as your internal staff.


Second, fund intake, distribution and general CRM.

Salesforce can track your incoming gifts (through Nonprofit Cloud) as well as your outgoing gifts (through foundationConnect). This is an enormously powerful combination which permits you to see your entire gifting efforts from front to back. You may begin with out-of-the-box solutions such as foundationConnect and Nonprofit Cloud but the real strength of Salesforce is that it allows you to make fully customized solutions should your funding efforts not fit common practice.

This can be particularly helpful for:

  • Small grant programs

  • Grant and fundraising reporting

  • General Contact Relationship Management

  • Integration with Gmail or Outlook


Third, communication.

You must be able to communicate to your constituents in mass and send them the information they need quickly while tracking their engagement.  Whether you are looking for full marketing automation like Pardot or a simple mass email solution, Salesforce can integrate effectively while giving you the reports you need to evaluate your effectiveness.

Ultimately you will have a deeper insight into what your constituents care about, which will help you deepen your relationships with key constituents. Newsletter correspondence is a starting point, but to really become a modern nonprofit it is essential that you can:

  • Track click rates and content engagement

  • Segment audiences based on engagement and value to your organization

  • Alert key staff when personal follow-up will be most effective

  • Gather interest through web forms that integrate with your CRM

  • Report on the impact of your campaigns


Finally, the ability to customize!

Whether your mission is centered around refugees, disaster relief, poverty, or something else entirely, Salesforce can track and manage data associated to your specific operational efforts. The result is the ability to:

  • Catalog success stories.

  • Measure and report on past performance.

  • Predict future performance.

  • Build organizational memory.

  • Track and manage personnel.

  • Track and manage project resources.

  • Collect the data needed for future proposals!

It is important to note that most humanitarian programs are distinctly different. Salesforce’s customization capability is unlike any platform.

If you have a special need, Idealist Consulting can build it. The result is knowledge management that will help you enhance your proposal writing efforts by tracking and cataloging successes so you can scale your mission and share what you have learned while showing clear return for your mission efforts. This simply translates into more time and resources focused in furthering your mission!


Ready to talk about Salesforce and your humanitarian organization?

If you would like to learn more about how Salesforce can support your humanitarian organization, reach out to us using the button below.


Let’s Talk


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