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Oregon Public Broadcasting

Optimizing membership capabilities with strategic system migration.

The Mission

Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB)’s mission is to connect people across Oregon and the Pacific Northwest through the power of a shared story. In pursuit of this mission, OPB produces a diverse array of original programming across television, radio, and digital platforms, covering topics ranging from local news and investigative reporting to arts, culture, and the environment. As a nationally recognized leader in public media, OPB aims to provide essential news, information, and entertainment that enriches lives and strengthens communities.

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The Problem

The Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) team was using Salesforce’s NGO Connect (NGOC). With the NGOC product’s end of life approaching, OPB sought a new system to better support its long-term growth. Their existing system was tightly integrated with their tools for marketing and fundraising but imposed constraints on their operations. OPB faced difficulties in tracking memberships efficiently, and NGOC forced them to adopt practices that were not ideal for their needs.

Specific limitations included:

  • Difficulty tracking membership types and associated rollups, particularly related to donors making monthly gifts
  • Consent management for communications
  • Restrictions on customizing fundraising features

These restrictions resulted in difficulty counting memberships and were impacting OPB’s data integrity. Ultimately, NGOC did not provide the flexibility needed as their fundraising evolved. Migrating from a legacy system requires translating automation created in Workflow Rules to Flow, updating necessary integrations, and building out custom functionality to accommodate data and processes specific to OPB’s operations.

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The Solution

Working together, the Idealist Consulting and OPB teams strategically migrated their data and operations from NGOC to Salesforce's Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP). After a discovery period, the project followed Idealist Consulting’s agile project management methodology, The Idealist Way, to create an efficient and flexible sprint structure.

The Idealist consultants leveraged solutions like Salesforce's consent management objects to build customized components for OPB's complex communication and contact tracking needs. The team also rebuilt the integration with PBS's online viewing database from scratch in the new system to better align with OPB’s goals. Throughout the process, the OPB team saw benefits in their ability to collaborate seamlessly with the Idealist team using our Salesforce-native tool, Story Navigator, allowing the team to submit regular feedback and testing within their Salesforce instance.

The project involved several key features:

  • Enhanced Membership Functionality: Transitioning OPB from NGOC to NPSP allowed for more accurate membership management, especially for monthly donors, and provided more granularity and customization so that member representation in their system better aligns with their existing practices. 
  • Customization: Custom code was used to sync OPB members to their PBS Passport benefit in the new system. Payment processing was implemented without impact on OPB’s daily processing of thousands of donations and was completed well in time for OPB’s busiest fundraising season.
  • Documented User Testing: Story Navigator, Idealist Consulting’s proprietary project management tool, was used to facilitate efficient project management and collaboration, allowing for quick issue resolution, decision-making, and creating a log of user testing that remains for reference in the client’s Salesforce instance.
  • Consent Management Objects: Creative solutions were applied by the Idealist team, leveraging Salesforce's consent management and contact point objects for OPB’s communication management processes. This allowed for the management of multiple phone numbers and email addresses for constituents, as well as a range of data use consent types.

A significant undertaking within this project was the migration of OPB’s nearly 50 million rows of data to their new system. This task was made more complex due to the nature of OPB’s fields for membership tracking. To accurately represent member history and information, the Idealist team completed a meticulous recalculation process to ensure fields were mapped thoughtfully and completely with the goal of giving the OPB team the most accurate and actionable view of their member data. 

The Idealist team drew on their extensive experience in completing successful data migrations to make the process as seamless as possible, including taking the time to fully understand OPB’s needs and processes, documenting every step of the project, and planning the timing of the migration to minimize operational disruptions. OPB's dedicated engagement in every step of the project, from discovery to testing and data migration, contributed significantly to the project's success.

“It’s an extraordinary thing to put two teams together in a time-compressed, highly complex, difficult, and super high-risk project and have that team synchronize and meld into one and deliver a product that is exactly what we were hoping for."
Cheryl Ikemiya, Vice President and Chief Development Officer

The Result

The migration from NGOC to NPSP with custom enhancements went smoothly with minimal disruption to OPB's operations. The new instance in NPSP created more flexibility that better supports OPB's membership structure and fundraising strategies. Data integrity also improved after the membership data field recalculations and migration of OPB’s extensive data records. Overall, the project has given OPB more control and understanding of their CRM to continue customizing it to their evolving needs.

Several factors contributed to the success of the project.

  1. First, establishing a clear decision-making structure on the OPB side early on with a steering committee and core team helped prevent delays during the project with key users involved in testing and feedback throughout the project to ensure thoughtful, strategic decisions.
  2. Second, using communication processes built into Idealist Consulting’s project management method including a shared Slack channel with the OPB team, regular check-ins, and the Story Navigator tool helped to facilitate seamless communication and drive collaboration throughout the project.
  3. Third, pre-planning for post-implementation support through Idealist Consulting’s Managed Services allowed the project team to plan for additional optimization, support, and enhancements after the initial project. This support partnership allows OPB to stabilize their new system and focus on continued improvement.

The collaboration between the teams exemplifies a transformative approach to CRM migration, emphasizing not only technical proficiency but also strategic foresight and user-centric design. By navigating challenges with precision and fostering a culture of collaboration, the project not only modernized OPB's systems but also empowered their team to reclaim control over their data and processes, ultimately amplifying their capacity to connect with communities and tell impactful stories.

We feel we were assigned Idealist's "A Team." We felt from the start that they took us seriously and valued us as clients. Their team and tools (such as Story Navigator) were able to flex to meet the unique needs of our team.

Julie Arnzen, Business Analyst and Salesforce Administrator

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