For Small Charity Week, Economic Change MD Heather Black shares her early experience of working with Salesforce when starting her own social enterprise. Her insight enables her to confidently share 5 reasons why Salesforce is great for Small Charities!
“Helping small non-profits to grow is an important topic to me as I’ve been in their shoes. I understand the ambitions and the pressures to succeed and survive all at the same time.
I started my social enterprise in 2005 and believe I wouldn’t have achieved the growth and scale we did without Salesforce. It provided me with a centralised system of intelligence, helping me to track my fundraising activities, our work, and impact with young people, our communications and HR. The system was easy to use, and it could evolve and grow as we secured new work and the team expanded.
The flexibility of the Salesforce architecture supported the social enterprise’s scalability without having to reinvest in new systems. As we grew to a team of 40 employees and £1.3m turnover, I was able to coordinate everything centrally and maintain the level of data intelligence for performance management and reporting to funders. It was a lifesaver!
Salesforce comes with the added benefit that the first 10 licenses are free, so the initial investment was minimal to get started. I paid for some input from a consultant and then I trained as a Salesforce admin and I was off! 8 years on, and I’m now helping other charities get started with their Salesforce journey. The information that I was able to store and analyse in Salesforce definitely helped me become more efficient, win new work and scale efficiently. It’s why I’m so passionate about my job today!”
5 Reasons Why Salesforce CRM can be a perfect tool for a Small Charity.
Client Relationship Management
Every organisation whether small or large needs some simple functionality to manage stakeholders and communications effectively. For example, recording contact information, recording meeting notes, creating tasks, recording emails or logging a call. This is a core functionality of Salesforce with access via phone or tablet.
Whether you are operating alone, or as a part of hundreds, we all need something to help us with the day to day management of our tasks and communications whether you are working independently or as team. Salesforce offers Chatter (a conversational tool) and task management out of the box but it you want something more sophisticated you can install a project management app. Free or discounted apps for charities exist like Cloud Coach and TaskRay, which offer discounted licenses.
Salesforce can be fully customised to meet your data collection and reporting needs across the organisation, plus you can continue to evolve it as your needs change. You can manipulate the system and the analytic reports, making it useful and relevant to you. It comes with the benefit of some existing out of the box functionality to save time that can be tweaked, making it ideal for fundraising, volunteer management and case management.
Salesforce is renowned for being one of the largest CRM systems but that’s because it’s the best and is attracting customers. Non-profits can benefit from the best software at a discounted price thanks to the Salesforce’s commitment to philanthropy.
There are thousands of apps that plug into it for free or at affordable prices for non-profits meaning you can either add functionality into your Salesforce org or benefit from integration with other software systems. You can purchase new user licenses as you need too and benefit from a range of different types of user licenses with different price points and access levels.
A small non-profit is cautious of ongoing prices, we know! The benefit of Salesforce is that it can be customised by clicks, with code being kept to a minimum where it is really needed. We train CEO’s, volunteer managers, fundraising managers, programme delivery staff and operations staff to become Salesforce administrators. You don’t have to be fixed into an IT contract for life if you have someone in-house who can learn and understand Salesforce.
In the early stages we encourage non-profits to benefit from an Economic Change salesforce support package as we can support and train an internal admin in the early stages of their journey and make sure Salesforce is set up correctly to meet your needs. This is essential for team adoption. We like to capacity build our customers and empower them to use and evolve their own Salesforce systems.
Heather sums up these benefits by saying, “Lay the foundations for your non-profit to grow and scale using the best technology that is available. Salesforce is affordable, scalable and accessible for any non-profit.”
Interested and would like to find out more?
At Economic Change we offer a small charity discount package where the charity pays for a minimum of 6 days and they get 6 days for free with the support of our volunteer Supermums. See if you are eligible to take part here.