Power to Change

The Context

Power to Change is an independent charitable trust that supports community businesses run by, and for, local people with profits reinvested to benefit communities across England. They also work with a wide range of partners to provide investment, advice and support to help local people come together and take control.  It uses an endowment of £150 million, provided by the Big Lottery Fund in 2015 with one ambition – better places through community business.

The Challenge

  • Programmes delivered by multiple partner organisations using different systems and processes, while individual systems worked well it was difficult to align and join-up data across different programmes
  • Ongoing manual data entry and cross-checking between systems
  • A large volume of community businesses and individuals with different interests and connections to Power to Change making it difficult to easily analyse and undertake data mining
  • Limited visibility of core information on the organisations supported
  • No streamlining of CRM data with financial and grant management information
  • A partial implementation of Salesforce, leading to limited adoption by the Power to Change staff team
  • A need to align new system with new GDPR requirements

The Solution

  • Economic Change undertook design workshops with Power to Change’s grant delivery team and redesigned their Salesforce instance to manage multiple grant programmes with a range of partners to improve reporting and management KPI information, working closely with the senior management team.
  • Supported the transition process to Lightning and conducted a GDPR planning process – reviewing systems and use of Salesforce to ensure data protection compliance.
  • Put in place an ongoing support contract with the organisation and deployed a Salesforce Supermums in-post to support their roll-out of the system.

The Results

  • The new approach harnessed the power of analytics – helping make intelligent and informed decisions with comprehensive grantmaking data.
  • Tools like dashboards and custom reports demonstrably empowered teams to take ownership of data and take action more pro-actively on a daily and weekly basis
  • Streamlined reporting to Executive Team and Board, supporting a balanced scorecard of programme performance
  • Alignment of Finance and CRM systems allowed for a simpler re-forecasting and grant management


“The Salesforce implementation enabled us to have a single overview of the full range of grants we had made and how we were working with community businesses across the country.  It tied together the details needed for our finance team with information on social impact and contextual information on the places our funds were reaching.The main benefit of working with Economic Change was shifting my perspective to think more broadly about business needs and how Salesforce could support those.  They also guided us through the thinking of what processes and structures needed to be in place to enable that.”

David Chater,
Advisor/Previously Head of Funds

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