As part of our Digital blog series, UpRising tell their story about why they went digital to improve their business and client management processes.

UpRising’s mission is to open up the pathways to leadership for talented young adults from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds and to equip them with the knowledge, networks, skills and confidence to fulfil their leadership potential, find new opportunities and transform the world around them through social action.

Our flagship programme is the UpRising Leadership Programme. It is a nine-month programme, involving ‘access behind the scenes’ sessions with some of the UK’s most senior leaders. The core programme offers participants a unique first-hand view of the way that political, business, public sector and community organisations work together to shape our communities.

We deliver a range of other programmes including: the Fastlaners Employability Programme; the Environmental Leadership Programme; the Find Your Power Programme and we also act as a local delivery provider for the National Citizen’s Service (NCS) programme. We deliver programmes in London, Birmingham, Stoke, Bedford, Luton, Liverpool and Manchester.

The issues UpRising was facing in terms of data management since becoming an independent charity in 2012 included:

• Communicating with stakeholders, in particular with hundreds of UpRising Alumni. After 8 years of capturing data on numerous spreadsheets, we needed to be able to update information and knowledge about individuals and ‘tailor’ communications to match their interests.

• We involve hundreds of volunteers, providing coaching and mentoring to participants on the programmes. We needed a system to enable us to continue to engage with these key supporters.

• We run approximately 30 programmes each year across 8 locations. We are recruiting constantly and need to capture expressions of interest, keeping contacts interested over several months until the programme starts in their area, tailoring communications as necessary.

• We have an extensive network of senior people, funders and decision makers; we want to communicate with them on a regular basis, to capture and be in a position to recognise the value they bring and their involvement as speakers and supporters.

Why Salesforce?

We are a small organisation, reliant on funding from Trusts and Foundations, donations and government. Our staff focus on programme delivery supported by a central team based in London. We are constantly seeking to reduce administration and overhead costs as well as market and communicate effectively with stakeholders. Salesforce offered the potential to meet our objectives in an effective and efficient way.

10 free licenses for charities! And overall, a CRM system that offered us a way to organise our data in a way that everyone could access.

How we have used Salesforce:

From 2011, Programme Managers were considering how to manage an increasingly complex amount of data and how best to communicate effectively with our stakeholders. We worked with Economic Change to identify our needs and funding to support development and implementation of the Salesforce platform. We established a small working group to engage colleagues and to start to shape a culture that embraced Salesforce, embedding it into how we work, communicate and manage contacts.

Business Benefits:

We were excited about the possibility of using Salesforce for our HR and Finance functions. Our accountancy function is outsourced and our Accountants worked with us (as part of the working group) to pilot the new platform. This has reduced administration significantly and will lead to cost reductions in bookkeeping time and costs. image-of-uprisingWe have also embedded Salesforce into our national and local programme management, creating a rigorous management system that allows us to track our key performance indicators and monitor the progression of our programmes across the year. From the very first contact, a young person’s journey with us is tracked and stored, from their initial expression of interest through their engagement on the programme; from the opportunities they take part in as an alumnus to their future contribution back in to the programmes as a speaker, mentor or volunteer. This allows us to report accurate data on key outputs and outcomes such as volunteer hours, alumni contribution, number of speakers, improvements in skills and advancement into leadership positions.


Karl Hankinson, Director of Programmes and Operations:

“The implementation of Salesforce has allowed us to comprehensively manage our portfolio of programmes on projects on a national scale. This has been vital as we expand our delivery of programmes and locations and has allowed us to not only retain the organizational knowledge that has previously been lost, but to also cope with the expansion of our work ensuring that quality standards are met. The support provided by Economic Change in this regard has been essential. The work that goes in to developing a specific system for an organisation such as ours is only matched by the continual development work, particularly over the first couple of years of implementation to ensure that the processes and tools are both applicable and useful to the staff. Economic Change have been there every step of the way with us and have been instrumental in this development of our organisation.”