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3​ ​Lessons​ ​for​ ​Nonprofits​ ​That​ ​Experts​ ​Shared​ ​at​ ​Expedition​ ​Impact 2017

By September 14, 2017

By: Andrew Lawlor, CEO of Aptaria

At​ ​​Aptaria​,​ ​we’re​ ​proud​ ​to​ ​have​ ​sponsored​ ​Expedition​ ​Impact​ ​2017,​ ​the​ ​inaugural​ ​nonprofit​ ​conference.

Held​ ​at​ ​the​ ​Institute​ ​for​ ​Peace​ ​in​ ​Washington,​ ​DC,​ ​this​ ​event​ ​provided​ ​a​ ​venue​ ​for​ ​local​ ​and national​ ​nonprofits​ ​to​ ​​share​ ​best​ ​practices​ ​and​ ​tackle​ ​common​ ​challenges.​ ​​Participants​ ​also had​ ​the​ ​opportunity​ ​to​ ​network​ ​with​ ​peers​ ​from​ ​other​ ​nonprofit​ ​organizations​ ​(NPOs)​ ​and​ ​talk with​ ​experienced​ ​Salesforce​ ​Partners.

3​ ​industry​ ​luminaries​​ ​shared​ ​their​ ​wisdom​ ​and​ ​insights​ ​with​ ​the​ ​attendees.​ ​Here​ ​are​ ​the​ ​key points​ ​that​ ​gave​ ​our​ ​team​ ​at​ ​Aptaria​ ​the​ ​most​ ​food​ ​for​ ​thought​ ​since​ ​the​ ​event.

Lesson​ ​#1:​ ​Nonprofit​ ​organizations​ ​should​ ​stop​ ​using​ ​the​ ​percentage​ ​of administrative​ ​overhead​ ​as​ ​a​ ​measure​ ​of​ ​performance.

Jacob​ ​Herald,​ ​CEO​ ​of GuidestarJacob​ ​Herald,​ ​CEO​ ​of​ ​​GuideStar​,​ ​argued​ ​that​ ​nonprofits​ ​need​ ​to​ ​end​ ​the​ ​Overhead​ ​Myth:​ ​the assumption​ ​that​ ​more​ ​administrative​ ​spending​ ​makes​ ​nonprofits​ ​less​ ​worthy​ ​or​ ​successful. Instead​ ​of​ ​drastically​ ​cutting​ ​costs,​ ​nonprofits​ ​should​ ​create​ ​management​ ​strategies​ ​that​ ​they can​ ​justify​ ​with​ ​results.

Herald​ ​advises​ ​nonprofits​ ​to​ ​follow​ ​the​ ​3-part​
O​​verhead​ ​Solution​:

    1. Be​ ​open​ ​about​ ​your​ ​data​ ​to​ ​earn​ ​trust​ ​and​ ​promote​ ​ethical​ ​practices.
    2. Focus​ ​on​ ​results​ ​and​ ​organize​ ​your​ ​management​ ​structure​ ​to​ ​make​ ​an​ ​impact.
    3. Educate​ ​your​ ​funders​ ​about​ ​the​ ​costs​ ​that​ ​go​ ​into​ ​delivering​ ​results​ ​and​ ​advancing

How​ ​can​ ​Salesforce​ ​help​ ​you​ ​apply​ ​this​ ​lesson?
With​ ​a​ ​custom​ ​​ ​system​,​ y​​ ou​ ​can​ ​track​ ​the​ ​right​ ​metrics​ ​and​ ​demonstrate​ ​your impact.​ ​A​ ​Salesforce​ ​Partner​ ​can​ ​work​ ​with​ ​you​ ​to​ ​capture​ ​vital​ ​data​ ​that​ ​could​ ​explain​ ​your management​ ​strategy​ ​and​ ​impress​ ​potential​ ​donors.​ ​Moreover,​ ​reports​ ​and​ ​dashboards​ ​in Salesforce​ ​analytics​ ​can​ ​help​ ​you​ ​gather​ ​administrative​ ​data​ ​for​ ​the​ ​level​ ​of​ ​transparency​ ​that Herald​ ​recommends.

Lesson​ ​#2:​ ​Today’s​ ​nonprofits​ ​must​ ​embrace​ ​a​ ​multifaceted​ ​digital​ ​strategy in​ ​order​ ​to​ ​stand​ ​out​ ​and​ ​succeed.

Jeanne RossJeanne​ ​Ross​,​ ​Professor​ ​of​ ​Management​ ​at​ ​MIT’s​ ​Sloan​ ​school,​ ​urged​ ​each​ ​NPO​ ​to​ ​develop and​ ​implement​ ​a​ ​digital​ ​strategy,​ ​just​ ​like​ ​for-profit​ ​companies​ ​do.​

​If​ ​nonprofits​ ​intend​ ​to​ ​remain relevant​ ​to​ ​their​ ​missions​ ​and​ ​constituents,​ ​they​ ​must​ ​seize​ ​the​ ​tools​ ​and​ ​tactics​ ​at​ ​the​ ​center​ ​of our​ ​everyday​ ​lives​ ​in​ ​the​ ​digital​ ​age.

Ross​ ​unpacked​ ​the​ ​elements​ ​of​ ​a​ ​winning​ ​digital​ ​strategy,​ ​which​ ​she​ ​abbreviates​ ​as​ ​SMACIT:

  • Social:​​ ​How​ ​can​ ​you​ ​communicate​ ​your​ ​message​ ​and​ ​impact​ ​through​ ​a​ ​web​ ​presence
    and​ ​social​ ​media?
  • Mobile:​​ ​How​ ​can​ ​your​ ​organization​ ​reach​ ​users​ ​on​ ​a​ ​range​ ​of​ ​devices?
  • Analytics:​​ ​How​ ​can​ ​you​ ​record​ ​and​ ​measure​ ​the​ ​influence​ ​of​ ​your​ ​nonprofit?
  • Cloud:​ ​​How​ ​can​ ​you​ ​digitally​ ​mobilize​ ​your​ ​audience​ ​and​ ​volunteers,​ ​store​ ​and​ ​distribute
    key​ ​information,​ ​and​ ​manage​ ​data?
  • Internet​ ​of​ ​Things:​​ ​How​ ​can​ ​your​ ​organization​ ​harness​ ​the​ ​power​ ​of​ ​interconnected
    smart​ ​objects​ ​and​ ​devices?

How​ ​can​ ​Salesforce​ ​help​ ​you​ ​apply​ ​this​ ​lesson?
The​ ​Salesforce​ ​platform​ ​is​ ​an​ ​ideal​ ​fit​ ​for​ ​the​ ​Cloud​ ​approach​ ​recommended​ ​by​ ​Ross,​ ​and​ ​it supports​ ​all​ ​elements​ ​of​ ​Ross’s​ ​SMACIT​ ​model.

Marketing​ ​Cloud​ ​can​ ​collect​ ​intelligence​ ​about​ ​your​ ​audience​ ​so​ ​that​ ​you​ ​can​ ​launch​ ​an effective​ ​social​ ​strategy.​ ​Salesforce’s​ ​powerful​ ​analytics​ ​engine​ ​lets​ ​you​ ​easily​ ​tailor​ ​dashboards and​ ​alerts​ ​to​ ​keep​ ​you​ ​on​ ​top​ ​of​ ​your​ ​metrics.​ ​And​ ​the​ ​Salesforce1​ ​mobile​ ​app​ ​or​ ​apps​ ​built​ ​by Salesforce​ ​Partners​ ​using​ ​the​ ​Mobile​ ​Software​ ​Development​ ​Kit​ ​(SDK)​ ​can​ ​deliver​ ​your services,​ ​guide​ ​your​ ​volunteers,​ ​and​ ​much​ ​more.

Lesson​ ​#3:​ ​Nonprofit​ ​organizations​ ​can​ ​and​ ​should​ ​innovate​ ​like​ ​Silicon Valley​ ​firms​ ​do.

Geoffrey MooreGeoffrey​ ​Moore​,​ ​an​ ​organizational​ ​theorist,​ ​management​ ​consultant,​ ​and​ ​best-selling​ ​author, told​ ​us​ ​that​ ​disruptive​ ​innovation​ ​is​ ​the​ ​key​ ​to​ ​long-term​ ​success​ ​for​ ​NPOs​ ​as​ ​well​ ​as companies.

Although​ ​innovation​ ​may​ ​seem​ ​like​ ​a​ ​daunting​ ​goal,​ ​Moore​ ​presented​ ​a​ ​model​ ​to​ ​guide nonprofits​ ​towards​ ​breakthroughs.

How​ ​can​ ​Salesforce​ ​help​ ​you​ ​apply​ ​this​ ​lesson?

The​ ​flexibility​ ​of​ ​Salesforce​ ​lends​ ​itself​ ​to​ ​innovative​ ​strategies.​ ​Want​ ​to​ ​appeal​ ​to​ ​your​ ​audience in​ ​a​ ​way​ ​that​ ​differentiates​ ​you​ ​from​ ​competing​ ​organizations?​ ​Salesforce​ ​gives​ ​you​ ​the​ ​tools​ ​for targeted​ ​marketing​ ​to​ ​ensure​ ​that​ ​your​ ​message​ ​reaches​ ​the​ ​right​ ​people​ ​in​ ​the​ ​right​ ​way.​ ​Want to​ ​deliver​ ​your​ ​service​ ​more​ ​quickly​ ​and​ ​for​ ​a​ ​lower​ ​cost​ ​than​ ​similar​ ​NPOs?​ ​​ ​can provide​ ​the​ ​infrastructure​ ​to​ ​make​ ​that​ ​happen.

Beyond​ ​the​ ​Speeches:​ ​Networking​ ​with​ ​Nonprofits

In​ ​addition​ ​to​ ​presentations,​ ​Expedition​ ​Impact​ ​included​ t​​eamwork​ ​exercises​ ​and​ ​time​ ​for networking​.​ ​In​ ​one​ ​group​ ​activity,​ ​executives​ ​from​ ​leading​ ​nonprofits​ ​worked​ ​together​ ​to​ ​solve complex​ ​business​ ​challenges​ ​facing​ ​NPOs​ ​every​ ​day.

Expedition Impact Exercise

As​ ​a​ ​Salesforce​ ​consultant​ ​and​ ​CEO​ ​of​ ​Aptaria,​ ​I’m​ ​always​ ​inspired​ ​to​ ​learn​ ​how​ ​NPOs​ ​are using​ ​technology​ ​to​ ​connect​ ​with​ ​their​ ​constituents​ ​and​ ​advance​ ​their​ ​missions.​ ​For​ ​me,​ ​the most​ ​valuable​ ​part​ ​of​ ​the​ ​event​ ​was​ ​meeting​ ​NPO​ ​executives​ ​and​ ​hearing​ ​about​ ​the​ ​variety​ ​of work​ ​they’re​ ​doing​ ​in​ ​their​ ​communities.

Expedition Impact Networking

After​ ​listening​ ​to​ ​their​ ​concerns,​ ​I​ ​shared​ ​ideas​ ​with​ ​NPOs​ ​across​ ​a​ ​wide​ ​spectrum​ ​of​ ​sizes​ ​and missions.​ ​Aptaria​ ​has​ ​completed​​ ​​hundreds​ ​of​ ​projects​ ​for​ ​national​ ​NPOs​,​ ​so​ ​we​ ​have​ ​the experience​ ​to​ ​tackle​ ​a​ ​diverse​ ​range​ ​of​ ​problems​ ​and​ ​objectives.​ ​Our​ ​team​ ​has​ ​customized Salesforce​ ​and​ ​enabled​ ​NPOs​ ​to:

  • Fundraise
  • Engage​ ​with​ ​volunteers
  • Build​ ​communities
  • Manage​ ​events
  • Deliver​ ​services​ ​and​ ​manage​ ​cases​ ​and/or​ ​clients
  • Use​ ​the​ ​web,​ ​social,​ ​mobile,​ ​and​ ​email​ ​technologies​ ​to​ ​promote​ ​an​ ​organization’s

We’re​ ​excited​ ​to​ ​put​ ​lessons​ ​from​ ​the​ ​event​ ​into​ ​practice​ ​on​ ​new​ ​client​ ​projects,​ ​and​ ​we​ ​look forward​ ​to​ ​sponsoring​ ​Expedition​ ​Impact​ ​again.​ ​I​ ​predict​ ​that​ ​the​ ​event​ ​will​ ​continue​ ​to​ ​grow​ ​in importance​ ​to​ ​the​ ​NPO​ ​community​ ​and​ ​bring​ ​us​ ​illuminating​ ​advice​ ​from​ ​thought​ ​leaders​ ​for years​ ​to​ ​come.

For more insights, download the free Expedition Impact e-book on conquering Nonprofit Program Management challenges.

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