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5 Nonprofits Using Salesforce to Achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals

By Norah Stevens-Kittner September 25, 2018

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, world leaders gathered at the UN and established 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, promote prosperity and well-being for all, and protect the planet, by 2030. The Sustainable Development Goals are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. But the UN can’t do it alone. Nonprofit organizations have been at the forefront of solving the world’s toughest challenges and are now leveraging technology to work towards achieving these goals. At, we are humbled to partner with five innovative nonprofits using Nonprofit Cloud to make the world a better place.

How Project 8 by The Demand Institute Advances Sustainable Development Goals

Project 8 Community platform
Project 8 Community platform

Mission: A global, digital information community where people come together to share, compare, analyze and discuss data and perspectives on sustainable development and evolving human need.

Nonprofit program participants with Project 8

Nonprofit program participants with Project 8

The United Nations projects that there will be 8 billion people on earth by 2024. As the population grows and changes, the demand for basic human needs such as food, water, and energy is rapidly changing yet today’s data on evolving human demand is highly fragmented, variable, and challenging to access. Project 8, a collaboration between the United Nations Foundation and The Demand Institute, enables decision makers around the world to use data to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals such as 2, Zero Hunger. Using the Salesforce Platform, Project 8 brings data together across the public and private sectors into a digital commons. Equipped with tools like Salesforce Chatter, Lightning, Community Cloud, and Einstein Analytics in the Project 8 Community, researchers and practitioners around the world can access, analyze, and collaborate on big, diverse datasets on food security and basic human needs. Organizations are able to make better sense of evolving human demand and craft strategies to better meet the needs of these 8 billion people and beyond. While the digital commons is being prototyped around SDG2, it aims to support data collaboration across all 17 goals.

Learn more about Project 8’s work around the SDGs.

How BOMA Project Advances Sustainable Development Goals

How BOMA Project Advances Sustainable Development Goals
Mission: Empower women in the drylands of Africa to establish sustainable livelihoods, build resilient families, graduate from extreme poverty, and catalyze change in their rural communities.

The BOMA Project has been empowering women to end extreme poverty and operates at the nexus of four critical SDGs: 1 No Poverty, 2 Zero Hunger, 5 Gender Equality, and 13 Climate Action. Since 2009, through its gender focused poverty graduation program, BOMA has helped more than 100,000 women and children break the generational cycle of extreme poverty in the drylands of Africa. Now they have a bigger mission: reach one million women and children by 2022 in order to help these families avert a crisis of survival. With support from a Force For Change grant, The BOMA Project partnered with Vera Solutions to developed Performance Insights (PI), a data management and visualization solution built on the Salesforce platform, to monitor program participants and inform data-driven decision-making for better outcomes and greater impact. PI provides real-time information on participant and field staff progress through survey monitoring, system alerts for targeted rapid response, key performance indicators and field staff performance indexes. PI allows for efficient data upload from the field and the generation of user-friendly reports that drive faster data-driven decision-making and feedback loops by The BOMA Project and partners adopting and replicating BOMA’s poverty graduation model. Now, The BOMA Project and its partners can see at a glance how their participants are doing and pivot program activities to ensure success

Check the incredible work going on at The BOMA Project. To learn more about Performance Insight, watch this video:

How the Aga Khan Foundation Advances Sustainable Development Goals

How the Aga Khan Foundation Advances Sustainable Development Goals

Mission: Bring together human, financial and technical resources to improve the quality of life for some of the most marginalised communities in the world.

Despite the billions of dollars spent annually to strengthen education systems, we still lack critical information to answer important questions for achieving SDG 4, Quality Education, by 2030. Teachers, school leaders, national education ministers, and international development practitioners need stronger tools to effectively collect, analyze, and act on real-time, contextualized education data. The Aga Khan Foundation is a nonprofit with a goal to partner with communities to address some of the most difficult, persistent challenges. With support from a 2016 Salesforce Force For Change grant, the Aga Khan Foundation and Vera Solutions developed PROMISE3, an offline mobile app for teachers everywhere to manage student enrollment, track attendance, capture assessment scores, house educational resources, and analyze student performance. Leveraging the Salesforce Community Cloud and the Salesforce Mobile SDK, PROMISE3 enables educators working in any setting to manage and analyze student data offline and in real-time so they are able to adapt classroom activities to specific needs. Building on a comprehensive human-centered design process, over 100 consultations, and successful pilots in six countries, PROMISE3 has been specifically developed with and for teachers in challenging settings and will be further developed so that in future other nonprofits around the globe will be able to make use of it. PROMISE3 will serve as data backbone, and one of a number of innovative methodological research tools, for the unprecedented 10-year Schools2030 cohort study led by Oxford University, which will trace the lifeworlds of children across 2,030 schools as they navigate an uncertain world. A strong coalition of leaders in international education philanthropy, policy, research, and practice will help leverage the findings from Schools2030 to achieve progress towards SDG4.

Learn more about The Aga Khan Foundation and their other work using Salesforce to measure impact with Vera Solutions.

How Village Help for South Sudan Advances the SDGs

How Village Help for South Sudan Advances the SDGs
Mission: To deliver education and opportunity to remote areas of South Sudan by supporting and enabling indigenous groups in villages to do their own development work.

Village Help for South Sudan (VHSS) works to deliver education and opportunity to remote areas of South Sudan. Since founding the organization in 2007, VHSS has focused its work on several Sustainable Development Goals: SDG 2, Hunger Relief and Food Insecurity, 3, Healthcare, 4, Education Access, 6, Water and Sanitation Access, and 8, Employment Opportunities.

Co-founder and Board Chair Ron Moulton, says, “For VHSS, sustainable development goals are more than a model – they are part of our mission in South Sudan.” Now the Salesforce platform enables VHSS to track customers and solar power usage in addressing #7, Energy access. Its rural energy solutions initiative called SunGate makes clean energy sustainable by training local community technicians and energy business operators who sell the electricity to rural customers at locally-affordable prices. Customers light their homes and power small electric devices such as cell phones with portable battery kits (PBKs) which they lease from the operator for a small monthly fee.

Leveraging several of the UN’s recommended Information Communication and Technology building blocks, primarily Power, Mobile Devices, and Cloud Computing, VHSS developed a SunGate point of sale proof of concept (POC) that makes use of South Sudan’s 2G cellular networks, SMS communications, and Salesforce. The POC enabled the organization to field test the market and technical approach for a new pay-as-you-go (PAYG) product line. They tailored the PAYG solution to fit the limited infrastructure available in South Sudan, using standard platform development tools such as Apex, mobile, and lightning apps. SunGate Solar has delivered more than 110 kilowatts of solar power to about 200 customers in South Sudan and provided training and jobs to more than 40 local citizens.

Learn more about VHSS.

How VisionSpring Advances Sustainable Development Goals

Mission: To create access to affordable eyewear, everywhere.
How VisionSpring Advances Sustainable Development Goals
VisionSpring’s mission is to create access to affordable eyewear, everywhere. Working towards four UN Sustainable Development Goals –- 1, No Poverty, 3, Good Health and Wellbeing, 4 Quality Education, and 8, Good Jobs and Economic Growth – VisionSpring aims to have reached a cumulative eight million people living in poverty with corrective eyeglasses by 2020. In doing so, as much as $1.7 billion in potential increased earning at a household level and enhanced learning outcomes for low-income student. To meet this objective, the nonprofit global social enterprise is leveraging new technologies to significantly increase access to affordable eyeglasses for consumers. With Salesforce, VisionSpring is able to customize the platform to track its global sales activities and key performance indicators specific to its global and wholesale partnerships teams. Its fundraising department is also maximizing their Salesforce use to track annual funds raised against goal and create various dynamic fundraising dashboards for internal and external use. In addition, VisionSpring is working to integrate Salesforce into its B2B e-commerce site, “GlobalEYES” scheduled to launch by the end of 2018.

Curious about more ways to improve your impact measurement and nonprofit program management? Hear from 3 experts in this helpful e-book about how to implement your impact strategy and more.


Nonprofit Impact Measurement

If you’re a nonprofit that is reporting on the SDGs using Salesforce, we’d love to hear your story: Email me at [email protected]

About the Author
Norah Stevens-KittnerNorah Stevens-Kittner is a Senior Product Marketing Manager on the nonprofit team specializing in impact measurement and program management content. She has worked at since 2015 in several roles including customer marketing. Prior to, she worked at several nonprofits in fundraising and marketing. She holds a B.S. from Guilford College in Biology and Spanish.