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Nonprofit Cloud Dreamforce Keynote: Deliver Unique Experiences to Drive Impact

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Once a year, the global nonprofit community comes together to collaborate, share best practices, and connect at Dreamforce. This year, the focus is on building unique experiences to drive mission impact.

Dreamforce welcomed trailblazers of all sizes in the nonprofit sector, including International Justice Mission, UNICEF Australia, Canadian Cancer Society, Autism Plus, and more to share their stories and speak at the event’s global mainstage and in breakout sessions — all of which are available to watch with a free Salesforce+ account.

Dreamforce 2019

How International Justice Mission is Using Salesforce to Drive Impact

During the keynote, International Justice Mission (IJM) shared how they’re using technology to deliver on their 2030 Strategic Vision which maps out a plan for rescuing millions, protecting half a billion, and bringing justice for those in poverty. A big component of the vision is to use technology to transform the struggle of justice and truth by uncovering the lies of oppressors and abusers. Technology is the accelerator that allows IJM to do that at scale.

A long time Salesforce customer, they made the switch from a legacy system and used Salesforce to build the Justice Data Solution. The new system allows them to visualize their logic model in action across programs in 24 offices in 14 countries. Tying together rescue operations, grants management, and donor data they have a full understanding of what is happening in various countries, quantified by data, showing that programs work. The data shows that certain countries are seeing an 80% reduction in violence against children.

To undergo a digital transformation, IJM recommends approaching technology projects with humility, bringing in subject matter experts to build the business logic, and building with the end user in mind. A recent McKinsey report shared that only 30% of technology initiatives produce value to the business, which means investing in change management as an organization is key.

IJM shared key recommendations around how to get your board of directors to invest in technology projects, including:

  1. Invest in the building of the board.
  2. Ensure the leadership team has an authentic vision for how tech can be both transformational and an accelerator.
  3. Find the allies on the board who have an appreciation for technology and align them to the vision.

Innovating on Nonprofit Cloud

In addition to hearing from IJM, nonprofits learned about the newest Nonprofit Cloud innovation for the first time!

Announced at Dreamforce was Slack for Nonprofits, our newest collaboration platform helping those both inside and outside of your organization work together more effectively, from anywhere. Slack and Nonprofit Cloud Case Management helps case managers improve service quality and collaboration for each client regardless of caseload size.

We’re putting clients and donors in the driver’s seat of their engagement with your organization with Experience Cloud for Nonprofits. Clients have agency in their own case plans they build with their case managers. They can view and update action items and make progress towards their goals in between meetings with their case manager. It is also critical to keep your donors and board members engaged with your mission. Fundraisers can create portals where donors can login and download their tax receipts and update communication preferences.

With everything going on in the world today, it’s critical to keep your donors and board members engaged with your mission. With Experience Cloud for Nonprofits, you can.

Fundraisers can create portals where donors can login and download their tax receipts and update communication preferences.

Einstein for Nonprofits is an expansion to our fundraising solution that helps organizations better engage donors by understanding a donor’s likelihood to give or become a recurring donor through data-driven insights.

We’re also Reimagining our Power of Us Program. Started over 20 years ago, Power of Us provides ten free subscriptions for nonprofits to manage their mission with Salesforce. By adding Elevate, our digital fundraising solution, with no upfront costs and pay as you go pricing, we’re increasing access to powerful technology for nonprofits of any size. We’re also making it easier than ever with a new getting started experience for your admins & end users, always-on Trailhead modules, and new success services. Please note that this is for U.S. customers only. Interested in learning more? Join the Elevate team on Tuesday, September 28 from 11:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M. PT for Elevate Power of Us Edition — Ask Me Anything. Add the event to your calendar.

To learn more on our Nonprofit Cloud roadmap, please watch our Nonprofit Cloud Roadmap session on Salesforce+.

A Community Focused on Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion

Last, but certainly not least, we couldn’t miss thanking our global community and partners. Our global online community, the Power of Us Hub will be moving to a new home in the Trailblazer community later this year. Our 34,000 community members will have access to a more personalized and user-friendly experience where you’ll be able to connect with experts from outside the nonprofit sector to learn best practices and collaborate.

The work our partners are doing to drive equity in our ecosystem and beyond was also highlighted. Over fifty partners in our network have committed to driving DEI efforts. They have their own strategies in place, participate in additional equality training, and many of them sit on our partner-led equality committee.

You can check out the Nonprofit Cloud keynote on Salesforce+.

Stories of Impact from Our Customers

In addition to hearing from IJM, other nonprofit trailblazers shared how they’re building unique experiences and delivering impact in various nonprofit breakout sessions. Key learnings include:

As more people pivoted to smartphone usage, nonprofits that built digital experiences were more likely to find success during the pandemic. In the Top Trends Driving Demand for New Digital Experiences session featuring the Lilly School of Philanthropy, research found that during the pandemic, people’s primary interface for experiencing the world became their smartphones, increasing experience expectations for all institutions, including nonprofits. Most supporters would rather engage with a nonprofit via a smartphone, and Salesforce research shows that those nonprofits that have invested in digital experiences and reach out to more diverse audiences were more likely to find success during the pandemic.

Use technology that is person-centric so you can scale as you grow. In Nonprofits Creating Exceptional Experiences With Salesforce, Autism Plus shared the importance of using technology that is person-centric. This focus meant that from the very start, the organization looked for technology and implementation processes that worked with and for their key stakeholders, including the individuals they support, staff and donors. This approach ensured that as the organization grew so could the technology. Canadian Cancer Society shared the value of the ecosystem and how Salesforce is so much more than technology — you become part of a larger ecosystem of experts and friends, and have access to tremendous amounts of resources to guide you and teach you.

When investing in technology, spend time developing your strategy, get buy-in and bring in experts. In the How UNICEF Australia Made A Case for Changing Digital Experiences session, UNICEF Australia’s COO, Sarah Grattan, shares how they are using Nonprofit Cloud and data to create unique experiences. She shares key recommendations when discussing technology projects, including:

  • Spend ample time designing your strategy and be sure to consult widely and build buy-in broadly.
  • Spend time understanding the full total cost upfront.
  • Get the data model right — other mistakes can be fixed later, but not this one.
  • Keep it simple by offloading as much technical work as possible; custom code and internally-built solutions are very expensive over time.
  • Work with a specialist Nonprofit industry technical partner. There are too many industry nuances that are important to get right, and only a sector specialist will know what these are.

As you continue your Dreamforce journey, join us by signing up for your free Salesforce+ account today and visit the Dreamforce On Demand for page to view all of our episodes.

About the Author

David Ragones, SVP & GM, Nonprofit Cloud
David Ragones
SVP & GM, Nonprofit Cloud
David Ragones is Senior Vice President & General Manager, Nonprofit Cloud at David brings a deep passion and commitment to the nonprofit sector. Six years ago, he co-founded his own non-profit, Piedmont Makers, dedicated to support and inspire K-12 S.T.E.A.M. education in the East Bay, California and beyond. He also served on the board of the Piedmont Education Foundation, which raises over $3 million annually for the Piedmont Unified School District.