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Pro Bono Profile: Building a Future Proof Platform to Support Sue Ryder Foundation

By January 18, 2018

Pro Bono Profiles

The Sue Ryder Foundation is a nonprofit organisation dedicated to helping older people live safely, securely and independently – with a choice of services to suit all needs. They have six residential facilities across Ireland.

Pro bono volunteers from Salesforce helped the Sue Ryder Foundation better use technology to advance their mission.

The organisation needed a solution that would help centralise its data and boost revenues. “The sector faces increasing challenges, and there are much tighter regulations around governance,” explained Gavin Reid, CEO at Sue Ryder Foundation. “We needed to re-align our data management and improve our fundraising and outreach to increase our revenues and become more transparent.”

They applied for the Power of Us Program and received the 10 donated CRM licenses but knew they could do more with the platform. “It was easy to set-up and get started,” said Michelle Carter from Sue Ryder Foundation. “But I didn’t fully understand what Salesforce was capable of so I logged a pro bono request. That’s when we met Stephane – what he’s done for us has been transformational.”

Stephane Maurin is a Senior Regional Graduate Lead at Salesforce EMEA. When he started his pro bono with the Sue Ryder Foundation he spent a lot of time getting to know the organisation and its operations. “I didn’t know much about charity shops to be honest, so early on, I would visit them, just to see how they worked, and if I could get any ideas. I spent quite a lot of time with the team at Sue Ryder too, understanding their needs – it’s a great perk of working on a local pro bono project – that personal interaction,” said Stephane. “Sue Ryder had implemented Salesforce to answer their immediate needs, but we needed to think bigger from the start and ensure that we would not be stuck at a later stage, so I offered to re-implement their Salesforce and make it scalable and easy to use – that was my first goal.”

Recognising Supporters and Growing Engagement

Sue Ryder centres worked with Salesforce volunteers to help build their supporter database to improve their program management and stakeholder engagement.

The Sue Ryder residential centres rely heavily on income from its 31 charity shops to run its day-to-day operations, but before now, those shops had very little engagement with their customers. “When we looked at our retail business we didn’t have any information on who was supporting us, and at what level, which meant we could do little to grow that support,” shared Gavin. “Salesforce has helped us build our supporter database, understand those supporters, and share our impact back with them.”

The organisation had previously set up a loyalty program to capture customer data, so after Stephane had re-implemented Salesforce, he worked with a staff volunteer to get this data into Salesforce.

Then, the project focus moved to – how could they would make use of this data?

“Salesforce is so much more than a database – it offers insights across the business,” explained Stephane. “Now the Sue Ryder team can see how long on average it takes for a customer to redeem their loyalty card. They can also understand who their most loyal customers are – and can take action to recognise those customers. After mapping this out, we formalised a process across the 31 shops in Ireland.”

Streamlining Furniture Donations and Stock Management

Sue Ryder Foundation provides compassionate care to people with end of life and long term needs. They are a national charity delivering health and social care services in local communities. Part of their support comes from furniture donations.After rolling out the loyalty program, the next project began – managing furniture donations. Before, when the public wanted to donate furniture to Sue Ryder shops they had to leave a voicemail with Michelle – she would then organise a driver to pick it up. There was no tracking set-up and no efficient way of knowing what furniture was going where, and who was making these donations.

“I knew the case object in Service Cloud could streamline this process. It allows people to email in saying they want to donate furniture and then this triggers a case set-up in Salesforce. After the furniture is collected, Salesforce sends an automatic thank you email on behalf of Sue Ryder,” explained Stephane.

With Salesforce dashboards, the Sue Ryder team can also understand their inventory better and plan ahead.

“Now we can get more furniture to the right shops and that means more revenue,” Michelle explained. “It also empowers shop managers to improve their customer service. For example, a customer might be waiting for a chest of drawers to come in – now we can look in Salesforce to see if we have one, and then allocate that piece of furniture to that shop. And with reports, I have full visibility on what’s being collected and where it’s going. We can also track seasonal trends and plan for them.”

Getting to Know Volunteers and Fundraisers

The Sue Ryder Foundation is also using Salesforce to improve volunteer management and communications. They currently have 300 volunteers in their Salesforce database, which helps them better match volunteers to opportunities.

“Each volunteer might bring a different skill which we didn’t even know about – like a volunteer who is an artist,” said Michelle. “Now we can look that up that information in Salesforce. So if for example, we have an art class coming up at one of our centres, we can reach out to that person to ask for support.”

Most recently, the organisation has switched over to Salesforce and Eventbrite to manage the Sue Ryder Cycle, an annual 50/100km fundraising event. This is helping them get to know their fundraisers better, capture event impact and centralise more data in Salesforce.

Bringing the Full Ohana to Sue Ryder Foundation

Salesforce supports nonprofits with a pro bono program as well as free and discounted licenses for nonprofits.The pro bono work Stephane is doing at Sue Ryder has not yet finished – already they are looking for more ways to improve operations. “We’re only at the start of our journey with Salesforce,” explained Gavin. “In the future, we hope to evolve our Salesforce set-up to manage our facilities and maintenance programs too.”

Stephane has also introduced many other Salesforce volunteers to Sue Ryder, organising volunteering activities at the centres. In total 90 volunteers have contributed volunteer hours. “It’s great having the team around,” said Gavin. “Apart from getting the job done, the residents love the company – the days can be very long for some, having young people to interact with is wonderful for them.”


Are you a nonprofit or charity that has Salesforce licenses but doesn’t know how to make the most of them? Or are you about to request Salesforce licenses and would like support with the set-up? Our pro bono program looks to connect organisations from across the globe with Salesforce employees to maximise their use of Salesforce and increase their mission impact. Read more pro bono success stories here, or apply for pro bono support here.