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Pro Bono Profile: Salesforce Volunteers Take The Purple Project from Paper to the Cloud

By June 23, 2017

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Purple Project LogoFounders of The Purple Project

Sherry and Joe Anicich, Founders of The Purple Project

The Purple Project is a small nonprofit with a big mission: to provide grief support and services to parents and family members who have suffered the loss of a child. It was founded by Sherry and Joe Anicich, two parents who coped with unimaginable grief after the tragic loss of their pregnant daughter in 2012. Motivated by the desire to keep their daughter’s memory alive and help others, the Purple Project has provided support in the form of counseling, grief retreats, baby sponsorships, as well as two keystone events each year — the Night of Hope and the Purple Ball.

But the Purple Project faced challenges in accomplishing their mission. They found it difficult to manage their contacts and track donations, largely because their data was spread across emails, text messages, and paper documents. Plus, managing their finances and expenses for each event was all done manually.

Luckily, the Purple Project was founded by one of our friends at a enterprise customer who recognized the power of the platform to solve their challenges. Turning to Jon Neustedter, Salesforce Customer Success Director, they learned about and the Nonprofit Success Pack. They quickly put their skills to work.

Jayson Kneen and Sean Lewis, project team members from the for-profit customer, leveraged their Salesforce experience for the good of this nonprofit — much like Salesforce employees have done through the Pro Bono Program. These volunteers, inspired by the mission of the Purple Project, implemented Salesforce for the organization, establishing an initial base of 400+ contacts from existing information. Additionally, they developed email templates and alerts with merge fields, set up customized account and contact page layouts, and developed standards and best practices for storing and entering data.

Once the implementation was complete, the Purple Project was able to elevate its efficiencies and capabilities by using Salesforce. They now use their database of contacts and accounts in order to send out mail merge word documents that act as a donation receipt. Further, they can better manage their events by automatically sending out invitations and tracking attendance, as well as sending out thank you’s after the event. And of course, thanks to Salesforce, they can now run custom reports to get instant information about their contacts and accounts.

The customer who founded this mighty nonprofit showed his gratitude to the volunteers that made it happen: “Thank you for showing us the way to the yellow brick road. [Using Salesforce] completely transformed the way in which [the founder of the Purple Project] is operating the nonprofit and it has also opened his eyes to some areas in which he can improve…All in all it has been quite the success story so far!”

When motivated individuals from the extended Salesforce Ohana come together to lend their Salesforce expertise, there are no limits to the processes and systems that can be optimized — for nonprofits both big and small.

To top it off, one member of the customer team was so inspired by the 1-1-1 integrated philanthropy model and what they were able to accomplish, that he has implemented Salesforce at another nonprofit, Center Stage Theatre!

Learn more about our pro bono program and get involved in the Pro Bono Volunteers Chatter group.