Skip to Content

Turn Your Mission into a Movement

By December 10, 2019 Elevate is in the process of being retired, and will no longer be sold as of April 3, 2023. See more information in our communication, or find one of our many partners on the AppExchange if you are searching for a digital fundraising solution.

For existing customers, Elevate will be supported through the end of existing contracts.

By: David Ragones

The individuals you serve deserve better than spreadsheets and paper, and you deserve flexibility in your work. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are ambitious, and technology is a key part of how we can get there in the next decade together – with a common language and common goals.

Nonprofits are facing unprecedented challenges, constantly needing to do more with less, and brands like Apple are raising the bar. Did you know that there was a 205% increase in mobile giving last year?

More than ever, nonprofits have an opportunity to engage hearts and minds, inspire action and build impact. As expectations change, so must the social sector’s approach to serving people.

How? Our three-point success plan, announced at Dreamforce 2019, is:

  1. Think Digital-First
  2. Create a Unified View of constituents
  3. Enable Actionable Insights

How The ALS Association is Expanding Their Impact with Technology

When we work together, anything is possible. ALS is a disease that takes away the ability to move your muscles, eventually making it hard to breathe. This one is also close to home since my colleague Larry Falivena has ALS, and he has dedicated himself to raising awareness and raising funds to fight ALS through a tour of every ballpark in the U.S. last summer. The good news is that grassroots campaigns like the Ice Bucket Challenge accelerated research to fight ALS. This is critical because money drives progress: when you pour dollars into research, you find cures, and today we have dozens of drugs in the pipeline, in large part thanks to the additional funds. And now that The ALS Association will be using Salesforce, they can help provide even better care to their community, too.

“Real-time data can help us make real-time impact”
– Dean Feener, Senior Director at the ALS Association

A cohort of people wanted to connect with ALS through the Ice Bucket Challenge. But because The ALS Association was using legacy technology at the time, they weren’t completely ready to maximize the opportunities that came in with that moment. Now, The ALS Association is in the process of moving from 40 databases (which meant that donors were getting multiple emails) to one, and they can care for their community at scale.

The ALS Association’s three phase approach to nonprofit CRM

Dean Feener, Senior Director at The ALS Association, explains: “ALS is a disease where tech can have an impact – to help people.”

The ALS Association took a three phase approach to becoming digital-first:

  1. Consolidate data to personalize
  2. Enhance care services
  3. Fundraise smarter

Using Nonprofit Cloud and Marketing Cloud, ALS could better connect with constituents for fundraising. After all, “Nothing that says open your heart and your wallet like ‘dear previous walker’” – right? Now, The ALS Association can customize emails to specific segments, such as one email for a previous walker/fundraising volunteer and another for resources for a caregiver.
Marketing Cloud also allows them to build a “lookalike audience” to promote walks to new participants, as well as personalized landing pages. ALS is now fundraising smarter: they can take data and use that to engage more deeply with people who want to connect.

ALS doesn’t just raise money for research, though. They also aspire to using technology to improve care services for people living with ALS. With Service Cloud, a staff person answering the phone can know more about patients, so patients don’t need to answer the same questions repeatedly. This is especially important since ALS eventually takes away a person’s ability to speak.

What might the future look like? With technology, ALS patients could connect to care with text to speech, eye gazing devices, and chatbots. There are 20,000 people living with ALS in the U.S. right now, and it’s hard to provide a high level of care at scale. With Nonprofit Cloud, data can provide* ALS Association staff with insights to see any under-served geographies and where to focus their efforts in real time, rather than years with traditional surveys. Better data improves engagement, increases performance, and helps them achieve their mission to provide great care at great scale.

The Overhead Question: Investing in Programs vs. Operations

How does The ALS Association think about technology? As a way to transform their impact.

“We realized that we had a moment in time to pull up the fight against ALS at a new level. We were driving our donors to 40 different URLs and creating a lot of donor confusion. It was unsustainable – and prevented us from getting to our transformative mission.”
– Calaneet Balas, CEO, The ALS Association

Technology for Nonprofit Program Management with Cincinnati Works

Case Managers can have over 100 clients at any point in time, so knowing which clients need attention, and when, is critical. And it’s hard to work at scale when you’re managing programs and services with paper and spreadsheets. Heath Parks, Programs & System Analyst at Cincinnati Works, shared his experience working alongside the Nonprofit Cloud product teams to inform a brand new solution – Nonprofit Cloud Case Management* – and helped to showcase the solution live and on stage. With Case Management,* Case Managers will be able to have a technology system to help them manage programs and deliver services to clients relying on them for their support, and is built to work how they do. With case notes, Case Managers can create a note, save it as a draft to come back to later, and tag it with specific keywords (for example, resume writing, incident, follow-up, referral, etc.). Case Plans are repeatable templates designed from the unique programs you offer. A case manager can pick and choose the goals relevant to each client from a pre-populated list and a plan is automatically generated outlining the next steps and services for that specific client. Everyone from nonprofit leaders to program associates can get a full picture of what’s going on across the whole organization in real time! This especially helps case managers be proactive with the people that we serve, rather than reactive. The automation, personalization, and easier collaboration with colleagues enables nonprofit staff to spend more time with the people that they serve.

Modernize Your Fundraising Software

According to our 2019 Nonprofit Fundraising Productivity and Effectiveness Report, 41% of nonprofits say if they had more time, they would spend it working on major gifts, which they already spend almost one-third of their week working on. To help you get the resources you need to advance your mission, we’re excited to be creating Elevate Fundraising and Engagement Hub, which we announced at Dreamforce.

Elevate Fundraising from for better fundraising software

Elevate Fundraising announced at Dreamforce 2019. Actual display may vary.

Elevate Fundraising* will include:

  1. Giving Pages – integrated with payments
  2. SFDO Payment Services – to process credit cards online
  3. Batch Gift Entry – so you can enter credit cards + checks with a high velocity user experience
  4. Accounting Subledger – to make it easy to integrate with accounting systems
Elevate Fundraising from for better nonprofit marketing software. Amplify Engagement announced at Dreamforce 2019. Actual display may vary.

Amplify Engagement will include:

  1. Engagement Hub – for data-driven, omni-channel strategies for direct and digital channels
  2. Insights platform – to get all your in a single source of truth from online and offline sources, to create a 360-degree view of constituents; it will recommend the best way to reach your audience at the right time

These are expected to be available in 2020. For more about our nonprofit fundraising software plans, see this announcement.*

Co-Innovation Makes Better Nonprofit Technology

At, we know we can’t build a better world alone: we have to do it together with our customers, community, and stakeholders. That’s why we have a nonprofit executive council, customer advisory board, partner advisory board, product pilots, Open Source Community Sprints, and the Power of Us Hub. As we co-innovate, we want to hear about what’s working as well as what’s not.

We continue to innovate on open source products like the Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP). We’re delivering open source and closed source products because our community is made up of large, mid-sized and small organizations and we need a diverse set of solutions to meet their needs.’s technology, our growth and our impact are all synonymous – one does not exist without the other. In this way, our endless circle of impact continues. The more missions we support through technology, the more we are able to give back to the sector. As the heart of Salesforce, we remain committed to helping our customers improve the state of the world.

A few examples of what co-innovation looks like:

  1. Pro Bono: Within just 7 days, a community of pro bono volunteers helped the Red Cross with a Hurricane Harvey fundraising site that helped the org raise over $225M!
  2. User Groups – dedicated leaders spend their free time to help people learn Salesforce skills and be part of the Salesforce economy. Between 2020 and 2024, IDC predicts that and its ecosystem will generate $36.2 billion in economic benefit for the social sector, $11.7 billion of which will be generated from donated products and services.
  3. Open Source Commons is for community members to self-organize into teams and solve problems, like an online version of Community Sprints.

But that’s not all…

Our Community is Expanding, and We Want to Hear from You

Last year, we celebrated NPSP’s 10 year birthday. Many NPSP features come from collaborative innovation at Open Source Community Sprints. Now, we are expanding how we innovate with our community to co-create solutions on broader societal challenges (read: not just about our products!) with Impact Labs.

Impact Labs has three parts:

  1. Surfacing challenges: anyone can submit a social issue to work on through an open call for challenges. (Yes, anyone! You could even talk to your kids about the SDGs, and get their input, for example.) We will select a challenge area to explore with the most potential for scalable impact for each Impact Lab.
  2. Collaborating in a design sprint: we will convene a diverse set of experts and organizations to participate in an in-person, three-day sprint to co-design solutions.
  3. Developing technology solutions: With ongoing input from the community, we will leverage pro bono Salesforce employees to develop the solutions on the Salesforce platform.

You don’t have to be a customer to submit a social challenge to work on. If you want to make the world a better place, we want to hear from you!

Dreamforce 2019 Nonprofit Keynote

To see all the product announcements unveiled at Dreamforce this year, check out this Nonprofit Cloud Dreamforce 2019 keynote video recording.

Watch the Keynote

P.S. Save the date for Dreamforce next year! It’s November 9-12, 2020 in San Francisco.

*Any unreleased services or features referenced in this or other blog posts or public statements are not currently available and may not be delivered on time or at all. Customers who purchase Salesforce applications should make their purchase decisions based upon features that are currently available. Salesforce has headquarters in San Francisco, with offices in Europe and Asia, and trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “CRM.” For more information please visit,, or call 1-800-NO-SOFTWARE.