Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco
Salesforce Technology Propels Program Success
For an increasing number of people in and around San Francisco – a city with the highest cost of living in the country – the dream of homeownership seems completely out of reach. Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco builds and sustains affordable homeownership opportunities, to provide local families with a springboard to a secure and stable future. For the low and middle income families that it serves, a home means stability. Over the past 30 years, Habitat has built around 250 homes and repaired around 150 others.
But, despite all of the impact Habitat has had in the San Francisco community, “Our boat is small and the ocean is wide”, says Maureen Sedonaen, Chief Executive Officer. So in 2014, Habitat partnered with Salesforce to completely transform the way it operates. Harnessing the power of the Nonprofit Cloud across its programs has enabled Habitat’s 45-person team to be more efficient, have greater impact and, ultimately, be more successful in creating secure and stable futures for families in the Bay Area.
Efficient program management
Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco operates three main programs; affordable homeownership, neighborhood revitalization, and volunteerism– where 6,000 individuals participate annually in building and repairing homes, beautifying parks and gardens, and by working in Habitat’s home improvement store.
Prior to Salesforce, most programmatic work, like new home applications and open projects, was paper and Excel-based. Teams would sift through files and boxes to seek out the information that they needed to do their jobs. So the first phase in Habitat’s technology journey was to find a platform that would enable it to more efficiently manage its programs but that could be tailored to its unique needs as well. That’s where the Nonprofit Success Pack came in…
Nonprofit Success Pack
The Volunteer Services team manages all opportunities with the Nonprofit Success Pack and the Salesforce for Volunteers application. The Homeowner Development team manages the homeowner process from application to close, using the Nonprofit Success Pack and HomeKeeper, a connected application. They are now able to identify where in the process each of their homeowners is.
The time saved has been invaluable, Lauren Shaughnessy, Director of Measurement and Learning explains. “The program staff can spend more time with our homeowners, they can spend more time out in the field, they can spend more time thinking about how can we better serve our community and not spend a lot of time doing administrative paper tasks.” One idea that came out of this thinking was [Experience Cloud for Nonprofits], where staff can engage with homeowners directly and homeowners can ask each other questions. “Think Facebook meets Nextdoor”, says Shaughnessy.
Effective impact measurement
“Data is really important for us because we have limited resources and so if we find out some aspect of our program isn’t working, we’re not going to funnel resources to it anymore”, Shaughnessy explains. Thus, the second phase in Habitat’s technology journey has been to use data to monitor program outputs and understand program impact.
Prior to Salesforce, it was difficult to run quick reports to prepare for Board meetings or explain to stakeholders how successful the organization was in delivering on its mission. Habitat now uses Salesforce to track its outputs and reports can be run on the spot, with “insights at [our] fingertips”.
More recently, the team has also taken advantage of the power of Einstein Analytics to aggregate data across affiliates as a way of viewing disparate data through the single lens of collective impact. Now, they are able to compare their aggregate impact to external trends, and more effectively contribute to statewide advocacy around affordable housing policy.
Envisage the possibilities
The next phase of Habitat’s journey towards becoming a truly connected nonprofit is to migrate its fundraising data into Salesforce. Managing programs and fundraising on a single platform will enable Habitat to become a nonprofit with a 360 degree view, and with a deep understanding of the entirety of its constituent relationships.
With the ever-increasing cost of living in San Francisco, Habitat’s work to identify pathways to ensure that families can find stability and thrive in the community, has never been more important. For Shaughnessy, that is why the partnership with Salesforce is so powerful. “Salesforce is really aligned with our mission to serve the community. It helps us do our work.”