In January of 2016, UWSM began development on customizing Salesforce to meet the needs of our business model as it related to fundraising and finance. That May, AdvantageRM was launched as a custom app built in Salesforce to track all tasks related to the fundraising lifecycle and measure giving forecasts versus final results.
UWSM leveraged many custom objects available in Salesforce and through the Non-Profit Start Pack (now Non-Profit Success Pack).
Developed in conjunction with AdvantageRM were a series of tools built in Salesforce to be used by our Finance department. In the past UWSM had struggled to maintain accurate visibility on pledges, gifts, and gifts designated to other charities in our donor management system while also ensuring accurate data entry in the accounting software without creating duplicate data entry practices across both platforms.
UWSM designed a process where Salesforce is used as data entry tool for all donation transactions (cash gifts and pledges). All transactions entered into Salesforce are tagged with the GL accounts from our accounting system that are being debited and credited. Similarly, when a payment is applied to a transaction that record is also tagged with the appropriate GL accounts to credit and debit.
This process allowed our Finance team to run reports that summarized transactions by GL accounts and were used for journal entries in the accounting system.
Donation Allocations: Community Impact
Following the success of implementing Salesforce to accommodate our Fundraising and Finance needs, we saw the opportunity to expand our use of Salesforce to other functional areas in the organization.
Community Impact is how UWSM invests donor dollars back into the community by funding specific projects/programs that are administered by other local charities. In the past, UWSM had announced a call for applications by email and asked local charities to complete a paper or digital application in a Microsoft Word document. This process was manageable but cumbersome and ‘old fashioned.’
With Salesforce Community Cloud, UWSM has moved this entire process online. Local charities are informed about the call for applications by email, web and social media and are directed to our public community pages to learn more about applying, registering an account and completing an application. UWSM volunteers are then tasked with using the same communities to evaluate the applications and ultimately make decisions on how UWSM will fund local projects.
Through Salesforce we have modernized this key function of a United Way and helped all stakeholders work more efficiently and effectively.
Digital Marketing: Pardot
The most recent addition to our Salesforce environment is Pardot. In 2017, UWSM ventured down the path of completely retooling our existing web presence and implemented a series of new tools and methodologies for engaging with donors and community partners on social media, our website and by email. Until recently, our digital marketing goals were only tied to Salesforce by means of our donation page on our website.
With Pardot, all of this has changed. UWSM has now established some basic parameters of how we want to engage with donors and other stakeholders digitally. Pardot allows us to segment these people in lists and engage with them through different campaigns and track if/how they engage with the content we provide.
With real time, automated scoring based on engagement, as well as a secondary manual scoring measure, our marketing team can more meaningfully engage with donors and push all appropriate communications out based on their profile.