Keeping a community of technical professionals in touch and in constant communication can be a daunting task filled with expectations, especially when the community is spread over 160 countries with more than 400,000 members. So when it came time to update their community portal, one organization leveraged the features of Salesforce Community Cloud to give their site an updated look and feel, increase engagement, and streamline management tasks.
Heller is committed to providing up-to-date resources and information on topics that impact the nonprofit community.
Our unique partnerships and associations with nonprofit organizations and software developers allow us to understand the continual advances in the market, and cultivate rich insights. As we combine these perspectives with our own experiences and knowledge, we are able to create reference materials useful to nonprofit organizations of all sizes.
From short, focused blog posts, to extensive white papers and reviews, we strive to share the knowledge we’ve gained with our nonprofit community. Please use this information to help you make better decisions for your organization, and contact us if you have any questions.
Philanthropy is an increasingly critical source of funds for colleges and universities, and advancement and major giving programs require a different set of tools than annual campaigns and online giving appeals. Because individual relationship building is key to securing major gifts, empowering major gift officers to do what they do best is essential. The most successful advancement offices leverage technology where it makes sense: to identify the best prospects, easily manage their day to day work and collaborate with all members of the team who participate in the fundraising process. Our recent project with Gordon College is an excellent example of how colleges can take advantage of advanced technology to help their team to succeed.
As I sat in the lobby waiting to meet our client for the first time, I read through some of the brochures on the coffee table. There was also a photo album that told their origin story. After thumbing through it, I had to quickly wipe my tears before I walked in to our first meeting. I’ll never forget that first visit at Make-A-Wish America, and the many visits after. I quickly learned that from local chapters to the national headquarters, everyone is truly passionate for the work they do. They have to be. There’s a lot of work, logistics, and uncertainties the team has to deal with when granting one wish to a child. In fact, that is how we started working together. They felt their processes had too many steps, too much paperwork, and took too long to grant a wish. They wanted to be more efficient so they could grant more wishes to more children, and asked us if we could help.
The nonprofit community has seen an increase in the variety of CRM technology solutions available to help them increase their fundraising, communicate with their constituents, and ultimately deliver their mission. Many organizations are finding it challenging to select the right solution. The fact is, developing a successful nonprofit CRM requires more than straightforward feature comparison between different solutions. It requires an understanding of existing successful processes and thoughtful consideration of future strategies. It’s also helpful to hear what similar organizations are doing and how they are addressing their planning, implementation, and transition challenges.
Being ready for change within a nonprofit is influenced by a wide range of factors including personal styles and long-term departmental history. One team may embrace being the “early adopters” while another may take a more cautious approach. At the end of the day, change is inevitable and often challenging. When well-managed it can be a transformative and beneficial experience that improves staff morale, program effectiveness, and even how the organization serves constituents. When change is poorly managed, especially multi-department or organization-wide changes, it can be extremely disruptive. In fact, many transformative initiatives that impact the processes, technology, or culture of an organization have a very low success rate—as many as 70% fail to achieve their goals.
It is inevitable. At some point every nonprofit organization will have to migrate their data from one system to another. Whether it is for an upgraded version of their current system or to an entirely new system, the reality is that technology evolves. Older data structures weren’t designed with newer system capabilities in mind, so they can become less efficient. Plus, over years of input and use by a variety of people with evolving processes, data integrity can drift from its optimal state. Eventually, all data storage can benefit from being examined, cleaned, and optimized. While beneficial, optimizing a data set and then preparing to return it to the existing or new system does present many risks. It’s possible to lose, disconnect, or even corrupt years of valuable constituent history. In fact, as many as 84% of data migrations projects fail to meet expectations. Why?
Analytics is becoming a popular buzz word in the technology industry but what does it really mean to your nonprofit? Is it worth the effort and investment? In a nutshell, analytics for nonprofits is using your data to objectively evaluate your organization’s practices, providing insights for effective forecasting and decision making. It is a detailed analysis built with accuracy, consistency, and rigor over an extended period of time. To be clear, analytics is not the typical reporting that many organizations already do.
Heller Consulting is committed to providing up-to-date resources and information on topics that impact the nonprofit community. Our unique partnerships and associations with nonprofit organizations and software developers allow us to understand the continual advances in the market and cultivate rich insights. As we combine these perspectives with our own experiences and knowledge, we are able to create reference materials useful to nonprofit organizations of all sizes. Please download these resources, and watch for additional events, papers, and posts throughout 2017.
Room to Read is a nonprofit organization changing the lives of millions of children by supporting literacy and gender equality in education throughout developing countries. As they aimed to expand services to serve more children in more regions, they found their existing systems were not able to support new forward thinking strategies. Rather than simply replace systems, they decided to engage with Heller Consulting for a thoughtful process to determine the best path forward. Heller guided them through a CRM planning and solution selection process and finally led the implementation of the new solution. These newly established systems are critical for keeping their information organized and accessible for their constituents and stakeholders, and allow them to provide services and support around the world.
Never before have nonprofit organizations had the opportunity to acquire, maintain, and effectively utilize vast quantities of information about their supporters, beneficiaries and advocates. To take advantage of this information, organizations must go beyond basic reporting and explore the quickly expanding world of “analytics”. Effective use of analytics can help determine the value of programs and initiatives as they relate to serving your beneficiaries, building long-term relationships with your supporters, and guiding your nonprofit forward.