Alameda County Community Food Bank - Heller Consulting

Alameda County Community Food Bank

Technology Strategy and Partnership

For more than 35 years, Alameda County Community Food Bank (ACCFB) has passionately pursued a hunger-free community. Their vision: a community in which children, adults, and seniors of Alameda County, California do not worry about where their next meal is coming from.

  • ACCFB sought a partner to help build a long-term technology strategy and a clear plan to help the organization improve programs and processes.
  • The Heller Consulting team worked closely with ACCFB to identify optimal technology solutions to meet ACCFB’s digital transformation goals.
  • Working with Heller Consulting, ACCFB now has the right mix of integrated solutions to improve volunteer management, fundraising and marketing activities, and a food recovery program while working more efficiently and interacting more effectively with constituents and donors.

Challenge: Building a thoughtful technology plan

ACCFB wanted to create a technology plan to help them work more efficiently and effectively across the entire organization. Rather than solving each department’s technological changes in an isolated manner, they recognized that a more holistic and cross-departmental approach was needed.

The ACCFB team sought a technology partner that would help them design a technology strategy, implement that strategy in an intentional way, and support the process with change management. They also wanted to work with a partner that understands how food banks work and whose values align with those of ACCFB.

“The Heller team’s deep understanding of technology and commitment to our organization, plus their experience working with other food banks, has made our work with them smooth and efficient. They appreciate our goals and challenges, and they built a relationship with our staff that felt like a true partnership.” - Gina Schumacher, Salesforce Administrator, Alameda County Community Food Bank

Solution: A strategic and multi-phased approach to digital transformation


ACCFB started its journey with Heller Consulting by going through a needs assessment. The assessment allowed the Heller team to understand the food bank’s unique business processes, and then tailor technology recommendations based on that understanding.

Overall technology strategy

The Heller team collaborated with ACCFB to develop a technology roadmap that aligned technology solutions with the organization’s goals. The solution included moving ACCFB from the Blackbaud CRM fundraising and customer relationship management (CRM) platform to a technology stack centered around Salesforce.

Accelerated Volunteers for Salesforce solution

The Heller team started with an accelerated implementation of the Volunteers for Salesforce solution to help ACCFB address an immediate need to engage, manage, and track more volunteers to support increased demand for services during the global pandemic. The solution included mapping of new processes within the new system and customized forms to handle both individual and group sign-ups.

Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP) solution

Heller Consulting implemented Salesforce NPSP, configuring it to meet ACCFB’s specific needs. The Heller team also helped ACCFB to select and integrate Neon Fundraise with NPSP to support online fundraising activities, including their Virtual Food Drive. As part of this phase of the overall project, the Heller team guided ACCFB through decisions about terminology and configuration to ensure consistency across their new Salesforce-based solutions.

Marketing Cloud Account Engagement solution

Working with ACCFB, the Heller team implemented Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (formerly called Pardot), a marketing automation tool in the Salesforce ecosystem. The solution allows ACCFB to build sophisticated and automated email campaigns, fundraising appeals, and other marketing communications.

Solution for ACCFB food recovery program

The Heller team worked with ACCFB to implement the Salesforce Program Management Module to help streamline ACCFB’s food recovery program in which food donors (such as grocery stores that donate food) work with partner agencies (such as churches that distribute food). As a facilitator between these two entities, ACCFB matches donors with agencies, provides scheduling support, and tracks food safety compliance. The solution integrates with the Ceres food bank software system that ACCFB uses, which ties in the pounds of food distributed, giving ACCFB a complete view of their food recovery program in one place and allowing them to report on it effectively.

Overall change management support

With Heller Consulting’s change management approach, ACCFB felt supported throughout the organization’s digital transformation. ACCFB staff members and Heller team members built a strong relationship, and Heller’s deep knowledge of ACCFB’s business processes helped get the right staff members involved at the right stages of the project.

Result: Integrated technology solutions that support ACCFB’s goals

ACCFB has successfully moved to a new technology ecosystem that aligns with the organization’s long-term goals. With the Salesforce platform at the core, the solutions work together to streamline processes and improve the effectiveness of fundraising, marketing, and program efforts. ACCFB now has a more complete view of individuals who interact with the organization that, for example, allows the development team to market to volunteers and allows volunteer directors to see when volunteers have also made food or monetary donations. ACCFB can also now report more accurately and extensively on volunteer interactions, partnerships, food distributions, and more.