Society for Science - Heller Consulting

Society for Science

Society for Science, a nonprofit organization best known for it’s award-winning science journalism, world-class STEM research competitions and suite of outreach and equity programs, faced significant challenges with siloed data and manual processes across its systems. To address these issues, the organization partnered with Heller Consulting to implement Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Insights and other Microsoft tools, including Power Automate and Customer Voice.

The solution consolidated data, automated processes, and provided a more complete view of constituents, resulting in increased efficiency, improved user experience, and better decision-making capabilities for the Society.

This work has made Society for Science more capable and compliant, improving their ability to communicate with their audiences, steward donors, and streamline communications across all their programs. With Microsoft Dynamics now the foundation for their fundraising and marketing technology, the Society staff is empowered to develop further use cases and more deeply leverage the growing capabilities of the Microsoft suite.

Highlights:

  • Consolidated data into a single marketing platform
  • Automated manual processes, such as the Science News Learning Program renewal process
  • Reduced renewal process from 6-7 clicks to just 2 clicks for end-users
  • Increased survey responses from 1,190 to over 1,800 in the current cycle
  • Improved data accuracy and security by eliminating manual data sharing via spreadsheets
  • Enhanced decision-making capabilities with a more complete picture of constituents

“I would commend the Heller team on the efforts that they put into this project. They have helped us to navigate multiple challenges throughout this project. The team has always been able to either give me the information I need to get people on track or deal with them directly. The whole team has been phenomenal to work with.”

Quinn Gooden, Business Analyst, Society for Science

Challenge:

The Society for Science operated with a decentralized approach, with each department handling its own systems and processes. Disconnected systems caused data repetition, manual work, and security issues from sharing data through spreadsheets. The organization had close to a million records, but the true number could have been as high as 1.5 million due to duplication. The manual processes were time-consuming and increased the risk of data being overwritten or lost.

Moreover, many of the organization’s processes were manual, including mass market fundraising outreach and communications about educational programming. Because these systems were disparate, it was difficult to avoid overwhelming contacts with requests from different departments. And the manual approach resulted in delays that affected customer experience.

“We were in a situation several years ago, where if someone paid us for a subscription, it would be several days if not a week before they received access or even any acknowledgment of their membership or subscription. Bringing down that gap has really helped us to understand whether we are delivering on our commitment to our audiences and ensured that our audiences can be confident in the services they are receiving.”

James Moore, Chief Technology Officer, Society for Science.

Solution:

After evaluating various options, including solutions from Blackbaud and Salesforce, Society for Science chose to implement Microsoft Dynamics 365 and other Microsoft tools, such as Customer Insights and Power Automate. Heller Consulting was brought in to manage the implementation of Customer Insights and help improve the out-of-the-box fundraising and engagement capabilities.

The solution consolidated data from multiple systems, including Raiser’s Edge and Salesforce Marketing Cloud. Custom application systems were also integrated into the new platform. The organization leveraged Power Automate to replicate a custom-built RSS solution for feeding website content into newsletters.

“Now we have more insight into what’s going on and what data is being collected. Everybody is more comfortable with accessing data and looking things up, which saves time throughout the day. Long term, I think it will also provide the Society with better flexibility to work on large cross-departmental projects together.”

Pratham Patkar, Director of Business Systems, Society for Science

Result:

The implementation of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Insights and other tools has significantly improved Society for Science’s communication operations. The consolidation of data has enabled better segmentation, personalization, and compliance with opt-out requests. The automation of manual processes, such as the Science News Learning Program renewal process, has reduced staff time and improved the user experience. The renewal process has been streamlined from 6-7 clicks to just 2 clicks for end-users, resulting in faster and higher renewal rates. Survey responses have increased from 1,190 to over 1,800 in the current cycle with the use of Dynamics 365 Customer Voice.

The organization now has better insights into constituent interactions across different programs and roles, enabling data-driven decision-making. Overall, the solution has saved staff time, increased efficiency, and provided better flexibility for departments to work together more effectively.

“Customer Voice provides the Society with valuable data that, as an organization, will enable us to make more data-driven and informed decisions. We never had this ability with our previous systems. In terms of user experience, the way the system has been set up, it’s ease of use, and the way it ties to a particular contact record really makes that possible for us.”

James Moore, Chief Technology Officer, Society for Science