How Integrating Raiser’s Edge and Salesforce Can Benefit Nonprofits - Heller Consulting

How Integrating Raiser’s Edge and Salesforce Can Benefit Nonprofits

raisers edge salesforce integration examples

In earlier posts by Heller and Omatic Software, we wrote about a shift in approach to managing nonprofit data that is gaining steam: integrating Raiser’s Edge and Salesforce to leverage the strengths that each offer to nonprofits.

This week, we are hosting a webinar to discuss the types of integration opportunities that might be available in your organization. It has always been our philosophy that you should never invest in an integration unless you are very clear about action you will take with the data once it’s flowing back and forth. To help people think about how they might identify actionable use cases for their organization, we’ve put together three scenarios below that demonstrate possible ways to leverage combined data. Consider this an integration vision-board, if you will.

Scenario 1: Leveraging Constituent Engagement for Fundraising

Organization A uses Salesforce to manage its advocacy program. Salesforce is integrated with an online engagement system that they use for activating their constituents for petition drives and events. They use Raiser’s Edge for fundraising and are quite happy with it. They also use a wealth screening service for prospect management and store that information in Raiser’s Edge.

Integration Opportunity

Organization A identified the following key metrics about their advocates that meaningfully demonstrate their engagement:

  • Total # of Petitions Signed
  • Total # of Webinars/Conference Calls Attended
  • Total # of In Person Events Attended
  • Date of Last Activity (any of the above)
  • # of Activities Completed in Last 12 months

These metrics are added to the constituent’s Raiser’s Edge record as Attributes and the values are updated nightly.

Empowered Action

While the development team uses these metrics in various ways throughout the year, they have found three key approaches to be particularly effective:

  1. Constituents with high numbers of activities completed are sent direct mail and email solicitations that acknowledge them for the work they’ve put in, contain issue-specific messaging and describe how donations help the organization make policy change.
  2. Donor acknowledgement letters not only thank the donor for their gifts, but acknowledge them for the number of advocacy activities they have completed, helping to show donors that their work is noticed and appreciated, as well.
  3. Constituents who have high activity participation and low total giving, but high gift capacity based on their wealth screening are moved directly into a Major Giving pool, despite their low pattern of giving. The organization finds strong success securing major and planned gifts by engaging these donors individually.

Scenario 2: Efficiency in Impact Reporting

Organization B provides access to trained service pets through school and library-based programs. The program—from pet recruitment through training and service delivery—is managed in Salesforce. The organization uses Raiser’s Edge for fundraising and has a popular program through which donors can sponsor individual pets.

Integration Opportunity

Organization B saves a ton of time in producing and mailing these reports through a fairly simple integration of data between Raiser’s Edge and Salesforce. Sponsor gifts are processed by the development staff and added to Raiser’s Edge. Donors who sponsor pets are added to Salesforce through the integration and matched to service pets by the program management staff as a regular part of their pet management activities.

Empowered Action

On a quarterly basis, pet sponsors are sent an impact report that details the number and types of visits their sponsored pets completed. Without integrating this data, significant staff time would have to be used to manually add sponsors to Salesforce or to manually compile the impact reports. The organization regularly hears positive feedback from donors regarding these reports and sees retention rates increase as a result of this regular, inexpensive stewardship activity.

Scenario 3: Increasing Board Engagement – One Step at a Time

Organization C provides support services to people with chronic illness. They offer group therapy sessions, a call center for referrals and resource recommendations and educational classes. They manage these services in Salesforce and they use Raiser’s Edge for fundraising.

The executive team has struggled to spark increased engagement with their board and would like to better utilize the resources and insights they can offer to ensure the long-term stability of the organization. Before each meeting, the various department leaders spend time compiling reports to show progress to the Board, but Board members only seem to glance at these reports when they are delivered and tend to make more comments about the way the information is presented than their content.

Integration Opportunity

Frustrated with spinning their wheels, the department leaders work together to identify a set of key metrics that they can utilize to increase consistency and more effectively engage their board. They identify Salesforce Dashboards as being the best place to produce metric reports in a way that their Board members will appreciate. Then, they establish Campaigns in Salesforce that align to their key areas of fundraising. They set up an integration between Raiser’s Edge and Salesforce to add summarized fundraising totals to those campaigns every night. They give each Board Member access to Salesforce through a Partner Community, which allows them access to these Dashboards.

Empowered Action

By establishing Dashboards in Salesforce for both Program Management and Fundraising, Organization B is able to get their Board members information in a consistent and accessible way, which the Board thoroughly appreciates. The department leaders are able to spend less overall time preparing for Board meetings, and time they do spend is on meaningful analysis of the metrics, not compiling manual data. This leads to more productive discussions with the Board and decisions that better support the organization’s goals.

Expert Q & A On Integration

We understand that integrating different systems is complex, and very foreign to many organizations. There are as many possibilities as there are pitfalls when trying to develop a technology solution that serves unique needs. To help organizations understand where to start and how to plan a path forward, Heller Consulting is teaming up with integration experts Omatic Software in an open discussion on integration. View the video from September 28 and send us your most basic or complex questions on the opportunities and barriers to integrating some of the most powerful tools serving the nonprofit community. We talked about specific needs, opportunities and barriers you’ll face as you consider how these systems can complement each other. We also shared ways to test the waters of integration with focused pilot projects designed to prove-or disprove-the value of connected solutions. View the video now!

View the video


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