Takeaways from the Salesforce Nonprofit Trends Report

The recent Nonprofit Trends Report from Salesforce provides helpful insights on how nonprofits have responded to the fallout of COVID-19 and what role technology has played in helping them become more resilient. As I read through the report, I found that several of the key findings align with what we’ve been seeing at Heller Consulting.

At the highest level, the report found that there is a connection between organizations with high digital maturity and those with the most innovative and confident responses to change. In the report, Salesforce defines “digital maturity” as an organization’s ability to leverage data to inform decision-making, reach new audiences, personalize communications, and forecast fundraising income.


Some takeaways from the Salesforce Nonprofit Trends Report

The report makes it clear that these leading nonprofits were more likely to have exceeded their goals across program delivery, marketing, fundraising, and their overall mission in the last six months. Here are some of my key takeaways about nonprofits with high digital maturity from the report:

  • Nonprofits with high digital maturity are confident in their ability to fundraise: 
    • 48% of nonprofits with high digital maturity said they were “likely” to gain support for their cause over the next six months, versus nearly one in five low digital maturity organizations.
    • 55% of organizations with high digital maturity say that are “likely” to be able to nurture and strengthen relationships with supporters digitally.
  • Nonprofits with high digital maturity are reaching their program-related goals: 71% of high digital maturity organizations said they met or exceeded their goals for program delivery.
  • Digital maturity helped nonprofits navigate the pandemic on several fronts: 
    • 80% said they were able to accelerate their move to digital programs or events.
    • 75% said they were prepared with the technologies they needed to help navigate the shifts in their operations.
    • 70% said they were able to revise their services to serve different clients or attract new audiences.


The power of a strong technology foundation

This connection between high digital maturity and those who have a strong response to change doesn’t surprise me. At Team Heller, we’ve seeing that nonprofits with a strong technology foundation when the COVID-19 pandemic hit have been able to adapt quickly to:

  • Working from home
  • Changing operational processes
  • Adding or modifying programs to meet a growing demand for services
  • Scaling up fundraising
  • Engaging with donors and constituents in new ways

For many of those organizations, their technology foundation consists of an ecosystem of best-of-breed tools connected to a strong CRM system, like Salesforce CRM, that helps them put data to work across their organization.


A case in point

I’ll give you an example from one of our clients, San Antonio Food Bank: Starting in 2018, we’ve helped the organization move through a digital transformation initiative. We worked with San Antonio Food Bank to develop a CRM ecosystem that placed the Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP) at its center. Additional tools were then integrated, including:

  • Volunteers for Salesforce to transform their volunteer tracking
  • FormAssembly to create custom volunteer sign up experiences
  • Rallybound to allow San Antonio Food Bank’s development team to improve the online donation interface

With these systems in place, the organization has been able to lean on their technology and data to support their efforts during this time of crisis. According to Michael Guerra, Chief Resource Officer at San Antonio Food Bank, having the CRM and fundraising technology already in place was a “godsend” when the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

Learn more about how San Antonio Food Bank scaled its efforts by leaning on a customized Salesforce CRM implementation: Read the case study

Take your digital maturity to the next level

If there’s one thing that 2020 showed us, it’s that you shouldn’t wait for bumps in the road to get the right technology foundation in place. Our team is ready to help you develop a vision for your technology ecosystem, choose the right systems and solutions, and build a detailed tech strategy that serves you now and helps you stay resilient no matter what the future brings.

Contact us today to get started.

 

About the Author

Kaia Swift
Kaia first started working with nonprofits at an internship at an organization that served military families. Since then, she has worked for C-SPAN and with organizations focused on education and politics. She brings her knowledge of marketing and nonprofit operations... Read More
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