Validating Your Impact
Provisio’s Salesforce consultancy focuses on efficient operation solutions for Human Service organizations to support their challenges, needs, and opportunities. While a significant component of that work revolves around increasing an organization’s impact and productivity, there are other upsides: Easily accessible data that streamlines communication with donors, funding organizations, and boards– in language and formats they each understand – and improved strategic planning and accountability.
The first step in telling stories to stakeholders is providing data that illustrates where resources are being used and where there are gaps. This data helps organizations manage their limited resources most effectively, especially for those with many clients that provide various services delivered by different departments. Salesforce provides a holistic view where an organization can see the arc of services each client uses and identify any gaps in their resources.
For Water Street Mission, a nonprofit that serves marginalized communities and those experiencing homelessness, the data piece is critical to analyzing their impact, such as where their community or guests are finding lift. Marj Wilcox, VP of Finance and Operations, cites a recently instituted co-op program for the food insecure.
“It’s totally different from what we’ve done traditionally,” Wilcox says. “And so the ability to track that and see if it’s an effective program requires a certain level of scrutiny. Salesforce will allow us to capture that data in the future.”
Built-in Board Reporting
The data also enables organizations to generate simple, automated reports for their Boards. At ICD-NYC, a career development and employment nonprofit, what used to take them a day or two to prepare, is now already accessible in their Salesforce dashboard in various formats. “We use the goals and tasks, and I literally just share my screen,” says Dio Gica, EdD, Chief Operating Officer. “The Board can see everything happening with a project and where we are.”
“It’s a win-win for management and board,” he explains, “because our Board consists mostly of professionals in finance so they are numbers driven, as the baseline for further conversations. And what they need is a visual to show where we are and what else we need to get done. So it’s a significant value-add: It saves time, and the Board gets what they need in a snapshot.”
Storytelling to Support Funding and Compliance
Most human services organizations must also report to state and federal funders, often quarterly and annually. So being able to analyze data in a variety of ways means that they can easily demonstrate their impact — as well as ensure their regulatory compliance – to all types of funders, be it government or private. With Salesforce, they can generate basic metrics – such as the number of clients, how long they’ve been in service, the types of services they’re using, how they were referred to the organization, and program outcomes – quickly and accurately.
Ensuring Strategic Planning and Accountability
Salesforce also helps with the strategy piece. Human Service agencies often expect program directors to evaluate their staffing needs so they can course correct. “As a leadership team, we look at these changes monthly, so we can see our organizational strategy and how that aligns with our larger strategic plan and targets,” says Taylor Harrell, Director of Measurement and Evaluations at MAAC, a local organization that helps families to become self-sufficient.
Communities are Stakeholders Too
“The data also helps us tell our story to the wider community,” says Harrell. “We have a nearly 60-year history in this community, and this organization has greatly impacted generations. Often people say to us, ‘My mom went to your Head Start programs, and that has helped me so much,’ or even, ‘Thanks, we’ve utilized your services.”
It’s critical to tell success stories to an organization’s larger community because they’re often their success stories too. Making it easy and efficient to report data to stakeholders is something Proviso Partners knows is critical to an organization’s success. Proviso will listen and provide a custom implementation for your organization. For more information, please visit provisiopartners.com or fill out this form.
About the Series
Provisio Partners wanted to examine how their clients are faring with their Salesforce implementations and if the technology was keeping pace with their customers’ needs in these evolving times. They enlisted several partners to participate in deep conversations about how Salesforce is helping to maximize their missions, how their data needs are changing, and what wisdom they would impart to other nonprofits. The result is the blog series entitled Perspectives: Nonprofit Leaders of Change.
Marjorie lives in Saint Louis, Missouri. She received her Master’s degree in English from Truman State University. Her responsibilities at Provisio Partners include content creation and technical writing.