The Salesforce Playbook for Mission-Driven Organizations

5 min readAug 10, 2021
Photo Credit: Ray Sangga Kusuma

For many mission-driven organizations, technical infrastructure can be an afterthought. Something that’s handled by a separate team who decides on the best software solutions to fit the organization’s needs.

What’s at the top of the list when making these decisions? Usually cost. Then, the amount of resources required for setting it up and keeping it running. A resource-conscious approach is understandable for organizations who want to keep overhead costs low, and dedicate as much of their resources as possible to their mission.

But, your organization’s technology has the power to catalyze your impact: from increasing donor dollars to tracking, analyzing, and reporting program outcomes, to driving up volunteer loyalty, and more. Choosing the right tools must align directly with your organization’s strategy and mission.

Many organizations find themselves looking for out-of -the-box software solutions to handle their needs. The immediate benefits seem well worth it: the solutions are ready to use immediately and are easy to adopt. Perhaps most enticing is the price — they usually charge a low monthly fee based on the number of users and you even get a discount with an annual subscription! Sounds great, right?

If your organization has taken this route you know that the shimmer quickly fades. The main problem? Out-of-the-box solutions never do everything. You’ll quickly find that key functionality your organization needs is missing. So you’re stuck adding new software to plug the holes. Every new product comes with a price tag, more training, another implementation. To add to the challenges, your business processes and data now live in disparate systems. Connecting them usually requires a central database that’s going to be an even bigger investment. So, you can continue down this same path, trying to make it work. Or, you can scrap it all, and try again with a more sustainable, scalable solution.

That’s where Salesforce comes in. Salesforce can be an incredible asset for mission-driven organizations. From nonprofits to government agencies, these organizations need to track and report on their impact, manage relationships with donors and volunteers, and manage their operations. To do so, like any other industry, they rely on technical tools to save time, limit overhead, and carry out their mission. When leveraged in the right ways, Salesforce can handle those tasks with unlimited room to grow and improve based on your changing needs. It gives time back to organizations to focus on their core mission.

In effect, Salesforce gives you the power to supercharge your organization’s impact. Let’s explore how.

Photo Credit: Joel Muniz

Monitoring and Evaluation of Programs

Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) is your main source of accountability as a mission-driven organization. You rely on it to track the outputs and outcomes of your work, make key strategic programming decisions, and report back to your stakeholders.

But, M&E is complex. No two organizations handle it in exactly the same way. Your approach relies on your organization’s mission and unique activities. When it comes to technical systems, you need a flexible solution that adopts to your unique set of needs. You may be looking to organize program content, or track activities and participants, or handle surveys, or report around stakeholder requirements, or make your work more effective and more efficient. As a solution, Salesforce is fully customizable to fit your M&E needs and if your strategy changes, Salesforce can change with you.

Donor Relationship Management

Donors are the lifeblood of many mission-driven organizations. If you can’t get donors on board or cannot keep them, you’ll have fewer resources to dedicate to your mission. Fewer resources equals less impact.

Building strong relationships with donors is the key to unlocking sustained support. And for fundraising pros, data is the backbone of building that relationship. From their response to a particular case study, to their donation history, to the note they left about why they are invested in the cause, each bit of data is a piece of the puzzle that helps convert donors and ultimately keeps the organization alive and thriving.

With Salesforce, you can capture and provide visibility into that data, implement automations that use data to take action, and leverage systems that make communication easier and more personal in order to revolutionize your donor relationship management. Learn more here.

Photo Credit: NeONBRAND

Volunteer Management

Volunteers are as important as donors for many mission-driven organizations. While donors fund the work, the volunteers are actually out there, putting in the hours. Building a loyal volunteer base, growing it, and managing it is vital if you want to grow your impact.

But, engaging your volunteer base is easier said than done. In many cases you may be tasked with building and managing relationships with hundreds, thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of individuals. With Salesforce, you can provide key information at the right time, scale your most effective communication tactics, easily organize your workforce, and provide automations that mean your team is not spending countless hours digging through spreadsheets of email addresses.

Grant Management

Managing a grant portfolio requires organizing a ton of moving pieces. From receiving applications, to complex review processes, awarding grants and following compliance steps, to receiving and reviewing grantee reports, each part of the grant management pipeline could require your team’s full attention.

But, with Salesforce, you can drastically cut down what’s required from your team. Salesforce optimizes the user experience for applicants and grantees. You’ll be able to automate processes that are the most time consuming or repetitive. Learn more here.

What’s next?

At Lab5, we know that the technical solutions you choose can revolutionize your operations and catalyze your impact. We also know that the wrong decisions can be costly for your organization — requiring a ton of time and money in the future. So over the next several weeks, we’ll be bringing you our team’s expertise on the best ways to leverage Salesforce for your mission-driven organization.

If you’d like to speak to Lab5 about solving your mission driven organization’s biggest challenges, contact us.




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