826 National selected two chapters, 826 Boston and 826 DC, plus the National office, to start the process as beta users of the new system, all of which were at different levels of need, existing technical infrastructure, quantity of data, and staff resources. Starting with just two chapters allowed us, and 826 National, to see the complex issues around bringing previously siloed orgranizations into a single system, and we were better able to navigate the roll-out of the remaining chapters over time as a result.
A major concern of all chapters was their ability to keep donor data private to just their chapter. With Salesforce.com’s robust sharing capabilities, we were able to set up a security model that initially separated chapter data so they could each only see what was relevant to their organization. The ultimate goal, though, was that over time the chapters would see the benefit of sharing their data with each other, and the security functionality would be loosened to allow for this to occur. Since 2011, all chapters now use Salesforce extensively, and have “let down the walls” between their data to allow for greater collaboration and resource sharing across the network.
826’s primary mission of using volunteers to teach writing skills required a robust and flexible volunteer management system that could accommodate the volunteer programs of all seven chapters. The clear choice to address this need was the free Volunteers for Salesforce app that has now been incorporated into the Nonprofit Success Pack by Salesforce.org. Because of the extensibility, ease of configuration and seamless integration with each chapter’s website, chapters could now collect volunteer registrations, create multiple volunteer calendars that allowed for online job signup, and internally manage the quickly growing volunteer base that is so critical to their programs’ success.
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