“Our future includes national expansion and Salesforce is helping us get there." - Lynn Margherio, Founder and CEO, Cradles to Crayons

Cradles to Crayons Outfits their Operation with the Nonprofit Success Pack

Did you have a favorite pair of red boots or purple pants when you were growing up? Do you remember how excited you were to pick out your brand new backpack every school year? Which book did you beg your parents to read to you 100 times?

34 million children in the United States lack these everyday items that help them thrive. Cradles to Crayons equips children living in poverty with essentials like clothes, shoes, books, and school supplies. By engaging hundreds of corporations and thousands of families each year, Cradles to Crayons connects the communities that have resources with communities that need them.

Enabling Scale

Making these connections at scale across sites in Boston and Philadelphia proved to be challenging with the organization’s many disparate databases, spreadsheets, and paper files.

“We realized that we were spending way too much time entering data into different systems,” explains Lynn Margherio, Founder and CEO. “We didn’t have a holistic picture of how people were engaging with us, why they were engaging with us, and most importantly how we could keep them engaging with us.”

Seeing an opportunity to aggregate this information and use it to improve and spread Cradles to Crayons’ services to additional locations, its leadership turned to the Salesforce’s Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP) to better manage fundraising and programs (from volunteers to product donations).

Real-Time 360-Degree Views

By combining all its data in one place and with easy customizations, Cradles to Crayons now has a single unified view of each of its contacts — pulling together, for example, previous volunteer activities, upcoming events they’d registered for, donation history (both in-kind and cash), and much more. Through a custom built mobile application, Cradles to Crayons can capture product donations in its inventory system on the fly, and quickly acknowledge the donors. With dashboards, the organization can now see, in real-time, the latest information for any key constituent — from individual supporters to families to corporate partners. It can also get a precise gauge of where the organization is in its fundraising and product collection efforts at any given moment.

Process automation and website integration have saved staff time while streamlining communication across the organization. When a volunteer brings in a product or a donor makes a gift, the relevant departments are automatically notified so that the individual can be thanked in a timely fashion. The Cradles to Crayons website — critical for educating people about the organization, volunteer registration, and processing donations — now feeds information into Salesforce.

According to Zachery Tapp, IT Manager/Salesforce CRM System Administrator, the Salesforce platform is essential to Cradles to Crayons’ day-to-day operations. “We use Salesforce for all aspects of our business,” he says. “It touches everything we do from engagement to volunteering to product collection and management and donation processing. You can create these highly individualized tracks for people to follow through the organization so that they can go from being a volunteer to product and financial donor and maybe a board or committee member, too. We can then scale this process as we go national.”

And that’s exactly what Cradles to Crayons intends to do.

“Our old system of multiple databases and spreadsheets wasn’t going to allow us to scale,” Margherio says. “Our future includes national expansion and Salesforce is helping us get there.”

Cradles to Crayons worked with Sputnik Moment Consulting to build and customize this solution.

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