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How 4 Australian Nonprofits are Driving Impact with Digital

By January 25, 2021

The not-for-profit sector in Australia is large and diverse, with more than 600,000 organisations in the sector nationwide, according to Philanthropy Australia. These organisations provide critical community services and are at the forefront of some of the greatest challenges of our time, from combating climate change to championing public health and community wellbeing.

Crises like the COVID-19 pandemic and the devastating Australian bushfires have made nonprofit services even more essential. As organisations are navigating a new normal and scaling to tackle some of the most pressing issues of our time, digital technology has become imperative. Let’s take a look at four Australian nonprofits that are building resilience with a digital-first approach.

1. The Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO)

The Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) is a nonprofit leading the development of a circular economy for packaging in Australia. They have been appointed by the Australian government to lead the 2025 National Packaging Targets and make all packaging reusable, recyclable, or compostable by 2025.

The original APCO CRM, Member Centre, and website were built on fragmented systems originally designed for nonprofits with simple subscription management needs. The solution lacked the sophistication and functionality to suit more complex requirements as APCO’s membership base grew. causing extensive manual entry. The result was inefficient processes, reduction in productivity, and challenges in effectively communicating with members.

After an extensive evaluation, APCO chose Sales Cloud, Heroku, and CMS to take their organisation to the next level, giving their members a best-in-class experience as well as future-proofing their organisation. This provided them with a 360-degree view of their entire member base to allow seamless member management and engagement. 

APCO staff are now able to easily manage their members via Salesforce, while also providing their member’s complete access in one centralised location to essential resources that will assist in their journey to become a fully sustainable packaging organisation by 2025. This has allowed APCO staff to focus on what’s most important — empowering their members to overhaul their packaging materials in order to meet the National Packaging Targets by 2025.

2. RSPCA South Australia

South Australia’s Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) is the state’s largest and oldest animal welfare charity. In addition to advocating for animal welfare, the organisation provides shelter, medical care, and dedicated attention to animals in need. 

For a nonprofit that does such important work, capitalising on every donation opportunity is of vital importance. Before digitising its operations, the organisation was losing out on critical monthly donations — including a payment failure rate of nearly 30% each month. Beyond donations, automating manual tasks and streamlining fundraising efforts was central to the team’s decision to invest in a long-term digital solution.

With so much responsibility for protecting South Australia’s animal population, RSPCA has to effectively track donations, leverage data to make informed decisions, be agile enough to quickly respond to new challenges, and have the tools to engage current donors and bring in new ones. To achieve all of this, RSPCA uses Salesforce to automate its processes, streamline donations, and register volunteers. 

RSPCA’s newfound agility was instrumental in helping the organisation respond and pivot during the COVID-19 pandemic. To avoid the devastating long-term effects of shelter closures, the team at RSPCA quickly ramped up adoption and foster campaigns, in addition to a new fundraising initiative. Using A/B testing through Pardot, RSPCA could test various email variations and go all-in on the ones with the best potential for strong results. The response has far exceeded the team’s goals: shortly after the campaign launched in March, they received over 1,400 donations and over 450 animals were adopted — halving the number of animals in RSPCA’s care.

Person petting a cat

At the beginning of the pandemic, the RSPCA launched a successful campaign that received over 1,400 donations.

3. St Kilda Mums

After visiting the St Kilda Maternal and Child Health Centre, Jessica Macpherson, Founder and CEO of Victoria-based nonprofit St Kilda Mums, decided she’d dedicate herself to ensuring that every baby gets the same start in life. More than eight years after the first volunteer group she’d organised to help the children’s healthcare center, Jessica’s efforts have grown to include a network of 750 people who source essential items like cots, prams, car seats, and baby clothes for newborns. With each passing year, Jessica’s dream for a future of less waste and more resources for every child is becoming a reality.

To meet the demands of St Kilda Mums’ operations, which now include multiple warehouses and a slew of fundraising initiatives, the organisation needed a tool that would streamline its fundraising, organise its volunteers, track donor data, and automate routine tasks. A Facebook post drew the attention of a local dad who just so happened to be a Salesforce expert who helped the organisation get started with tracking and unifying its donor data. 

That initial donor-tracking data led to targeted marketing campaigns, personalised donor communications, and eventually a larger custom Salesforce solution that created similar efficiencies across the organisation’s operations. St Kilda Mums even went a step further, turning to Trailhead to encourage staff and volunteers alike to learn new skills and create new capabilities without the need for an integration partner. 

The Salesforce-St Kilda Mums partnership is a strong one. In addition to Salesforce donating money to support the organisation, employees have become regular volunteers helping with everything from administrative projects to the implementation of the Volunteers for Salesforce app.

Woman holding a baby

St Kilda Mums uses Salesforce to track donor data, personalise communications, and create targeted marketing campaigns..

4. Community Vision

Community Vision doesn’t just provide services to people with disabilities, it helps clients stay engaged and active in their communities through weekly activities at the organisation’s community center. Community Vision is committed to keeping its clients independent, active, and engaged for as long as possible. They believe that this benchmark for community care is key to a strong, connected community.

Their commitment to this mission is what led them to embark on a two-year transformation journey aimed at reducing the cost of service delivery while upping the client experience. 

With’s Nonprofit Cloud, Community Vision was able to consolidate its systems and digitise its data. The result was a single view of its clients, which led to an all-around improved client experience across the full spectrum of touchpoints. 

Manual tasks like scheduling that used to take staff days to complete have now been completely automated by Service Cloud, freeing up valuable time for employees to spend in the field. And when those employees are in the field, they’re seeing real-time client case notes that are updated and accessed right from their tablet. 

The benefits of a digitised mission are exponential for Community Vision. They can ensure the safety of their employees while they’re out in the field, better match clients with the appropriate support workers, and streamline invoicing and payroll. But perhaps the biggest benefits were felt during the COVID-19 pandemic when the organisation was able to do virtual visits that allowed support workers to ensure clients were taking the right medications on time, check in on people in vulnerable populations, and keep spirits high during a period of isolation.

Learn more about how your organisation can maximise impact by going digital with your fundraising, grantmaking, and marketing efforts.