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5 Ways Nonprofits Built Digital Capacity Through Pro Bono

By October 26, 2020

Philanthropy’s chronic underfunding of technology and operations has made it difficult for nonprofits to go digital, but the pandemic has made it imperative. Fortunately, the sector knows how to stretch limited resources to deliver their missions, including working with pro bono volunteers

In honor of Pro Bono Week, we’re spotlighting organizations from around the world that have partnered with Salesforce volunteers to accelerate their digital journeys and not only survive, but thrive in an all-digital world.

Friends of Trees Gained Valuable Insights from Race and Ethnicity Data

Friends of Trees inspires people to improve the natural world around them by planting trees together. They use Nonprofit Cloud to manage, track, and connect with thousands of volunteers, donors, and partners. With help from a pro bono volunteer, the organization created an actionable report on the race and ethnicity of constituents. They now have a data-driven strategy for providing equitable access to trees, education, and job opportunities.

“Being able to work directly with someone at Salesforce who enabled us to solve our own problems is an important step toward a more equitable society. In the same way that Trailhead is leveling the playing field for education, the Pro Bono Program provides the additional support that nonprofits need to create the most impact in the communities we serve.”Carey Aroonsuck, Volunteer & Operations Administrator

Planting trees with students from Chemawa Indian School.

Planting trees with students from Chemawa Indian School.

The Good Chat Foundation Increased Operational Efficiency

The Good Chat Foundation is a nonprofit startup seeking to improve the lives of young Australians struggling with mental health challenges through community sporting clubs and activities. Salesforce was adopted early on to manage programs, merchandise sales, and grants. They applied for the Pro Bono Program because efficient use of resources was a top priority.

“We’re confident in our ability to manage the platform thanks to our Salesforce volunteer’s patience and ability to turn our needs into simple everyday processes. Access to pro bono support has enabled us to build a tool that allows us to run our start up NGO in the same way as any larger corporation.”
-Dr. Domenic Crouch, Chief Operating Officer

Young kids playing soccer

Soccer time is the best time!

Homeless Services Network Gained Confidence In Their Digital Strategy

The Homeless Services Network (HSN) administers more than 30 grants to programs for people experiencing homelessness in Central Florida. They have been slowly rolling out Salesforce to staff, which has transformed how parts of the organization work. Before adding any new users, they applied for pro bono expertise to make sure they were ready to grow on the platform.

“Our volunteer clarified what’s possible on the platform and gave us the tools, resources, and confidence we needed to add new users and make additional enhancements. His dedication, patience, and encouragement has been the highlight of my experience with Salesforce.”
Angel Jones, HMIS Operations Manager

Sidewalk chalk shows a message of positivity

We agree — a home for everyone!

Clean River Project Maximized Limited Resources to Go Digital

Clean River Project inspires Germans to rethink their plastic consumption by mobilizing communities to clean up rivers and create art from the plastic waste collected. The organization uses Nonprofit Cloud to stay in touch with donors, volunteers, companies, and schools. New to Salesforce with limited resources, they applied for support through the Pro Bono Program.

“Christoph, our volunteer, is teaching us how to use the platform. He takes the time to understand what’s important to us, thinks ahead, and gives us the tools we need to optimize our use of Salesforce in the long-term. We’re now able to stay connected with our community and have a long-term digital plan for growth.”
Franziska Braunschädel, Vice Chairwoman

Volunteers enjoying a day of kayaking — and cleaning up the river!

Volunteers enjoying a day of kayaking — and cleaning up the river!

J Street Can Engage Constituents on the Issues that Matter Most

J Street advocates for American policies that advance peace, justice, and democracy for Israelis and Palestinians and which aim to resolve conflicts through diplomacy instead of military force. The DC-based nonprofit uses Salesforce to mobilize their constituents to vote, sign petitions, and donate. In the early stages of implementation, the organization had trouble assigning constituents to the correct congressional districts, so they requested pro bono support for help.

“Arun and Rakesh [Salesforce volunteers] were very responsive and made my job so much easier. Now, we can educate supporters on the issues that matter most to them. Being the only Salesforce admin, the volunteers were crucial to moving us forward in our mission. I am truly grateful for the support and would work with them again in a heartbeat”
Shawn Clement, Assistant Director of Data and System Management

Bernie Sanders speaks at J Street’s annual conference in 2019.

Bernie Sanders speaks at J Street’s annual conference in 2019.

Apply for Pro Bono

Need help using Salesforce to increase your impact? Our Pro Bono Program combines two of our greatest assets, technology and the talent of our Salesforce employees, to help organizations maximize their use of Salesforce.

Read more about another pro bono success story, and apply today!

Apply for the Pro Bono Program

About the Author

Cheryl Timoney, Sr. Director of Tech for Social Impact at

Cheryl Timoney is the Sr. Director of Tech for Social Impact at helping change-makers realize the promise of technology to scale their missions and impact. Cheryl has successfully designed and scaled high-impact programs, including the Pro Bono Program, Technology Grants, and Impact Labs. Prior to, Cheryl led program teams in the nonprofit sector building community solutions for economic and community development. Outside of, Cheryl serves on the Board of Directors for Community Action Marin.