Pro bono with Care Corner – Yao Jun’s Story
By: Esther Nai, Program Manager, APAC, Salesforce.com and Yao Jun, Senior Technical Architect, Salesforce
Care Corner is a Singapore-based nonprofit, providing counselling and community services to families, youth and senior age groups, through its network of over thirty centers situated island-wide and volunteer-driven counselling hotlines.
SKILLS + NEED = IMPACT
At Salesforce, we believe that when we can give back in a way that addresses a real need of a nonprofit in the community, that is when impact is created.
When Yao Jun, a senior technical architect at Salesforce was introduced to Care Corner, it was clear that they were facing some challenges with their donor and volunteer management systems. Yao Jun kicked off the engagement by walking them through the capabilities of Salesforce and AppExchange apps, a common need from nonprofits who are new to Salesforce. Armed with a clearer understanding and overview of the platform’s capabilities, they moved on to define a two-year roadmap, a few milestone deliverables with a regular face-to-face meeting schedule.
PRO BONO WORK REQUIRES DEDICATION AND COMMITMENT
To manage a successful pro bono engagement, it is pivotal that the nonprofit stays committed and invested in the project. James Lim, the Care Corner’s Volunteer Manager, did a great job helming the project. He gave a name to the working team, Salesforce Taskforce, bringing onboard two more volunteers from other organisations who wanted to participate and were interested in learning Salesforce.
To ensure the sustainability and continuity of the projects, Yao Jun trained up the administrator team and even he was pleasantly surprised and impressed with how quickly they picked up Salesforce! Subsequently, Yao Jun even roped in Bashar (another colleague) to join the team to provide extra pair of hands on the implementation.
A year on, the team has achieved what they set out to do. The donor application has gone live to all centers in March. In July, they will test run the volunteer app with three centers across Singapore and are targeting to go live on ALL centers in September. In the meantime, they will continue to brainstorm and enhance the system with new capabilities, with the end goal of extending this to the volunteer community.
As user adoption picks up, the organization is becoming a big fan of Salesforce. James uses every chance to promote Salesforce to his colleagues and other nonprofits during community meetings. He spends a lot of time studying up on Salesforce, trying his hand with the sandbox and performing simple configurations to the system. Now he is capable of doing some customizations on the data model, workflow rules and formulas, creating reports and dashboards by himself. The next step is to prepare him for the ADM-201 certification.
“We have been encouraged and blessed by his commitment”
Besides giving back through his skills, Yao Jun has now signed up as a volunteer with Care Corner. In an expression of gratitude for Yao Jun’s hard work, he had the opportunity to participate in a Photo Journal project by Care Corner. The project features five volunteers’ personal stories from different background, profiling their work/life and volunteering experiences, to encourage and inspire more people to volunteer for volunteering. He was chosen to represent those silent heroes who are working behind the scenes, making pivotal and significant contributions to the community, in the best ways they can.
As summed up by James, the strategic value of pro bono work can be felt by mutual parties when actual value is created with a blend of time, passion and technological expertise.
“We have been encouraged and blessed by his commitment. Yao Jun, despite his frequent travelling needed for his projects, never fails to remain available to provide help and advice. Through the pro bono work done with Yao Jun and two other volunteers, we are currently working on extending the functionality of the database to feature volunteer opportunities online and to accept online registration. We believe this will go a long way to not only cut down on data entry needed but will also increase the accuracy and completeness of the data of our volunteers and community builders as well as increase the possibility of a good volunteer-role fit. We are also very excited how the database will help us to better partner and build rapport with our volunteers and community builders, to help better serve and bring care to our beneficiaries.”
“We thank Salesforce for the wonderful partnership and for all the work you are doing to aid and empower the nonprofit sector through your product and work.”
At Salesforce, all employees receive 56 volunteer hours per year which they can use to work with organisations and causes they care about. Read more about our pro bono program here >>
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