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Reach Out and Read: An NPSP 3 Upgrade Love Story

By January 15, 2016

By: Janna Rawls, ‎Marketing Coordinator, Cloud for Good

The Client

Reach Out and Read gives young children a foundation for success by incorporating books into pediatric care and encouraging families to read aloud together. Doctors, nurse practitioners, and other medical professionals incorporate Reach Out and Read’s evidence-based, three-part model into regular pediatric checkups for children from infancy through five years of age. The program serves nearly 4.5 million children and their families across the nation, with a special emphasis on serving those in low-income communities.


Reach Out and Read was using an older version of the Nonprofit Starter Pack (version 2) to manage their supporters, but using the individual account model was a cumbersome task. They were unable to easily tell how many contacts belonged to a household, or track the amount of donations by household. An additional reporting issue faced by Reach Out and Read was the inability to easily view how donations rolled up yearly because they operate on a fiscal year running from July to June, instead of operating on a calendar year. Fiscal year donation roll-ups weren’t working correctly in their version of NPSP 2, forcing them to manually calculate the values for year-end reporting. Manually calculating the donations provided during the fiscal year was a huge effort and left quite a margin for error.

Reach Out and Read has a headquarters and five regional offices utilizing their Salesforce instance. Improving on their current security model to ensure that users had the proper visibility within Salesforce was of utmost importance to them. “From the beginning of the project, Cloud for Good listened carefully and responded to our challenges and needs. They did a great job of outlining the project, meeting deliverables on the specified timeline, all while allowing us to stick to our budget,” said Maddy Conway, Annual Fund Manager.

Reach Out and Read


Reach Out and Read selected Cloud for Good to assist them with their upgrade to NPSP 3. Although the conversion process is straightforward, Reach Out and Read wanted to take this opportunity to leverage new capabilities, and address internal business processes at the same time. Cloud for Good utilized its standard methodology that includes discovery, design, configuration, testing, data migration and user training. This methodology assures a smooth implementation process regardless of the size or complexity of the of the project.

In addition, the entire security model was redone, allowing for those at Reach Out and Read’s headquarters to view all of the information stored in Salesforce, while limiting the information that could be viewed at the regional offices. “Our consultant, John, helped me figure out what we were trying to accomplish and completely changed our security model. His knowledge and guidance have made me more comfortable with the platform. I feel confident that I can make small tweaks and adjustments to our security model myself in the future, as we continue to grow our organization and add more users and regional offices,” Conway said. Reach Out and Read also chose to implement a marketing automation solution for an integrated approach to better communicate with their supporters.


Upgrading to the NPSP 3 has given Reach Out and Read a 360-degree view of their supporters and allows them to see members of every household clearly. Now they have the ability to view multiple addresses for a household and see contacts’ primary affiliations. Being able to see who a contact works for is another benefit that helps Reach Out and Read obtain a better understanding of their supporters, as they are now able to distinguish between individual and institutional supporters! This view enables Reach Out and Read to further tailor campaigns to specific groups.

Reach Out and Read

Configurable naming conventions for Opportunities (Donations), allows them to configure specific naming conventions for different Opportunities based on attribution and record type, with the ability to configure date format and name format, which is contributes to the streamlining of internal processes. All of these features have helped simplify their reporting processes, especially at the end of the year (their fiscal year). The days of manually calculating donations are gone, reducing their margin for error to almost zero and saving them a tremendous amount of time. They are now able to accurately track progress towards their fundraising goals through their dashboard reports, providing all members of the team with regular updates, while informing them of organizational strategy and next steps. Implementing an integrated marketing automation solution has given them a better view into campaign performance. The new features provided by NPSP 3 will continue to help Reach Out and Read grow and expand, furthering their mission and impacting more families and children in the community.

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