By: Koser Khan, Director of Customer Engagement & Marketing, Salesforce
In a digital age, speed is essential and can make a big difference to competitive advantage. We spent some time with Chief Executive Tim Johnson at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) Charity learning about his transformation and innovation goals, and how maximising agility benefits the charity’s fundraising potential.
How does the charity support Great Ormond Street Hospital?
We don’t just support the hospital, we support the staff, the patients, and their families too. Donations made to the GOSH charity help to fund new equipment, medical research, staff training, patient welfare projects as well as redevelopment of the London site. Thousands of volunteers and donors contribute to corporate and community fundraising events every year.
GOSH is a very special establishment; we want to ensure it can continue to deliver the best experience and the best health outcomes to the 300,000 children that it cares for every year.
Why does speed matter in the nonprofit sector?
There are more than 180,000 charities in the UK – and every one of them is vying to get people behind their cause. We need to keep improving and innovating to stay competitive and ensure our cause remains front of mind.
The work of Great Ormond Street Hospital already attracts amazing support from around the world, and we need to ensure that support continues and grows. If we don’t meet our annual fundraising target of £100 million over the next couple of years, then critical activities to help children will be at risk.
Tell us about the charity’s recent digital transformation
We basically re-engineered our entire business in eight months! We needed a major digital infrastructure overhaul; there was a high degree of manual work and it was difficult to access critical information needed to drive the charity forward. We’ve transformed our fundraising, financial, and operational activities to such an extent that Salesforce is now how we run our business.
What innovations did you introduce as part of the transformation?
For example, we are introducing personalised supporter journeys, which will enable us to send tailored digital communications around events and fundraising efforts to maximise gift value and deepen our relationships.
What’s next on the innovation radar?
We’ve already made information more accessible across our organisation, and we want to extend this to our supporters. In the future, we want to allow supporters to review their giving histories and keep their profiles up to date via a self-service portal hosted on GOSH.org.
We want supporters to be able to personalise the information they receive and for us to better tailor our communications to topics and news that they have expressed an interest in. We put a high emphasis on standards and compliance, and the community will enable supporters to amend their communication preferences more easily.
How have you accelerated your innovation and transformation roadmap?
With Salesforce, we have a flexible platform that enables us to make quick changes and enhancements that would have taken a lot of time and money to execute. We can be more experimental; we can succeed – or fail – fast and move on to the next idea. In a digital age, this level of agility is essential. Speed isn’t just important for innovation; it’s also important for day-to-day operations.
Can you explain why agility matters on a daily basis?
The faster we can respond, the stronger we can become. Waiting for information can slow down not only decision-making but also fundraising. Thanks to our digital transformation, we can now tap into supporter and fundraising insights in real-time instead of waiting for static reports to be produced. For example, reports summarising our month end results used to take five days to produce; now they are available in 24 hours and also come with drill-down capabilities.
By unlocking barriers to information, we can have more meaningful interactions with our supporters and maximise the fundraising potential for Great Ormond Street Hospital.
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