Pro Bono Pro Tom Ansley Uses Expertise to Help Rescue Dogs

By Cheryl Timoney | October 21, 2014 | Pro Bono, Volunteering

Pro Bono WeekIt’s National Pro Bono Week and Salesforce is celebrating by recognizing five outstanding Pro Bono Pros who use their Salesforce skills to drive social change. Pro Bono Week is a global celebration of the pro bono ethic that drives professionals across the world to use their talents to make a difference. Today we recognize Tom Ansley!

Finn, a Collie who was rescued from an abusive situation, found his forever home with Salesforce’s Senior Technical Consultant Tom Ansley through the Minnesota Wisconsin Collie Rescue (MWCR). After adopting Finn and seeing the difference MWCR was making in the lives of these loving animals (and their new families), Tom started volunteering with MWCR. Through his volunteer work, it quickly became obvious to Tom that the organization needed a complete overhaul of how they were handling and storing their data, and Salesforce was the perfect solution. As Sarah Rebernick, VP, Adoption Coordinator at MWCR states, “we needed to be able to track a Collie’s journey through the rescue process as well as organize the human components of each stage.”

Finn the Collie

To help make the project manageable, Tom approached his work with MWCR in four phases. Phase 1 was creating the data model and all the necessary objects and configuration to track the journey of each dog. Phase 2 was linking MWCR’s website to Salesforce via Sites so that MWCR could post real-time information on their website about the dogs available for adoption. During Phase 3, Tom extended their implementation so MWCR could also accept and manage membership renewals and donations via their website. In the soon-to-start Phase 4, Tom will build an App that will help MWCR manage and track their volunteers. Their vision is to create an opportunity map that will coordinate transportation by various volunteers until a rescued dog reaches their forever home. Throughout this project, Tom has logged somewhere around 400 pro bono hours with MWCR!

Asked why he chose to volunteer his skills, Tom said, “As a software developer for Salesforce, I could be considered an ‘expert’ in this line of work. This is a way for me to feel that my skills are fully utilized.” Tom goes on to list the benefits of this experience as: gaining a better understanding of how a nonprofit organization works within their limited budget; building relationships with the passionate volunteers at MWCR; and watching the users of the new system be able to do their work more effectively and enjoy their work more because of it. Tom is proud to know that his work will allow MWCR to spend less time on administration and paperwork and more of their time focusing on the important work of rescuing Collies.

Tom’s advice to other Salesforce employees interested in pro bono volunteering, “Find something to do and get going!”

Thank you to Tom Ansley for demonstrating the very best of Salesforce’s culture of giving back. In honor of Tom, Salesforce.org is making a $250 donation to his charity of choice.

In FY15, 1,800 Salesforce employees logged 11,000 hours in pro bono volunteerism. If you are interested in learning more about pro bono at Salesforce visit salesforcefoundation.org/probono.