Pro Bono Profile: A Good Volunteer Builds Your Skills, Too

By Jason Wurtz | May 1, 2019 | Nonprofit, Pro Bono, Volunteering, Workforce Development

Our Pro Bono Profiles series explores how nonprofits use skilled volunteers to overcome resource constraints, make the most of Salesforce technology, and advance their missions.

Tyisha Bates got her career back on track with support from JEVS Human Services.
Tyisha Bates got her career back on track with support from JEVS Human Services.

“My body felt so heavy. I couldn’t think. I couldn’t move,” Tyisha shared. Her first step toward “coming back to life” was getting into therapy. The second step was getting back into the workforce after years of unemployment as a result of her depression.

Tyisha signed up for PA CareerLink, a workforce development program with a location run by JEVS Human Services. Through the program, Tyisha built the skills and confidence she needed to land a great job at a community health center and get her career and life back on track.

Making Hope Happen

Every year, JEVS touches the lives of nearly 30,000 people like Tyisha who struggle to support themselves and their families. The organization focuses on empowering individuals with physical, development, and mental health issues to live independent, self-sufficient lives.

Two years ago, JEVS Human Services implemented Salesforce.org Nonprofit Cloud, including the Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP), for fundraising and constituent relationship management (CRM). When expanding their volunteer program became a strategic priority, the organization began looking for a solution to track volunteers in Salesforce.

Sharon Rosenberg, Executive Director of Program Evaluation for Workforce Development, identified Volunteers for Salesforce (V4S) as a great fit for meeting their needs. But with only two years of experience administering Salesforce, and scant time with her other responsibilities, she needed help to install it.

Sharon applied to the Salesforce.org Pro Bono Program and was thrilled to get matched with Salesforce employees Tony Begum, Principal Solution Engineer, and Phuong Tran, Program Architect Director.

Getting a Single View of Every Volunteer

Volunteers play a key role in the JEVS workforce development program.
Volunteers play a key role in the JEVS workforce development program.

Tony and Phuong invested time upfront to understand the organization’s processes and needs. For example, they learned that JEVS hosted monthly events for volunteers to do mock interviews with clients. Staff tracked volunteers for each event in a new spreadsheet, making it difficult to see a volunteer’s past activity in a single view.

“They basically had this humongous spreadsheet that was out of control,” Phuong recalled. “We did a lot of discovery work to understand what they were trying to track.”

Tony and Phoung provided the hands-on support that JEVS needed to successfully install V4S. Now, staff can see a volunteer’s past and upcoming shifts all in a single view in Salesforce. They can also see a volunteer’s past giving history because JEVS uses NPSP to track donations.

In addition to installing V4S, the duo built a dashboard with key volunteering metrics. Sharon can now see key volunteer metrics at a glance, such as the total number of volunteers and how many total hours have been volunteered.

Finding Greater Success with Salesforce

For JEVS, Tony and Phuong did much more than just install the V4S app. “I learned so much about being a Salesforce admin,” recalled Sharon. “They took the time to make sure that when we were finished, not only did we have a great product, but I would know the steps we took to get there.”

Tony thinks that he and Phuong got as much as they gave. “Sometimes we take for granted how much these organizations do for our communities,” recalled Tony. “They think that I’m educating them but they’re really educating me at the same time.”

Tony and Phuong also persuaded JEVS to make the move to Lightning. “It was incredibly scary at first, but they were very encouraging and answered all of my questions,” said Sharon. With their support, she was able to create Lightning pages and components and sell the benefits of Lightning to staff.

Thus far, the organization has transitioned 80% of their 110 users to Lightning. They’re on target to transition the remaining users by June. “It was important for us to make the move,” said Sharon. “There’s so much more we can do with Lightning.”

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