ALONE Creates a Central Hub on Salesforce
ALONE is a national organisation that supports older people to age at home with three key services: Befriending and Advocacy, Support Coordination and Housing with Support. Its vision is for a society where older people are included as valued and empowered members of the community. To help achieve this it uses the Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP) to support almost every function across the organisation; from client services to volunteer management, to fundraising and finance.
“Salesforce is at the core of an ecosystem, for us and for our sector,” said Sean Moynihan, CEO, ALONE. “It’s more than just a database. When you put Salesforce at the centre, it’s transformative.”
ALONE understands the importance of developing a technology strategy and the impact this can have on a charity.
“Investing in technology enables us to improve our programs, our services, and it reduces costs associated with manual tasks through workflows and automations,” said Sean. “Because Salesforce is cloud-based, it lets us see everything in real-time, anywhere we are. Digital files enable us to cut down on administration, ultimately allowing staff members to work with more older people instead of spending hours filing paperwork. It also helps us raise more funds because we know our donors better and we’re now better at engaging with them.”
Understanding clients and measuring impact
Like many organisations, ALONE was using Excel to track and manage clients availing of its services before it started with Salesforce. However, this was not sufficient and made case management a tricky process. In order to respond appropriately and effectively to the changing needs of the older people, ALONE knew it needed to increase efficiencies and progress its technology.
“NPSP allows us to give individualised customer service. Each person has a unique support need and we’re able to provide this support because we have all the information in Salesforce. It also means staff can be more mobile – using the Salesforce1 Mobile App, Support Coordinators have instant access to information wherever they are.”
“We developed an electronic assessment tool that generates a support plan for the older person based on their requirements,” said Sean. “When a Support Coordinator carries out a comprehensive assessment it highlights certain areas of need. Salesforce generates Support Plan Objectives based on these areas to create a comprehensive Support Plan.”
Measuring outcomes and impact is easily done with custom reports and dashboards in Salesforce.
“Dashboards help us visualise and understand the impact of our services. In NPSP we can see exactly who we’ve helped and what their needs were. That would have been impossible without technology. Reports and Dashboards also help us anticipate trends among older people and plan for the future. By 2046 there will be 1.4 million people aged over 65 in the Republic of Ireland. We now know what our caseloads are so we can set targets to improve efficiencies and accommodate the ageing population.”
Speeding up volunteer recruitment
The Nonprofit Success Pack also helps ALONE provide a better experience to volunteers.
“Volunteers are a key part of our organisation and an integral part of our Befriending Service delivery. Our volunteer recruitment process used to be labour intensive,” said Sean. “Now, it’s fully automated. Volunteers start their journey on the website which then creates a contact record in Salesforce. After that our team can communicate with the volunteer via Salesforce. We’re now able to train and Garda vet faster and support people better, meaning we’re connecting more volunteers with older people.”
The future is digital
ALONE has exciting plans for the future and digital transformation is definitely on the agenda. In December 2016, ALONE was awarded with a THINKTECH grant, a tech-for-good initiative led by Social Innovation Fund Ireland. This grant will support the roll out of a technology platform which will further drive their work supporting older people to age at home. The platform adopts an innovative community based approach to caring which maximises the older person’s capabilities and strengthens the existing informal and formal support networks around the older person.
The platform operates through mobile applications and home sensors with an overarching monitoring and alerting system. The platform has Salesforce at the centre and will be key for tracking interventions and outcomes, receiving information from volunteer apps, receiving information from the older persons’ app and creating alerts triggered by sensors in the person’s home.
“The first step in our project is to roll out Salesforce to partner Befriending organisations. There are currently 53 organisations around the country who are members of Befriending Network Ireland, a Befriending initiative led by ALONE,” said Seán.
“We would like to further support these organisations by signing them up to our customised Nonprofit instance of Salesforce. Working closely with Salesforce, we are ensuring our security is robust and we will provide training and support to organisations wishing to avail of our platform.”