“The feedback on the ease of use from our grantees has been fantastic.” - Hannah Kahn, VP of Grants Management
Arnold Ventures Uses Salesforce to Fuel Their Grantmaking
Arnold Ventures is a philanthropic organization guided by evidence-based policy, research and advocacy. In 2019, they committed more than $280 million in grants. Their focus is in four key issue areas: Criminal Justice; Education; Health Care; and Public Finance. Supporting more than 450 organizations and nearly 900 active projects, Arnold Ventures needed a technology strategy that enabled them to scale and allowed their staff of over 100 people to work collaboratively across the country.
A Unique Platform For a Unique Organization
Arnold Ventures created a plan to customize its database to fit evolving organizational needs. The plan started with a transition from classic to lightning interface to drive usage and make it easier to use. Ultimately, Arnold Ventures built and rolled out a custom platform and community for grantees, allowing for a more customizable experience.
Given their data driven model and the complexities of supporting hundreds of organizations and projects across issue areas, Arnold Ventures needed a custom dashboard reporting system that allowed the team to use dynamic filtering, which displays the status and details of all projects in real time. This utility of this capability became clear when COVID-19 closed the offices, yet staff needed to continue to collaborate.
In addition, the dashboards provide a single source of truth and a “global perspective in real time of which projects were being directly affected by the pandemic,” says Hannah Kahn, VP of Grants Management. The resulting data showed that over a quarter of their active grants were at higher risk due to the implications of the pandemic. Their staff were able to clearly identify the issues and respond accordingly.
Connecting With Grantees, Seamlessly
Additionally, Arnold Ventures customized their Communities platform in order to provide the best user experience for their grantees. Now, when grantees access the branded Communities page, they have a one-stop shop to manage the relationship, and a clear view of all of their grants and projects.
“The feedback on the ease of use from our grantees has been fantastic,” says Kahn. “It’s unusual to receive feedback on a portal, but grantees have been actively reaching out to express their positive experiences.”
Prioritizing Critical Issues and Taking Action
As the national conversation focused on racial injustice this spring and summer, Arnold Ventures created a staff discretionary fund. Each staff member was given $5,000 to donate to the 501c3 of their choice. This provided even non-programmatic staff to have a true grant-making experience, and for all staff to give on a personal level. More than half a million dollars will be donated, with the majority going to social and racial justice organizations. All of the data was tracked in Salesforce. Arnold Ventures is continuing to develop opportunities for the staff to be actively engaged in the giving process.
Arnold Ventures is focused on building the critical infrastructure needed to support their processes from beginning to end. The Salesforce platform is a key part of this future. Arnold Ventures is a nimble, agile organization that needs a partner in innovation, as the organization moves quickly to address the issues of today, and solve for the challenges of tomorrow.