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Extra Special People

Extra Special People (ESP) migrated 10 years of legacy data from eight platforms to one system built on Nonprofit Cloud to scale its impact.
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Creating Transformative Experiences for People with Disabilities

Extra Special People was founded in 1986 and hosted a weeklong summer camp for children with disabilities. It has grown to engage with more than 700 individuals with disabilities and their families, welcoming those diagnosed with such conditions as cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, autism, traumatic brain injury, and spina bifida.

As the organization expanded, new technology platforms were added when new needs arose, but the systems could not talk to each other. There was a lack of clarity across teams, and no single source of truth about all the ways people engaged with ESP across volunteering, donations, and service. Many internal processes were done manually, which distracted staff from more meaningful work.

In Salesforce, ESP found solutions that could work across its organization and still sync together. Staff used Salesforce solutions to migrate 10 years of legacy data to a single system built on Nonprofit Cloud. ESP’s new capacity for tracking donors and building datasets has led to increased donor engagement and fundraising opportunities, so the nonprofit can continue building on its accomplishments.

  • 39K
    legacy donations imported
  • $530K
    donations processed in 2021
  • 15K
    legacy emails accessible by the full team

Growth Opportunities Stalled by Legacy Systems that Didn't Scale

Over the two decades since its founding in Georgia in 1986, Extra Special People (ESP) experienced continued growth. In 2014, ESP received a gift of a 70-acre camp property in Jackson County, Georgia, with the potential to become the country’s first universally accessible overnight camp, parent respite center, and recreation facility. Two years later, the nonprofit opened the doors to a new 14,000-square-foot Activity Building in Athens, Georgia, replacing the 1,600-square-foot gym. That same year, ESP launched the affiliate program Java Joy, a mobile coffee catering business providing meaningful employment for adults with disabilities.

To take full advantage of these opportunities, ESP needed to integrate its systems so they would work more efficiently and at scale. The nonprofit was using separate cloud-based systems to manage camper data; track donors; process payments for coffee and merchandise; schedule event bookings; track event engagement; sell event tickets; and manage staff tasks.

ESP chose Salesforce because it offered products and features that would replace these separate systems and all integrate well with Nonprofit Cloud. Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP) contributes to ESP’s unified view of all its data across Fundraising, Marketing and Engagement, Programs, and Finance, which was an especially high priority.

We had a list of people who were communicating via email, then a list of people who were donating, and then a list of our families. And all of those were living in separate places. There was really no one source of truth.”
Ashley Stewart, Chief Operating Officer
Extra Special People

From Multiple Disconnected Platforms to One Integrated System

ESP worked with Arkus, a Salesforce Premium Partner for Nonprofits, on its initial Salesforce implementation. Arkus guided ESP staff through the process of cleaning and importing 10 years of legacy donation data. NPSP rollups provided a complete view of individuals’ donor history, connecting 39,000 legacy donations to over 14,000 ESP contacts.

The organization added on Einstein Activity Capture to gather more data on staff interactions with members, donors, and participants.

“A lot of staff members are often emailing back and forth with a variety of people,” said Ashley Stewart, ESP’s Chief Operating Officer. “If you aren’t cc’d on that email or forwarded the chain, you don’t know that communication happened. Having this Einstein tool to let us see those communications in a profile is really, really helpful for us.”

ESP connected Marketing Cloud Account Engagement to the platform so staff can also see what marketing and event emails supporters have received at a glance. The nonprofit’s program team uses Nonprofit Cloud Program Management to measure impact and Case Management to effectively manage its relationships with the families they serve.

To free up ESP’s finance team from time-consuming manual tasks, the nonprofit employed Accounting Subledger, which enables all income data to be smoothly imported into their accounting system. The NPSP Gift Entry tool creates donation records for payments received by check.

Ready for the Opportunities of Today and Tomorrow

Since ESP implemented its Nonprofit Cloud–based system in early 2021, the results have been impressive. The organization cleanly processed more than 3,000 donations, totaling more than $530,000, in under a year, using the Give Lively digital fundraising platform, available on AppExchange; Accounting Subledger imported accurate ledger entries into the accounting system. Grants, in-kind gifts, major gifts, and product sales are also being captured.

Thanks to Einstein Activity Capture, over 15,000 emails from ESP users are accessible via Salesforce. Since it went live, approximately 300 events have automatically synced from Google Calendar.

NPSP’s Levels and Engagement Plans automatically assign the appropriate donation level to households, and notify the development team when the time is right to send annual gifts. More than 645 households have reached a Fan Club or Lifespan membership level so far.

A key program that continues to benefit from the implementation is Java Joy. The coffee catering business’ ecommerce, scheduling, and invoicing systems are integrated with Salesforce through the Zapier automation tool. “Joyristas,” as its employees are known, now can be found serving up both coffee and hugs across Georgia—including Atlanta, Athens, and Rome—and in San Francisco.

ESP aspires to expand the program into more locations.

“As Java Joy continues to grow and as we have a wish to be nationwide with Java Joy in multiple cities, Salesforcs gives us the capability to do that,” said Peter Cates, ESP’s IT and Facilities Coordinator.

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More About Extra Special People

ESP exists to create transformative experiences for people with disabilities and their families, changing communities for the better. Its affiliate program Java Joy provides meaningful employment for adults with disabilities while giving the community one-of-a-kind opportunities for engagement.