Landmark Trust: Conserving History with Salesforce
Landmark Trust is no typical charity. Its aim is to rescue historical buildings, restore them without compromising their former glory, and to give them a new lease of life as quirky holiday rentals.
Salesforce is helping the organisation streamline processes across both its charitable and commercial operations. “The more efficient our holiday lettings business is, the more time and money we can devote to building restoration projects,” explains Michca Morris, IT Programme Manager at Landmark Trust. “Salesforce helps us ensure we have a sustainable income from holiday bookings and donations so we can continue preserving Britain’s rich historical past.”
After launching a new ecommerce site in January 2013 underpinned by a Salesforce booking system, the charity experienced a 20 percent increase in lettings. Marketing Manager Ed Percival enthuses: “In the first year of the system going live 70 percent of our business was transacted online – for a 50-year-old organisation such a leap in a single year is staggering, and hugely liberating in terms of freeing staff up to focus on other activities.”
Building relationships and honing efficiency
Although preserving history is high on the agenda for the Landmark Trust, it recognised in 2012 that its historic and outdated IT systems were no longer fit-for-purpose or fit-for-the-future. It was this need that led it to Salesforce.
“Salesforce has replaced an array of disparate systems that were complex to manage and maintain,” explains Morris. “As our day-to-day activities combine donation management, building renovation and a commercial holiday lettings business our needs were pretty unusual, but Salesforce offered the flexibility we needed to meet all requirements.”
The solution’s cloud-based model was particularly important for the trust. “Our head office is a converted stable block in the heart of the Berkshire countryside, which while lovely throws up a number of challenges,” explains Morris. “With Salesforce, the team can continue to work from home when flooding or a foot-and-mouth outbreak means we can’t get to the office.”
Via Sales Cloud, the team tracks all activity on its website and subsequent communications with each and every potential customer or donor. “The visibility provided by Sales Cloud allows us to open up a range of rewards and benefits to our donors – for example, if someone has made a substantial donation we may invite them to become a patron, and we can keep them informed about lectures and events they may be interested in attending,” explains Morris. “The solution helps us understand how we should approach people to develop our relationships and build new ones, which maximises fundraising opportunities.”
Laying foundations for the future
The charity’s automated holiday booking system, which is now fundamental to its operations, was developed on App Cloud. The custom-built solution takes advantage of a range of AppExchange apps to support seamless website integration, address checking and complex payment processing.
The charity is also starting to use Salesforce for financial management. General ledger is already managed via the solution, enabling Landmark Trust to report on the revenue and costs associated with each property. “We can easily identify whether a building is delivering the expected income, which helps us make better decisions,” explains Morris. “We plan to migrate accounts receivable and accounts payable to Salesforce in the future as well, so all our financial information is in the same place.”
Other plans for the platform include using Service Cloud to manage maintenance issues at properties. “With Salesforce we can add all sorts of functionality quickly and easily – with so much choice I feel like a kid in a sweetshop!” exclaims Morris. “And as part of Salesforce.org community we benefit from the experiences of other charities and feel less like we’re working on our own.”