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Project Open Hand

With Salesforce, Project Open Hand empowers donors and volunteers to nourish their community. Learn how nonprofits increase their impact with Salesforce.
Learn More About Project Open Hand

With Salesforce, Project Open Hand Empowers Donors & Volunteers To Nourish Their Community

For Project Open Hand, food isn’t just one of life’s necessities — it’s medicine. The iconic San Francisco nonprofit is dedicated to feeding the city’s most vulnerable citizens. Every single day Project Open Hand prepares more than 2,500 nutritious meals and provides over 200 bags of healthy groceries to help sustain members of the community battling serious illnesses, isolation, or health challenges associated with old age. These meals can be picked up or delivered to individuals who are homebound.

Last year Project Open Hand provided 1,040,000 meals for residents in San Francisco and the surrounding area. “When you’re talking about 2,500 meals that are going out, that’s a lot of food and a lot of labor,” said Sean Rosas, Director of Volunteer Services at Project Open Hand. On an average day 125 volunteers help out in the kitchen and the grocery center. And every year 16,000 donors contribute financially. These two types of constituents – donors and volunteers – are the lifeblood of Project Open Hand, but the organization wasn’t always able to track and engage them effectively.

“We didn’t have a clear picture, other than checking manually, of who was giving and who was volunteering,” said Maria Stokes, Communications Director.

But today, with the power of App Cloud and NGO Connect, Project Open Hand has achieved a 360-degree view of their supporter network. Now both the volunteer services and the development team run their operations end-to-end on the same platform, creating unprecedented visibility.


“All of the sudden we saw that 50% of our volunteers were also donors. That was paradigm-shifting for us,” says Rosas. This was just the first of many insights that have empowered Project Open Hand to engage constituents on a deeper level.

“Instead of trying to go and find and hunt and pull out spreadsheets, it’s there every day. It’s updated. It’s seamless,” says Rosas. “Now we know the answers to questions like, ‘How many volunteers are gonna be coming in next week? Where could we use one more volunteer group and which partner should we reach out to for that?’ It really helps me, as a director, to be able to plan for the future of my volunteer program.”

Proving Impact Through Transparent Analytics

NGO Connect gives Project Open Hand’s staff powerful tools for managing volunteers and donor relationships. And with robust analytics and reporting built into App Cloud, the organization is able to prove their impact like never before.

“Here in the heart of Silicon Valley, businesses and donors are really savvy. They expect a lot when they’re getting involved with a nonprofit,” says Stokes, “and we welcome that.” Now the organization can show volunteers the impact of their time and donors the impact of their dollars in terms of real metrics and outcomes. “Salesforce gives us the ability to show supporters not just how much they gave, but how it relates back to the mission,” Rosas says.

Since it was started in 1985 during the AIDS epidemic to help those suffering from the disease, Project Open Hand has been a mainstay in the community, and it maintains that warm and compassionate image. But on top of delivering “meals with love,” they’ve added a new driving force: innovation powered by cutting-edge technology.

Project Open Hand might have been started by a woman who was a grandmother, but with Salesforce technology on its side, Rosas is certain, “We’re no longer your grandmother’s nonprofit.”