Skip to Content

St John’s Foundation

Historic charity reaches more people with smarter processes, better collaboration, and more efficient funding management.
Learn More About St. John's Foundation

St John’s Foundation reaches tens of thousands of vulnerable people with Salesforce

Established in 1174, St John’s Foundation helps thousands of people across Bath and the surrounding area live safe, fulfilling, and independent lives. From connecting low-income families with beautiful green spaces at the Bath City Farm, to creating a hospice-at-home service for terminally-ill children with the Jessie May Trust, the support provided by St John’s Foundation has a lasting impact on people and communities in this area. As well as its four almshouses, the Foundation has an investment portfolio, including commercial and residential properties, which generates income that the charity seeks to reinvest in local communities.

In 2017, more than 20,000 people in Bath and North East Somerset benefited from programmes funded by St John’s. “We had £1.4 million of funding to distribute in 2017, and thanks to Salesforce, we can account for every penny and make sure money went where it was needed the most,” said Sam Gillett, Funding and Impact Manager.

More applications doesn’t have to mean more work.

The Foundation currently works with more than 60 local charities, with great success – 97% of the charities it has funded say they have achieved their intended objectives as a result, and 84% say the funding has enabled them to improve the running of their organisations. But with demand for funds increasing, St John’s needed to get better at measuring and understanding the impact of its funding awards. “We’re receiving more and more applications for funding every year,” explained Sam. “As the volume increased, it was becoming harder and more time-consuming to get everything entered into our system and processed, and reporting was a nightmare!”

To free up the team to focus on more valuable work, the Foundation rolled out Sales Cloud and Experience Cloud for Nonprofits in 2017 – and with efficiency gains through the roof, other charities are looking to the trailblazing organisation as a leader in innovation in the nonprofit sector.

Self-service simplifies the funding application process.

Now, organisations submit applications for funding directly via a branded online community built on Experience Cloud for Nonprofits. Applicants can view, amend, and check for updates on their funding status via the community. “Self-service capabilities have reduced the number of service calls, as well as bringing greater transparency to the application process,” said Sam.

This data then feeds into Sales Cloud, where St John’s Foundation’s dedicated Funding Support team can review and process the applications quickly and easily. And with the Salesforce Mobile App, they can do this on the move.

AppExchange apps lend a helping hand.

With the team freed up from manually processing applications, they can now focus on more valuable activities, like working with organisations to help them develop and improve their funding applications, and collaborating with referral agencies to make sure staff at St. John’s understand the emerging trends in social issues that are driving changes in the types of applications they receive.

And by integrating apps from the Salesforce AppExchange, other processes have been streamlined and automated too. “We use apps to help us send out personalised letters and emails to our stakeholders and applicants,” explained Sam. “We also send out regular surveys to monitor and evaluate the impact of the service we’re providing using these integrated apps”

Smarter reporting makes for a smarter organisation.

But more efficient processes are only part of the story. Where Salesforce really shines is helping the Foundation measure the impact of its work, report on KPIs, and get a clearer picture of the demographics of people applying for support.

For example, with its data all in one place, St John’s Foundation has access to a 360-degree view of all the people in its system. “One of our outreach services involves providing training for the over 55s, and when we were managing this with spreadsheets, we had no idea if a person was attending more than one course or receiving other support from us, and it could skew our data if they were counted twice,” explained Sam. “Now that we’re tracking attendees in Salesforce, we know exactly who we’re helping and can better understand the demand for our services.”

Centralised data enables services expansion

Since implementing Salesforce, the team at St John’s Foundation are working faster, smarter, and better than ever before. Centralising data has improved cross-team collaboration and made it easier for the Foundation to extend and expand its important work to hundreds more charities, partners, and individuals.

“Salesforce helps us understand where our help is needed most. Being able to demonstrate our impact with real data means that this year we’ve got a bigger budget, and our heart is set on helping an extra 10,000 people, creating 30,000 beneficiaries in 2018,” said Sam.

“But success for us doesn’t just mean helping our beneficiaries – we’re leading by example to show other charities that there’s an easier and better way to do things so they too can reach out to more people in need. And that’s the bottom line for all of us.”