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The Firecracker Foundation Puts the Spark into its Programs with Salesforce

Technology should not get in the way of nonprofits delivering their missions. This is true for all nonprofit organizations but none more so than The Firecracker Foundation. Since its launch in 2013, The Firecracker Foundation has established programming to emphasize healing the mind, body, and spirit of children who have survived sexual trauma by building a community invested in the healing of their whole being. With services for children as well as their families, the Foundation needed a technology solution that would support its programs, volunteers, and funding streams.

The Foundation looked to Salesforce and the Nonprofit Starter Pack as its solution.

“We needed a HIPPA-compliant way to track our clients but our organization wasn’t quite large enough to have the expense of a full medical program,” explains Tashmica Torok, Executive Director of the Foundation. It also needed a way integrate its donors and client base. Sometimes a family member of a client is also a donor, or a client ages out of the program and then becomes a volunteer.

“We really wanted a way to track the community aspect of our organization in a way that a lot of other software wouldn’t have been able to do.”

Building a Foundation of Support

As Torok began to understand the complexity and diverse capabilities of Salesforce, she quickly recognized the need for additional support. With a small staff, it was important that their focus stayed on the clients they were serving and not on building out a technology solution. As a part of its Salesforce investment, the Foundation added Premier Success+ — a program designed to help customers drive Salesforce adoption, increase user productivity, and ensure continuity and minimize risk. With 24/7 customer support, enhanced trainings, and configuration help, the Foundation looks to this support service as it implements Salesforce and customizes it to meet its unique programs.

“It came down to productivity and efficiency,” explains Torok. “We have a very specific talent base at the Foundation and its very social justice, advocacy, and fundraising-based, and not technology based. And we do not have a need for it. So if we could have that kind of foundational support to bring our social justice ideas and groundbreaking work to someone who is able to build this out for us, it just seemed like a really good use of our fundraising and grantmaking dollars to do that.”

As a part of its programs and network, The Foundation tracks and manages client referrals from partner agencies. While there were versions of Salesforce that would support this referral program, the cost was too high for this small, yet mighty nonprofit. With the vision provided by the Foundation’s staff for what the program needed to look like and do, the Premier Success+ team at Salesforce built a tab in the Nonprofit Starter Pack where staff can now capture client referral information. Staff can also see basic demographics, information on where the referral came from, and what a client is being referred to the Foundation for.

Salesforce also enables the Foundation to connect its constituents, understand the relationships within the community, and manage the lifecycle of clients through its programs. If a parent of a client is already in the Foundation’s database as a volunteer, that information will connect to a client’s account. If a client graduates from their clinical assessment or was terminated from the program because they moved out of state, all of this information is connected enabling a 360-degree view of its constituents.

Like many nonprofit organizations, the Foundation relies on volunteers to ensure its clients are receiving the critical services they need. Volunteers on its Pediatric Medical Advocacy Team offer support to families who come into hospitals for specialized medical care and forensic examination after experiencing sexual assault. While the Nonprofit Starter Pack has capabilities to manage volunteers, the Foundation needed something custom to fit this unique program. With the help of the Premier Success+ support team, and with the direction of the Foundation’s staff, the organization has created a customized volunteer solution that fits to the program’s needs. “It’s a huge value to us,” explains Torok. “I could read tutorials all day on how to create these things, but as the Executive Director, I just don’t have the capacity, nor should that be my focus. I or my staff send in a request for what I need and Salesforce calls me back to clarify exactly what we’re looking for.”

The Future at the Foundation

In the coming year, the Foundation anticipates exponential program growth. With that growth comes the opportunity to pursue truly holistic services that allow each client to utilize the full breadth of what this organization has to offer.

Once children and families start attending all program offerings, the 360-degree view of its constituents provided by Salesforce will allow the Foundation’s staff to evaluate the success of this innovative approach towards the healing and prevention of child sexual trauma.

The Foundation will be able to track in real time the impact of a trauma informed community invested in the healing of their youngest survivors and their families.