A Long-Standing Member of the Community Stays Modern with Salesforce
The YMCA of South Palm Beach County in Florida has been serving the community for almost 50 years and impacts more than 70,000 residents annually. However, as a long-standing presence in the neighborhood, its technology hadn’t modernized with its growth. The YMCA uses a technology platform known as Daxko which is specific to running the operations of the Y, but it just didn’t cut it in terms of what the organization needed for fundraising. “Daxko is very expensive, there is no ability to customize, and reporting capabilities are weak, “explains Judith Bettridge the Financial Development Data and Salesforce Administrator at the YMCA of South Palm Beach County. The YMCA turned to the Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP) and now manages all of its fundraising — grants, annual campaigns, capital campaigns, endowments, planned giving, and just general donations — on the Salesforce Platform. They also use it to manage their special events and volunteers.
But “Y” Salesforce?
After considering Blackbaud’s Raiser’s Edge and Salesforce, the YMCA of South Palm Beach decided to go with the Nonprofit Success Pack, or NPSP. “Our board members use Salesforce at a number of their companies and knew the impact it could have on our YMCA,” says Bettridge. They liked that Salesforce gives 10 free subscriptions to nonprofit organizations and understood that would go a long way towards cutting down on monthly costs. They also decided the reporting functionality was perfectly suited for their needs and were reassured by the fact that third-party applications on the AppExchange easily integrate with their platform because it meant no business problem would go unsolved. “The AppExchange is one of the biggest differentiators with Salesforce,” says Bettridge. “There are so many different apps that offer a wide range of solutions that work directly with the platform. You can run everything in Salesforce if you want to.”
A Whole New Y
The YMCA of South Palm Beach uses the third party applications Classy for online donations, Linvio for payment processing and invoicing, and Conga to do mail merges and write thank you letters. All of the apps easily integrate with NPSP meaning that any data captured in those apps, is stored automatically in Salesforce. Using the robust reports and dashboards, Bettridge can understand how a fundraising campaign performed. For example, the YMCA runs a campaign to encourage employees to give to its annual campaign. Bettridge is able to see a report of giving by employee, whether they are part-time, full-time, or an executive. She can also see if this is a first time donor or returning, which of the employees have given a gift of more than $1,200, who the top ten donors are, and who has made a pledge and is making payments. A process that was done manually is now available to her and her staff, in real-time, with the click of a button.
Understanding what Inspires Others
The Y runs a number of special events including golf tournaments, corporate cups, and the Inspiration Breakfast — an occasion that many Ys across the country host to fundraise dollars towards their programs. Using Salesforce, the YMCA of South Palm Beach tracks sponsorships, grants towards the event, ticket sales, and event donations. Using Linvio, they created a website so people could make these purchases online and all of the information, from donor names and information, gift size, to the type of sponsorship they bought, is stored in NPSP.
“I am able to get a holistic view of how many opportunities I have going into the event and how many dollars we raised as a result,” says Bettridge. “We wouldn’t have been able to get that type of information if it weren’t for Salesforce.”
A Community Giving Back
The South Palm Beach County Y is fortunate to have a number of volunteers participate in their programs and give back to the community and now, staff has a way to track it. What used to be a paper process now lives within NPSP and specifically Volunteers for Salesforce. The Volunteer Coordinator is able to see volunteer shifts, how many people she can expect on any given day, and what shifts still need to be filled. When someone visits the website and applies via a volunteer request form, it automatically generates a lead within Salesforce notifying the Volunteer Coordinator to follow-up. She can then move forward with the screening process which includes a background check and leverage the third-party application Docusign to get the process completed. And again, the Y can get a snapshot of their data to understand who their constituents are and how they’re interacting with the organization. The Y collects information about their volunteers such as gender, race, ethnicity, how many volunteers are under 30 or above 65, and which board members or donors also volunteer. All of these metrics are tracked within Salesforce, giving them a view into each constituent.
A Hope to Bring Ys to the Future
Bettridge understands that the nonprofit space has become more competitive than ever before and she hopes the YMCAs will make the movement towards staying relevant in this space.
“There is so much you can do with Salesforce,” she says. “And even though YMCAs have been around for a long time, it doesn’t mean that we too can’t use modern technology like Salesforce.
My hope is that the whole YMCA network will move into the 21st century with technology and continue to be around forever.”