FIRST: Technology Innovation for the Future – Creating End User Salesforce Buy-In with the Nonprofit Starter Pack
FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) was founded in 1989 to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology. Based in Manchester, NH, the 501(c)(3) not-for-profit public charity designs accessible, innovative programs that motivate young people to pursue education and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math, while building self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills.
FIRST is More Than RobotsSM. FIRST participation is proven to encourage students to pursue education and careers in STEM-related fields, inspire them to become leaders and innovators, and enhance their 21st century work-life skills.
FIRST was an early adopter of a Salesforce application for nonprofits, NGO Connect, but found that this system did not meet their needs. The entity structure of this application made it difficult to run reports in the system. Tracking major gifts and sponsorships from large donors was also not easy in this system, as allocating multi-year gifts was not automated. “When we first adopted our previous configuration, we thought it would meet our organization’s needs. After spending time in the system, we found that our processes were not a good fit. We contacted Cloud for Good to provide us with a technology assessment, so we could evaluate our options, prior to the migration process,” said Kimberley Prygocki-Jeakins, Development Data Manager.
After completing a comprehensive technology assessment and discussing their organization’s needs, FIRST elected to migrate their data from NGO Connect to Nonprofit Starter Pack (NPSP). This move allowed them to take advantage of the household account model, opportunities and payments fields offered on the Salesforce platform. FIRST tracks corporate sponsorships, many of which are multi-year, so they also chose to use Cloud for Good’s Fundraising Package, utilizing Donation Split, to better manage and allocate funds. “Tracking multi-year sponsorships and being able to allocate funds across multiple programs was of utmost importance to our organization. Donation Split has automated this process for us,” stated Prygocki-Jeakins.
Additionally, Cloud for Good created custom objects to help FIRST track scholarships and internships. While FIRST does not directly offer scholarships and internships, they work with almost 200 partners who provide over $25m of scholarships to FIRST participants. Being able to keep track of all that information in Salesforce was very important as connecting youth with science, technology and math opportunities is part of their mission. The implementation of a comprehensive suite of Salesforce solutions is allowing FIRST to focus on their mission, by using innovative technology.
The biggest improvement for FIRST has been the implementation of the ability to allocate funds across multi designations and budget years. Multi-year sponsorships can be allocated to different programs and all of this can be seen on the opportunity record. The majority of their funds come from corporate donations and being able to see how much is coming in each year, as well as reviewing past years is having a “trickle down” effect for staff members. Account Managers at FIRST can now manage sponsorships and grants and focus on expanding their reach while cultivating new donors. “Our Account Managers described our previous system as clunky and were not taking advantage of the many features Salesforce has to offer. Now we have more buy-in from our users and they are logging emails, creating and completing tasks – actually using the system. Our organization is on-board and we now have an “I love Salesforce” attitude!” exclaimed Prygocki-Jeakins.