Creating Jewish Connection with Harold Grinspoon Foundation + Salesforce

Cloud for Good success story title card: Creating Jewish Connection with Harold Grinspoon Foundation + Salesforce

Since 1991, the Harold Grinspoon Foundation (HGF) has invested more than $230M into a collection of programs seeking to make Jewish life and Jewish community more connected.  HGF creates opportunities for Jewish people across 40 countries to celebrate their culture, traditions, and values through engaging and educational programs.  Among these programs are the PJ Library, which gives away roughly half a million Jewish-themed children’s books around the world each month, and JCamp 180, a program providing free professional consulting services and grant-matching to nonprofit Jewish camps.   

As HGF’s investment into Jewish life has grown, so too has the need for a technology platform powerful and flexible enough to scale alongside the organization.  Through a partnership with Cloud for Good, HGF has empowered its central mission and supported its robust litany of programs, events, and initiatives through Salesforce. 

Phase 1: Service Desk + Customer Support

The first step in HGF’s technology overhaul involved bringing together program, constituent, and internal data within the Salesforce platform using Service Cloud to better understand customer support needs.  Establishing a scalable data model to support rapid growth helped create a holistic understanding of HGF’s impact on communities.  Meanwhile, transitioning the HGF Service Desk team from spreadsheets and manual processes to a reliable central system allowed for the visualization of key metrics and analytics.  Previously, HGF customer service heavily utilized Microsoft Outlook, organizing calls with color-coded calendars and sharing an inbox without a dedicated ticketing platform. 

After go-live “it was like turning the light on in a room,” said HGF CIO Eric Jordan.  “We had been stumbling around that room in the dark bumping into each other.  Once we turned the lights on, we started gathering data, tweaking the system, and understanding the trends that allow us to put money and effort into where it needs to go to move the needle for HGF.”   

A better understanding of customer support needs and a dependable single source of truth have both been achieved through the organization’s initial Salesforce phase.  HFG Service Desk staff have even implemented dashboards in Salesforce and through the Tableau visualization program to provide a comprehensive visualization strategy supporting trend analysis over time.  This allows the organization to better track how certain efforts and programs are impacting or influencing overall goals and effectiveness. 

“We’re all looking at the same story now,” said Jordan.  “We can all rally around one center of gravity and see each part of the story come together over time.” 

Phase 2: JCamp 180 + Migration from Blackbaud Grant Management Software

HGF’s phase 2 implementation was what Jordan referred to as a “lift, polish, and shift” initiative where data was migrated over from HGF’s variety of legacy solutions including Blackbaud’s Grant Management Software and separate Salesforce instance onto one new Cloud for Good-consolidated solution.  Data was strewn across disparate systems and in dire need of deduplication and clean-up of the system of record as well as a recasting and rebranding of the experience for JCamp 180 consumers.   

Using Salesforce to track camps, board members, and committees, as well as grant management on the Salesforce Nonprofit Cloud with a transition from Blackbaud Grants to Outbound Funds, HGF has achieved a more transparent view of engagement and granting proficiency.  This has put HGF in a position to, as Jordan says, “see a clear picture of our consumer experience across multiple programs.”   

Phase 3: Optimizing the PJ Library Publishing Team

The next step in HGF’s Salesforce rollout was to leverage the platform for improved relationship management with, and cultivation of, authors, illustrators, and publishers for the PJ Library.  This phase also included a focus on bringing in the data and workflow from Submittable and AirTable external solutions to the new Salesforce org.  Prior to the utilization of the Nonprofit Cloud to track engagement and improve user efficiency and experience, PJ Library publishing team operated out of no less than four different systems without integration to the manuscript platform critical to the overall success of the PJ Library. 

Together, HGF and Cloud for Good built an integration between the manuscript platform and Salesforce, thus building a seamless system capable of tracking engagements with publishers, authors, and illustrators.  Before Nonprofit Cloud and the manuscript integration entered the picture, one sole person was responsible for manually pulling data from one platform, keying it in, and then uploading the data to the new platform.  This is now all done seamlessly through Salesforce.   

Harold Grinspoon Foundation Publishing Team Salesforce Dashboard

“It’s all about visibility, about being able to see your data and read what it’s telling you.  You can’t tell the data what you want it to be, you have to look at the data objectively and base your decisions upon that over time,” said Jordan 

Looking to the Future: A Single Source of Truth

HGF has now entered phase 4 of its Salesforce implementation focused on bringing over any remaining programs from the legacy solutions onto the Salesforce org.  This will include optimizing the organization’s HR function contracts, all of their conference information, and a lift, polish, and shift of the Life & Legacy program.  A clear differentiation between communities and individuals as it relates to programmatic customer service data will also be achieved in phase 4.  By the end of the phase, HGF will be able to consolidate the organization’s data ecosystem into a singular system of record. 

“This next phase is going to be a big one,” said Jordan.  “We’ve developed a rapport with Cloud for Good where they know our business, understand how to work with us, and have a clean line of communication.” 

With the end of a multi-phased Salesforce implementation reaching its end, HGF has found its business processes to be completely reimagined through Salesforce.  “It’s a significant improvement,” said Jordan.  “Previously, everybody was siloed, there was no communication between the systems, there was no integration.  Now we have the tools and the visibility required for success.”   

“I’m most proud of my people, and I’m most proud of the partnerships that have developed between Cloud for Good and HGF.  At the end of the day, it’s their execution that makes this work, their brainpower that they put into it to make it not only usable but sustainable,” said Jordan in closing. 

To learn more about the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, visit hgf.org. 


Written by Blake Becker

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