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Evolving Healthcare Foundation Technology with Sutter Health + Salesforce

Cloud for Good Success Story with Sutter Health and Salesforce

Sutter Health is a large, integrated healthcare network, headquartered in Northern California, delivering accessible, innovative, life-saving care to more than three million people annually.  This organization operates through an integrated network connecting comprehensive services, quality health programs, and philanthropy initiatives across 23 unique foundations helping to support Sutter Health’s care.  These foundations, which feature 10 distinct ways for people to give, have been recognized as high performers by The Association for Healthcare Philanthropy for three years in a row.

Prior to leveraging the power of the Salesforce platform, Sutter Health utilized Blackbaud’s Raiser’s Edge as the backbone for the network’s philanthropy efforts.  Unfortunately, the outdated solution constrained all the legacy systems from the individual foundations, all with their own operations teams and gift processors.  As a result, Sutter Health began to experience efficiency issues, slow user adoption, and reliance on manual workarounds for the fundraising process that wasted time and resources.

A Transformational Transition

Rightly recognizing that this technology model was unsustainable and incapable of scaling up alongside Sutter Health’s growth, the team made the decision to migrate all affiliate instances into one central Salesforce org through NGO Connect.  After bringing all data and operations over into the new system, Sutter Health then took its Salesforce technology to the next level by upgrading NGOC to Salesforce for Nonprofits.

“Data and technology are critical for our fundraisers, who are ultimately the ones influencing donors,” says Emma Coluccio-Ross, Manager, Philanthropy Technology.  “If you make the fundraisers happier and give them more insights, you’re going to have a happier donor base.”  Once Sutter Health was provided with the right tools for its mission, the organization immediately recognized the possibilities at hand and wasted no time implementing high-impact solutions.

This evolutionary phase of Sutter Health’s technology included enterprise fundraising built on Salesforce for Nonprofits, Service Cloud for case management, Tableau for analytics, lead conversion for prospect research, custom wealth screening functionality, and an enhanced tribute model for multiple givers and tributes.

“Our group focuses on supporting the fundraisers, so the technology must have all the information and data that they need to provide the very best donor experience. Our Raiser’s Edge technology wasn’t ideal for reporting, and it wasn’t scalable. Salesforce does everything our previous technology solutions did but now with a cleaner data model,” says Coluccio-Ross.

Cloud for Good Customer Success Story 2023 with Sutter Health and Sutter Health Quote 1

Creating Data Transparency + Visibility

A lack of data transparency was one of the largest struggles to overcome with Sutter Health’s previous technology.  Information became increasingly difficult to share and generate analytics from as the organization grew, leaving the individual foundations to make decisions that weren’t as data-informed as they could or should have been.  Luckily, Sutter Health’s suite of Salesforce solutions is helping to create personalized journeys with donors that support the fundraiser and promote clear, actionable data that is easy to share between foundations.

“We use Tableau pretty extensively to show how much we’ve raised, how many donors we have, etc., and we do all those things in Salesforce, which we couldn’t have done before,” says Coluccio-Ross.  “Now, we have this great ability to go in Salesforce at the account record level and see a lovely visualization of a donor’s total giving that can then be sliced and diced in the system.”

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Total giving from all Sutter Health donors, and their unique donor profiles, are displayed clearly through data-driven dashboards available for all foundation members to see.  Fundraisers can go in and measure themselves against their own goals and the goals of their peers to compare the effectiveness of their respective campaigns and fundraising methodology, which in turn benefits the organization’s long-term strategies.  A number of customizations to Salesforce for Nonprofits were also made by Cloud for Good, including the ability to link multiple contacts and notificants to tribute gifts.

“We also have key performance indicators that are important to the entire organization that we’re able to put right up front on our Salesforce homepage so everybody, every day, can see how we’re doing and how we’re achieving our goals,” says Coluccio-Ross.  “We use a lot of data, and we love it.”

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Service Cloud for Enhanced Case Management

Increased data transparency has also led to the utilization of Service Cloud for case management.  Cases are created as a way to request information from anyone on the philanthropy operations team so that any staff member can make a request and add it to a queue.  Sutter Health even built an integrated website during the initial NGOC project, called Request Tracker, to facilitate this internal system of requests and queue tracking.

Using a single sign-on system, anyone within the broader Sutter Health organization, whether they’re on the philanthropy team or not, can make requests of philanthropy operations through web forms that are then translated into Salesforce cases through Service Cloud.  From there, whoever is managing that particular queue gets an email that notifies them of the new case, and those that submit cases can actively view the progress and stay up to date on the status through the Request Tracker website.

Creating Clear Communication + Change Management

Naturally, this enhanced flow of information has greatly improved change management within the organization.  At the very start of Sutter Health’s Salesforce journey, Cloud for Good worked closely with the organization to develop an in-depth communication and change management plan built to last.

Various staff members across the organization were appointed as “change champions,” as part of a cross-sectional team receiving early access to the new technology that they could then bring back to their teams.  This helped to allay any fears the teams might have and ensured communication was clear and detailed across the board.  “It was deeply important to me that everyone was informed and felt like they had a chance to see what the technology was going to be,” says Coluccio-Ross.

Taking this priority one step further, Sutter Health has doubled down on its commitment to change management and user adoption after go-live with Cloud for Good Managed Services as well.  “I’ve heard fundraisers say they’re having fun entering proposals and completing tasks, which is amazing!  Working with Cloud for Good has been great.  It really felt like the people from Cloud for Good were part of our Sutter Health team throughout this whole journey,” says Coluccio-Ross in closing.

Cloud for Good Customer Success Story with Sutter Health and Salesforce Quote 4.

To learn more about Sutter Health and its mission, visit

Written by Blake Becker

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