Creating a District-Wide Fundraising Strategy by Migrating from Colleague Advancement to Salesforce
Riverside Community College District Foundation (RCCD Foundation) is dedicated to the success of its students and to the development of the communities it serves. By facilitating its Colleges and learning centers to provide educational and student services, it meets the needs and expectations of its unique communities of learners. The District provides the Colleges with leadership in the areas of advocacy, resource stewardship, and planning while serving the 1.4 million people living in Riverside County.
RCCD Foundation fundraises on behalf of their district, comprised of three campuses and multiple centers. Before implementing Salesforce, the Foundation was using Colleague Advancement, an Ellucian software. This older solution brought RCCD Foundation unique challenges, such as the inability to accept online donations, ultimately limiting their ability to successfully fundraise and collaborate with each campus.
“We weren’t able to be agile in or fundraising efforts across our multi-campus district. Limitations in our technology meant having to work harder, not smarter,” said Wendy Johnson, Assistant Director, RCCD Foundation.
No Visibility Into Their Data
In order to be successful, RCCD Foundation needed to track trends and prospecting pipeline at both the district and individual college level. With their legacy system, they were required to submit a ticket to their IT department every time a new report was needed. This time-consuming process resulted in RCCD Foundation not having visibility into their data, trends and reports when they needed it.
RCCD Foundation needed a solution that would give them the tools to fundraise for each college while managing grants, scholarships and general funds holistically. RCCD Foundation engaged Cloud for Good due to their expertise in advancement operations and their experience with the higher education sector.
After the initial discovery phase, it became clear to Cloud for Good that Salesforce was the right solution to fit RCCD Foundation needs. Salesforce.org allowed the organization the flexibility they needed to address their fundraising and accounting while also allowing them the opportunity to grow and expand the use cases for the platform.
Fundraising & Grant Management: Nonprofit Success Pack
During the data migration, basic student and alumni data was pulled in from Colleague Advancement to Salesforce. In addition, Cloud for Good was able to preserve historical fundraising data, giving RCCD Foundation the foundation they needed to kick-start their fundraising process.
Because RCCD Foundation raises funds for both scholarship purposes or a specific interest, such as one of the campuses, a sports team or a department, it was important to track the intended use of the funds directly in their Salesforce. Cloud for Good configured a solution to allow RCCD Foundation to manage the general funds and unrestricted monies in Salesforce. Additionally, the need to create numerous interests and separate funds was handled seamlessly by the Cloud for Good implementation team using the Cloud for Good Interests Application.
Johnson shares, “Since our organization manages multiple campuses and have donors with various interests, we needed a solution to manage a multitude of funds that we could not only easily digest but use to communicate with each of the three campuses.”
In order to best track and processes each scholarship fund, Cloud for Good and RCCD Foundation used General Accounting Unit records. These units enable RCCD Foundation to track when a scholarship is awarded, for what amount and to whom. It also allows for multiple contact records to be awarded money from one scholarships fund. As a precaution, the use of Validation Rules helps ensure that a scholarship fund cannot award more money than what is currently in that specific fund.
Using Salesforce, these Scholarship funds are connected both to the donors that contributed with a donation specifically for said scholarship as well as the student that was awarded the funds.
“Cloud for Good was always one step ahead of us, ensuring the custom rules and validations they created would decrease the risk of errors, making our job easier in the long run,” said Johnson.
RCCD Foundation was also able to take advantage of the grant management process in Salesforce. Cloud for Good has several built-in objects and tools that can help RCCD Foundation manage their grant process and engagement plan, including:
- Paths: Based on the Opportunity stage field, your Path provides a visualization of the step-by-step process of securing grants for your organization. For each stage of a Path, key fields can be displayed along with guidance for success. Adding to the simplicity is the ability to create multiple Paths if the grant types you apply for have differing stages.
- Deliverables: Deliverable records can be created for grant opportunities to track due dates, reporting requirements, and dates of submission. Custom fields can also be added to the Deliverables object if your organization would like to track additional details.
- Reminders: While Task reminders can be created as needed on Opportunity or Deliverable records, reminders can also be automated by using either a workflow rule or process builder. When a Deliverable or Opportunity record is created or edited, a process builder can automatically create a Task reminder that includes priority level, the status of the Task, due date, and comments.
Donor Segmentation: Interest Application
The Cloud for Good Interest Application empowers RCCD Foundation to track the interests and preferences of constituents, whether that be in the areas of program focus, types of advocacy. This application:
- Is a lightning-enabled component that can be dropped into either a Contact or an Account record page, allowing users to update the record without leaving the page.
- Allows RCCD Foundation to bulk add or remove interests from Contacts or Accounts.
- Enhances the standard Salesforce reporting and segmentation tools so that RCCD Foundation can use these Interests for mailing lists, campaigns or other forms of outreach.
Taking advantage of this application, RCCD Foundation was not only able to apply them to general funds and scholarships, but also attached interests to donors. The parent interests for each college as well as sub-interests such as sports teams connect back to contact and account records, providing the ability to report on who is interested in which college, segment marketing and solicit gifts for specific interests.
“The Cloud for Good Interest Application has given RCCD Foundation the ability to track and manage our constituents based on the college that they are associated with, as well as the causes they support. We wouldn’t have been able to track, and more importantly report, on these interests with out-of-the-box Salesforce functions,” Johnson said.
Enhanced Donor Experience: Apsona
Using Apsona for batch entry, RCCD Foundation is now able to conveniently enter checks and other forms of physical donations in one location and then upload and creates all opportunities and payments at one time.
But Apsona isn’t just for batch entry. Apsona also enables RCCD Foundation with mail merge tools, allowing them to create several personalized documents for donors with templates for acknowledgment letters, asks and more by integrating data pulled from Salesforce.
Online Giving: Click & Pledge
In addition to Apsona, Cloud for Good also implemented Click & Pledge into RCCD Foundation’s website. This application gives RCCD Foundation donors the ability to not only give online but also easily split one gift between multiple funds.
“Before, we were using a very rudimentary giving site which limited our ability to promote online donations. The majority came in the form of checks. We knew this was limiting our donor’s giving opportunities and the number of gifts we were receiving. We knew a more user-friendly experience could greatly impact our donations and Cloud for Good provided us with the perfect tool that not only allowed us to collect online donations but also offer donors to give to multiple interests and even register for upcoming events.” shared Johnson.
Further enhancing the donor experience, Click & Pledge offered online event registration tools. Integrating directly with Campaigns in Salesforce, using Click & Pledge gave RCCD Foundation the ability to report on their event attendance and successes as well as connect donor profiles of those who are invited, register and attend each event.
Integrated Accounting: Jitterbit
As an integral component to any successful fundraising program, RCCD Foundation needed a way for Salesforce to speak to their existing accounting software, Colleague Finance. For every allocation to a fund, they needed to track the creation of credits and debits from Salesforce every day and develop a process to push that information back into Colleague Finance.
Cloud for Good configured Jitterbit’s Data Loader to create a daily flat file export which could be imported into the institution’s accounting system. The integration allows RCCD Foundation to map specific fund allocations, whether by college or interest, to their general ledger codes. A lengthily and complicated transformation process is now a simple and smooth one.
Johnson said, “Without the change to integration work Cloud for Good did for this daily import, we would not be fulling optimizing the power of Salesforce. The consultants not only created the export but trained us on how to do this daily import and keep our records up to date across the two databases.”
Before their Implementation, RCCD Foundation had to ask their IT department for any and all reports. Now they have the tools to report on everything from donor interests to scholarship funding and more. There is a dramatic decrease in reporting turnaround time and now their team has the tools to slice and dice all their data for each fund and scholarships in any way they desire.
“Time seems to always be limited, yet with the ability to pull our own reports not only save both us and our IT department an abundance of time but also gives our team more ability to dig deeper into our data and strategize plans for growth and future improvements. A process that could previously take over a week, now only takes minutes,” Johnson said.
Expanded Online Giving Capabilities
RCCD Foundation has improved their donor experience with Click & Pledge, giving their constituents the opportunity to donate online instead of via mail or in person. Donations are segmented into various funds and donors are able to register for events online – All of which RCCD Foundation can now report on using Salesforce Standard Reports.
Enhanced Donor Communications
In addition to enhancing their donor experience, RCCD Foundation can now smoothly communicate with said constituents via their interests, create meaningful acknowledgment letters and powerful asks and ensure they are on track with all opportunities.
Being able to see prospect interests (including the colleges they are associated with) and their stage in the pipeline has enabled RCCD Foundation better understand each college’s unique prospecting needs.
Johnson and her team shared, “We enjoyed working with Cloud for Good both on our initial project and any additional support projects we have needed. They are always a trusted advisor for both Salesforce and the higher education sector and great to work with.”