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Salesforce for Associations: Building Relationships That Drive Change

Cloud for Good 2023 blog Salesforce for Associations Building Relationships That Drive Change

Salesforce is the platform of choice for over 150K companies worldwide. This is because the technology helps empower users to drive efficiencies, tech-powered automation, and exceptional end-user experiences.  Through its many customizable clouds, Salesforce can provide these organizations with the flexibility necessary to grow missions, scale operations, and deepen relationships.

Many associations today are facing challenges with legacy technology that decrease effectiveness organization-wide.  These associations seek to modernize the member experiences and provide a seamless experience for staff and constituents alike.  In order to do so, new technology is needed to connect systems, break down data silos, and create operational efficiencies.

Why We Need to Make Member Experiences More Memorable

Since the pandemic, association members have come to expect the same high level of engagement in their digital experiences as they do in those experienced in person.  Members are not only expecting this digital experience to stay, but they are also preferring it.

The 2022 Association Trends Study tells us that virtual engagement was the preferred method of interaction with organizations for 54% of association members while a   staggering 74% of members agree that technology is transforming membership orgs for the better.  What this means is that digital solutions are here to stay and that association members value highly those organizations that prioritize digital flexibility when it comes to member communication, connectivity, and experiences.

To further explore this point, Salesforce’s 2022 State of the Connected Customer Report reveals 86% of customers say their experience with an organization is as important as the company’s product or services, and that 64% of customers have purchased products in new ways over the past two years, creating new, unexpected sources of revenue as a result.  The major takeaway from these eye-opening statistics is that member experience has a profound impact on engagement with associations and, ultimately, the funding and continued success of an association.

Leveraging Salesforce Customer 360

Through Salesforce Customer 360, associations can create modern systems that are secure, flexible, and capable of creating personalized member engagements across sales, marketing, commerce, and more.  From support tickets and emails to communication preferences and fundraising, Salesforce makes it easier for associations to obtain a holistic view of each constituent, and then tailor experiences according to each unique set of member needs.

This holistic view may often mean connecting to external systems as well.  We know that many organizations are utilizing various types of association management software (AMS) that have been purpose-built for an association’s mission.  Luckily, Salesforce operates as an interoperable system capable of connecting with any and all AMS systems.  In addition, a vast network of partners and applications on the Salesforce AppExchange and proprietary integration technology and connectors ensure a modern, secure platform united in data, not disconnected departmentally.

Salesforce solutions, such as Salesforce for Nonprofits, Marketing Cloud, Experience Cloud, Commerce Cloud, and Service Cloud, all provide a unique method of creating a seamless experience for employees and members, no matter the focus or mission of an association.  These experiences are highlighted by five distinct areas of focus.

Unify & Protect

By first unifying data from disparate systems and all touchpoints, associations are able to achieve a secure, connected view of each member and see a secure, holistic understanding of each relationship between constituent and association.  This allows anyone from your team to pick up the relationship with your member in real-time, knowing all of the pertinent details to enhance their connection with your member.


Continual interaction with an association provides actionable insights into each interaction and unlocks a deeper understanding of each member.  Constituent interests, behaviors, preferences, and preferred programs and/or benefits are all melded to establish a shared database that association staff can leverage to create deepened member experiences.  This allows you to segment your members into meaningful groups and provide relevant communications that are opened and appreciated.


This then leads to real-time personalization at scale, including specifically tailored communication and engagement according to what content constituents want and when they want it.  When content is informed by established Salesforce data, something as simple as a thank-you email becomes hyper-personalized and resonant.  Through automation and workflows, the process of personalization and mass communication becomes streamlined, allowing staff to spend more time innovating and less time on manual processes.


As these communications continue, so too is the connection between association and member continued.  Engaging with members across channels through Salesforce Clouds helps deliver seamless experiences that are consistent and reliable.  Empowering members with digital self-service options also empowers staff to help an association scale up and transform internal processes. Not to mention the ability to connect members to one another, providing networking, support, and connection at scale.

Learn & Grow

Finally, every relationship and interaction becomes part of a larger, iterative process through the Salesforce experience.  Insights gained inform strategy, and strategy leads to new ways of supporting an association and positively affecting more current and prospective association members.

See the Solution in Action

Salesforce is seeing a number of success metrics illustrating the platform’s transformative power.  According to Salesforce’s FY23 Customer Success Metrics, 33% of respondents noted an increase in member satisfaction, 27% saw increased member retention, 21% reported faster time to execute new strategies, and 17% experienced a decrease in cost to acquire new members.

American College of Radiology

Founded in 1923, the American College of Radiology (ACR) is a professional medical society representing nearly 40K diagnostic radiologists, radiation oncologists, interventional radiologists, nuclear medicine physicians, and medical physicists.  ACR was facing a number of challenges related to data silos, no single source of truth, integration of over 150 disparate applications, including its AMS, and difficult-to-decipher analytics and business intelligence.  Through a combination of Salesforce Platform, Experience Cloud, and Tableau, ACR has been able to achieve a single source of truth of member data and is now able to give users the ability to draw insights and drive action through reliable data.

Nuffield Health

Nuffield Health is the United Kingdom’s largest healthcare charity comprising 31 hospitals and 114 health and wellness centers.  Salesforce Nonprofit, Sales, and Marketing Clouds, along with Tableau, is helping the organization create connected healthcare supporting the lives of millions of people.  This is achieved through reliable information about member interests and preferences being used to inform personalized communications and targeted campaigns.  Staff can now stay up to date with beneficiaries previously showing interest in treatment, reduce membership cancellations through curated surveys, and make potentially life-changing interventions backed by data.  In just eight short weeks with Salesforce, Nuffield Health has helped over 5K patients receive hospital treatment and identified more than £400K in sales leads.

Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

As the national membership body for Scotland’s voluntary sector, SCVO champions, provides services, and debates the big issues to manage government funding to the Scottish Third Sector.  In need of a source of information able to withstand times of crisis and support arising challenges, SCVO utilized Sales Cloud, Experience Cloud, and Account Management to tackle the towering task.  With demand for financial support at an all-time high, SCVO called on Salesforce for all administration of emergency funds, connect funders, government, applicants, and assessors, as well as establish a single system of record enabling collaboration.  It took SCVO just one week to bring together several disparate groups into one system of record through Salesforce, and now the vital association is poised to double down on its mission.

If your association is looking to build better relationships, deepen member experiences, and push your mission forward with technology, contact Cloud for Good today to see what Salesforce can do for you.

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