Client Story

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Solutioning Outside the Box

How Captain Planet is finding creative ways to store their data with Sales Cloud and NPSP

The mission of the Captain Planet Foundation (Captain Planet) is to give the next generation of environmental stewards an active understanding and love for the natural world in which they live. [Their] unique program of funding and supporting hands-on environmental projects is designed to encourage innovative initiatives that inspire and empower children and youth around the world as they work individually and collectively creating environmental solutions in their homes, schools and communities. (LinkedIn)

As a non-profit, grants and grant-writing are integral to Captain Planet’s operations. They were collecting a lot of data but were finding that they lacked the ability to pull that data from their database in any usable form, making the task of reporting on grants tedious and time consuming. With a great attitude and a limited budget, Captain Planet turned to Traction on Demand to help them find a creative solution using Salesforce.

Project Challenges

Captain Planet had large quantities of atypical data: They had data types that wouldn’t be found in the database of an average business (such as “number of planted vegetables”).

Their legacy platform had been overly customized, leading to poor performance: Captain Planet had been leveraging Raiser’s Edge for its customizable structure. While the many customization options allowed Captain Planet to use the platform as a repository, they were bending the platform beyond the point of usefulness.

The database had become bloated with constituent data that was unstructured and ultimately unusable: Captain Planet couldn’t generate reports, meaning that it constituent data was essentially stranded within Raiser’s Edge.

Captain Planet were writing grants that did not contain on data-driven insights: Grants and grant-writing comprise an important part of Captain Planet’s business-model. These grant applications needed to very clearly outline Captain Planet’s outcomes and deliverables, and their legacy platform wasn’t giving them the metrics necessary to make a compelling case.

Project Solutions

Traction implemented Sales Cloud with the NonProfit Success Pack (NPSP): To give Captain Planet the functionality of constituent and donor management, Traction implemented the Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP). With the inherent scalability of NPSP, Captain Planet gained boosted tools in the present as well as a framework for future expansion with their Salesforce instance.

Data was mapped and migrated from Raiser’s Edge: The project team needed to find a way to migrate all of Captain Planet’s atypical data into the structure of “out-of-the-box” Salesforce. As they were migrating the multi-layered data from Raiser’s Edge into Salesforce’s more structured relationships, Traction determined which “out-of-the-box” objects would be most similar in process in order to map this information with a structured that was intuitive.

Traction leveraged custom declarative work when appropriate: Custom objects were created where appropriate pathways did not exist in Salesforce. Most importantly for Captain Planet, Traction built out reports and dashboards, leveraging some creativity to ensure that the visualized insights were usable for Captain Planet.

Project Results

The project provided Captain Planet with the tools they needed to make the most of their constituent and atypical data: Previously, it data had held little purpose, confined as it was within Raiser’s Edge. Now, Captain Planet has access to a simply structured database within Salesforce, enabling them to enter and store information more easily, as well as access it.

Grant writing is easier and Captain Planet understands their organization better: Generated reports and dashboards offer insights into their organization that Captain Planet had been unable to leverage in the past.

Captain Planet has a platform that will support growth and is better suited to their industry: NPSP gives Captain Planet better visibility and management of their donors and volunteers.

User adoption improved from 15% with Raiser’s Edge to 90% with Salesforce: Because Salesforce is so much easier to use, users feel confident creating and running reports themselves, as well as entering data and tracking and managing grants and campaigns.

“As the database manager for Raisers Edge, I alone imported and extracted everything. I sorted through all the duplication created in queries, cleaned it up so users could understand it and shared the final results with our Board members, funders and staff. Now, all by themselves, users can create and run reports, update supporter and donor information, track grant opportunities in the pipeline, manage large campaigns and follow grantees as they progress through our programs. In fact, user adoption has grown from 15% in Raisers Edge to over 90% in Salesforce.

“Can you imagine the time that has freed up for me? Time that I can now spend supporting our mission – to give the next generation of environmental stewards an active understanding and love for the natural world in which they live.” – Kathy Lively, Grants Manager at Captain Planet Foundation

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