Nonprofit Summit Session Recaps

You heard it here first –’s Nonprofit Summit 2021 was a virtual spectacle of Trailblazer learning & community! Team DemandBlue was proud to sponsor this inaugural event and are here to share our findings from some exciting sessions. Read on to learn how the four tracks for Nonprofit Success panned out at Nonprofit Summit 2021.

Nonprofit Summit Mainstage

Nonprofit Summit Mainstage kicked off the global event by engaging these notable speakers and talent to share their messages of inspiring and incredible stories!

The incomparable Dr. Jane Goodall shared her thoughts on the responsibility we all have to care for the planet and her message of hope. Being grounded due to the global pandemic hasn’t stopped Dr. Goodall, with her many accolades and notes of merit, continues her lifelong mission to educate all on her message of hope – just now to a “tiny green speck on the top of her laptop”.

Hope, Dr. Goodall says is our most powerful resource for the very reason that “so many people have lost hope … bombarded with doom and gloom in the media everywhere and everyday … people feel helpless and hopeless". She advises, to take small steps and start acting locally brings back hope – those tiny steps do make a change and in doing those small acts within your own community – fosters hope!

We “Zoom where it happened” with Leslie Odom, Jr. - Tony® and GRAMMY® Award-winning artist’s showcase of soulful tunes. Odom spoke about his upcoming book Failing Up wherein he encourages us all to re-imagine our communities, in these times of tremendous loss, change happens when we as a community strive and aim forward with creativity.The virtual mainstage was then snapping along with Odom as he wow’d the crowd with soulful songs from the smash-hit Broadway musical, Hamilton. A true musical treat for the live audience of Nonprofit Summit 2021.

Living in this pivotal moment in history for human rights, Ebony Beckwith, Chief Philanthropy Officer at Salesforce, asks Amal Clooney, Lawyer and Human Rights Advocate, about the impact of COVID crisis through a humanitarian lens. Adapting to making the best of ‘Zoom’ from teaching her course on human rights at Colombia University and continuing her work with her foundation for cases of human rights abuses around the world.

Clooney also shared that technology does play a role in overcoming humanitarian divide – the internet can be an ultimate unifier, connecting anyone anywhere in the world on a shared idea – tremendous potential is there in tech as a force for good, but she warned that it, at the same time, can be and has been a force for evil. Mitigating this, as Beckwith notes, are how cross sector partnerships become key to helping communities recover and thrive. Clooney advises organizations to “connect the dots” and bring and educate each other on causes.

Starting from Scratch: How One Nonprofit Kickstarted the Customer Journey

In this session by Julie Donaldson, Manager, Operations and Quality Improvement, shared the power of Salesforce transformation for the Mental Health Commission Canada (MHCC). When Donaldson attended Dreamforce in 2018, she achieved her Admin certification and sparked the realization that Salesforce it’s simply an ‘address book’ but a platform for customer success! Transformation to enhance MHCC’s data management systems starting with creating super user teams to identify ideas to map the processes for success. With tools like Trailhead, MHCC has engrained learning and improvement for their internal processes and reporting into their three-pronged iteration model of:

  • Continue– to learn and improve
  • Review – our flows and process builders
  • Enrich – our dashboards and reports

Building Relationships with Supporters Worldwide Across 22 Billion Devices .

In this session by UNICEF’s Richard Beighton, Chief Resource Mobilization and Francesco Ambrogetti, Supporter Engagement Lead, we heard how the organization is reimagining their 100 million supporters’ experience worldwide. With 3 Lessons, UNICEF’s team shared their supporter engagement vision – it’s all in the experience:

Lesson 1: Who is your Supporter? Offer differentiation by pushing beyond the RFM for supporter engagement. Look at new demographics, new levels and modalities of giving, digital behavior, mobile and geo-localization, motivation, commitment and satisfaction.

Lesson 2: One Journey Doesn’t Fit All? It is advised to empower a more personalized approach to your engagement.

“The more the supporters are satisfied, the longer they stay and the higher the value!” Francesco Ambrogetti, Supporter Engagement Lead, UNICEF

Lesson 3: Digitalize Me! Even in a pandemic with COVID-19, digitalizing your fundraising is possible. With Salesforce Marketing Cloud, the communications journey began before the new donor gets home by shifting to a digital focus for their transactional communications to supporter-centric, cross-channel experiences.

“Finally what salesforce allowed us to do was to digitize everything. Everything about the journey” Richard Beighton, Chief Resource Mobilization, UNICEF

A Technologist’s Approach to Fundraising Agility

Rosa Maria Cortada, CIO, OXFAM Intermon and Sri Mishra, Chief Data and Technology Officer, JDRF shared how their organizations moved to a more donor/supporter centric approach to their fundraising by getting buy-in from leadership, using minimum viable products (MVPs) and middleware to be agile, and preparing your staff through change management and trainings.

One of the challenges that both organizations faced is that their supporters were coming from a multitude of channels from online fundraisers and volunteers, from corporations and individuals, and from social media to direct mail. These various channels didn’t talk to each other effectively and prevented Oxfam Intermon and JDRF from getting a 360-degree view of their supporters. As a result, both these organizations embarked on a digital transformation to put their supporters at the center of their work and engagement. Some of the key takeaways from this session were:

  • A simple and connected architecture for a single 3600 view of your supporters
  • Use of middleware like Mulesoft and Informatica help you stay agile and enforce your business logic across the platforms.
  • Digital transformation requires collaboration from the organizational leadership and the tech team to be successful.

As a result of investing in the transformation, JDRF and Oxfam Intermon were both able to increase and improve their personalization to their supporters by making the right ask, at the right time, and now on the right channel (social, email, text, website)!

DemandBlue loved Sri’s comment that “there is no stop button on digital transportation” this is a path that organizations need to be on to get the agility they need to respond not just to changes caused by the pandemic but also to adopt the new technology that is always evolving to take your nonprofit to the next level.


This exciting recap is from Arturo Ordoqui, our Head of Nonprofit: I’m so excited about the upcoming mini-sprint for the PMM + V4S on April 30th (register here) that I opened up a BrainDate during the summit to hear the needs nonprofits have for connecting the Program Management Module (PMM) to Volunteers for Salesforce (V4S). I was lucky to have two longtime friends and fellow Trailblazers, Melissa Hill Dees and Kat Selvocki, join me for a fun brainstorming session.

During our BrainDate we captured a very common scenario for many nonprofits, such as hospice, mentoring, and CASA organizations, which is the use of volunteers to deliver 1:1 service. During our time together we discussed what the program manager needs to capture from the volunteer such as the day and duration, the client or service recipient they worked with, and the need to capture notes and outcomes from their time together. We also talked about the need for automations for reminders to log the service delivery once the volunteer has been matched and how to monitor the engagement from the volunteer’s and client’s perspective.

Does this sound like something your nonprofit has addressed or needs help addressing? Does this make you go “ooh ooh” I have an idea for solving this? Do you just like to nerd out on automations, junction objects, and helping nonprofits solve these issues? If you answered yes to any of these questions, make sure to register for the PMM + V4S mini sprint on April 30th 12-5 EDT/ 9-2 PDT.

Marketing Journeys to Improve Lead Generation and Increase Your Impact

Are you looking for a way to improve communication throughout the donor engagement lifecycle without needing to lift a finger? Find out how you can use marketing automation to nurture your donors in this session from Vicki Moritz-Henry, Head of Training & Certified Marketing Cloud Instructor, Supermums and Berta Martinez Ulied, Head of Loyalty and CRM, Bon Preu

Supermums offers super moms, super dads, and anyone looking to increase their skills, with an online training program to learn Salesforce Marketing Cloud. They use Marketing Cloud themselves to manage their trainings and clients, with a number of Salesforce integrated enhancements, such as Pardot for lead scoring, and Opinion (?) as their e-learning environment.

Supermums has grown from just 1 course in 2016 to an entire program, doubling their team and efforts. This has a lot to do with the work they put in to maximize their use Marketing Cloud features, and the extent to which they’ve streamlined their own processes. They streamlined their sales and conversion process. There was a long process to sign up and it was manual. They surveyed on their website and found that the practice was prohibitive to people signing up. They developed faster response time and more automated content to increase audience. They’ve been able to gather more leads to automate lead processing. They no work their leads through automation and keep prospects engaged over what can be a very long sales cycle. Accountability emails have led to an increase in participation and a decrease in attrition

Their website is the glue to hold it all together. Their current signature product is the 5-day challenge –They use Marketing Cloud to manage client journey through their program. The journey is an email journey, but their leaving it open for growth. They can keep adding to the journey to expand from email.

For anyone considering Salesforce training and using Marketing Cloud start by formalizing your plan from “Where are you and where do you want to go”!

Less is More: How Small and Federated Organizations Deliver BIG Results!

Whether a new or established nonprofit, technology is key to doing more with less. Hear how both Beneath the Waves - Austin Gallagher, CEO and Big Brothers Big Sisters of America Jarrod Bell, Chief Information Officer are scaling for growth by moving from disjointed systems to a common infrastructure for fundraising success.

Beneath the Waves’ mission is to collect the data they need to create the conservation evidence they need to change conservation policy. They recently turned to The Power of Us Hub and the Salesforce ProBono Team for help in maximizing donation returns on Giving Tuesday. They also maximized their own network to be ready for big changes. Their goal was to get more out of what they already have.

In the past, their fundraising was really focused on larger gifts. Major donor relationships have been transformative for the agency and managing those relationships was the priority. Curating and cultivating the smaller donations is harder structurally, and this is where the power of Salesforce transformed their platform. Giving Tuesday and managing through the Covid crisis was the big push they needed. Their efforts and the help provided by Salesforce led to a 900% increase in donations! They upgraded their customer base, upgraded followers, and created a path for small and medium sized donors to engage.

“You probably have a lot more value in your back pocket than you realize”

Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) matches up the BIGs (caring adults) and the LITTLEs (young people who need mentors), to help the littles achieve their goals. BBBS is a federated organization with 235 local chapters. Although the national organization had provided and curated program collaboration and consistency, nationwide, each local affiliate has their own local process for tracking and managing their fundraising efforts. This historic trend had served local affiliates well, until the covid crisis.

Now, the national BBBS organization is working on a Salesforce solution that will help their federated organizations to get a 360-degree view of constituents and understand constituents holistically. The goal is a centrally managed program system Centralized model, with a hub and spoke approach. They are looking at new ways to scale up donations. Moving toward a constituent data platform, rather than separate fundraising and program data Missing from the equation is the donor side – all chapters doing their own thing. The national organization doesn’t have a holistic constituent view. 50% of agencies get their revenue from special events, which was really challenging during the pandemic. The big push is working on a nationwide approach to bold fundraising capacity, and have it be a product that is meaningful for all affiliated agencies, regardless of their size or capacity. The goal is to engaging constituents at a local basis, utilizing national resources.

“Build a bridge to connect volunteers to drive fundraising”

Fundraising Trends Research: How to Get Ahead of What’s Coming Next

What will fundraising be like in 2025? Experts - Dr. Una Osili, Associate Dean for Research and International Programs, IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, IUPUI; Krista Berry Ortega, Programs Manager - West, Candid; John Jensen, Senior Director, Nonprofit Insights,; and Dr. Nicolas Duquette, Associate Professor, University of Southern California; discussed three important trends for the nonprofit sector -- donor concentration, workplace giving, and relationship management -- and their implications for the next few years.

Fundraising best practices are constantly changing. This is due mainly to changing donor demographics and giving preferences. Nonprofits already have to be purposeful, strategic, and forward thinking about their revenue strategy. This session panel identified some of the major shifts that nonprofits can expect in the coming years. Existing practices are not working – old standbys like direct mail need to be reevaluated.

Charities are staying stable by becoming increasingly reliant on a smaller and smaller donor group. 1percent of donors is making up over 40 percent of all giving, but current trends only a gradual increase in overall donations. Transparency to donors is becoming really important. Guidestar seals of transparency are earning 53 percent more in contributions. Concern regarding donor movement requires more proof that their gifts are making a difference. Not all donors are the same so figuring it out and investing in targeted and flexible engagement strategies is really important.

Helping Families Get Affordable Childcare: Case + Program Management on Salesforce

Illinois Action for Children implemented Salesforce and NPSP in 2017 to unify their data across multiple programs. Previously, they didn’t have any strategy in place for collecting or managing data across programs. The only program they did not include when transitioning to Salesforce was their Child Care Assistance Program. This giant program and its complexities involved intense manual processes. They faced the issues of:

  • No single source of data
  • No self-service for clients
  • Limited insights into data
  • Increased manual effort
  • Hard to train new staff

With Salesforce and Cloud for Good, IAC was able to get their CCAP program integrated and streamlined, and user friendly for customers. This involved actions such as enabling lightning for outlook and employing case management features through Service Cloud. The result was the completion of a custom portal for families to check their program application status using automated tools. Security was a critical element of this project - Security control is important. They developed automation. They assisted with development of standard reports and Nintex from AppExchange

From enterprise perspective, it’s the beginning of using Action Force in a better more standardized way and increase the value of their salesforce investment – moving the org toward being more data informed. Impact on lives of children and families. These and all future innovations are made possible by having everything under one Salesforce umbrella.

For now, IAC is most excited that the system is much more open. They’ve been able to reduce some manual steps. They JUST went live, but they believe that improved data collection is going to be key outcome and benefit of the overall initiative.

Fundraising at Scale: How Salesforce Helped the CDC Foundation Raise More Funds

We explored how Salesforce was able to help the CDC Foundation scale to meet increased demands, reach new donor demographics, and how they plan to turn one-time donors into reoccurring givers. Session Speakers - Benjamin Washam, Principal Consultant, Cloud for Good; Sterrin Bird, Nonprofit Industry Advisor,; and Laura Croft, Vice President for Advancement, CDC Foundation shared how their transition from Raisers Edge to Salesforce.

As an organization, the CDC Foundation was looking to limit their technology debt and create a single source or truth for their data. A big part of this was moving their fundraising from Raiser’s Edge to Salesforce. They were looking for a technology solution that:

  • Overcame objections from advancement
  • Supported mobile and WFH
  • Brode down organizational silos
  • Increased transparency between fundraising, programs, and finance.
  • Could scale with the CDC Foundation’s growth

The answer to this expansion was Salesforce! And with the help of Cloud for Good’s Migration Accelerator this transition ended up becoming absolutely critical in terms of being prepared to manage the huge influx of gifts that resulted from their covid response.

Technology absolutely impacts fundraising and a solution for success is with Salesforce to build up your foundation to create an integrated view of your funds and enhance your unique instance needs with AppExchange applications.

Amplify-ing Underrepresented Voices in Tech

The Trailblazing trio of Marisa Lopez, Account Executive – Exponent Partners; Jessica Murphy, Founder – East First Consulting; and Rachel Park, Salesforce Consultant – Slalom shared their stories on how they have, and you can empower your trailblazing in our Salesforce space – thru an inclusive and intersection(ality) lens for tech, diversity & grit.

These three ingredients, of tech, diversity & grit, were presented as necessary for a successful career to thrive in this space and serve the constituents that you are here to empower and lift up. We heard of Park’s story of grit –overcoming obstacles from her nontraditional tech background to battling and surviving cancer and finding support with Amplify to emerge and thrive as a leading voice in her culminating moment taking the stage at Dreamforce. Park blazed her trail to becoming a Salesforce Goldie – a true story of grit.

Amplify, is a constant factor in all three of the ladies’ stories. Lopez, President of the volunteer run nonprofit organization Amplify, explains how this community is built on the mission to “Empowering Underrepresented Voices in technology and those who support them to be fearless leaders.” Tech continues to lack diversity, yet Lopez elates that to see more diversity is powered by having more representation. This allows for more perspectives to be shared, constituents are also represented and overall amplified by the community building and education. Lopez has blazed her trail by using tech and building communities to bring people together by fostering safe spaces to grow and empower one another.

DEI or Diversity, Equality and Inclusion has become a buzz word in many organizations – but to really support diversity Murphy states simply to amplify and open your doors to more diversity by showing off diverse talent in the ecosystem and creating a situation where more diverse individuals are amplified – just as she has with 100 Days of Trailhead and RADWomen. Murphy asks us to ask our boards, leaders, higher-ups “Have you considered the underrepresented experience with your organization? Have you considered their experiences outside of your organization? And how are you being an ally to them when you speak about diversity or train on this?” Equality must be a priority from the top-down, all levels of your organizations need to be active in the start to creating allyship around DEI.

“Issues related to -isms … racism, sexism, heterosexism, ageism … isn’t a problem of the people who are in these groups and it shouldn’t be relegated to these people or assigned to them the problem, that this problem that needs to be solved – should be solved by the people who hold the power. Please make your actions and words align.” – Jessica Murphy

We encourage you to join the Amplify community here:

Thank you for reading Team DemandBlue’s recap of Nonprofit Summit 2021! We enjoyed engaging with our Trailblazer community in this virtual experience and don’t fret if you missed any of these amazing Nonprofit Summit sessions! Recordings are available for your viewing pleasure, click here to watch.