By Clint Robert Niehus, Fundraising Specialist at Generations For Peace
One question often asked of fundraisers is ‘If I do not have much money to donate, how can I help contribute to your good cause?’ This is an important question, especially when you are looking to support an organisation that works in another part of your country, or even on another continent. Outside of the ways to give that you will find on our website, I wanted to highlight a unique way in which a company and individuals were able to support our work:
For a full week at the end of October, three staff members from Salesforce joined Generations For Peace (GFP) in our global headquarters in Amman, Jordan to improve our utilisation of the Salesforce platform. Judith Ludwigs, Clément Therrillion, and Hidde de Vries came together from three different Salesforce teams for the sole mission of supporting Generations For Peace in its everyday work towards its peacebuilding mission.
Salesforce is a cloud-based customer relations management software company with 35,000 employees worldwide. GFP has been using Salesforce since 2016, in an attempt to consolidate and standardise organisational data in a usable format, and to maintain contact information of our volunteers, donors, and supporters. But, as happens in organisations that experience growth and staff turnover, GFP has not utilised the Salesforce platform to its full potential.
Judith, Clément, and Hidde reached out to GFP in March 2019 to offer to customise and update GFP’s Salesforce environment for us, completely for free. Under Salesforce’s 1-1-1 model, employees are allowed to spend 7 of their workdays away from the office, as well as allowing for free licenses of the Salesforce platform to be granted to non-profit organisations. For GFP, which relies on donations and grants to maintain and grow its operations, this was an excellent opportunity to grow our impact, and make the best use of the ten free Salesforce licenses granted us as an NGO.
After multiple video conferences back and forth over 6 months, Judith, Clément, and Hidde arrived in Amman at the end of October and dove deep into understanding our work and current data management practices. Over the course of the week, they met with all GFP staff members, in an effort to understand our current usage of Salesforce, demonstrate and discover new ways in which the platform could be used successfully, and build a new Salesforce ‘environment’ which all GFP staff could collaborate on.
By the end of the whirlwind week, the team had trained all GFP staff members on how to use the Salesforce website, built a new platform, and put together a plan for how they would continue to support GFP’s work on Salesforce in the future. And, their work is not yet done: Over the coming weeks and months, Judith, Clément, and Hidde have each committed to assisting us in further developing our new Salesforce tools, helping us test them, and integrating them into new organisational processes
In addition, Judith has already committed to raising funds for GFP by running the Rotterdam Marathon on 5th April 2020. All proceeds from her fundraiser will be matched by Salesforce, and donated to GFP. We are both excited for and proud of Judith for this innovative way to contribute to funding our programmes.
These three individuals demonstrated unique ways to contribute to GFP’s mission:
- By choosing to work for an organisation which values giving back to communities, and puts their values into action;
- By using their own skills and expertise to volunteer their time;
- By raising money through their own networks to donate to our cause.
It was truly a joy to work with Judith, Clément, and Hidde: they brought to us their passion for Salesforce and for our work, their professionalism, and their sense of humour and fun. Working with them over the course of a week allowed us to ask tough questions about what we want and value as an agency and set us up for better data management and interdepartmental collaboration. We are grateful to them for contributing to us hundreds of hours of volunteer work.I challenge you, supporter, to consider how you too can find innovative ways to support the mission of GFP:
- Can you advocate for your organisation to allow staff to volunteer their time on a GFP project?
- What skills and knowledge do you have that might benefit GFP’s work?
- Could you run your own fundraiser, with proceeds going to GFP’s programming?
Have an idea and want to share it with us? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org!