The Positive Impact of Salesforce Services as Corporate Giving Initiatives


By Tom Martin

Guest Blog: Tom Martin, Sales Engineer at Canpango

Almost every sustainably profitable company I know has a philosophy that encourages philanthropic initiatives — it’s a way of legitimizing their growth and commitment to their community. Since Canpango’s conception, we’ve been encouraged by leadership to pursue passion projects that we hold near and dear. The beauty of being a Salesforce Gold Consulting Partner is that we’re able to collaborate with Salesforce to better equip non-profits and other charitable organizations with leading technology and services at no cost, so they can do even more good for the world. Enter our partnership with Guitars For Vets (G4V). G4V has over 110 Chapters in 40+ states. Over 200 volunteers nationwide have helped fulfill over 30,000 guitar lessons and distributed over 3,000 guitars free of charge to military veterans.

I first encountered G4V at a Summerfest booth in Milwaukee about eight years ago. I talked briefly with the co-founders and learned that G4V was using music as a therapy for veterans suffering from PTSD. I asked for a business card knowing that I had an old electric guitar buried up in the attic of my house that I wanted to donate. When I got home that night, I realized the G4V corporate offices were essentially located right across the street from my home — if that’s not a sign that I should learn more about them, I’m not sure what is.

Patrick Nettesheim, G4V co-founder, told me that he believed in the healing power of music in the hands of our nation’s heroes, and my interest in the organization deepened. One guitar donation and a few hours of volunteering later, Patrick and I found ourselves talking about the goals for the organization and the roadblocks they were facing to reach those goals — roadblocks that could be removed through the use of technology. Soon after, we were able to secure ten complimentary Salesforce user licenses through Salesforce.org and put a plan in place to customize and implement the CRM using complimentary professional services from Canpango.

Together, we dissected the state of the G4V operations, mapped out where they wanted the business operations to be in the future, identified the most optimal way to drive the desired business outcomes leveraging Salesforce, and then began executing the strategic and collaborative plan.

The main objective was to centralize all of the G4V Chapter, instructor and student information. Prior to Salesforce being implemented, G4V was tracking and managing all this information in a single Excel spreadsheet across all nationwide Chapters.  

Once the strategy was agreed upon, we worked to migrate all of the information from the Chapter management Excel spreadsheets into Salesforce, including:

    • 100 local Chapter data
    • Student profile information
    • Instructor profile information
    • Chapter Coordinator information
    • The Chapter volunteer onboarding process (for all incoming applicants)
    • Guitar kit orders
    • Grant organization
  • Financial data from 3rd party systems

Together, we chose to use Salesforce Community to make the G4V operational goals come to life. As Salesforce puts it, “Communities are branded spaces for your employees, customers and partners to connect.” They’re 100% customizable to meet an organization’s business needs. Salesforce Community was the most viable option to help increase collaboration, foster better communication and elevate a sense of partnership within Chapter coordinator-to-instructor and instructor-to-student relationships. Download the G4V success story to learn more about how we designed their Salesforce org to streamline data and enforce regulated workflows to drive business outcomes.

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You don’t need to work within the nonprofit sector, nor do you have to work in the music industry to replicate this solution and reap the benefits (and results) of a successful Salesforce implementation.

Here are three instances where any business can benefit from Salesforce Community:

1 | Business Challenge:

Disconnected communication between third party vendors, distributors, suppliers, resellers, partners, etc.

Salesforce Community Solution: Drive top-line growth by facilitating stronger organizational relationships.

2 | Business Challenge:

Disjointed customer service platforms

Salesforce Community Solution: Engage in deeper, more meaningful customer connections and improve your CX strategy through a single place for customers to provide feedback and get answers.

3 | Business Challenge:

Autonomous systems used to execute social media strategy.

Salesforce Community Solution: Create, automate and manage social listening, content and workflow using one single platform.

With a properly configured Salesforce org, G4V is able to run more efficiently and work toward achieving their mission — helping those who’ve served our country find joy through music.

Want to discuss your digital transformation options? Connect with our team of consulting experts.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tom is an experienced Salesforce Sales Engineer with 25+ years in the technology space. Applying his hands-on skills with Salesforce solution building for enterprise-level manufacturing organizations, Tom offers his clients with a breadth of industry consultant expertise and depth of technical knowledge to help companies solve complex business challenges through integrated CRM solutions.

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