By Margaret Magnus
Infrastructure is not always buildings, roads and water treatment systems – although those items can consume much of Meher Mount’s focus. Infrastructure also includes financial systems, database management, and communications systems.
Since 2010, Meher Mount has been using a cloud-based platform from Salesforce.org called the Nonprofit Success Pack. In the buzzwords of the industry, this system is for Constituent Relationship Management (CRM).
Meher Mount uses it to track contact information, donations and other information about supporters and followers of Meher Mount.
ANNUAL SOFTWARE GRANTS
Salesforce.org makes grants of its software valued at $15,000 per year to more than 28,000 qualified non-profit organizations world-wide including Meher Mount. To date, the total value of the Salesforce donation to Meher Mount is $105,000.
In ongoing efforts to improve the software functionality for non-profits, Salesforce.org did a major upgrade and reorientation of the system in 2014.
As Meher Mount’s volunteer Salesforce administrator, Margaret Magnus attended several webinars about the change, read online posts about doing the upgrade, and then decided she needed help to do this major change properly.
Fortunately, a successful fund raising effort for Fiscal Year 2015/2016 allowed for this unexpected expense of $3,500 for training and coaching.
Working with The Database Sherpa group, she participated in a total of 13 weeks of training and database work. There was a weekly group presentation and discussion online, followed up with office hours for one-on-one coaching online, and everyone in the group shared their experiences and insights along the way.
NEW SKILLS BRING EXPANDED USE
Margaret’s initial desire was to hire an outside consultant to do the upgrade. Unfortunately, or fortunately, that option was too expensive.
The good news is that she learned much more about the functionality of this very sophisticated software. As the training program proceeded, she kept adding to the list of ways to improve and expand Meher Mount’s use of the program.
With this cloud software, the entire team – which also includes Wayne Myers and Tim Hurley – is able to update and enter information, run reports, assign duties, track donations, and easily work together on specific projects from three different locations.