Client Success Spotlight: Step Up on Second

One of the best parts of consulting is being exposed to so many interesting, exciting, and widely-varied organizations. In 13 years of business, we’ve helped everyone from Fortune 500 juggernauts to visionary sole-proprietorships, from sprawling state governments to newly incorporated townships, and from globe-circling charities to locally-focused non-profits.

Being trusted to improve an organization’s effectiveness is an amazing challenge. Maintaining their processes and workflows while increasing their throughput, identifying opportunities for automation, eliminating duplicated effort, and transforming their technology into a seamless extension of their operation is what keeps us excited to come into work every day!

So when we get to do the job that we love and it’s for a good cause, we can’t help but want to celebrate. In today’s post we’ll talk about one of our coolest recent-clients, Step Up!

About Step Up

Step Up delivers compassionate support to people experiencing serious mental health issues, and people who are experiencing chronic homelessness, to help them recover, stabilize, and integrate into the community.

Through dynamic partnerships, they provide positive social and learning environments, vocational training and placement, permanent supportive housing opportunities, and recovery services to empower individuals to cultivate lives of hope and dignity. They exercise innovative leadership and advocacy to increase public understanding, support, and acceptance of all people living with serious mental health issues.

What began in 1984, with Susan Dempsey’s unsuccessful search for mental health services for a loved one, has since blossomed into one of the most truly remarkable forces for good in the community!

Susan founded Step Up to aid those with serious mental health issues envisioning a supportive environment with productive activities, including art therapies, supported employment training, coping skills, service coordination, and social connectedness. Before long it became clear that many of Step Up’s members were experiencing homelessness, complicating and exacerbating their already complex needs — and inspiring the organization to adapt to better aid those at the intersection of mental illness and chronic homelessness.

Now, through their three pillars of service, Permanent Supportive Housing, Vocational Training and Employment, and Member-Driven Supportive Services, Step Up is able to serve thousands of members annually, free of charge!

Their Salesforce Vision

We began working with Step Up as part of our commitment to the Pledge 1% movement. By donating our time and services we’re able to give back to the community, support a local force for good, and empower Step Up to accomplish even more with their existing programs, staff, and funding.

When our partnership started, Step Up’s primary goal was to implement a comprehensive moves management strategy. If you’re not in the non-profit space you might not be familiar with the term, but moves management is basically the customer journey that transitions prospects into advocates (and donors). From a marketing perspective it’s essentially a drip/engagement campaign. You segment your audience (prospects) into groups with similar interests, backgrounds, etc…, then engage them with tailored content designed to move them along your donor path.

The example Salesforce likes to use is an animal shelter segmenting their donors by animal preference (cats, dogs, farm animals, etc…) and then designing their outreach to each of those groups to highlight the work being done for their favorite species. A typical moves management strategy would move your leads a long a path that includes: Identification (finding your leads), Qualification (determining their interests, marketing segment), Cultivation (preparing them for the “ask”), Solicitation (making the “ask”), and Stewardship (maintaining their support for the next giving cycle and transforming them into an advocate that helps drive additional donations).

In addition to establishing that moves management program, Step Up also needed help integrating one of their fundraising apps, MobileCause, with their Salesforce org, consolidating a few disparate reports into a one-stop master report, and hands-on training for their team to ensure they were getting the most out of their systems.

That’s where MK Partners came in.

Their Salesforce Solution

The solution was a managed services package — essentially allowing Step Up to keep us on retainer for a set number of hours each week and allowing them on-demand access to whatever resources they need to realize their vision. Custom development one week, front-end configuration the next, training on the NPSP batch-gift-entry functionality, etc…

Rather than signing (or in this case, donating time) on a project-by-project basis, a managed services approach gives Step Up the flexibility to develop the foundation, tools, and workflows they need, as they need them. The same adaptive approach that led the organization from a Santa Monica warehouse-shell serving tens, to a team of hundreds spreading their good works nationally and serving thousands of deserving individuals.

The Results

The results have been amazing! We’ve already helped Step Up use Process Builder to design and develop their own moves management system so they’ll be able to do the segmented outreach they want and tailor the donor experience to their individual supporters.

We’ve consolidated the separate reports they were referencing into a master report that has all of the relevant info in one place, on one page — saving time, clicks, and energy for doing the work that matters most.

We’ve even integrated their mobile/event fundraising tool so that it pulls the relevant information and data straight into their org instantly. Everything from the donors’ contact info, the related event/campaign, the amount, status (one-time or recurring), etc… Not having to manually enter all that data in the days following an event frees Step Up staff and volunteers to tackle the more important (and fun) tasks, like calling and sending “thank you” notes, writing recaps for blog and social content, and planning the next training event or fundraising effort!

Lastly, we’ve begun (almost) weekly hands-on training for their admins and users. Coaching them on nonprofit best practices, illustrating how to develop in the sandbox for deployment, recommending relevant trailheads, and walking them through the most efficient ways to complete their most-common tasks.

The end results of all that effort will be a streamlined system for Step Up that allows them to easily manage their new, comprehensive moves management system, an institutional knowledge that they can continue to develop and pass on through the organization, and a cleaner, easier Salesforce experience for their users. And all that will translate directly into Step Up being better able to serve the people who deserve it the most — their communities.

Have you been stuck trying to adapt your organization to fit your Salesforce setup? Do you need help, guidance, or insight into your industry’s best-practices? Could your organization benefit from a managed services approach to your Salesforce? Whatever you need, we’re here and happy to help! Drop us a line if you’d like to learn more about our experience with clients like you and have a quick chat about what it might take to transform your Salesforce org into the system of your dreams!

In the meantime, keep working hard, smart, and happy — and we’ll see you in the cloud!