13 Jul Bluelark launches Salesforce suite for NGO digital transformation
Leading Baltic full-service Salesforce consultancy debuted an all-in-one product suite, aimed at non-profit and non-governmental organizations. The product titled NGO toolkit covers all key NGO operational areas, including online and offline donation collection, volunteer relationship management platform, event, and volunteer resource management, and volunteer intranet for online NGO member communication.
The toolkit is built on the Salesforce platform and comes with a free-of-charge Salesforce license for non-profit organizations.
“Last few years have really crystallized the calls for NGO digital transformation. The global pandemic shifted many organizations’ management online. The war in Ukraine resulted in an influx of new members, with better tools needed to handle volunteer resources” – says Head of Bluelark Jurgis Bakanas.
Head of Bluelark Jurgis Bakanas
Since the founding of Bluelark, nonprofits have been one of the key focus and expertise areas for the consultancy.
According to Jurgis Bakanas, while nonprofit organizations conduct a diverse set of missions – be it climate change awareness, elderly support, promotion of sports or culture – their operations revolve around volunteers, donors, campaigns, and activities.
“Over time we have developed a vast set of tools for NGO needs. This year we have decided to unify them into a single toolkit – call it a Nonprofit OS – an NGO operating system, which helps to streamline all core areas of NGO operation” – adds Jurgis Bakanas.
Improving donation collection
The NGO toolkit development started with the need to improve donation collection. On the Bluelark platform, online one-off and periodic donations can be collected with a single click. The platform offers automatic integrations with all major Nordic banks.
However, according to Jurgis Bakanas, the majority of donations are still collected offline.
“On a typical donation drive, volunteers will collect donor information, including personal details and the number of the donor bank account. This information is then uploaded to the Bluelark platform. The platform validates the data and creates a periodic donation agreement document, which the donor can then electronically sign via his online banking platform” – adds Jurgis Bakanas.
The product for online and offline donation collection is already in use by many Baltic nonprofit organizations, including Ankstukai – a support project for premature birth babies, SOS Children’s Villages – a charity and support fund for children, RED NOSES Clowndoctors, and the Lithuanian Red Cross.
Donor relationship management
The NGO toolkit provides in-depth reports on donations and donor commitments. It also allows to segment the donors, utilizing the same powerful tools business organizations use for their customer segmentation – including priority donors, as well as the ones most likely to churn.
These reports provide a deep dive into the organization’s donor base, helping to plan supporting marketing campaigns, follow up phone calls, send out event invitations or provide periodic organization activity reports.
“For instance, the organization may use an inbuilt Salesforce tool for periodic stakeholder newsletters or integrate with a third-party mailing app. All information – emails, phone calls, and other donor touchpoints will be presented via the donor relationship management platform” – says Jurgis Bakanas.
Management of volunteer resources
Another part of the NGO Toolkit is aimed at volunteer resource management.
“Fast-growing NGOs are not immune to typical growth pains. When the volunteer count is in the hundreds, it quickly becomes clear that email, phone, Excel, and a notebook will no longer cut it. Even mature organizations struggle with onboarding new members and directing their resources where they are needed the most” – says Jurgis Bakanas.
The platform provides a dedicated tool for volunteer rostering. In addition to such criteria as location, age, and education, it can also list specialist skills (e.g. Ukrainian language, photography, certified nurse), to find the right person for the task at hand. Shift scheduling is an essential part of elderly care and humanitarian efforts.
The platform provides detailed reports on hours worked, oversubscribed or undersubscribed activities, and other aspects of resource management.
“With powerful reporting tools already in place, the organization may even find creative uses for the data and gamify volunteer experience – for instance, show the most active members each month on the intranet, or assign achievement badges” – says Jurgis Bakanas.
Building an online volunteer community
The global pandemic shifted our lives online. It called many organizations to adjust to the new normal.
“While the pandemic accelerated nonprofit digital transformation, the need for a private online platform for nonprofit member communication was always there” – says Jurgis Bakanas.
The volunteer intranet was developed by Bluelark in 2021 and was first used by the Lithuanian Red Cross. With more than 10.000 volunteers, it is one of the largest nonprofit organizations in the Baltic region.
On the platform, each organization volunteer can log on to the platform with his credentials. The platform features all organization news, as well as a calendar of upcoming events, where members can discover activities and subscribe to them.
“The community platform has simplified volunteer communication and introduced the option to discover all organization news and upcoming events all over Lithuania. With future updates, the platform will serve not only as the tool to distribute information but also as an interactive member communication space” – says Head of human resources at the Lithuanian Red Cross Laura Belickiene.
“In practical terms, the platform helps to increase member engagement, spread awareness on upcoming activities, and improve participation in activities. Yet holistically, it will help to build a member community, where your participation in the organization is not limited to a few offline engagements. You may communicate, participate and engage as much as you want” – adds Jurgis Bakanas.