Bellwether Housing manages and develops affordable housing in the Seattle area. They serve over 3000 clients a year and manage 30 properties. We recently worked with them to implement a Salesforce system to help them be more effective in raising money from donors and investors that are key to the organization delivering on its mission. The first phase of the project focused on helping them manage and track impact funds and investors.
Impact investing combines a financial return with a social impact. Bellwether uses impact funds to support the construction of new affordable housing and raises funds from socially-minded individuals, foundations and companies. At term, investors have the option of cashing out, rolling their investment into the next investment period or converting their investment into a gift.
Before Salesforce, Bellwether was tracking information about impact investors entirely in spreadsheets, which presented a number of challenges:
- Difficult to track and manage key information about impact investors and their investments in a consolidated place.
- Difficult to manage, track and report on the pipeline of impact investor prospects.
- Difficult to track “touches” – the calls, emails, meetings and other interactions that Bellwether staff has with prospects, investors and donors.
We customized the Nonprofit Success Pack and Salesforce to provide an easy method for managing and tracking the entire impact investment pipeline, from initial prospect through to repeat investor. Bellwether can now manage and track this pipeline alongside their other work in Salesforce.
Campaigns track each impact fund. For new impact funds Bellwether staff can track how the work is going through the use of a custom campaign type that represents the new fund. Custom fields were created to track information specific to impact funds and then added to a page layout specific to an Impact Fund Campaign record type.
Dashboards show progress towards achieving the fund target. It’s difficult to beat a good visual when it comes to quickly and succinctly presenting information. Several visuals are employed to that end. One is an embedded chart (built into the campaign members list view) of closed investors and prospects:
The other visual is a dashboard that employs a gauge chart that shows progress towards meeting the fund goal:
Tracking where prospects are in the pipeline. Opportunities are used to track both prospective and closed investments. The kanban view available in Lightning allows for an easy overview of where prospects are in the pipeline.
An Engagement Plan makes sure that all documents are signed. Each investment requires a set of signed documents. The NPSP Engagement Plan feature makes it easy to ensure that all required documents are submitted, signed, returned and attached to the opportunity record for easy reference. When a prospect is ready to move beyond the prospecting stage and is sent an information packet an engagement plan is added to the opportunity record to help track the status of the required documents.
NPSP rollups break out investments from donations. Using rollup summary fields with filter criteria, impact investment numbers are broken out and presented separately from donations.
Bellwether now has their key financial supporters tracked in Salesforce. The ability to customize the core features of the Nonprofit Success pack allowed Bellwether to easily track a new type of investment alongside more traditional donations.