At Exponent Partners, our commitment to driving nonprofit impact through technology is fueled by the dedication of exceptional individuals. Kind-hearted, brilliantly intelligent, and driven by a mission to leverage technology—particularly Salesforce—for the greater good. Today, we illuminate the story of Sam Colvarro, the ingenious mind steering our internal Salesforce administration. She is a dynamic problem-solver, a wearer of many hats, and a true embodiment of our values of learning and innovation. Fondly referred to as “Saint Sam” by many at Exponent Partners, Sam’s journey from nonprofit arts to tech mastery is an inspirational embodiment of the diverse expertise propelling our team’s triumphs.
Getting to Know Sam: An Interview with a Tech Trailblazer
Q: Sam, your transition from nonprofit arts to Exponent Partners’ Systems and Salesforce Administrator is intriguing. How did you navigate this shift from the arts to technology?
Sam: Actually, the shift from arts to technology isn’t that drastic, when you break it down. Both require a little bit of improvisation and a lot of planning. And, when it’s all said and done, you get to see the final result, be it a big loud musical or a burst of confetti on your screen. They have a lot in common and it ended up being a great fit for me. I’ve always had a passion for technology and I believe it’s there to serve the people who use it – no matter who they are or what they do. Salesforce is perfect in that way because it’s so customizable, whether you’re trying to keep track of which patrons have bought season tickets, or which Account Executive closed the biggest sale this year, Salesforce can do it all.
Q: Your upcoming Dreamforce session, “Build Better Dashboards,” sounds fascinating. Can you give us a glimpse of what attendees can expect?
Sam: Absolutely. I’m going to start by focusing on a few features that people either don’t know exist or don’t use very often and point out why they’re useful, as well as scenarios in which you might employ these techniques. I plan on also doing a demo for custom charts that come from outside of Salesforce for those organizations who don’t have the time or money to invest in something bigger right now, but want to see their data all in one place.
Q: With Dreamforce being a global tech powerhouse, how does your session align with Exponent Partners’ nonprofit dedication?
Sam: While my session isn’t tailored exclusively for nonprofits, the principles I’ll discuss are highly relevant. Nonprofits often grapple with diverse data, and mastering dashboards can illuminate their operations and impact. These insights can lead to better decisions and more profound positive change. Nonprofits typically have smaller teams, which tends to mean that Salesforce and data can take a back seat. But these kinds of analytics and information are so important! Grants often call for some of this data and it can also show the growth of your organization. Getting a good handle on your data can do nothing but help your organization move forward, and I love helping nonprofits reach their full potential.
Empowering Nonprofits with Dashboard Mastery
Exponent Partners consistently champions technology’s potential to uplift nonprofits. Sam’s session, “Build Better Dashboards,” resonates deeply with our vision of unlocking information systems’ potential for nonprofit transformation. Here’s how nonprofits can apply Sam’s insights:
- Real-Time Impact Insight: Dashboards empower nonprofits to monitor impact in real time. Visualizing data from diverse sources helps track progress and communicate outcomes effectively, which is the first step in measuring and optimizing impact.
- Informed Decision-Making: Nonprofits can leverage data-driven insights for informed choices. Dashboards reveal trends and growth opportunities, supporting strategic planning and efficient resource allocation.
- Transparency and Trust: Effective dashboards promote transparent operations when they leverage Salesforce’s Nonprofit Cloud. Donors and supporters witness the tangible difference their contributions make, fostering trust and accountability.
- Beauty in Simplicity: Sometimes, the simplest solutions are the most effective. Embrace chart types and components that make sense for your goals. If trends are your focus, use components to show trends rather than trying to force them into a different component. Present your data in the most optimal way to achieve your objectives.
- Get the Report Right: Prioritize clarity in your reports by framing the right questions. Avoid overwhelming reports with multiple objectives. Focus on what you truly want to discover, how you intend to use the data, and the desired presentation format. This clarity streamlines the subsequent steps.
- Revisit Dashboards: Goals evolve, and that’s okay! Instead of adhering rigidly to established trends, be open to adapting your dashboards to evolving objectives. Regularly validate your data to ensure alignment with your expectations.
Empowering Progress: The Intersection of Arts, Tech, and Nonprofit Impact
Exponent Partners champions technology for nonprofits, and Sam’s session, “Build Better Dashboards,” resonates with our vision of unlocking information systems’ potential for transformation. While her session isn’t exclusively nonprofit-focused, it highlights the broader potential of technology to elevate impact. As we anticipate her presentation at Dreamforce, we invite you to join us on this journey—a journey where technology’s boundless potential transforms industries, fosters growth, and elevates impact.
Session Code: 1593
Session Title: Build Better Dashboards
Session Type: Theater
Date and Time: 09/12/23, 03:30:00 PM – 03:50:00 PM
Location: Admin Theater (Trailblazer Forest, Moscone West)
And remember to save the date for Dreamforce 2023, the premier Salesforce conference, happening in San Francisco from September 12-14. It’s a global celebration of innovation, uniting Salesforce trailblazers worldwide to explore the intersections of technology and progress. We hope to see you there! If you would like to meet with us at the event, request a meeting or register for our Nonprofit Social Impact Soirée here.