Dreamforce 2023

Empowering Nonprofits in Times of Change with Data + AI + CRM + Trust at Dreamforce

Posted in: Blog
By: Marthe Rana

The nonprofit keynote session, “Empowering Nonprofits in Times of Change with Data + AI + CRM + Trust,” was the spotlight of Salesforce’s prestigious Dreamforce event. Led by Senior Director of Product Marketing Norah Stevens-Kittner, this keynote delved into the transformative influence of AI within nonprofit organizations. It underscored the critical role played by robust data strategies and AI solutions in boosting operational efficiency, emphasizing how nonprofits can harness technology to optimize their funding, delivery, and impact assessment efforts. While you can watch this session on Salesforce +, we’ve curated our top highlights to provide you with a snapshot of the key insights shared during this remarkable event.

The Future of Nonprofits with Data + AI + CRM + Trust

Throughout Dreamforce, a recurring theme emerged: the future of nonprofits hinges on the convergence of data, AI, CRM, and trust. To fortify their foundational infrastructure, nonprofits can harness the capabilities of Salesforce’s Customer 360, providing them with a robust data backbone. However, the introduction of the new Nonprofit Cloud now equips these organizations to effectively manage the entire lifecycle of their missions while fostering connections with a community that shares their vision.

Dreamforce is an exceptional way to experience the real-world impact of innovative Salesforce solutions. During the session, attendees had the privilege of hearing from Andrea Schiller, Director of Product Marketing at Salesforce, and David Jacques, SVP and CIO at ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the fundraising arm of St. Jude. There was not a dry eye in sight as an impactful video showcased how Salesforce has empowered St. Jude to engage more efficiently with donors. David shared valuable insights into their journey towards a comprehensive data strategy. They recognized that data serves as the cornerstone of a nonprofit’s mission and stressed the importance of engaging donors effectively, a vital part of funding St. Jude’s mission. Their data strategy includes obtaining accurate transactional data, a robust analytics layer, and individuals skilled in data storytelling and data science. Thanks to Data Cloud and Marketing Cloud, they’ve seamlessly woven a fabric connecting donors with their interests. Furthermore, David underscored the significance of AI in enhancing efficiency and effectiveness while considering the critical importance of data privacy, security, and ethical use during this transformative journey.

Einstein for Nonprofit Cloud: Unleashing AI for Social Good

One of the highlights of the session was the introduction of “Einstein for Nonprofit Cloud.” This innovative solution leverages predictive AI to segment supporters based on historical data, allowing nonprofits to conduct advanced segmentation on their donors and more effectively predict the outcomes of their campaigns. For example, nonprofits can create a donor segment with high capacity, affinity, and propensity to give, all predicted by AI.

What sets Einstein apart is its generative AI capability, empowering nonprofit marketers to craft compelling narratives effortlessly. Marketers can use generative AI to create emails, social media content, or even entire web pages without any coding skills. For example, you can create an event webpage, complete with a sign-up form, using Einstein’s AI-powered webpage generator.

Salesforce is launching an additional pilot program in February of 2024 where program and fundraising teams can leverage Einstein for Nonprofit Cloud. Program Directors will be able to benefit from Einstein’s AI-driven summary generation. As an example, suppose you need to compile program details for a board meeting; Einstein can assist by summarizing relevant information with a click of a button, which can be edited or saved for future use.

Einstein will extend its support to fundraising teams as well, enabling them to reach major donors more efficiently with personalized gift proposals generated by AI. All this generative AI operates within Salesforce’s Einstein trust layer, ensuring data privacy and security. For example, it can safeguard donor data while generating targeted emails or proposals by deleting the generated copy before it is ever learned by the AI. To learn more about the Einstein Trust Layer, check out our recap of Salesforce AI Day here. 

Data Cloud: Unifying and Harnessing Your Data

Unlocking the full potential of AI necessitates the seamless integration and unification of data. While many organizations already utilize Salesforce’s Nonprofit Success Pack or other Salesforce clouds to manage their data, additional valuable data sources may exist beyond the Salesforce ecosystem. Often, nonprofits find themselves dealing with data spread across multiple systems, sometimes numbering in the double digits.

Enter Data Cloud, Salesforce’s robust data management solution, designed to bridge this data divide. Data Cloud empowers organizations to connect, harmonize, and activate their data for use with Einstein, Salesforce’s AI tool.

Imagine a scenario where a stakeholder’s information is scattered across various systems, resulting in differences in names, roles, nicknames, and engagement history with your organization. Data Cloud steps in to consolidate this disparate data, creating a unified, comprehensive stakeholder profile. This holistic view enables nonprofits to gain a deeper understanding of their constituents.

The good news is that Data Cloud Starter is now available for all users. Furthermore, a new pilot program, set to launch on February 24th, will introduce advanced segmentation capabilities tailored specifically for fundraisers. This innovation promises to further enhance the power of data in nonprofit operations.

The Ongoing Journey of the Nonprofit Cloud

Lori Freeman, Global GM & VP of Nonprofit Solutions & Strategy at Salesforce, recognized the challenges nonprofits face in carrying out their vital work with limited resources and amidst the digital revolution. She stressed the importance of meeting nonprofits where they are, recognizing the proliferation of digital channels, and addressing the overwhelming excitement around AI.

Nonprofit Cloud represents a critical milestone, offering a comprehensive end-to-end solution that encompasses fundraising, programs, grants, and outcomes. This initial rollout will soon be enriched with AI-driven program impact reports, offering grant-funded organizations valuable insights and time-saving solutions.

Upcoming Winter Release Features: Fundraising and Outcome Management

Starting next month, the Nonprofit Cloud will introduce fundraising and outcome management functionalities. These features address three major challenges faced by fundraisers: portfolio management for major donors, advanced segmentation for mass-market fundraising, and optimizing nonprofit operations.

Fundraising Functionality

The fundraising functionality within Nonprofit Cloud equips major gift officers with the tools they need to manage portfolios effectively. With the Fundraising Portfolio Manager, you can access donor prospects, track relationships, and evaluate their capacity, affinity, and propensity to give. AI-driven features, such as personalized gift proposal generation with Einstein, will streamline the fundraising process while maintaining data security through the Einstein Trust Layer.

Outcome Management

Nonprofit Cloud’s Outcome Management functionality allows organizations to define and track outcomes that align with their mission. Nonprofit Cloud’s Outcome Management feature allows organizations to define and track outcomes, making it easier to measure impact and share information effectively. By creating dynamic assessments and linking outcomes to programs, nonprofits can measure their impact more effectively. The solution simplifies outcome indicators’ definition and streamlines the sharing of information among team members.

The Future of Salesforce for Nonprofits 

One thing remains clear: Nonprofit Cloud represents a transformative solution that empowers organizations to thrive in an increasingly data-driven and AI-powered world. With its powerful features, nonprofits can navigate change, engage donors effectively, and make a meaningful impact in their communities. The session underscored the importance of technology that is both trusted and usable, emphasizing the role of data as the foundation of nonprofit missions.

As nonprofits gaze into the future, they need not brave the journey alone. The seasoned experts at Exponent Partners, with over 15 years of experience in implementing case management and grants management systems, and one of the first consulting partners to implement the new Nonprofit Cloud, stand ready to assist nonprofits in fully unleashing the potential of Salesforce solutions.

This keynote resoundingly reinforced the belief that every action, every innovation, and every data point ultimately revolves around enhancing the lives of those in need. Armed with the right tools, a robust data strategy, and a united community, nonprofits can confidently navigate change and persist in their mission-driven endeavors. Together, we have the power to create a genuine impact. Allow us to be your partner, guiding your organization to achieve radically better impact through radically better information systems. Contact us for a consultation today!