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January 4 2010

Wolf Pack, Meet Salesforce

Gifford Pinchot Task Force uses the power of Salesforce database reporting to sort their 4000 members by level of activity, history of donation, actions taken, previous event attendance, click-throughs, and interest in the GPTF predator-tracking program to create a targeted phone-bank list of supporters most likely to come out a Washington Wolf Management Plan meeting.
Wolf Pack, Meet Salesforce

Photo courtesy of Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Washington Wolf Management Plan

The Washington Wolf Management Plan is on the table, and conservation groups in Washington State want to make sure it does enough to support the recovery of a stable and healthy wolf population. The return of the wolf as a top predator is vital to the health of Washington’s ecosystem. 

Asking the Right People to Help

Emily Platt, Executive Director of the Gifford Pinchot Task Force (GPTF), knows her constituency is made up of people passionate about the conservation and restoration of forests, fish habitat, and, yes -- people passionate about the recovery of predator populations.

The challenge? Using limited resources to sort through the thousands of GPTF members to find those most likely to take action for wolves. GPTF wants to ensure the Wolf Management Plan has the recommended number of breeding pairs, has a plan for translocation to the Gifford Pinchot National Forest (filled with prime habitat that would readily support wolf recovery), and eliminates the “caught in the act” killing provision that is often abused.

Welcome to the magic of a Salesforce.com database. Early in 2009, Groundwire consultant Matthew Scholtz customized and implemented a Salesforce database for GPTF, and the staff at GPTF have taken to this powerful tool like ducks to water. Or wolves to a pack.You get the idea.

“It’s hard to put into words how useful and practical Salesforce is,” says Platt, a self-described “technology wimp.”  

Prior to using Salesforce, GPTF staff members were managing their contacts and records in FileMaker, holding information about the same volunteers, donors, and members in different places.

By bringing information together in one central place, the staff could easily get rid of duplicates and ensure that each important contact has the most up-to-date information.

Phone-Bank Efficiency

GPTF uses the power of Salesforce reporting to sort their 4000 members by level of activity, history of donation, actions taken, previous event attendance, click-throughs, and interest in the GPTF predator-tracking program to create a targeted phone-bank list of people most likely to come out to a Washington Wolf Management Plan meeting.

The staff at GPTF also use the Salesforce database as the central repository for each phone call and each pledge to attend the Wolf Management meetings. There are no multiple lists for staff to merge, no confusion, and just one central location that can be updated anywhere with web access. 

Action through Email

We set GPTF up with an email broadcasting tool, Vertical Response, that integrates with their website and Salesforce.com database. Staff can use a level-of-engagement list generated in Salesforce to send out targeted emails to supporters most likely to take action -- driving supporters back to an easy-to-fill-out form on the website, the wolf management draft plan in full, talking points about the issue, and more information about wolves and ecosystem restoration. GPTF can now easily measure click-throughs and analyze content of their email blasts.

End-of-Year Giving

GPTF Membership Director Derek Meinhard is also discovering what’s possible with the power of a Salesforce database.

Relationship management is crucial to fundraising, and Meinhard uses Salesforce to organize members with a few clicks of a button: sorting by most recent donors, level of gift, when members last attended an event, volunteered, took action or any combination of these profile attributes.

“By using the detailed reporting in Salesforce, we sent our appeal letter out to about 1/3 less people, and were able to raise the same amount of money as when we sent it to the full list,” says Meinhard. By targeting his ask, he was able to save valuable staff time and resources.

Meinhard also uses Salesforce to manage door-to-door canvassing. “Our canvassers have a walking list with all the information they need as they go door to door,” he says. For the nonprofits we work with, this kind of relationship building and staff efficiency is invaluable.

Learn more about The Gifford Pinchot Task Force and the Washington Wolf Management Plan.

P.S. Caught on tape! Check out GPTF's sweet Wildlife Cameras for Bear, Cougar, Pine Marten, Coyote, Wolverine, and Elk gone wild.


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