In 2013, Traction on Demand’s team was getting ready to make the journey from Vancouver to San Francisco to attend Dreamforce, one of the largest tech conferences in the world. In an effort to expand our impact and ‘give what we’re good at’ the team decided to pivot their travel plans and hop in a 78’ Trans Am to road trip down the West Coast, making stops to help nonprofit organizations optimize their Salesforce solution through pro-bono consulting and volunteering. This road trip started what is now known as the Bandit Tour for Good, which happens annually to help nonprofits drive their mission forward through the use of technology.
Since the past 18-months have been anything but normal, we decided to pivot our Bandit Tour for Good to go global, expanding our efforts to help more nonprofits than ever before through virtual pro-bono consulting. For the first leg of the tour, we headed down under to work with three nonprofits, including Menslink.
Menslink: Helping young men through tough times
The pandemic has only accelerated the demand for mental health resources—and as the world begins to reopen the demand for organizations operating in the mental health and wellness sector will accelerate. Our Bandits ventured to Canberra, the capital of Australia, to help Menslink optimize their Salesforce solution.
Menslink has been operating across the Canberra region since 2002. Their mission is to provide young men with resources to help them navigate through tough times through free counseling, volunteer mentoring, and education programs. “We help young guys aged 10 - 25 years old build capacity, not dependency; developing and building on their resilience and empathy and helping them become the great adult men they want to be,” says Penny Burns, General Manager at Menslink.
According to Menslink, school dropout rates are twice as high for men, and suicide is the leading cause of death for males, with 4 in 5 suicides in Australia being men. Given the current state of Australia's lockdown, the demand for Menslink’s life saving services has never been more clear.
Building a strong community
Over the past six years, Menslink has grown significantly with over 80 mentors, and 15 full-time employees. “As Menslink continues to grow it is imperative that we help leverage the donor management capabilities of their org,” says Martina Levy, Traction Bandit and QA Lead at Traction on Demand. “Like many small nonprofits, sponsorships and donors are vital for Menslink to continue to grow their impact. However, their Salesforce solution was not utilizing all the NPSP capabilities to serve their donors and track sponsorships.”
Enter the Bandit Tour for Good.
Increasing visibility with NPSP
The Bandits worked with Menslink through 30 hours of pro-bono consulting to maximize their Salesforce capabilities and work through a couple of challenges:
- Siloed data: Menslink needed help to aggregate all of their data from mentors, mentees, donors, and sponsorships within Salesforce.
- Limited visibility: Menslink had information that was slipping through the cracks of their Salesforce solution. The team needed a birds eye view into all of their constituent activities to ensure they were provided with the right resources and communication.
- Disconnected donor experience: Menslink was not utilizing the donor management capabilities of their NPSP solution. This caused lost funding opportunities and increased manual processes for their team.
“Enhancing NPSP functionality streamlines our sponsor and donor stakeholder management, targeting greater success with fundraising efforts which will directly impact provision of service to larger numbers of young guys.”Penny Burns, General Manager, Menslink
The Bandits worked with Menslink to better utilize their donor management capabilities, enabling a deeper level of constituent engagement. They also guided Menslink through a data cleaning session, and implemented their data into an easily accessible template in their Salesforce org. “It’s been a massive change,” said Andrew McGowan, Mentor, Menslink, “people are feeling included in the process, and they’re able to understand it better.”
Planning for the future
As Menslink continues to scale, they asked the Bandits to set out a roadmap for future projects the team could work on to continuously improve their solution. "We want a strong baseline for us to use this system as our backbone moving forward”, says Penny. This roadmap will help Menslink with a strategic direction to continuously leverage Salesforce’s capabilities to better serve their constituents.
“We are opening the box for opportunities for them to further grow their NPSP experience even post Bandit with the support of the Extend team and through up-skilling their very competent Salesforce team.” Says Daniela Patterson, Traction Bandit and Project Manager at Traction on Demand.
“The Bandits haven't missed a trick, achieving maximum outcome within a tight timeframe. Experts were pulled in from around the world—we have the attention of people we may not normally have had the privilege to work with.”Penny Burns, General Manager, Menslink