Skip to Main Content



Making more mentorship matches at Big Brothers Big Sisters of America

How Big Brothers Big Sisters of America streamlined and shortened the matching process between “Littles” and “Bigs" with Salesforce and Traction on Demand

Big Brothers Big Sisters of America (BBBSA) provides children facing adversity with one-to-one mentoring relationships. The national office, with a staff of just 50 people in Tampa, services 270 affiliates across the country. For 15 years, BBBSA used a custom CRM that was failing to scale with the organization and was unable to appropriately handle the 30,000+ inquiries that go through their head office each month.

BBBSA was experiencing longer match times, an overall decrease in matches.

To address the nonprofit's pain points, Traction on Demand implemented a Salesforce solution that focused on developing a new system that considered people, processes and technology equally. This digital transformation not only streamlined and shortened the matching process between “Littles” and “Bigs,” but it also gave their staff time back to work on mission-driven projects, rather than dealing with an antiquated system.

Getting bogged down with an outdated system

With various systemic challenges facing the national office, the different agencies and their users, BBBSA was experiencing longer match times, an overall decrease in matches and, ultimately, difficulties fulfilling their mission. Without a consolidated system, there was no way for the head office to know how each affiliate was running their day-today-operations. Furthermore, the legacy system was outdated and inefficient, often taking up to 10 minutes for a record to load.

These challenges were leading to wait time of up to 18 months for a Little to be matched with a Big, significantly reducing the number of matches made. This also meant staff were increasingly frustrated by wasting time on manual data entry, such as collecting surveys and other information over the phone; they saw these as tasks that could be automated, leaving them free to tackle more impactful work.

Automation for the win

Traction on Demand, through close collaboration with BBBSA, built a new Salesforce solution that included the following components:

  1. Salesforce Sales Cloud: to help BBBSA develop and manage a consolidated view of their Littles and Bigs, including applications, demographic information and program history
  2. Nonprofit Success Pack: to manage constituents in households and set up the system for future donation management capabilities
  3. Marketing Cloud: to send out surveys and other communications to constituents to keep them engaged in the program and understand the progress of their mentorship
  4. Experience Cloud: to provide applicants a platform for inquiries and applications that was easily managed by BBBSA staff
A first contact form for volunteers to apply to be a "Big."

The Salesforce solution was developed with a user-first approach allowing for more flexibility than their legacy system. For example, the legacy system was rigid in the steps needed to enter data, whereas the Salesforce allows staff to opt out of certain steps if they don't pertain to a specific action or affiliate.

Traction on Demand also implemented a number of third-party applications to further enhance the solution, including Okta for single sign-on, Formstack, the Salesforce form and survey builder, and WalkMe, a training tool that became an important part of the change management process. The project was well communicated every step of the way to the users, and they felt well supported during the training period.

Faster matches, happy users

A comprehensive training period from BBBSA and Traction on Demand ensured their staff were enabled on the platform and confident in the system. In the first week alone, there were 55,000 logins from 3,700 users.

In the first week alone, there were 55,000 logins from 3,700 users.

With more time to spend on making matches, rather than manually entering data, users of the system are able to process Littles faster and focus on the overall mission of BBBSA.

The new process for survey dissemination and retrieval through Marketing Cloud has been an especially big win. In an early case, 200 surveys were returned to the sender within 48 hours and 3,000 surveys returned within a week.

There is now greater overall job satisfaction on the part of the users, and with the day-to-day operations now running smoothly, the focus moving forward will be on data stewardship and reporting.


With their new multi-cloud solution, the BBBSA national office staff now have a consolidated view and better understanding of their constituents and affiliates. For the individual affiliates, they are enabled with greater independence and a system that allows them to customize their own operations as well as their constituent engagement.

Learn more about what went on behind the scenes of this project with insights from BBBSA's Chief Technology Officer, Jarrod Bell, in our featured customer blog article.

Let’s create a powerful change.

Get in touch with a member of our nonprofit team today.