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Year End Donations Fund Running Water

Case Study

Salesforce Software Integration

Surfrider Foundation

Dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the ocean, waves and beaches, for all people.

The Challenge

Based in California, Surfrider Foundation uses its thriving activist network in coastal communities across the country to “protect our special coastal places, ensure our ocean is healthy and wild, keep pollution out of the water and make sure every beach is clean and accessible for all to enjoy.”

Its donors and other supporters are “members” assigned to a local chapter, who then have the opportunity to participate in campaigns and events.

However, Surfrider was using NGO Connect (NGOC), a now-defunct Salesforce constituent relationship management system (CRM) that caused numerous problems. For example, NGOC made it very difficult to track a donor’s overall giving and status of membership, the latter being key to Surfrider’s fundraising model.

Moreover, significant staff time was needed to update donations processed through the glitchy NGOC engine.

The Surfrider Foundation’s challenges begged four particular questions: 

  • How can we accurately track the membership history of an individual? 
  • For each of our more than 80 chapters, how do we (a) better track their donations and volunteer engagement, and (b) improve how we share data with them?
  • How can we track donations given through entities like a donor advised fund to get a more holistic view of each donor’s giving? 
  • How can we send segmented welcome series based on whether a subscriber came to us from a volunteer event, advocacy action, or as a visitor to our website?
A teenage boy in the waves

Our Solution

After migrating Surfrider’s system from the obsolete NGOC to the current Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP):

  • We built a custom membership object in Salesforce that would track the history of each year that an individual was a member.
  • We built out segregated access to Surfrider’s HubSpot Marketing Hub. This enabled  each chapter to use the same system, while only accessing their contacts. Previously, each chapter had their own Mailchimp account that required manual imports of any new volunteers or donors.
  • We set up designations in Fundraise Up to track donations to each individual chapter. We implemented Golden Volunteer’s volunteer tracking platform with an account for each chapter, and enabled all chapter data to flow into both Salesforce and HubSpot.
  • We configured a custom way of crediting the original donor household so that (a) finance would know the giving source information (such as a donor advised fund), and (b) development would be able to track the original donor.
  • With all data now directed to Salesforce NPSP and flowing into HubSpot, we were able to build various welcome series customized to how a subscriber entered their system.

The Results

Better management of member service by enabling Surfrider to (a) effectively manage donations online, (b) determine member giving history, and (c) report on longevity of membership.

Each chapter has more immediate access to new potential volunteers by using HubSpot lists that automatically populate when new donors and volunteers enter the system. Those new subscribers are also immediately engaged via automation, whereas before there was a real possibility of their slipping through the cracks.

Surfrider headquarters enjoys improved data insights into volunteer activities and donations at the chapter level, which previously required manual reporting. 

Development is better able to manage portfolios, knowing the true value of a household’s giving history. 

The Surfrider team spends significantly less time chasing down data from different sources throughout the chapter network, allowing them to spend more time supporting the network in their day-to-day activities.

DigDeep email designs
DigDeep web designs

The Client Review

We engaged with CauseMic to take a look at our use case and our needs and to identify the most appropriate tools that we should be using.

When moving over to HubSpot, we’ve seen organic traffic increase, we’ve seen bounce rates decrease, pages per session increase—so definitely, when it comes to growth statistics, we’ve seen in particular email engagement skyrocket.”

Noah HortonCOO at Greater Good Charities

The Client Review

From check-ins conducted by CauseMic throughout the software migration, we found:

  • The Surfrider team expressed confidence and a sense of partnership in working with CauseMic, and felt we served as a shepherd through a complex project.
  • Overall, Surfrider believed the new platforms represented an improvement across the board, such as:
    • Fundraise Up’s reporting, functionality, and significantly increased security
    • Salesforce NPSP as their single source of truth 
    • Golden Volunteer’s engagement metrics as a game-changer 
  • “Love viewing the Fundraise Up reporting and the funds we’re generating through renewals and brand awareness.”
  • “Being able to pull engagement metrics from Golden Volunteer is going to be really great. Having the background checks and key training requirements integrated with Salesforce has also been really impactful.”

We can help your team do more.

We’ve assisted hundreds of nonprofits plan for, implement, and execute digital integrations, whether complex or straightforward. And we’re here to help yours!

A collage of CauseMic leadership