BEAM, a.k.a. Beaches Emergency Assistance Ministry, is a human services non-profit organization that provides emergency assistance and a path to economic stability for its clients.
Founded in 1985 by representatives of local churches who received many personal appeals for emergency financial assistance, BEAM was created to provide help in a coordinated way. Today the community support for BEAM has extended well beyond the faith community to include individuals, businesses, local organizations, and local foundations. BEAM envisions a future in which no Beaches resident goes hungry or is haunted by the fear of eviction.
BEAM supports its clients by providing pantry services, rent, mortgage, and utility payment assistance, nutrition consultancy, SNAP application assistance, single parent support and more.
While offering such diverse services, BEAM was burdened with utilizing multiple systems. Unlike many other nonprofits, their biggest pain point was related to their service scope. Their clients registered with them and visited their pantry locations regularly to pick up free food items.
BEAM was using a SaaS system to register their clients and log their service records. They used another SaaS appointment management system to schedule visits to their pantry points. These systems didn’t talk to each other, therefore they had to enter some of the same data twice.
BEAM utilized yet another system to manage their volunteers and to track their hours. The system did not support remote access for the volunteers. BEAM wanted to give their volunteers remote access to their schedule information.
And finally, they used another SaaS system to manage the donor and fundraising development side. This was an area that ran fairly well. There are synergies that can be realized if fundraising can be managed on the same platform, however, the transition of this area to the new system was a low priority.
The management team changed 1.5 years ago, and they have experienced some staff attrition, which caused a loss in systems training and experience in their team. Many users of the systems were retirees, and they required a simple user interface.
BEAM had extreme difficulties in reporting their activities. Many reports had to be created manually.
As a result of BRDPro’s Needs Analysis, it was clear that these requirements could be addressed very well by NPSP and Service Cloud functionality of Salesforce. The project team decided on a three-phased approach.
- Phase 1: Transfer client management to Salesforce and decommission the two systems that don’t talk to each other. The challenge here will be more related to exporting the data from the old system and cleaning it up.
- Phase 2: Transfer Volunteer management to Salesforce.
- Phase 3: Transfer donor management and fundraising to Salesforce.
BEAM Phase 1 implementation details will be described in the next post.