The difficulties that charities face in securing funding have spiralled over the past few years due to our prevailing economic climate. We have seen some high profile charities close their doors recently citing amongst other things a lack of sustainable funding. Back in January 2016 one of Northern Ireland’s leading youth charities, Public Achievement, announced it’s closure in January 2016 with a statement from it’s board blaming “the challenges of securing new funding and dealing with cash-flow in a very difficult climate for our sector”. More recently in February, Manchester-based Broken Rainbow, the UK’s only national domestic violence charity for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, said it had seven weeks to secure renewed funding from the Home Office before it would have to shut down its services. This charity has helped 10,000 people so far this financial year.
With so many worthy causes competing for limited funds, it has become more important than ever for charities to demonstrate unequivocally, what their funds are being spent on and what outcomes they are generating within the community. This in itself raises difficulties, such as how can this data be captured and presented? Not to mention the time taken trawling through data and reporting on it to satisfy the latest request from the funding organisations in question.
When we met OnSide Youth Zones over a year ago now, they were deliberating over the questions above and finding it more and more important to be able to define and articulate the impact of their youth provision. Established in 2008, OnSide’s vision is to provide every town and city in the UK with quality, safe and affordable facilities that allow young people to spend their leisure time engaging in fun but productive activities. This, supported by positive, adult role models, improves their life chances, choices and opportunities. At the time, 5 of OnSide’s Youth Zones were tracking attendance and member details on 5 separate Salesforce orgs, resulting in all sorts of fun in trying to standardise and collate data across all of their facilities!
We worked with OnSide to migrate these Youth Zones onto one newly built Salesforce instance. They are now able to report on consolidated data across the Youth Zone network at the push of a button. They can track membership and participation, segmented by a number of factors including age, gender, ethnicity and location. We’ve also improved the quality and reliability of member data collected by using the PostcodeAnywhere application – key when tying results back to a particular borough.
In addition to attendance, OnSide can now also report in Salesforce on individual outcomes across their members. They can view ratings on self confidence, emotional resilience, healthy relationships, aspirations & achievements as well as health & wellbeing. This gives OnSide the tangible evidence of the positive impact that the Youth Zones are having on their member’s lives and future outlook. It is envisaged that this insight will enable OnSide and the individual Youth Zones to secure on-going financial support from external funders as well as to generate interest and support from similar stakeholders. With 3 new Youth Zones given the go ahead in London, the launch of the ‘The Way’ in Wolverhampton, plus planned centres in Sunderland and the Wirral, it looks like things are moving in the right direction!
If you’re a Not-for-Profit and would like to learn more about how Salesforce can benefit your organisation, please do get in touch with us here.