Through our partnership with Salesforce AppExchange and position as a Year in Review AppExchange Sponsor, we recently had the opportunity to work alongside Salesforce and other partners to brainstorm and collaborate on real solutions for nonprofits.

At a volunteer event with Salesforce and GlobalGiving on Dec. 5, three of our teammates (Jaret Manuel, Director of Business Development; and Samantha Mestwarp and Lindsay Spence, Business Development Representatives) worked on teams to brainstorm ideas for nonprofits based on a list of challenges they face.

Here are the first-hand experiences and takeaways from Samantha, Jaret, and Lindsay (and snapshots of the event itself!).

Samantha Mestwarp, Business Development Representative

How would you describe the event in three words?

Insightful: I was very fortunate to be a part of this event and gain more insight into GlobalGiving and the nonprofits that are a part of GlobalGiving.

Inspiring: This event inspired me to continue working with GlobalGiving on my own time to help assist nonprofits with challenges they are facing.

Powerful: This event brought to light how simple it is for groups of people to get together and make a difference for a great cause.

What was your favorite part of the experience?

My favorite part of the experience was seeing each group present their solution for the challenge they chose. It was great to see how each team worked on a challenge collectively and came up with a unique solution that would make a difference for the nonprofit they all agreed upon.

What did you learn at the event that was especially interesting, surprising, or eye-opening?

It was touching for me to see how many people are just as passionate about helping out others and making a difference. Given that the holiday season is quickly approaching, it was especially heartwarming to see people giving back to nonprofits who dedicate themselves to helping social causes.

We were separated into 9 groups. The team that I was on decided on The Women Inspiration Development Centre (WIDC) for our nonprofit challenge.

The WIDC is an initiative designed to create a safe place for Nigerian women and girls in challenging life circumstances to envision and create new possibilities for their lives, families, and communities.

The WIDC had 5 challenges within their organization that they needed assistance with. They were as follows:

  1. We need an impressive website to attract donors
  2. We need more audience on our Facebook page
  3. We need an impressive thank you note
  4. Honest feedback on our website
  5. We need a jump off the page email to attract our donors

As a team, we tackled these challenges. We were extremely fortunate to have a talented developer on our team who was able to create a website for WIDC in the hour and a half we had been given to use for their organization along with templates if they chose. As for the other challenges listed, we gave our feedback as well as incorporated some powerful images into the thank you note and email.

Jaret Manuel, Director of Business Development

How would you describe the event in three words?

Meaningful. Impactful. Rewarding.

The GlobalGiving event in collaboration with the Salesforce AppExchange folks was quite meaningful. We split into 9 tables as a group and we started working on various projects. We chose the Women Inspiration Development Center in Nigeria, and with the task of putting together a set of recommendations to improve their website. That was meaningful to me, along with our group, and hopefully to WDIC when they receive the recommendations.

Within a couple hours, we had a mock website, a web form that could collect data and easily update an NPSP (Salesforce Nonprofit Starter Pack) org, and collect payments. Coincidentally, there were three other groups that pitched this project so the combined set of recommendations should end up being impactful.

The experience was very rewarding in a number of ways, and GlobalGiving and Salesforce are doing a pretty amazing thing with this collaboration.

What was your favorite part of the experience?

I enjoyed how much the various teams did in terms of putting decent quality ideas, suggestions, and presentations together in a couple hours.

What did you learn at the event that was especially interesting, surprising, or eye-opening?

The GlobalGiving platform is very interesting. Many know of the Salesforce 1/1/1 model and the Pledge 1% movement. GlobalGiving is a platform for giving time and money, and helping deploy resources for disaster relief more efficiently and expeditiously.

Lindsay Spence, Business Development Representative

How would you describe the event in three words?

Volunteer: We came together, all with different backgrounds, to donate our time and expertise to help a nonprofit of our choosing accomplish a specific goal.

Networking: GlobalGiving had a great set-up where you were not allowed to sit with any of your peers, so it was a wonderful opportunity to meet new people that you wouldn’t otherwise.

Collaboration: A lot of these nonprofits are outdated and also struggling with funding. I saw tech experts spend four hours of their time doing some basic web development, offering business advice and marketing strategies, which seemed to have a pretty profound impact on the the organizations receiving the advice.

What was your favorite part of the experience?

It was great to get away from my sales team and meet web developers, Salesforce solution engineers, and others. It gave me some new insight on things.

What did you learn at the event that was especially interesting, surprising, or eye-opening?

I think seeing how little time needed from tech professionals and how much impact that could have to these nonprofits was the most eye-opening part of the experience.

Learn more about the work we do with nonprofits in this seasonal article.

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