“AddressTools is the greatest gift for a database manager.”
Sarah Albright, Development Associate at Malala Fund
Scaling with a clean donor database means that Malala Fund can focus on advocating for girls’ education
Malala Fund is working for a world where all girls can learn and lead. Malala Fund advocates for resources and policy changes needed to give all girls a secondary education, investing in local education leaders and amplifying the voices of girls fighting for change.
As an international not-for-profit, Malala Fund receives donations from around the world in lots of different ways. This success has brought its own huge challenge around data quality. Address data is vital for Malala Fund to connect with these supporters and the address data coming into their system was incomplete, inaccurate and inconsistent.
A growing donor database brings its own challenges
Malala Fund has experienced significant growth in their supporter base in recent years. Their global presence means they receive donations from a huge number of sources including social media, online fundraising platforms, website, physical mail and correspondence with individual high-level donors.
“Data cleaning became a full-time job in itself!”Sarah Albright, Development Associate
Malala Fund relies on the information from these sources to help them reach out to their supporters but Malala Fund had no way to ensure that the imported addresses were clean. Each platform and funding source handed over address data differently, with different abbreviations and sometimes just missing data.
This forced Malala Fund to spend hours each week of their dedicated manual administrative time to clean up their donor address data and track down their donors to ensure that correspondence, fundraising campaigns and ‘thank yous’ would reach the people supporting them.
“As a young, growing organization, you don’t realise how important clean data is.”Kanika Mannan, Corporate and Foundation Relations Officer
Future proofing Malala Fund’s data with AddressTools
“A seamless onboarding process and super quick setup.”Sarah Albright, Development Associate at Malala Fund
To solve their challenges around address data, Malala Fund installed AddressTools from the AppExchange. They set up the solution’s validation and standardization rules on the state and country fields.
This means that all of the address data they collect from different sources is clean and consistent when imported into Salesforce.
Standardizing and validating state and country data for at least 153 countries, and that list is growing…
– Saving administrative time
Malala Fund has over 240,000 addresses in its system! On a weekly and even daily basis, Malala Fund saves hours previously spent on manually cleaning up their address data. The team can put their time to much better use, leaving AddressTools to take care of their addresses.
– Peace of mind
Longer term, Malala Fund has peace of mind that all their donor address data coming into Salesforce is valid and clean when it hits the org. As a growing organization, they have a solution in place that is scalable as their donor database grows.
– Clean reporting
Malala Fund can confidently run reporting, measuring and better optimize its fundraising efforts thanks to clean and standardized donor address data.
– Better targeted campaigns
Having clean donor address data empowers Malala Fund to create targeted and strategic campaigns to drive their fundraising, like their annual year end campaign.
Why Malala Fund recommends ProvenWorks
“AddressTools will continue to save us time as our donor database grows. People don’t realise the importance of clean data in a young organization. When you get it right early, it can save you so much time and money down the road. ProvenWorks have been great to work with from onboarding through to making sure we got set up and implemented.”
Ruth Cawdron, Marketing Manager at ProvenWorks shares her experience.
“I’m good at what I do.” “I’m good at what I do.” “I’m good at what I do.”
It became a mantra in the weeks leading up to the first day in my new role. I was leaving behind a sector I’d been in since graduation and moving into technology. As a humanities and arts student at university, I’d barely heard of the concept of ‘SaaS’ before I got the job of Marketing Manager at ProvenWorks, a small but mighty UK Salesforce ISV partner whose products have been hitting top of the AppExchange since 2008.
When I started, I didn’t know about Salesforce, I didn’t know about ISV partners and I didn’t know about the AppExchange. Maybe that’s you right now. It all feels alien and overwhelming. So as someone who is one month into the biggest professional change of their life so far, what have I learned so far? And how might it help you?
1. Don’t panic
I know, I know. I can hear you rolling your eyes… but it’s true. It has to come first. There will be plenty of moments where you don’t understand what’s going on, and you certainly won’t understand what people are saying.
They’ll use acronyms. They’ll type weird abbreviations. They’ll have meetings where whole conversations will go over your head. It’s okay.
You won’t become an expert in a day but you’ve signed up to something, and if you put the time in you’ll get there. I haven’t reached the finish line; I don’t think anyone ever does. But this is a place that celebrates learning (more on that next!).
In short: If you’re just joining the Salesforce ecosystem, take it from someone who is one tiny step further along – do not panic. Take it hour by hour, day by day. You’ve got this.
2. Make Salesforce Trailhead your best friend
I work for an Independent Software Vendor called ProvenWorks. We’ve been a partner of Salesforce since 2009 and we make apps, like AddressTools, that empower you to be a data hero. We’re all about simplifying, improving and enhancing your data management. So you might be wondering why I’m bringing up Trailhead – the Salesforce learning platform… It’s because it’s incredible. No seriously. There are badges and trails on everything, and they’re interesting, interactive and incredibly helpful. We have wonderfully smart developers in our team who will still hop on Trailhead to learn about something they’re not sure on. There is no better way to understand Salesforce, the space in which it operates and the whole ecosystem it has created.
In short: Dedicate time to work through trails. Then come back to it whenever you need a refresher. This was a great first trail for starting to understand Salesforce.
3. Get to know your customers
If your team doesn’t already have them, create user personas. User personas represent large segments of your customers based on shared behaviour, motivations, goals, pain points and other characteristics. (There’s a great Trailhead on it!) Do it early on because it will help focus every customer-facing interaction from that moment on.
I spent a long time curating questions to prompt the information I wanted to find out and then created a Google Form (ask me if you want it!). I set up a meeting with the team and we worked through the form several times to create our different personas. Then I presented the information in a more meaningful way using one-page profile sheets, and there we go. We all understand more deeply our potential users so we can better meet their needs. Not to mention, sitting down with the team and chatting through our user personas was a lot of fun and a great way to get to know my colleagues!
In short: Organize a session to learn who your customers are and how to meaningfully interact with them. It’ll be useful for your colleagues too, I promise!
4. Get to know your Salesforce Account Manager
Every Salesforce Partner has an Account Manager. They have access to loads of connections and data and they’re literally there to help! We set up a meeting very early on so I could meet our Account Manager and find out more about what kind of things we could get involved with as Salesforce Partners.
In short: Meet up with your Account Manager and spend some time learning how best to make the most of the relationship.
5. Get stuck into the Salesforce community
The Salesforce ecosystem is vast but it’s friendly! There are plenty of ways to get involved and find valuable connections. Some of my favourites are:
the Trailblazer community (#trailblazers)
the Partner community
Salesforce and User Group events
Start with one platform and get to know it. Introduce yourself, ask for help, look for partnerships, establish your brand and share your learning. I was blown away by the warm welcome I felt online and I love the encouragement that is so easy to find along the way.
In short: Dedicate time to building relationships across the Salesforce ecosystem. You never know what opportunities might be hiding around the corner.
New to working in the Salesforce ecosystem?
In <10 words: don’t panic, keep learning, ask questions and get connected.
If you’re reading this and you’re at the start of your own Salesforce journey, welcome! I know what it feels like to look up at the huge learning curve in front of you.
So what do you need to do next?
Put one foot forward and start climbing, one tiny step at a time.
Where to go next?
Here are some Trailhead resources I found helpful when I started:
It’s been a great ten years and here’s to many more! ProvenWorks is celebrating AddressTools’ 10 year anniversary this June and we want to share our story and introduce you to a new feature to mark the occasion.
We are very excited to announce we have a new user interface for SimpleImport, making your imports even simpler! Are you an existing SimpleImport user? Make sure you become familiar with the new user interface before the retirement of Classic!