The Power of a Partner: Creating Sustainability from the Roots Up

The Form Advocate

Hayley Tuller

Project Manager (Arkus)
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Case Study Snapshot

When Arkus, a New York-based consulting agency, began working with Eden Reforestation Projects, the mission was clear: put data to work to help tackle global deforestation in the economic and ecological arena. Unfortunately, when it came to the setup they were using to make this mission a reality, the environmental nonprofit group was working with a complex process that no longer served growth-based needs. By using FormAssembly, the Arkus team revamped the entire data management process from the roots up, eliminating limited manual processes and replacing them with advanced integrations and features.

About Arkus

  • Salesforce Gold and Salesforce.org Premium Consulting Partner 
  • Partners with financial services, commercial, nonprofit, and educational organizations
  • Lean and agile Salesforce consulting approach with education and empowerment focus 
  • Pledge 1% member with Pro Bono offerings and volunteer service
  • Team of highly-skilled project managers are each at least 6x certified in a range of clouds

About Eden Reforestation Projects

  • Works in developing countries to rebuild natural landscapes destroyed by deforestation
  • Operates directly with communities suffering from extreme poverty as a result of the destruction of the land that sustains them

The Problem

Manual and Conceptually Incomplete Processes

Before working with Arkus, the team at Eden Reforestation Projects faced multiple data silos. The organization stored the details of carefully negotiated partnerships in personal spreadsheets or notes, allowing room for human error.

Moreover, each payment against a partnership was recorded as a single donation, making it impossible to track obligations and balances or to separate partnerships from fees and donations. Each unique project site also had its own tree costs and labor rates, with no object or record in Salesforce to represent those elements of the operational model.

Lastly, a manual phone and email process was used to collect sales figures in order to invoice partners, who then remitted payment over the phone or through the mail. Undoubtedly, this led to slow processes and potential missteps.

The Solution

Rethinking the Data Model

The overhaul included partnership application forms and improved pipeline and automation. FormAssembly also added convenience and speed for Eden’s partners due to advanced reporting and forecasting. The FormAssembly project showcased the need to think critically about long-term sustainability of systems and processes.

Custom Opportunity Record Type
This update created a record type that now represents the organization’s partnerships. The process leverages the Nonprofit Success Pack to track balances and terms of an agreement.

Custom Objects
Custom objects, garnered from FormAssembly forms, represent Eden’s planting sites, holding sites, calculation of trees planted, and days of labor provided automatically using roll-ups.

Junction Objects
These updated “Designations” track donor gift restrictions to specific sites, which better capture the complexity of donor wishes as they give funds for specific purposes.

The FormAssembly project showcased the need to think critically about long-term sustainability of systems and processes.

Use Case

More intuitive forms help eliminate manual data steps

Arkus assisted Eden Reforestation Projects in the creation of Partnership Application Forms, designed specifically to automate tedious manual data entry. Forms are prefilled from the Opportunity to solicit partners to report sales and update payments to the correct amount automatically. Additionally, the forms are set up to collect payments via Stripe, adding convenience and speed for partners, and efficiency for the Eden team.

What’s Next?

The cultural implications of the work that Arkus does for environmental nonprofits are significant. With the Eden project in particular, the Director of Development can now review and approve partnerships at different checkpoints. Account managers are able to invoice business partners and track business partner donation activity. Best of all, the organization now has the ability to clearly communicate with business partners about how their donations led to trees planted and lives saved.

In the future, Arkus and Eden hope to expand Project Site records with FormAssembly in order to speed up field reporting of tree planting and the reporting of marketing materials. Future moves also include transitioning to a Partner Community and leveraging data to segment in Pardot for improved email marketing and automation.

The organization now has the ability to clearly communicate with business partners

Want to learn more about how FormAssembly empowers environmental nonprofits? 

Don’t miss our recent case study with PASA to learn how better data can help sustainable farming practices.

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