Cradles to Crayons - Donor Engagement & Inventory Management with Salesforce

August 10, 2012 by Andrea Spillmann

Captricity is honored to support Cradles to Crayons's incredible work, entering data they need into Salesforce to improve the efficiency and timeliness of their donor engagement and inventory management.

Children need basic supplies to survive and thrive, both at home and in school. Yet 305,000 children in Massachusetts and 130,000 children in Philadelphia live in poor or low-income households, often struggling to get the clothing, toys and school supplies they need. Imagine not having a backpack to carry textbooks, a coat to protect from bitter Boston winds, or shoes that don’t pinch.  How can any child focus at school, learn at home, or play with friends without these basics?

Cradles to Crayons fights just this issue. Last year alone they provided essential supplies to 87,000 low-income and homeless children in Massachusetts and Philadelphia. How do they do it? Cradles to Crayons collects new and like-new children's items through grassroots community drives and corporate donations. Volunteers then process and package donations, and a collaborative network of social service agencies and school partners distributes them to disadvantaged children across the state.

Cradles to Crayons owes its success to donor engagement and successful inventory management.  Both require complete, accurate and timely data on who is donating what, where. Collected on paper tax receipts, this data allows the organization to build a relationship with donors while also helping them predict incoming supply. In this way, Cradles to Crayons can better solicit donations and make accurate predictions for future years, preventing gaps in critically needed items for children.

As long as the information is stuck in paper format, however, it cannot support this critical inventory management or donor engagement.  Without digital data, “We are unable to aggregate data, run reports, or reach out to donors,” says Sarah Basch. The organization uses Salesforce for the all-important tasks of connecting with donors and managing inventory.  Manually entering data from the paper tax receipts into Salesforce, however, can take many weeks (or months) and is a waste of precious volunteer and staff time.  Captricity will solve this problem, digitizing the data from those paper forms and importing it into SalesForce.  As Sarah explains, “Having data from the tax receipt imported directly into our Salesforce database means that all of our staff will have easy access to the data for different reporting measures.”

We at Captricity admire Cradles to Crayons.  It is an honor to support their work by more quickly and completely digitizing the data they require to maintain their inventory of life-changing supplies for children in need.


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