Housing Data In a Seamless Way To Future Proof Bipolar UK
Conor Butcher, Fundraising and Data Officer at Bipolar UK chatted to Laura Croudace Technology Impact Evangelist from Cirrico about they’d worked together on Bipolar UK’s transformative technology journey and helped how Cirrico created Salesforce systems making them a truly digital first organisation.
Bipolar UK helps people living with Bipolar Disorder across the UK, they provided huge amounts of group support prior to covid with over 230 regional groups supporting people. They also have a telephone support line which is for many people a lifeline of invaluable information and help. In the middle of COVID-19 they saw a huge uptick in requests for support with their groups unable to meet in person, and time needed to take them virtually.
Cirrico understood from working with Conor that everything needed to be accessible from anywhere to ensure that we were set up for success and the organisation was future-proofed, Conor went on to explain why this was important and the foundation of their need for new sustainable technology.
Conor shared what life was like before Cirrico worked on the transformation project:
“Before we had Salesforce we had an old CRM for fundraising, and encrypted Excel spreadsheets for our various teams due to them helping so many people, this was a huge issue for us since we had people that were both a donor and a service-user and there wasn’t a way of bringing all the data together.
Our journey started when one of our team went to a Salesforce event and was so inspired by what they saw they came back knowing we needed Salesforce as they realised we could join everything up in one place. The ideal was that all data could be in one place so that you could view everyone in one place, and that we could save data more centrally to ensure we could report quickly when needed, especially around safeguarding people.”
Safeguarding is always something we think about when working with nonprofits who help vulnerable people as Salesforce Technology can speed up the referral time if there is a situation where someone needs additional safeguarding support. There are many ways that we can help organisations speed up the time that it currently takes.
Many nonprofits have faced exceptional challenges in a global pandemic, and with a digital-first approach with cutting edge technology Bipolar UK knew they’d made the right decision to implement with Cirrico. Conor went on to share:
“In the middle of a global pandemic, Salesforce has enabled us to revolutionise our approach to managing safeguarding to a really efficient, instant process. The team at Bipolar UK take Safeguarding extremely important, and we are so delighted to have Salesforce now managing all of the date for us in one central, safe and fast place as it’s also reduced the burden on staff to ensure they are constantly checking various inboxes and spreadsheets for any issues that may have been noted.
Safeguarding as we are mental health charities it is hugely important that we had a system which was secure and future proofed and it’s allowed us to house all that data in Salesforce and if efficiently easy to use and also get to get a solution quicker and it’s easy also to use for volunteers, he could fill out a form and the information goes in Salesforce for stuff to look at in that sense.”
Salesforce provides 10 free licences for all registered nonprofits globally to ensure they save as much money as possible on transformative projects and so they are also aligning to their own goals as a philanthropic focused organisation. For many nonprofits this is a huge lifeline of support and enables them to fast-track their journey to becoming digital first, Conor shared how Bipolar UK has saved money thanks to Salesforce:
“Salesforce has saved us a huge amount of money, surprisingly! It’s hugely cost effective when you consider the alternatives, like all nonprofits we were able to use the 10 free licenses that Salesforce donated to nonprofits which is a huge help
As Salesforce can be used to support programmes/services and fundraising it is one system replacing 2 more expensive systems which weren’t very user friendly, or efficient, which has also enabled us to do a lot more impact driven work with the extra time we have saved.”
With the mention of saving time, can you share with me the impact having Salesforce has had with you and the team at Bipolar UK and how your time has been impacted?
Conor said: “Having Salesforce has been quite substantial on both my time, on average saving me 2 days per week in terms of how much time I have to dedicate to ensuring the data is secure, and pulling reports for staff, but one of the main areas that Salesforce has massively helped with is other staff members have had all of their processes sped up and therefore are able to be more efficient, so that they can dedicate more time to services they provide.
When I look back on what life was like before having Salesforce, with clunky systems, spreadsheets, long-drawn out data requests I wish we had had Salesforce from day one!”
User Adoption is always a big factor when planning out projects as many organisations don’t have a team of people who are technically experienced, or have used Salesforce before so we build this in to the planning of projects to ensure that they are able to run smoothly once they go live. With Bipolar UK we wanted to ensure that their team did as much of the user testing as possible so that they learnt along the way on many different areas they would be using day-to-day at Bipolar UK.
Bipolar Uk encouraged their staff to be a part of the building and testing stages where possible so that they could test things out and learn, but they also went onto Trailhead, Salesforce’s free learning tool, so that they could understand the basics and more about salesforce before it went live.
Conor shared “Trailhead really is an amazing free tool, and we are so grateful that Salesforce invested in this tool so many nonprofits like us have resources available to them, and it’s something that is so unique to Salesforce!”