Nov 18, 2015
By: Cecilia Dougherty, External Relations Associate
Today, over 100,000 companies, for-profit and nonprofit alike, use Salesforce. Over 150,000 people attended Dreamforce 2015 this past fall. So how much of a difference does one External Relations Associate with one database make?
As I wandered through the Dreamforce conference, figuring out how to apply the 1,400 sessions to my work, I quickly became overwhelmed with all the data. How can I use this to show our program work? Is this a tool that can help track overall budgets? And soon, I was beginning to lose focus and was solely concerned about aggregating up. Working in databases, this can happen pretty often. You forget about the individual pieces of data and focus on creating dashboards, presenting big numbers, and making them visually appealing: how much have we raised this year? How many people have we served in 2015? What’s our impact?
While at Dreamforce, I attended a networking breakfast hosted by Girlforce, a Salesforce user group empowering women in the nonprofit Salesforce community. But, unlike what had been overwhelming me throughout the conference, at this breakfast we weren’t asked about our big data or our impact. We were asked about our own individual stories. Where do you come from? How did you get involved? And suddenly, although surrounded by over 100 other people, I felt that that individual pieces of data, that one story, was all that mattered.
Because it is those stories that make an impact, the single data points that roll up into a dashboard, the individual stories collected to build a mosaic of our work. For the END Fund, it is one man who, through a 15-minute surgery, is able to get back to work, and it’s also funding 1,300 sight-saving surgeries. It’s a fisherman in Kenya who can continue fishing without fear of schistosomiasis, rolling up into 75 million people treated with $253 million worth of donated drugs. It is reaching the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro to see the END of these neglected diseases, and it’s bringing awareness to thousands of people of our efforts to end neglected tropical diseases (NTDS). By tracking both, the individual stories and rolling up, we are able to see, across the organization, the true impact the END Fund makes.