Persatuan Pemudi Islam Singapura (PPIS), or the Singapore Muslim Women’s Association, (PPIS) has been empowering women, children, and families since 1952. The non-profit organisation is striving to build stronger, more supportive communities with a range of services including childcare support, early childhood education, after-school care and enrichment, family casework and counselling, and fostering.
That’s an ambitious mission, and PPIS has embraced digital transformation to achieve it. The organisation is using Salesforce to optimise and automate donation, volunteer and event management workflows to increase productivity, boost efficiency, and get the most value out of its resources.
Transitioning from manual paper-based workflows to digital processes has required an organisation-wide shift across a network of 17 PPIS centres spread throughout Singapore. It’s a project that Thariq Aziz, Senior Manager IT & Facilities Department at PPIS, says needed to start with basic digitisation.
“When I joined PPIS in 2019, the workflows were very manual and paper-based,” he explains. “It required lots of filling out physical forms and signing off with wet ink. There was no such thing as digital signatures, and no Zoom. Donations, volunteers, and counselling were managed in Excel spreadsheets.”
The transformation journey begins
For the organisation’s digital transformation to be effective, Aziz knew processes need to come before tools. So he took a step back and put time into researching departmental workflows and identifying where and how digital tools could add value.
His first stop was the Human Resources (HR) department. Digitising forms and signoffs with web-based applications achieved early success transitioning away from manual, paper-based workflows. But that was only the tip of the iceberg.
“That early digitisation led us to Salesforce’s Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP),” Aziz says. “Our first deployment was a client management system (CMS) for SYM Academy that’s responsible for all our family counselling and therapy services. Prior to Salesforce, clients were tracked in Excel and session notes were recorded in Word. Salesforce enabled us to bring this all onto a single CMS platform.”
The new Salesforce-based CMS gave Aziz the proof of concept he needed to expand the organisation’s digital transformation. So he hired Farique De Silva, Project Manager CRM at PPIS, to lead the next major Salesforce deployment. That came in the form of a new customer relationship management (CRM) platform for the donations department.
A single source of donor interaction
Farique explains that donation volume is seasonal, so PPIS needed a CRM that could effectively manage bulk donation periods. Salesforce replaced the organisation’s existing government-provided tool for donation management, and De Silva and his team spent two months migrating the data into the new CRM.
“Contact 360 now provides a single source of donor interaction across the organisation,” he explains. “This helps the fundraising team engage with the most active donors. We then deployed the Opportunities module for end-to-end donation management. So if a donor submits a donation via our website, they are now interacting with Salesforce end-to-end.”
Stripe and PayPal are also integrated with Salesforce for transaction management, and customised automations are used to create, update, and cross-check donor records. “All those steps used to be manual,” De Silva explains. “If a donor had made donations a year apart, it would have depended on the memory of the team. Now all that is managed in Salesforce.”
The Salesforce CRM is also significantly boosting efficiency for the finance team. Before Salesforce, every month a member of the finance team would spend a whole work day reconciling donation receipts for annual submission to the tax authority. That process is now completely automated with Salesforce.
“A customised report is generated in Salesforce to submit to the tax authority, and the finance team looks at it at the end of 12 months,” De Silva says. “Just automating that one process with Salesforce has saved us 12 work days per year. And in 2021, we only had to manually tweak two records out of more than 7,000.”
Increased productivity with automated workflows
PPIS now also runs volunteer and events management through Salesforce. De Silva explains that automated volunteer applications through Salesforce enables a single volunteer manager to oversee more than 800 volunteers.
“To work with children, our volunteers need to go through additional screening, so the application process is not simple,” he says. “New applicant records are automatically created and cross-checked in Salesforce, then tagged as volunteer applicants. Then our volunteer manager can simply search for volunteer applicants with the relevant interest or skill set for a particular campaign or event.”
At that point, the volunteer manager interviews selected volunteer applicants, and only successful candidates are updated to volunteer status.
“That means the organisation doesn’t have to immediately take on the workload of processing and interviewing every volunteer applicant,” De Silva adds. “That process only occurs when a volunteer is assigned to a campaign or event, which is a significant time saving for us.
“The idea is that we no longer run a collection of individual systems. Donations, volunteers, and events are all integrated into a single CRM and Salesforce is the backbone of it.”
Supporting people with technology
The organisation’s Salesforce transformation won’t end there. Next up, says Aziz, will be improvements to the CRM, and a new knowledge management system. He also envisions an integrated front-end platform to provide a simplified user experience for PPIS clients.
“Our main goal is to help people. That’s the bottom line,” Aziz explains. “We want to build a front-end platform that supports our clients’ progress through the PPIS lifecycle.
“We want to use technology to help our clients navigate many different issues and connect them with the support they need. I know we can achieve that with Salesforce.”
Learn how Salesforce’s Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP) can help your organisation do more good.