Salesforce has helped put us on target to raise $1 million in microfinance by 2021 and empower more people to lift themselves out of poverty.”

Anna Walsh, Director of Marketing and Fundraising, Good Return
 

80%

of supporters are choosing to donate or re-invest funds from loans that have been paid back

 

Poverty remains a critical issue in Asia-Pacific with some of the most marginalised people living on less than $2 a day. Providing donations is not enough to effect permanent change: microfinance and financial training will equip people with the skills to grow their own income and map their way out of poverty for good and Good Return provides both of these.

Anna Walsh, Director of Marketing and Fundraising for Good Return, said the Australian nonprofit was working towards the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal to end extreme poverty by 2030. “The advances in infrastructure and support for poor and rural communities over the past decade has been really exciting and made this goal actually achievable. At the same time, it all comes back to finance,” said Walsh. “Nobody is getting out of poverty without access to financial services.”

Good Return is tackling this issue head-on and using Salesforce to help more people, more efficiently.

The nonprofit started out as an Australian offshoot of World Education, a global nonprofit helping those who are financially and socially excluded. The two organisations still share similar aims, but have gone down slightly different paths. “In Australia, we were always focused on empowering people financially and it became clear that’s where we could make the most difference,” Walsh explained.

So in 2010, the nonprofit rebranded as Good Return and dedicated itself to microfinance and financial literacy and capability. It also embraced its future as a fintech.

“We wanted to weave technology throughout the organisation, and use it to help people map their own way out of poverty. The flexibility of Salesforce made it ideal, and, as a company, they were very aligned to our values,” said Walsh.

One of Good Return’s first priorities was to build a new microloan site, making it easier to connect individuals who want to lend money to poor entrepreneurs seeking credit. These entrepreneurs are often women with limited opportunities to work, and microfinance supports their ambitions to start and run their own businesses.

Built and launched in two months using Force.com, the new site has made it easier for supporters to fund loans and almost 80% are now choosing to donate or re-invest after loans are paid back.

Good Return’s partners and employees also benefit from a streamlined experience. It takes just three steps to list a new microloan request compared to the seven it took previously. Additionally, staff at Good Return are no longer losing time on workarounds and moving between different systems. The Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack gives them what they need to manage programs, donations, partners and supporters.

“Salesforce has removed the pressure we felt dealing with ageing systems and regularly band-aiding processes. It has also freed up hours of time that we can now use fundraising again,” said Walsh.

Good Return is now moving more of its data to Salesforce for a single view of supporters, partners and entrepreneurs. And while this will help it to connect more personally with stakeholders, data integrity is a priority. “Working in finance and interacting with so many vulnerable people, security and privacy is essential and one of the reasons we chose to work with Salesforce,” said Walsh. “We can trust our data is safe while using it in different ways to increase our impact.”

The nonprofit is pushing further into digital and testing a new app in Cambodia to help entrepreneurs to track and manage their finances. It plans to roll out localised versions of the app internationally over the next two years. The development of a new portal for supporters is also on the horizon. Powered by Community Cloud, the portal will make it easier for them to manage their own investments.

With these projects and more, Good Return is on track to achieve a 3x increase in fundraising. “Salesforce has helped put us on target to raise $1 million in microfinance by 2021 and empower more people to map themselves out of poverty,” said Walsh.

 
 

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