RSPCA South Australia

With Salesforce, we’re able to bring campaigns together into cohesive journeys that tell our story in a way that’s meaningful to each person.”

Keira Blanchard | Database & Analytics Manager


Reduced failure rate of monthly donation payments


RSPCA South Australia works fast to engage supporters and secure animal welfare

RSPCA South Australia is the state’s oldest and largest animal welfare charity. It serves as a leading advocate for all animals and works tirelessly to provide shelter, medical attention and love to those who need it. Its work is funded almost entirely by community donations and RSPCA South Australia uses Salesforce to make the most of this support.

“No charity can afford to be inefficient, especially when it comes to fundraising. We need to have the right data and right processes in place to be as efficient as possible and engage with our supporters on the issues they care about,” said Keira Blanchard, Database & Analytics Manager at RSPCA South Australia.

Leveraging automation and intelligence from Salesforce, RSPCA South Australia has achieved these aims and is increasingly agile in responding to new challenges and enlisting the help of supporters.

Automation lifts the limit on speed and innovation

Before turning to Salesforce, RSPCA South Australia was losing too much time caught up in manual processes. Processing donations was one of the charity’s biggest administrative pain points. The process was not only manual, but the failure rate for monthly donation payments was as high as 30%. This resulted in even more effort from the team who had to pull reports on failed payments and spend the next couple of days contacting donors and asking them to update their details.

RSPCA South Australia wanted to streamline and automate this and other processes like registering volunteers, but was limited by its technology. The charity had an aging on-premise CRM which enabled very little automation. It was slow and expensive to update which made it difficult to add new contact fields or extract new information.

“In my first few months at the charity it became clear our technology was holding us back; the administration team was really under the pump and the creative team had so many ideas I had to say no to because our CRM couldn’t support them,” explained Blanchard.

After discussing these challenges with the new CEO, Blanchard was given the green light to go out and find a platform that would support the charity’s current and future needs. The charity wanted something broader than a donor management system which would allow it to automate all types of tasks and engage with all types of supporters. Blanchard chose Salesforce because it met both of these needs while requiring little customisation.

“Salesforce provided everything we needed in one place and the implementation was super fast. We were up and running in just three months,” said Blanchard.

Streamlined administration makes fundraising more efficient

RSPCA South Australia has now been using Salesforce for more than two years. According to Blanchard, one of their biggest successes has been a 15% reduction in failed monthly donation payments. This has been achieved by automating donation processing from end-to-end so donors are automatically notified of failed payments and provided with an opportunity to update their details. Even the creation and sending of receipts is automatic so that the team can focus on more important work.

“We experienced an immediate reduction in administration time of one FTE and that person has now retrained and joined our marketing team," said Blanchard. “We have also automated more of our routine tasks to bring our total time savings to 1.4 FTE."

These other tasks include volunteer management and registering participants in the RSPCA South Australia’s Junior Rescue Officer Program. Using Salesforce, the charity has been able to digitise these processes and create webforms to capture information from supporters. The future use of Community Cloud will increase efficiency further by enabling donors to self-serve and update their own payment details online.

Building more personal connections with supporters

Community engagement is key for RSPCA South Australia whose supporters include not just donors and volunteers, but people who adopt and foster animals and visit the charity’s retail outlets. The implementation of Pardot has allowed the creative team to finally implement their ideas to connect with these supporters more personally and effectively. For instance, using automated engagement journeys, RSPCA South Australia is able to provide education and support for those who have adopted a new pet. Similarly, they can trigger journeys to welcome volunteers or provide progress updates to those who have signed a petition. 

“Previously when someone wanted to send out a campaign, they would just ask for a list of contacts and send it out. There was no single view of what was being sent to supporters or any consistency across campaigns,” said Blanchard. “With Salesforce, we’re able to bring campaigns together into cohesive journeys that tell our story in a way that’s meaningful to each person.” 

While RSPCA South Australia doesn’t have the historical data to compare these journeys to campaigns sent in the past, it knows that less people are opting out of emails and list sizes are growing. It also has visibility into how supporters are interacting with the website and emails, and can use Pardot to score and identify those who are highly engaged. This helps the charity to better understand its supporters and reach out earlier to those who are open to becoming regular givers. Einstein Analytics adds to these insights and helps the charity make faster decisions and optimise campaigns already in progress. Blanchard shared this agility was vital in the success of an important campaign last year. 

“By using Einstein Analytics to visualise the performance of the campaign in real-time, we were able to see that it wasn’t going to generate the funds we needed. This allowed us to react quickly and turn things around before it was too late,” said Blanchard.

Charity draws on agility to respond to COVID-19

RSPCA South Australia is now tapping into its increased agility to do everything that it can to get more animals out of shelters and into safe homes quickly. Watching what was unfolding here and across the globe, the charity has been working to get ahead of potential closures which would leave animals in shelters too long. This has involved quickly ramping up adoption and foster campaigns and launching a new fundraising appeal.  

“Animal adoptions could become more challenging so we’ve been urgently scaling our foster campaign. Salesforce has helped us to do so in a very short timeframe and is now helping us respond to a flood of applications,” said Blanchard. “Our team was also able to pull together a staggeringly successful adoption campaign in March, and adopted out over 450 animals in an incredibly short space of time. This halved the number of animals in our care.”

RSPCA South Australia has been mindful in launching its fundraising appeal for COVID-19, knowing that people are receiving a high number of communications in relation to the coronavirus. Using A/B testing in Pardot has allowed RSPCA South Australia to test its subject lines and choose the one that would give it the best opportunity to reach its supporters and show them how much these animals need their help right now. The response has been incredible, with almost 1,400 donations so far. 

“The success of our COVID-19 appeal has helped us to pay for all of the desexing required to get animals ready for adoption. This was especially important as we significantly reduced adoption prices to help these animals find their new homes quickly,” said Blanchard.


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