TupuToa increases productivity by 92%, helping it grow more Māori and Pacific leaders

Learn how TupuToa has used Salesforce to scale its impact and equip employees and interns with in-demand digital skills.


Māori and Pacific peoples make up approximately one-quarter of Aotearoa New Zealand’s population, yet their presence remains largely unseen within the nation's corporate workforce. This underrepresentation becomes even more evident in corporate leadership roles, which is precisely what TupuToa seeks to change.

The not-for-profit is on a mission to ensure corporate Aotearoa reflects the diversity of the entire country. It does this by developing and empowering Māori and Pacific peoples through the provision of training and internships with corporate, government, and community organisations.

“What Māori and Pacific peoples bring to business is they bring difference, and with difference comes innovation and with innovation comes high performance and improved bottom lines,” said Anne Fitisemanu, Chief Executive of TupuToa.

TupuToa’s journey began in 2016 with the placement of 28 Māori and Pacific interns. This number has increased every year since with TupuToa providing training and internships to 330 people for the 2022/2023 program year. Salesforce has helped TupuToa harness its data to drive this growth while keeping people at the heart of its organisation. It has also helped drive a 97% increase in revenue which can be used to grow more Māori and Pacific leaders.


Bringing data together for good

When Anne joined TupuToa, the not-for-profit relied heavily on spreadsheets and had data spread across the organisation. Salesforce, initially used to track intern applications, provided a way to unify data and harness it for good.

“We knew that to keep our edge and be attractive to funders, we needed to be digitally and data-driven. That’s when we started to pay attention to what Salesforce could do for us,” said Fitisemanu.

TupuToa engaged Laszlo Csite, CEO of New Zealand-based digital coaching studio 360tuned Limited, to increase its digital maturity and maximise the value of Salesforce. Working together, they defined and delivered a digital transformation roadmap that has consolidated data and workflows onto Salesforce.

“Salesforce is now used across our organisation, providing us with a single source of truth we can use to tell our story and show that investing in our movement is the right thing to do,” said Fitisemanu. “As an example, we can demonstrate how many of our interns are the first in their families to go to university and secure a corporate job. We can also show how their starting salaries compare to the average for Māori and Pacific peoples in New Zealand.”


Maximising efficiency and impact

TupuToa’s digital transformation has delivered a return on investment of nearly 280% in just two years. It has also set the not-for-profit up to accelerate growth without exponential increases in headcount. 

With quality data centralised in Nonprofit Success Pack, for example, TupuToa can make better, faster decisions about which interns to match with which partners. Salesforce Flows automate processes like the calculation of targeted intern placements for partners. 

Self-service portals built on Experience Cloud allow partners and alumni to view their own data and carry out administrative tasks, reducing employee workload. The not-for-profit has also automated communication with applicants, interns, and partners using Marketing Cloud Engagement

On top of these benefits, TupuToa has unlocked productivity by using Slack for internal communication and collaboration. 

TupuToa improved overall productivity by 92% in just one year, reducing the number of new employees needed to support the organisation’s growth by as many as 24 full-time equivalents (FTEs).   

“In a high-touch organisation like ours, there will always be an element of face-to-face engagement. However, automating what we can gives employees more time to do the stuff that matters like making connections and building trust,” said Fitisemanu. “Building trust also means that people are more willing to complete activities online when needed.”


Empowering employees and interns with new digital skills

TupuToa’s employees have worked closely with 360tuned Limited and Salesforce volunteers to drive the not-for-profit’s digital transformation, using Trailhead to build new digital skills in the process. TupuToa has also become a certified Salesforce trainer in New Zealand, running training programs that help Māori and Pacific participants become Salesforce administrators, builders and business analysts.

“The number of Māori and Pacific peoples in the tech sector has historically been very low so the opportunities for our community to have meaningful careers within the Salesforce ecosystem are super exciting,” said Fitisemanu.

TupuToa intern Natasha Ahio said, “It is a whole new world, technology and learning technology. Knowing how to use all these tools is a big advantage.”


Driving and role-modelling success

In many ways, TupuToa is just getting started. Its intern numbers and alumni network continue to grow and it is exploring new ways to harness its data and illustrate its impact. With Tableau, for example, it could automate reporting and surface insights directly to partners through its existing portals.

TupuToa also plans to integrate Xero as well as its event management and program management apps with Salesforce, which will provide the organisation with more meaningful data on performance and the delivery of its services.

The not-for-profit is also exploring ways to help its team be more efficient and help more people. This could include using generative AI to respond to frequently asked questions or using predictive AI to support the matching of interns with the right roles.

Meanwhile, TupuToa is sharing what it’s learned through its transformation journey with other not-for-profits in New Zealand and overseas. Sharing these learnings and best practices, it hopes to empower these organisations to scale their own impact and better support the communities they serve.

“We want to share our story with as many not-for-profits as possible and especially here in New Zealand. We are a very giving nation with the highest number of not-for-profits per capita and we want to see the success of these organisations continue,” said Fitisemanu.

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