Tata Trusts

Salesforce has helped us streamline donor onboarding and engagement processes, adding significant value to the role of our partnership team.”

Vinod Kamat | Head – IT, Tata Trusts

Tata Trusts improves transparency, stakeholder management with Salesforce

Throughout the history of modern India, the Tatas have been the beacon of philanthropic thinking and practices. For 128 years, Tata Trusts, the philanthropic holding organisation of the group has empowered the poor to improve their quality of life.

“Tata Trusts is community-centric and believes in driving sustainable change,” says Vinod Kamat, Head – IT, Tata Trusts. He explains through the example of the ‘Lakhpati Kisan’ Initiative, where Tata Trusts helps poor farming households in central India increase their incomes to at least INR 1,00,000 a year. Farmers are encouraged to diversify into related activities to create additional revenue streams. Tata Trusts also guides the farmers to follow agricultural best practices that boost yield, by using technology to make weather forecasts, estimate fertiliser quantities, and find the right times to sow and harvest.

Tata Trusts initiatives are in areas as diverse as health, nutrition, education, livelihoods, water and sanitation, and cancer care. Combining technology with empathy to initiate irreversible cycles of progress is a philosophy it applies across all of them.

Growth for greater good

In recent times, the Trusts have transitioned from a grant-giving entity to directly implementing projects on the ground.  Large organisations in the public and private sectors support and partner with Tata Trusts in this journey.

Initially, Tata Trusts Partnership Managers (PM) used Excel sheets, PDFs, and Word documents to manually track donor engagement across the lifecycle and share project progress with donors. However, as donor interest grew, limited spreadsheet capabilities did not allow them to comprehensively track donor engagement across the funnel.

“We needed a system that would help our PMs to manage leads better, close those quickly, and share updates amongst different teams at Tata Trusts in a structured manner,” says Kamat. “We looked at multiple products in the market and chose Salesforce for its out-of-box capability and stable technology platform.”

Streamlining donor journeys on a single platform

Today, Tata Trusts interacts with a large variety of engaged donor partners – from international foundations interested in investing in India, to CSR divisions looking at delivering transformative social impact to disadvantaged communities. PMs use Salesforce to manage these relationships efficiently and effectively.

When a PM has their first conversation with a prospective donor, the donor’s details are recorded on the system.  From then on, the PM captures all interactions on the system as the lead makes its way to becoming a partner.

“Salesforce provides all the relevant members associated with the Partnerships function real-time information on interactions with the partner,” says Prabhat Pani, Senior Advisor Tata Trusts. “This real-time intelligence helps internal teams reduce activity duplication, identify the right people within or outside Tata Trusts to reach out to for additional details, and to access documents. This has led to better collaboration, both within the Tata Trusts eco-system, and with donor partners.

A historical view of interactions also reopens doors to conversations with older donor partners.

“Once a user invests some time understanding the functionality of the PRM system, the benefits from the business perspective become quite self-evident,” says Viraj Shah, Partnerships Manager, Tata Trusts. “The system continues to deliver considerable value in terms of business intelligence with increased usage over a period of time.”

Strengthening collaboration: The road ahead

As Tata Trusts moves beyond Covid relief, it will work on projects that create large-scale impact. Kamat anticipates that during this period, donor onboarding and engagement will be scaled rapidly.

“Salesforce has helped us streamline the donor onboarding process, adding significant value to the role of our partnership team,” concludes Kamat. “We now want to use its capabilities to streamline other processes and enhance collaboration across our ecosystem.”


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