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Spreading Sunshine: Salesforce Helps Nonprofit Scale Programs for Kids with Medical Needs

Project Sunshine, a nonprofit that offers free, in-hospital, and remote programs to thousands of children with medical needs, is leveraging Salesforce technology to increase its impact. 

Why it matters: Each year in the United States, over 1.3million children are hospitalized due to a variety of medical conditions. As a result, many face a host of additional challenges, such as academic disruption and missing key social interactions with peers during school and extracurricular activities, which can lead to kids feeling bored and isolated. 

  • Project Sunshine partners with over 480 medical centers and disease-specific nonprofits in over 300 cities across the United States and internationally to distribute its high-quality programs, including Here to Play, TelePlay, and Kits for Play, to pediatric patients. 
  • Opportunities for play and mental stimulation also give caregivers a break to tend to their own needs, while helping to alleviate daily stress and anxiety for children being treated.

Driving the news: Every child’s medical situation is unique, and Project Sunshine tailors its programs to provide individualized experiences for each child. Working with Salesforce and Salesforce partner Silverline, Project Sunshine is undergoing a digital transformation that will enable the nonprofit to scale, reaching more patients and families both in the hospital and at home.

  • Projecting Growth: Over the next several years, Project Sunshine will be using the Salesforce Platform to help scale its programs, to expand its reach from 200,000 children and families annually to 500,000 each year by growing hospital partners, expanding activity kit distribution, and increasing adoption of its new virtual TelePlay program. 
  • Driving Donations: Working with Silverline to customize its solution, Project Sunshine is implementing Salesforce technology to create one database for a unified view of all donor activity. With this streamlined information, Project Sunshine is able to create targeted and personalized donor campaigns.  
  • Volunteer Activation: Offering a 360-degree view of volunteer engagement, Salesforce solutions will equip Project Sunshine volunteers with the tools they need to fully engage and connect – from attending events to donating to the organization. And through a new volunteer portal powered by Salesforce, volunteers will be able to access features like Zoom and other customizable interface tools. 
  • Personalized Engagement: Marketing Cloud will enable Project Sunshine to track volunteer, patient, donor preferences, and behaviors, and provide a unified experience for all users. SMS-based event registration and reminders will simplify the process for volunteers attending Project Sunshine events.
  • Partner Support: Salesforce will allow for Project Sunshine to engage more seamlessly with medical facility and nonprofit partners as they access a Partner Portal to perform essential functions such as request more kits, change program schedules, and track patient engagement.
  • Increased Automation: Salesforce Platform technologies will deliver convenience and efficiency, making the event registration process easier for patients and caregivers, as well as providing medical facilities, nonprofits, and other partners automated and pre-populated data functionalities and custom branding options for onboarding.

Commitment to service: Since 2011, Project Sunshine has been a nonprofit partner to Salesforce. Today, the partnership is a powerful example of Salesforce’s integrated philanthropic approach, the 1-1-1 model

  • More than 3,500 Salesforce employees have dedicated 55,000 hours of volunteer time to Project Sunshine, making meaningful impact on more than 60,000 pediatric patients and families. 
  • Project Sunshine has a presence at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals, supporting the organization with therapeutic, volunteer-led arts and crafts programs. 

Customer perspective: “Through our work with Salesforce, we have been able to harness the power of data to empower our team to uncover valuable insights. As Salesforce becomes the central hub across donor, volunteer, and inventory data, Project Sunshine will gain the ability to better serve our volunteers, connect with patients and families, craft targeted marketing strategies, and personalized donor campaigns. We are excited for what is to come, as Salesforce helps us to reach even more children and families in need.” Whitney Namm Pollack, Executive Director, Project Sunshine

We are excited for what is to come, as Salesforce helps us to reach even more children and families in need.

Whitney Namm Pollack, Executive Director, Project Sunshine

Partner perspective: “At Silverline, we are honored to have partnered with Project Sunshine in multiple ways over the past five years. Working with Salesforce, we have been able to help Project Sunshine build a platform that will broaden the impact of their inspiring mission. Silverline has also made giving back a fundamental part of our Silverline Cares initiative by bringing our teams together to build thousands of interactive Kits for Play for children in hospitals all over the country to enjoy. We are excited to continue to support the Project Sunshine team as they grow.” – Gireesh Sonnad, CEO, Silverline

Salesforce perspective: “At Salesforce, our commitment to driving positive change through innovation is embodied in our partnerships, especially with customers and partners like Project Sunshine. Teaming up with Silverline, we’ve helped Project Sunshine on its digital transformation to extend the reach and impact of volunteer-led programming.” – Stephanie Glenn, Senior Vice President, Marketing Cloud, Salesforce & Board Member, Project Sunshine

More information:

  • Explore Project Sunshine’s mission and learn how you can get involved at 
  • Read more Salesforce customer success stories here
  • Read more news and stories from Dreamforce 2023

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