Are you a nonprofit organisation using Salesforce, needing support?
Or, are you a Salesforce professional willing to donate your time?
Read on to hear more details on the program and the borderless vision.
Salesforce Platform + Skills + Time + Passion for Travel = Projects with purpose.
It’s an equation that outlines a new initiative I would like to kickstart.
There are thousands of nonprofit organisations* across the globe that power their missions with Salesforce using the Salesforce Platform to power their operations – the same organisations also require Salesforce consultancy to continue extending and optimising their Salesforce orgs. On the other side, there are Salesforce professionals who are seeking both purposeful projects and authentic travel experience.
(*40,000+ nonprofit and educational institutions, to put it into perspective!)
I wrote this blog post as a ‘soft launch’ to this initiative; I’ll cover the characteristics of a suitable organisation, what organisations can expect from the programme, and briefly, the immediate and longer-term aims.
Background: The Lightbulb Moment
The scene: the shuttle service to San Francisco airport just after Dreamforce ’19 had wrapped up. Although this was a public service, everyone in the bus was connected to Salesforce in some capacity – a networking finale! It was on this ride that I met Trish, an MVP who travels to different regions of the world and exchanges Salesforce consulting for accommodation.
It took a couple more hours for my ‘lightbulb moment’, and by that point, we had gone our separate ways.
A few months have passed since then (back into the throws of consulting and blog projects), and now it’s time to reignite the idea. The good news is that I managed to reconnect with Trish, who has provided valuable input into the idea for Borderless Consulting.
Let’s boil this down to simple ’supply and demand’ – greater demand for Salesforce skilled professionals drives up the price of the product (a consultant’s time). As Salesforce Consultancy rates climb, unfortunately, it’s often the organisation most deserving that lose out.
The Ideal Organisation
There are some characteristics I have in mind for a suitable organisation; as it’s not a ‘box-ticking’ exercise, an organisation would fit all or some of these points:
- A nonprofit organisation/NGO,
- Looking to optimise a specific part of the business, implement a solution/feature, or have a set number of support hours,
- Has a key stakeholder that ‘owns’ Salesforce internally (for continued success post-project),
- Willing to pay modest subsistence and, if relevant, travel to the destination*,
- Has prepared appropriate legal documentation, eg. data policies, NDA, etc.
*as this is only the initial phase, logistics like this can be negotiated and ‘ironed out’ on a case-by-case basis.
What Organisations Can Expect
- A certified professional to consult and/or implement their solution
- A passionate Salesforce evangelist to deliver support, training.
In my mind, professionals who are excited to travel and donate their time are those that radiate enthusiasm for the platform and are rearing to use the combination of energy and knowledge to help impactful organisations take technology further.
Project Exchange Aims
I’m hoping to gauge interest in this program from both sides of the exchange: from organisations interested in accommodating a Salesforce professional, and Salesforce professionals looking to ’travel deeper’ by seeking meaningful projects.
Salesforce, being entirely cloud-based, means that professionals can be location-independent, delivering their work remotely regardless of where they are physically based. Whether this way of working is a lifestyle switch-up, career break, or vacation, Salesforce Trailblazers can take advantage of this freedom and do meaningful work.
Desirable Trailblazers traits would balance both excellent business acumen and compassion, always curious about changing the world and believe Salesforce technology can achieve that.
Be aware that this program is designed to give back and not cause damage. As Salesforce state:
The stakes are just too high to try untested skills on a nonprofit’s or a school’s org. Please, only volunteer your current Salesforce expertise.
I want the Salesforce community to think of this as investing in change, as a hands-on, tangible donation of time and energy. The organisations participating in the program will have committed to Salesforce as an engine to drive the impact of their mission.
The Small Print
Both the organisation and the consultant should take responsibility for legal protection. This includes data policies, NDAs, etc. plus the consultant having a sufficient level of business insurance.
A scoping session (or more) should happen before entering into an agreement. Nonprofits should follow this advice for vetting a Salesforce professional.
Summary – The Next Steps
I’m looking forward to kicking off the trial – to nominate your organisation, or nominate a worthy organisation on their behalf, please follow this link to the form.