Implement a Salesforce instance with custom data management system for increased organization, engagement, and efficiency.

Executive Summary

Established in 2002, the Community Harvest Project (Community Harvest) provides farm-fresh, organic produce to people experiencing food insecurity in the Worcester County area. Their operations, which include volunteer farming programs, education initiatives, and community partnership, have grown exponentially over the past 15 years. Community Harvest engages with over 10,000 volunteers annually and partners with the likes of Worcester County Food Bank and Community Servings, helping to feed over 100,000 residents in the area reliant on food banks.

Community Harvest partnered with 501Partners to implement a custom data management system for increased organization, engagement, and efficiency.

Presenting Data Needs

In 2015, Community Harvest came to 501Partners in need of a data management system able to manage a large number of volunteers, track complex relationships, automate processes, and measure progress efficiently. Following an intensive discovery process, four critical needs were identified:

  1. Develop an accurate and comprehensive view of volunteer and donor data: The team was managing a volunteer and donor database with thousands of contacts, and lacked the ability to manipulate data or display it in a helpful way.
  2. Customize the Volunteers for Salesforce app to schedule, track, and manage the organization’s complex volunteer engagements: Community Harvest Project required a customized volunteer solution to handle their thousands of volunteer hours, and a system robust enough to accommodate 10,000+ group volunteers, individual volunteers, recurring schedules, and drop-in volunteers.
  3. Engage more deeply and consistently with its volunteer network: Community Harvest Project was not accurately tracking hours served or dollars donated, missing out on more opportunities for engagement and making it difficult to know who to thank. They needed a user-friendly system to easily generate reports from donor and volunteer databases with thousands of contacts.
  4. Simplify reporting processes and compare results: As a result of mislabeled, duplicate, and unclear data, it was time consuming for the executive team to track growth, comprehensively view volunteer and donor data, or make decisions based on that data.
Our Solution

501Partners collaborated with Community Harvest Project to determine workflow needs, data tracking needs, and volunteer management requirements.

Some of the features included in their Salesforce solution:

  • A simple mobile check-in and scheduling process for 10,000+ unique volunteers annually
  • Automated CRM tools for every process, from personalized volunteer shift reminders to donor appeals.
  • A complete, 360-degree view of its network of volunteers, partners, donors, and other stakeholders.
  • Ability to generate reports to measure and compare annual engagement, assess overall impact, and network needs
  • Reporting that offers comprehensive insights allowing for improved goal setting and planning
  • Integration with FormAssembly for housing up-to-date, easily located volunteer contact information and waivers

501Partners customized Community Harvest’s Salesforce instance so that it would collect all necessary data and automatically update volunteer contact information, give them a comprehensive view of their network, easily generate relevant reports, and make volunteer sign-up and renewal simple and pain-free.

Holt Grenon recalls her feeling the moment we showed the Community Harvest Project leadership team what Salesforce could do for them: “At the end of the meeting, I was hugging a perfect stranger.”


Community Harvest now has streamlined logistics and automating processes in place to focus on fundraising appeals, marketing campaigns, and nurturing donor and volunteer relationships. As a result, Community Harvest realized these tangible outcomes in 2016:

  • 3,190 new volunteer and donor contacts
  • 828 new enewsletter subscriptions
  • 300 new individual grantors and donors
  • Over $50,000 in new donor revenue

2017 will be an exciting year for Community Harvest Project. The organization has a deeper understanding of its goals, how to get there, and can refocus efforts on meeting its bottom line: providing fresh organic produce to those experiencing hunger.

The executive team now runs data comparison reports in minutes with Salesforce. They are primed to grow with the confidence that they can easily scale, understand their data and their network, and manage volunteers — all with greater efficiency than ever before.

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