Nature Discovery Center is a nonprofit organization with a mission to ignite lifelong curiosity, understanding, and respect for nature through education. Founded in 1979 and located in Bellaire, TX, the NDC has under 10 full-time and part-time employees who work directly with children, parents, families and educators, offering engaging hands-on programs. Year-round programming includes classes and camps, traveling outreach presentations and field-trips to an audience of 40,000+ each year.
Nature Discovery Center was using 3 systems to manage their key processes, namely fundraising, payment processing and membership management which operated independent of each other.
Nature Discovery Center had also deployed a membership management tool using a platform called Memberclicks. The purpose of the tool was to enable its patrons to create member profiles to:
- Store their information and that of their family members;
- Manage their membership; and
- Register their family members for NDC’s program offerings (weekly classes, workshops, field trips and day camps), which many do each month or quarter.
The systems used by NDC didn’t communicate with one another, which led to data redundancy, inconsistencies and an incomplete view of their supporters. Additionally, recording donation and program revenue into their accounting system was a very manual process.
Several months after deploying their new membership management system, NDC discovered that member profiles creation and management did not work as intended, which left certain goals of deploying the system unmet. A confusing registration system interface required members to enter information for each family member every time they registered, hampering their experience. It also required that members process separate transactions for each individual class registration.
NDC staff would frequently receive phone calls and emails from guests and members trying to register for classes and stumbling through the multi-step process that required significant data entry.
The lack of mobile responsive design caused even further frustration for users.
We began by immersing ourselves in the organization, their history and their program offerings to understand how they leveraged their resources to advance their mission. We learned about the NDC’s constituents and the numerous ways in which they interacted with the organization. We then delivered a solution that better represented the dynamic program structure of the organization.
A Unified, Dynamic Platform
Built on the Salesforce.com Sales Cloud and Community Cloud, we implemented a unified solution for NDC to manage donations, volunteer management and program management coupled with an integrated payment processor from Click and Pledge. The unification of these key processes enabled NDC to streamline operations, remove data inconsistencies and develop a complete picture of their customer. NDC could eliminate a manual data reconciliation process that required them to enter each revenue item into their accounting system by replacing it with a simple export-import process. Most importantly, NDC significantly improved the user experience for their members and guests.
In the NDC’s old CMS, supporter information was not classified or connected to a CRM. Thus, both written and email communication could not easily be personalized and segmented. Instead several mass emails were sent to the entire email list or sent to groups that were recorded on in-house spreadsheets. In the new Salesforce solution, we integrated MailChimp and the NDC staff can now easily create groups in Salesforce via the group feature, campaigns or they can identify a drilled-down segment through reports.
Program Management/Class Registration
We then drafted, tested and prototyped the process for registering for NDC’s program offerings. This enabled us to re-imagine the registration process for both new and frequenting members and guests. Through an iterative process in collaboration with the NDC team, we developed an adaptive, intuitive and mobile-responsive solution built on the Salesforce.com Customer Community Cloud with the following features:
- The total number of screens encountered during the registration process was reduced by 50%.
- Users could now sort and customize the view of current program offerings by Adult, Kid or Family Programming.
- Through an intuitive interface and with contextual help, we reduced necessary on-screen instructions by over 70%, making for a quick, clean and simple registration process.
- Using an adaptive workflow, we designed intelligence into the registration process such as:
- Displaying information to registrants that was specific to their situation
- Requesting only information that was absolutely necessary
- Applying discounts without the need for coupon codes
- Offering membership options to non-members during the registration process, displayed alongside the savings/benefits that they would receive for the ongoing registration, thereby creating shared value for NDC and its constituents
- Using an integrated payment processor from Click and Pledge, we increased the rate of successful online payment completion, thus directly impacting the organization’s revenue collection and reducing the operational overhead of manually collecting payment.
- By capturing and storing data entered along the way, the staff gained the ability to follow-up with those whose registrations failed (incorrect payment method, mid-way abandonment etc.) to complete registrations without starting all over.
- We gave users an easy, intuitive and secure way to register for accounts and create/manage profiles for their family members, thereby capturing data that would reduce/eliminate data entry in future class registrations.
- We gave authenticated customers secure and on-demand access to their registration and transaction history
- We created a publicly accessible FAQ section where visitors can find quick answers and self-help content that NDC staff could readily manage.