As the largest local partner for SalesForce on the African continent, Cloudsmiths is not only a leader in CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software systems, but is also a firm proponent of the SalesForce.org 1-1-1 Philanthropic Model, a concept that is underpinned by the principles of tech businesses ‘giving back’ to non-profit organisations for community upliftment.

“The SalesForce 1-1-1 model is about committing a percentage of our vital business resources – technology, people and time – to the betterment of society. There is a strong synergy between the 1-1-1 model and Cloudsmiths culture. We implemented the model into Cloudsmiths, and it has become an integral part of our business practice and value system,” says Jason Timm, Sales Director, Cloudsmiths.

SalesForce uses the Hawaiian word ‘Ohana’ to describe its 1-1-1 model, which refers to the spirit of family. It emphasizes that families – and any group of people can be a family – are bound together. Each member of the family must cooperate with the others, supporting and assisting one another to become better humans. “It ties in with the Nguni term ‘Ubuntu’, or humanity towards others,” says Kyle Le Bron, Sales and Expert Services, Cloudsmiths.

To this end, Cloudsmiths provides a multitude of NGOs and NPOs with CRM software that enables these non-profit organisations to capture, store and manage their data, for the betterment of their outreach programmes. “We deal with more than 40 NGOs and NPOs that are mainly involved in feeding, sheltering and educating, from South to North Africa, although the majority are based in South Africa,” says Jason.

“For example,” says Kyle, “one of the NGOs that we work with gathers data relating to communicable disease statistics. This data is then monitored and evaluated via the Salesforce platform. Based on the data, this NGO develops programmes to address various issues relating to, for example, HIV infection rates, which might include door-to-door interventions and explaining to the community the benefits of male circumcision.” Because Cloudsmiths has an understanding of the technology, they can assist with enriching the data, so that the NGO maximises the information collected.

“Our systems assist each NGO with donation management, lead generation, stock control, warehousing, more efficient distribution processes and grant management, as well as easy payment systems for donors. We provide the NGO with a basic understanding of CRM and we can tweak our software to be specific for each NGOs needs and requirements. We build systems that help NGOs assist their community in more efficient ways than the paper-based methods they were previously using,” says Kyle.

Through the systems that Cloudsmiths provides to these organisations, donors are able to see where their money is being spent, and the NGO has access to a CRM software that enables scalability – growth – for their organisation. Through the efficiency of the system, an NGO can, for instance, ensure that grain is distributed to drought-stricken areas, properly implement HIV/AIDS programmes, make sure that corporate funding reaches its proper destination in NGO projects, promote gender equality, prevent domestic and sexual vioence, and contribute to the development of democratic and just societies, to name but a few.

As part of their 1-1-1 commitments, Cloudsmiths also does pro-bono work for many of their NGO customers. “We encourage our staff to do one project or a certain number of hours per year pro-bono,” says Jason. “Our involvement with the NGOs has also grown over the years, with Cloudsmiths donating financial aid or goods in kind as part of our Social Responsibility programme.”

The company is also involved in a number of community upliftment initiatives that include sponsoring a youth development cycling team, grass roots soccer, feeding schemes, and providing packs of sanitary products for women and girls.

“With the use of SalesForce and SalesForce Mobile, Cloudsmiths has transformed many paper-based NGOs into digital giants that can validate, cross-reference and maintain their data, access it remotely, as well as update and protect it. All these factors allow the NGO to provide a better service to the community,” says Kyle. “It is a privilege to be able to contribute to the betterment of our society through the business of Cloudsmiths.”