Our relationship with Brodie dates back to our work at the Ministry of International Trade and was born out of the success we shared in its transformation. Soon after Brodie assumed his position at Coast Opportunity Funds, the foundation put out an RFP and Belmar stood out as the best fit for the project.
Coast Funds was founded in 2008 as a unique model for linking economic development and conservation activities together for coastal communities. After substantial fundraising in the early to mid-2000s, 120 million dollars was raised for the fund from government and private environmental foundations. In addition to the donors involved, Coast is also responsible to a variety of different interest groups: First Nations, Forestry Companies, Environmental community, and Government of Canada and Province of BC. As such, there are many different perspectives and relationships to nurture from community initiatives to land management of the Great Bear Rainforest. With that responsibility and array of stakeholders came the necessity for high level organization and efficiency to manage funds and projects to the satisfaction of all parties involved.
Before switching to Salesforce, Brodie says that significant staff time and resources were spent on maintaining their old system. The switch to Salesforce means that “now we can focus on relationships and projects and how to add more value to someone who’s looking at starting a business as a mentor, rather than administering our data base. Belmar has empowered us to maintain our client-centred approach.”
With the customizations developed on Salesforce, Coast Funds can now track a vast amount of data and demonstrate the scope of their success far beyond basic monetary data. Coast Funds can now demonstrate the value of the businesses and projects they support from a holistic lens including statistics on other investment that is leveraged into the region, post-secondary attendance, degrees and certifications obtained, and part-time and full time jobs created. They can also track traditional knowledge and language programs, businesses created, and conservation work, all which are used to measure the impact of the organization on communities.
With this volume of sensitive data, Coast Funds values the highest possible level of security to protect its corporate information. “We have the confidence in Belmar’s senior-level experience in the Public Sector, understanding of British Columbia’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act regulations, and in the level of security provided by Salesforce which is far greater than any localised system we could devise on site,” says Brodie.
When Belmar delivered the project, Coast Funds expected the transition might impact on their services. Instead, Coast Funds found the changeover to be seamless because Belmar created a fully customized Salesforce platform for their unique needs. The change was intuitive, simple and a perfect fit.
In addition to a new CRM, Coast Funds was in the process of restructuring, and with that, a change in the organization which allowed a new framework for the staffing of the organization. So, another impact of implementing Salesforce was the capability to streamline the organization’s data, which reduced the burden of CRM s maintenance on staff. The organization was able to redeploy a the salary for a database administrator position to hire more value added positions such as an analyst who now supports and measures project outcomes via an evidenced-based approach to quantifying Coast Funds’ impact. Salesforce has also streamlined documentation, and reduced duplicating work in creating and writing documents due to the customized templates created within their system. This also frees up even more time to focus on the more important issues at hand. With less administration, Coast Funds can better support projects and progress being achieved by First Nations communities, conservation programs, and businesses.
Through the transition to Salesforce, “We’re able to be highly responsive to our clients with a system that never gets in our way. We now have unparalleled turn-around time on projects that repeatedly impresses our clients and our board of directors, given the high level of rigor and hands on support we provide in a deadline driven environment,” says Brodie.
Through improved efficiency, and the ability to re-structure and focus on the relationships and projects that are the true priorities of the organization, we are proud to be a part of the fantastic work which Coast provides on behalf of communities in the Great Bear Rainforest.