PROJECT OVERVIEW

Norwegian Refugee Council collaboration. Norwegian Refugee Council success story. Vera Solutions Client. Vera Solutions Success. Vera Solutions data management. Example of data management. Example of Impact Analysis. Example of Performance Management. Monitoring and Evaluation Examples. Vera Solutions Client Success. Vera Solutions Collaboration. Vera Solutions Impact Management Client.
Region: Global
Organization Type: NGO
Vertical: Humanitarian Aid
Solutions: Program/Project Management, CRM, Fundraising
Products: Amp Impact (Amp Core), Cloud Compliance (GDPR), Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP), Sales Cloud, Salesforce Platform, Salesforce.org Nonprofit Cloud

THE ORGANIZATION

The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) is a humanitarian organization with over 70 years of experience in helping to create a safer and more dignified life for refugees and internally displaced people. NRC advocates for the rights of displaced populations and offers assistance within the shelter, education, emergency, food security, legal assistance, and water, sanitation, and hygiene sectors.

THE CHALLENGE

As a NetHope member since 2015, NRC has long been committed to using Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in all aspects of its work, both in the field and at its headquarters in Oslo. But like many nonprofits, NRC’s global team was spread across various tools, siloed processes, and disconnected systems, making it difficult to get a holistic picture of project progress and donor support. NRC set out on a journey of digital transformation, envisioning a fully integrated solution that would enable the team to work cross-functionally, communicate effectively, and implement learnings in near real-time.

THE SOLUTION

Amp Impact for Project Management: 'A Single Source of Truth'

In 2017, NRC and Vera Solutions began collaborating on a project management information system (PMIS), now called “Cycles,” to support NRC’s Project Cycle Management (PCM) framework. The project started with an intensive discovery and design workshop to understand NRC's requirements, based on user stories from multiple PCM-related stakeholders, and finalize the overall project plan based on NRC's priorities, capacity, and Salesforce implementation strategy. Phase two of the project included the development of the Minimum Viable Product (MVP), of which the NRC’s core Digital “D” team was heavily involved. The MVP was piloted with a sample of users in Oslo and Amman, including NRC staff from three other countries. This enabled Vera Solutions to swiftly test and iterate, even with complex requirements and multiple teams involved. One of the outcomes of the pilots was to limit the scope of the MVP to the grants management parts of PCM and accelerate the go live and roll out phase.

project management information system (PMIS)
Budget versus Actuals Dashboard. Data pushed from NRC's financial system. Users can analyze monthly and YTD data by project, country, region, core competencies, account, etc.
Following the in-person workshops, Vera Solutions continued to work with the D team to develop Cycles from an MVP to a cross-cutting grant management solution. Using Amp Core, the main project management objects of Amp Impact, Cycles now helps NRC gather, integrate, and disseminate the outputs of project management processes and pulls data from NRC’s financial system giving users a comprehensive picture of project progress. With the ultimate goal of reaching 2,500 users, Cycles will be a one-stop-shop for donor and project information for NRC staff at all levels – headquarters, country, and local offices.  

“With Cycles, we have a single source of truth. Before we had to source information from many Excel spreadsheets that belonged to different staff, generating a massive net of consultations and wasted time. Now we can find information on the spot…and immediately create reports. We can compare what is happening in other field offices and learn across the organization better and in a transparent way.”

– Institutional Partner Advisor at NRC
NRC project management information system (PMIS)
NRC project management information system (PMIS)
NRC project management information system (PMIS)
Project Implementation Record Detail page. Includes general information about the project, financial information (pulled from financial system), locations where project is implemented, core competencies, and financial charts. Clicking through the related tabs, users can enter data and see details on project roles, sub-projects (at the local level), specific deadlines, milestones, and attach files, etc.

CRM and Fundraising with Salesforce NPSP

Since launching Cycles, NRC and Vera Solutions have initiated a second, ongoing scope of work to implement a Salesforce CRM for NRC and transition NRC’s fundraising operations from a legacy on premise solution to the Salesforce cloud. The project began with in-person discovery and design workshops to define and review personas, epics, user stories, process flows, data model, and system architecture. Following the discovery and design phase, Vera Solutions started building out NRC’s CRM and fundraising using the Nonprofit Success Pack, a flexible, open data architecture that sits on top of Salesforce and is preconfigured for the types of use cases that nonprofits need, such as fundraising and donation management. The new solution also required to be configured with PSP, SMS, mail chimp and Azure integrations. Given the importance of data privacy and security in the EU with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the CRM is integrated with Cloud Compliance, a GDPR compliance app, ensuring that GDPR compliance is central to NRC’s fundraising policies and procedures. Finally, the CRM includes a Partner Community component to provide external stakeholders with (restricted) access to the data they need as well as provide a communication and knowledge-sharing platform. The CRM and fundraising system is expected to go-live later this year. Looking forward, NRC will gradually scale the CRM to Sweden, Austria, and Germany at first, and subsequently to other countries. This scaling by country will allow NRC’s team to evaluate whether they need to adjust Salesforce integrations and automations to accommodate the growing needs of the global team.

Vera Solutions Senior Consultants (left) and members of NRC’s D team (right) during an in-person discovery and design workshop for the ‘Cycles’ program management system.

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