Interview with Sarah Landman, Advocacy Program Coordinator at Balanced
By using a CRM for nonprofits, Balanced managed to reach 750K meals.
Balanced is a nonprofit public health organization working to advocate a healthier food system in schools, hospitals, senior care facilities and any other institution with a food service department. This is done through their Advocacy Program and Institutional Support Program.
Balanced is a relatively new organization which was founded in 2017. In the beginning, the organization was focused more on corporate campaigns — trying to work with foodservice providers like Aramark. However, after a few months, Balanced took a strategic shift when they realized that there was a whole group of people who wanted to help advocate for healthier menus in their communities. This was when the Advocacy Program was born and officially launched in the summer of 2018.
Balanced is a network of public health professionals, nutrition science experts, and everyday people from around the world fighting for a healthier food system one menu at a time. Find out more about Balanced >
Sarah Landman is the Advocacy Program Coordinator. She works with community members, including parents, hospital employees, and anybody who wants to advocate for healthier menus in their community, whether in their local school district or in their workplace.
In search of a CRM for nonprofits
When the organization started, Sarah explains that none of the teammates were coming from either a sales or corporate background. However, she adds, “At the very beginning, we knew that we needed to have some pipeline where we keep track of each individual contacting us.”Sarah says, “Once we started getting more and more people coming to us, we wanted to be able to automate things.” Although they’ve tried using a different CRM, it didn’t have many options, such as automated emails.
“At the very beginning, we knew that we needed to have some pipeline where we keep track of each individual contacting us.”
According to Sarah, one of the biggest challenges that the organization has faced was keeping track of followup emails. She says:When somebody comes to us, they fill out the signup form. We get their information. Sometimes we have to follow up with them multiple times to actually get them to schedule a meeting. And it was just getting increasingly, increasingly difficult to keep track of who emailed us and how many times.
“It was just getting increasingly, increasingly difficult to keep track of who emailed us and how many times.”
Sarah adds that communication wasn’t centralized and that even she couldn’t remember certain people and what stage they were in. She explains, “We needed something to keep track of everyone.”
“We needed something to keep track of everyone.”
Growing advocacy program by 70% with nonprofits CRM
Balanced attends various events and conferences. They organize different community veg fests and by doing so, they get to grow their network. They also promote on social media and launch ads.
Balanced organization consists of 2 programs:
Advocacy (which works alongside advocates to help them campaign for improved menus in their community) and
Institutional Outreach (which works with the leadership at those institutions to help convince them to make improvements to the menus).
Since these programs were working so closely together, they needed a CRM that could:
Keep track of both programs pipelines separately
Allow them to view these pipelines side-by-side in order to compare them
Step 1: Connect Typeform via Zapier
By connecting Typefrom to Kommo via Zapier, the Balanced team gets leads directly in their pipeline whenever someone fills out a form on their website. Check it out:
1Kommo and Typeform integration
🔗 Zapier is a platform for building connections between various web services. With over 750 web services supported, you can automate your repetitive processes. Find out more about Zapier >
Step 2: Set up Business Process
Here’s an example of the Advocacy Pipeline 👇2 parts of the Pipeline:
Getting an interest
Advocacy Program Steps
PART 1: Getting an interest
Stage #1: LeadThe first email says, “Welcome, you can schedule a meeting with us here.”Automation: Add a to-do task: Send a follow-up email. Once the email is sent, leads immediately get moved to the “Not reached” stage of the pipeline. Stage #2: Not reached Automation: As soon as Sarah receives an email from a lead, there is an automation that moves it to the “Response Received” stage. Stage #3: Response received Automation:
Add a to-do task: Send a follow-up email in 7 days
Add a to-do task: Send a follow-up email in 14 days
Add a to-do task: Send a follow-up email in 21 days
If no replies after 3rd follow up, lead is moved automatically to the Closed stage. Stage #4: Intro callAutomation: Once the lead attends the “Intro call” stage, they need to choose what kind of institution they need to work with. If they already know, then the lead is moved to the “Scoring menu” stage. Sarah explains, “Usually when I’m having the first meeting with them, I have the Lead card pulled up. I type in notes to remember things about them.”
“Usually when I’m having the first meeting with them, I have the Lead card pulled up. I type in notes to remember things about them.”
Stage #5: Scoring menuIn this stage, there is a survey to assess the menu and find out what needs to be improved.Sarah says, “As things get deeper into the process, it gets less automated.”
“As things get deeper into the process, it gets less automated.”
PART 2: Advocacy Program Steps Stage #6: Assessing menu & research steps. Stage #7: Determining ask. Stage #8: Contacting decision-makers. Stage #9: Preparing Meeting Materials. Stage #10: Promoting the cause. Stage #11: Reach out later
Step 3: Connect Mailchimp
Sarah connected MailChimp to Kommo and did a survey through it. She says, “We sent out a big survey asking for feedback. It was very helpful to import all the contacts we had in Kommo already.”
✉️ MailChimp is an integration that allows you to subscribe contacts to your newsletter or drip campaign, send helpful follow-ups, offers, and back-in-stock messages. Find out more about MailChimp
Anyone who signed up as an advocate goes through their Kommo pipeline. The point of the survey was to get feedback about all their existing material. She adds, “The first thing we used was to find out new tools that we could add to our toolkit. To gather as much feedback as we could. We did get a handful of responses. It was helpful taking all feedback into account.”
“We sent out a big survey asking for feedback...We did get a handful of responses. It was helpful taking all feedback into account.”
Sarah explains that most likely they wouldn’t have reached 750K meals without a CRM for nonprofit, such as Kommo to help them keep up these relationships with the people. Balanced currently has 17 active advocates, in 2018, however, it was less than 10.
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