A Dynamic Nonprofit Adapting in Times of COVID -
Rise Above Colorado

A Dynamic Nonprofit Adapting in Times of COVID

I have the privilege of working with a nonprofit organization whose mission is to empower adolescents and to help them make healthier life choices. Rise Above Colorado (RAC) provides content to educate middle and high school kids about the hope and opportunities of adolescence, as well as the dangers and concerns associated with drug use.

With such an important mission, Rise Above Colorado's message needs to be heard by our youth. Rise Above Colorado has implemented a unique and effective way to reach out to our teens and keep them engaged.

What’s their secret? 

Each year, a teen council is selected, composed of over 20 kids with diverse backgrounds. The teen council helps Rise Above Colorado during the ideation process; essentially, they guide them during content creation. This collaboration is invaluable. It's the secret sauce in ensuring that their message is heard.

Rise Above Colorado then distributes their new content through social media and partnerships that they have developed with schools, teachers, leaders at various youth groups. It's much more effective than trying to hand out flyers to boys and girls walking down the sidewalk.

The next steps…

So their content is being distributed to their target audience, but what then? Rise Above Colorado came to Small Business CRM Coach in 2016 to get a better pulse on how their content was being used. They had already signed up for the Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack. Together we designed and integrated a system that those who work with youth could log in to access resources and report the number of students present during their event. We also configured the system to coordinate the efforts of their team. Within six months of working together, we had dashboards configured to display all of the information that they needed.


The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed us to reevaluate how the materials are accessed and by whom. With social distancing in place, many kids are attending their classes in the comfort of their own home. Kavitha Kailasam, the Director of Community Partnerships, reached out for ideas on how to change the system to allow students to access their resources. We assembled a small team for COVID crisis adaptation, including Kavi, Lidiane Mocko, and Hillary Safarik,  the web developer for Rise Above Colorado. We were ready to make it happen! 

We mapped out the changes we needed to implement to give students direct access to their content. This included:

  • Updating the websites with new identification options, which allows students to log in to the sites.
  • Making changes to our Salesforce configuration and updating the code used to convert the student log into data that we can use for reports in Salesforce. Reports are crucial for nonprofits. Rise Above Colorado uses their Salesforce data in their reports back to their grantors.
  • Rigorous testing to ensure that everything worked as intended before releasing it to the audience.

Within five weeks, we had this new set of features up and running. Even though there were only a few more weeks of classes for the school year, we have already seen hundreds of students accessing the content. And know this will be ready and available as needed when students and teachers resume classes this fall.

What about you?

That's enough about us, how is your organization coping with COVID-19? Are you taking advantage of all of the capabilities of your CRM?

If you're in need of expert guidance and want to experience results similar to what Rise Above Colorado has seen, start by scheduling a consultation with Small Business CRM Coach!

Start working with a Salesforce Expert Today!