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Faith in Full Force at Dreamforce ‘23

Faith in Full Force at Dreamforce ‘23

Leaders from Faith-based organizations gathered with Coastal during Dreamforce to discuss how Salesforce can promote a more digitally empowered Faith community.

Dreamforce is Salesforce’s paramount conference of the year, uniting visionaries and experts for face-to-face dialogue about using technology and innovation for advancement. 

Organizations including The Foursquare Church and Elevation Church gathered for breakfast, a service activity that benefited the Boys and Girls Club of North Florida, and a discussion about the impact of data, change management, and Salesforce on faith-based organizations.

Session Highlights and Common Questions Answered

As the only event at Dreamforce focused on technology in faith-based organizations, the session was at full capacity with active peer-to-peer conversations about shared challenges and solutions. The event kicked off with remarks from Kim Bradberry, Salesforce’s Senior VP of Nonprofit Sales for North America.

Michael Roberts, Ray Harper, Jennifer Malhotra and Mike Fullerton gather at Coastal’s Faith-based event during Dreamforce.
Kim Bradberry, SVP of Sales for Nonprofits at Salesforce, with Coastal’s Director of Faith Solutions, Jen Malhotra.
Jennifer Malhotra, Coastal’s Director of Faith Solutions, served as the session moderator.

1. What advice would you give to another organization that was in your position five years ago?
Stop building data centers. If you’re a nonprofit, your mission is not computers and racks and cooling systems. Your mission is people. So, invest in your people and encourage their continued education in technology so that when you’re ready to move toward what’s next, your people are not the problem—they’re the answer.

Secondly, put the majority of your energy into finding tools to reach volunteers and make it easier.

Ray Harper, MyElevation Manager of Elevation Church, participated in Coastal’s leader-led discussion on the impact of data, change management, and Salesforce on faith-based organizations.

I don’t think there’s a greater time when it comes to utilizing technology than now. The only thing that’s going to limit us is our imagination.

Ray Harper, MyElevation Manager, Elevation Church

2. How has Salesforce impacted your organization?
As a denominational headquarters, it’s common for us to make requests of our pastoral constituents—fill out paperwork for reporting, pay the fees that are necessary to keep the organization running, etc. Administrative tasks may not be a pastor’s strong suit, but we still need them to provide this information, and to add to the complexity, things change often in faith-based organizations and pastors may fade in and out of their roles. With Salesforce, we are able to connect all the details regarding that church, pastor, or regional pastor; if administrative leadership changes, that entire history of activity is not lost.

We have 7,000 pastors in the U.S. and a couple hundred thousand globally. These are members of our organization and we have to support them. Plus there are compliance issues. We have to work with all these things and Salesforce is helping us navigate all the pieces. And Coastal has been fantastic in helping us get there. – Mike Fullerton, CIO, Foursquare Church

Leaders expressed that Salesforce has also provided them the ability to partner with attendees—parents, their children, the teenagers those children become, and the communities they are called to serve—and manage the complexities of those groups.

3. When you think about the future of faith-based organizations, what is the impact that data and automation can have on members, volunteers, and other users?
Data will inform decisions, like how to spend a limited budget. Data allows us to make the most of our money. On the operations side, we want to get leaner and meaner so we can invest more on the missions side.

Data also supports outcome management and allows you to make informed decisions based on facts, rather than anecdotes. You have to know what you want your outcome to be and work backward for the data to ask the right questions so you can measure that. Once you have the facts and the data to back them up, you can use the anecdotes to tell the story.

Kim Bradberry, SVP of Sales for Nonprofits at Salesforce welcomes the group.
As the only event at Dreamforce focused on technology in faith-based organizations, the session was at full capacity with active peer-to-peer conversations about shared challenges and solutions.

About FaithForce

Faithforce is the Interfaith employee resource group at Salesforce focused on celebrating, supporting, and fostering understanding of global faith and spiritual diversity through inclusive and educational events and initiatives. The goal of the group is to cultivate a culture of empathy, respect, and belonging at Salesforce for people from all faiths, backgrounds, traditions, and worldviews.

Many thanks to Coastal and Faithforce for having the thought leadership to curate a wonderful venue ….. A safe place where we can talk about faith, technology, and solutions and how they can all work in concert. – Kim Bradberry, Senior VP of Nonprofit Sales for North America, Salesforce

If you missed Dreamforce this year, we’ve got you covered.

Coastal is a 5-star Salesforce Consulting partner that works with faith-based organizations across the nation. If you’d like to speak with one of our experts 1:1 to hear their perspectives, please reach out and we’ll get you scheduled. 


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