Raising a Reader MA

Raising a Reader Massachusetts

Raising a Reader Massachusetts worked with Tech Impact to audit and improve their Salesforce platform to better support their program and development teams.

Impact Audience
Nonprofit Professionals


Raising a Reader Massachusetts is an early literacy family engagement organization founded in 2006 that works to close the literacy opportunity gap.  

Every year, they work with hundreds of partner organizations to support families to build, practice and grow reading routines with their children. Back in 2012, staff at RAR-MA started using Salesforce to manage their data after an intern had the skills to develop a salesforce instance inclusive of a customized database for their program services and a standard app for their development department. Over the years, the program model and fundraising practices changed and evolved so much that their complex and customized Salesforce instance didn’t keep pace. “Historically, there were pockets of people on our teams that could put band-aids on the issues, but there was no deep Salesforce expertise, and it became apparent that it was no longer adequate” said Katee Duffy, Director of Programs, who joined the organization in 2020.  Women reading a book to a child

Katee, in discussion with Kate Winder who previously worked at RAR-MA as a Senior Evaluation and Operations Manager, and current Executive Administrator and Data Analytics Manager Lindsay Woods, agreed that their Salesforce was not meeting current needs. The organization decided it was time to invest resources and money into finding a solution. After reaching out to a couple of companies for help, they landed on Tech Impact. RAR-MA shared their pain points, biggest challenges, and wish list with their current Salesforce instance, and Tech Impact’s Consulting team provided possible solutions after realizing its deep complexities. “I was not surprised at how dysfunctional the database had become, but I was surprised to find out we weren’t even using the recommended account model to match the current version of Nonprofit Success Pack " remarked Katee, with a nod from Lindsay, “I knew it wasn’t working, I just didn’t know why it wasn’t working so was limited in my ability to fix it.”


Tech Impact spent the better part of a year detangling RAR-MA’s current setup to get them on the right track for both their program data needs as well as their development tracking needs. Once the correct account model was being used to match their Nonprofit Success Pack version, the two organizations worked collaboratively to build out new structures that work for RAR-MA’s needs today, and will grow with them into the future.

And in the end? A Salesforce instance that is now able to collect accurate data, to document that data in a way that aligns with how their model works, and to generate reports that support better efficiencies and data driven decision-making.  “It was a complex project, but it was worth it. We are now able to actually understand what we are doing, how we are doing, and use that information to help us do more in service of our mission.” Katee is particularly excited for the information she can now glean from the database, “For example, I can now understand how many hours a team member is spending doing a task and then analyze whether it means we need more people or we need better training. The decisions I make are rooted in data and not just in intuition.  This information just wasn’t available previously.”


Women reading a book to children outside

The RAR-MA team decided to continue their work with Tech Impact and moved to monthly support services with their dedicated consultant, Erica. In this arrangement, Tech Impact is able to continue supporting the RAR-MA team with support issues, building out new features and functionalities, and helping to manage Salesforce’s updates, changes, and ever-evolving features. “Their willingness to teach us how to develop the skills we needed to make changes ourselves was very empowering. Erica and Peter, from Tech Impact, would encourage us to watch over a screenshare so that we could take notes on when and where they were making adjustments so that we can manage it later.” said Lindsay.

Now that the bulk of their Salesforce project is complete, the team is excited for the future. “We found ourselves changing our programs and how they operate in order to fit into Salesforce, and that hindered our ability to support our community in the way it needs. Now, salesforce operates in a manner that is in service to us, and the possibilities are great in how we can utilize it to grow our data analysis.”