When Beth Ann Shroder joined the nonprofit study abroad program LeadAbroad as the Chief Financial Officer, she knew she had to bring in NetSuite to help with the organization’s growth and increase their program efficiency. Her positive experience using the NetSuite software from her previous job was a key factor in LeadAbroad becoming a SuiteDonation grantee.
As the organization grew in scope and capacity over the years, the need to customize and enhance NetSuite’s programs and capabilities became apparent. It was the perfect opportunity for Schroder to apply for SuiteVolunteers, NetSuite’s pro bono employee volunteer program. Each quarter, NetSuite experts provide nonprofits and social enterprise grantees with pro bono support to improve their use of NetSuite software donations.
Before taking advantage of the SuiteVolunteer program, LeadAbroad staff spent a significant amount of time manually engaging with students, individually tracking cash sales, creating email templates and checking payment statuses. As soon as Schroder and her team learned about SuiteVolunteers, she applied to become a recipient of the pro bono service. In the program’s inaugural quarter (Q1 of 2013), they signed up for the Saved Searches project where LeadAbroad staff were trained by pro bono volunteers to customize reports and create customized searches.
The Q1 project proved to be a great success for the organization’s efficiency. So much so, that they applied for an additional project for business automation in Q2 of 2013. This time around, the goal was to transform and automate certain features of NetSuite for both their internal and external users. When students apply for the LeadAbroad program, they sign up using an online form. SuiteVolunteers helped improve the way the LeadAbroad staff utilize NetSuite features by creating customized forms to store data, including reports on payments, purchases and transcripts. The new workflow helped LeadAbroad create customized and individualized email campaigns and simplify their internal processes.
Schroder and her team are grateful for the impact that the program has made on her organization, and the positive experience they received working with their SuiteVolunteers.
“The auto-workflow project was a game changer for us,” she said. “We were able to utilize the same skills for different programs. With how NetSuite is designed, there is always something more you can do and the experts can help.”
She noted that the planning process was key to the success of their project, during which, LeadAbroad met with their volunteers via video chat, discussed their needs in depth and tackled the problems together. She mentioned that “the scope of the project was clear and expectations were set. The volunteers were very responsive and on the ball the entire time. The communication was so clear and we felt very comfortable. After the first project, we knew exactly how SuiteVolunteers worked.”
Schroder and her team highly recommends fellow grantees try the SuiteVolunteer program. They were so happy with their experience that the organization now includes SuiteVolunteers in their planning process to improve their system every quarter.
SuiteVolunteers is a benefit available to all NetSuite.org grantee customers. For more information about the program, or to apply for a SuiteDonation visit www.netsuite.org.