Social Impact, Accelerated: How NetSuite Brings the Village to Nonprofits

Morgan Carey, Nonprofit Industry Marketing Lead

October 30, 2018

Nonprofit organizations come in all shapes and sizes, from international research societies to local community outreach programs. Just like for-profit businesses, each nonprofit has a unique mission and operating structure to support its growth.

Take Los Angeles-based nonprofit Michelson Found Animals Foundation(opens in new tab), an organization founded in 2005 to donate tracking technology to animal shelters as a response to the pets lost in Hurricane Katrina. Later, it dawned on the founder, philanthropist Dr. Gary Michelson, that instead of simply writing checks he should fund innovative programs and technology. The foundation set out to operate in hybrid mode, as part philanthropy, part social enterprise.

Now, 10 years later, Found Animals has distributed $3.6 million in grants, facilitated the adoption of 20,000 pets and registered millions of animals in its database based on microchips that rival the top for-profit suppliers. 

Contrast this competitive nonprofit and its balance of business-minded mission work with Brightpoint Health. This healthcare organization serves people in New York City’s five boroughs. Its innovation: it identifies the most underserved clients and brings the care to them. What started as a facility for those struggling with AIDS has transformed into a provider of medical and dental care, behavioral health and substance abuse treatment for more than 40,000 New Yorkers yearly.

Found Animals and Brightpoint Health both have a vision to make the world a better place, but have taken much different paths to achieve their goals, just like thousands of other nonprofit organizations. The operational complexity behind getting these missions off the ground is significant. It’s no secret that resources are typically strapped for nonprofits, that business processes aren’t always well defined, especially in the beginning, that these endeavors are sometimes staffed by volunteers and are labors of love and passion first and become full-fledged businesses along the way.

And like any business, it takes an ecosystem of customers and partners and a host of enabling infrastructure to succeed. In the case of NetSuite’s Social Impact program, that has meant having the opportunity to take the power behind what NetSuite built for the commercial sector and applying it in ways that could enable organizations like Found Animals and Brightpoint Health . . . and Kiva and Alex’s Lemonade Stand(opens in new tab) and hundreds more. 

By working with these organizations, NetSuite has identified opportunities to continue bringing more to this nonprofit ecosystem, accelerating the missions of these endeavors by accelerating the mission and reach of its own Social Impact initiative with several new changes, called “Social Impact, Accelerated.”(opens in new tab) 

The goal of Social Impact, Accelerated: to bolster nonprofit customer success and reach an even broader audience of deserving causes.

SuiteDonation – Accelerated Value

Stealing a page from Michelson Found Animals’ playbook, NetSuite surmised that it’s not simply enough to donate technology, which is one of the first points of entry into the Social Impact program and has helped fuel more than 1,300 nonprofits. Although the donation is a critical foundation, resource constraints often prevent companies like Found Animals from getting started using NetSuite as quickly as they would like.

Now, in addition to the software donation, every Social Impact customer will receive an activation of the solution at no cost. Leading practices from NetSuite’s extensive history of nonprofit implementations are baked right into the activation, so nonprofits can see immediate success just by getting up and running.

Suite Pro Bono – Accelerated Options

The NetSuite pro bono programs were originally built solely to help Social Impact customers use the software more effectively, pairing NetSuite employees with the organizations for quarterly virtual programs and in-person events. These projects foster networking, collaboration and various forms of innovation.

For example, Brightpoint Health participated in NetSuite’s 2017 Hackathon 4Good, which took place at SuiteWorld. The company took advantage of a full room of NetSuite experts to help streamline its back-office operations, including processing patient transactions and managing the organization’s funding.

This kind of success feeds on itself. It gets the thousands of NetSuite employees itching to be more involved. But because the majority of them are not NetSuite system experts, their skills can come in different ways, including help kick-starting a new fundraising campaign, executive coaching or marketing insights and assistance. That’s the basis for NetSuite’s new skills-based pro bono offering.

In other words, Suite Pro Bono now means bringing more NetSuite employees face-to-face (or Webex-to-Webex) with more nonprofit causes for more reasons than ever before.

Suite Capacity – Accelerated Connections

NetSuite’s role in the success of nonprofits is to be an enabler. That doesn’t just stop at technology enablement. To ensure nonprofits can build capacity for lifelong success, the Social Impact program has provided dedicated account management for customers, along with online learning opportunities focused on building confidence and skills. 

But education goes far beyond facilitated courses. For example, Brightpoint Health created a medical center on wheels to cater to communities with no access to health care. For specific insights about Brightpoint Health’s journey, like how it got from idea to execution, or what technology was critical to its success, direct interaction is the most powerful tool. 

In other words, nonprofits benefit most by connecting with and learning from other like-minded organizations. NetSuite is building a new Online Community and Knowledge Center to allow social enterprises to openly meet and share best practices and expand their ecosystem.

That sharing and learning creates sparks and leads to even more growth. In the case of nonprofits, it’s the kind of growth that changes lives and makes the world a better place.

Learn more about Social Impact(opens in new tab), and how NetSuite is investing in nonprofits:

NetSuite has packaged the experience gained from tens of thousands of worldwide deployments over two decades into a set of leading practices that pave a clear path to success and are proven to deliver rapid business value. With NetSuite, you go live in a predictable timeframe — smart, stepped implementations begin with sales and span the entire customer lifecycle, so there's continuity from sales to services to support.