Arts Midwest is a non-profit organization, based in Minneapolis, dedicated to engaging communities in meaningful art experiences. With over 30 years of experience, they serve over nine different states in total including Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. Their offerings include visual, performing and literary experiences.
As a non-profit, funding comes through many different channels, such as grants, making it especially critical to account for every dollar spent. It’s also essential to comply with regulations and show ROI for all training, technology investments and business enablement tools.
There’s not only a fiduciary responsibility to stakeholders, but an ethical one as well. This is why it was so important for the Arts Midwest team to make sure they were getting the most out of their Salesforce Sales Cloud instance, as well as other institutional knowledge being stored on shared systems.
I looked at other documentation systems to do my due diligence, but couldn’t find anything else that both let us do standard documentation like the wiki and integrate as easily with Salesforce (as Spekit). - NICO TARANOVSKY, IT AND FACILITIES MANAGER
If you don’t have that ability to just pop in and start editing, it puts impediments and road blocks in the way of actually getting that documentation done. Documentation is such a hard thing to convince people to do anyways, even though it’s so critical, that the less excuses we have, the better off we are. - NICO TARANOVSKY IT AND FACILITIES MANAGER
The same questions get asked on a routine basis. How do you do this? How do you do that? Even if I came up with static answers to those questions I would have to go and find them wherever we were storing those files, and email out the PDF for example. Now it is really easy, I can just grab one of the private links within Spekit and send it out with the Outlook plugin. With the Chrome plugin, I don’t even have to remember where I put it, it’s just right there. - NICO TARANOVSKY, IT AND FACILITIES MANAGER
Something that might have taken me an hour to type up and send out as a response and also try to make generic enough that I could use it again, now is something I can just send out as a Spek. - NICO TARANOVSKY, IT AND FACILITIES MANAGER
Everything we do is in Salesforce, so the most important thing was to be able to document what was happening there. I couldn’t find anything else that would let us do that and our standard documentation and help files. - NICO TARANOVSKY, IT AND FACILITIES MANAGER
The difference between nonprofits and corporations is that we have to be incredibly agile. Nonprofits are getting cash from donors or grants for example and that money is like a trust. You need to be as careful as possible with your time and processes because you are working off of that trust.
As a result it’s almost an ethical responsibility to be able to keep track of that organizational information and institutional knowledge. And although we had good ways to do that before, they were not searchable and immediately available. Now, Spekit allows us to do it faster and remotely in the communities we’re serving. - Nico Taranovsky, IT AND FACILITIES MANAGER
With about 25 users on Salesforce Lightning, they found that disseminating consistent and important information to employees regarding training and updates became an ongoing pain point that needed to be addressed. The critical challenges they came up against included:
- They were having trouble being able to document training information and resources in a way that was both easy to keep track of and user-friendly.
- They didn’t want people spending large amounts of time documenting how to navigate certain processes over and over again.
- Remote access to documentation was not possible on current systems posing problems for employees working in the communities they were serving and not sitting in the office.
Employee enablement and training
- They had a standard training walking new employees through Salesforce and how to use it but it was not searchable and would often have to be replicated or modified.
- Employees were not preemptively seeking out Salesforce information and training tools because it didn’t feel necessary until they faced hurdles in Salesforce. They would seek out answers the moment they needed the information. They needed a useful way to deliver that information in real-time to those employees.
Large amounts of time being spent creating content
- As a result of information not being searchable, rewriting content became the norm. There was also information not being documented because there wasn’t a convenient way to do it.
- The time being spent on creating content was time taken away from normal job functions and serving the community.
IT and Facilities manager, Nico Taranovsky looked into a couple of tools when addressing the challenges they were facing as an organization. They needed something that would give them the ability to stay agile and transparent while also being user friendly.
There was a particular emphasis on needing to have an easy way to document in Salesforce. As their primary source of data, it was critical that employees were using Salesforce correctly so that data captured would be complete and accurate. This meant showing employees how to use all important fields and objects in their instance.
Since adding in Spekit to address their unique needs and pain points, Arts Midwest has seen important and time saving changes in their organization. They save time during onboarding and employee enablement. They’re also ensuring consistent communication of information as a team and are able to quickly access and share helping answers to FAQ’s in real time.
Being more efficient with their time has allowed Arts Midwest to refocus where it matters most, in the communities they serve.
In making training and resources easy to use, understand and access Arts-Midwest is driving adoption of their Salescloud instance and boosting institutional knowledge. They can confidently say they’re maximizing the funding they’ve received for technology investments and fulfilling their ethical duties as a growing non-profit.