Alongside Africa’s motto is ‘opportunities not aid’, and this ethos extends through four key projects – micro-finance, craft activities, a street children programme and a child sponsorship programme.
Problems and solutions
Managing a charity in the UK and Uganda doesn’t come without challenges, but on this trip, Lawrance set out to solve one that has been holding them back.
The teams in Uganda and UK naturally need to work together very closely. One of the issues has been sharing data and progress reports. These not only inform donors of progress on projects but helps to ensure transparency.
The solution – Salesforce Non Profit Starter Pack – was clear. But the way to achieve it wasn’t quite as simple as we’d hope – the Ugandan team work in a location where electricity is not always available, internet connections patchy and IT skills and funds limited.
But one thing is in abundance in Uganda – sunshine. And so a team of willing volunteers set about installing a solar panel in the Ugandan office location so Lawrance could provide the power and hook up routers for the internet. Only then could he start to install Salesforce, using the donation from the Salesforce Power of Us programme.
In the end, it took just two days to get the basic Salesforce system in place and copy over data from the legacy Access database. For Lawrance who holds Salesforce Admin certifications and is a consultant for Salesforce.org Impact partner Purple Vision this was the easy part!
Bringing bright hope
Plans are already in place to expand the use of the system to record daily attendance of children at Amasiko and to use it to manage Alongside Africa’s micro-finance programme too.
This work can be carried out from both the UK or on-site in Uganda making Salesforce an extremely flexible solution, and enabling the charity to keep supporters up to date with the valuable contributions they make.
The rest of us felt a bit bad that our holidays had been spent in less worthwhile pursuits!