CRM Science Salesforce Analyst Voyage into Non-Profits
The path to becoming a Salesforce Analyst is rarely a straightforward one. Like many people in the ecosystem, Sarisha had no concept of what Salesforce was when she began her college career at the University of Pennsylvania in Physics. By her junior year, she knew she no longer wanted to be a career scientist but rather involved in increasing educational opportunities for underprivileged communities. And thus began her foray into Salesforce.
Intro to Salesforce
“After college, I decided to take a year off to understand what I wanted to dedicate my life to.” Sarisha knew that one of the most important things to her was education. Growing up in India, she had seen the stark disparity in access to education and the impact it had on lower-income communities. “It became important to me to contribute towards bridging that gap”. Not knowing where to start, Sarisha began volunteering at various non-profit organizations in Philadelphia. In doing this work, she realized she could take this knowledge and expertise back to India. And so she began working at a national education non-profit in NYC in 2011. “That’s where I got introduced to Salesforce.”
Sarisha’s interest in data wasn’t coincidental - coming from an analytical background, it was her natural inclination to wonder how data around outcomes and impact were being tracked. “Every time we were with funders, they wanted to know our impact in terms of tangible numbers. It became clear that we needed to be focusing more on this.” By chance, her interest in data caught the attention of her Executive Director and he suggested she become the “Unofficial Salesforce guru” for their NYC & Newark teams. “We already had a national Salesforce team - I just jumped in to start running reports, creating dashboards, and building data-driven stories around our mission, vision, and impact in the local context.”
From Admin to Analyst
“From there, my journey naturally evolved.” From being involved in capturing and analyzing programmatic data, Sarisha quickly became an expert on the Fundraising side of things as well. “I started understanding the Salesforce NPSP architecture more and more. Creating fields, page layouts, record types and now keeping track of what our fundraising goals were as well.” The breadth of what Salesforce could offer also started to become more apparent. “It wasn’t just crunching numbers, but also replacing and creating processes within Salesforce. I was now sending newsletters to our donors, creating marketing campaigns for our fundraising events, and tracking relationships as well.”
Within a couple of years, Sarisha knew enough about Salesforce to move into a more administrative role. This opportunity came along at one of the first box subscription companies when they were in their startup phase. “It didn’t pay much but I would be overseeing their entire Salesforce operations, and I was ready to step into that responsibility.” Over the next several years, Sarisha broke away to be a contract Salesforce Admin/Consultant for many small nonprofits and for-profits. “I continued to learn more and more, and I always felt supported by the Salesforce community.” After so many years, Sarisha finally decided to get her Administration certification in 2019. “It was a long time coming, but it definitely changed my life in a significant way”.
At the height of the pandemic, Sarisha landed her first consulting job at a small firm specializing in nonprofit implementations. “I think consulting took me by surprise. I wasn’t sure if I could handle multiple projects and clients at a time, but I learned that I thrive in this type of environment!” After working there for less than a year, Sarisha decided to join the CRM Science team. “It never occurred to me that consulting companies might have nonprofit and for-profit clients. In the very beginning, it seemed like people wanted to box me into the Salesforce.org side of things. Things have come a long way since then. Joining CRM Science was the perfect opportunity for me to provide my expertise in nonprofit work, but also learn and diversify my skill set within all the different products Salesforce offers”.
Since then, Sarisha has been involved in and taken lead on FSC, Service Cloud, Pardot, Health Cloud, and Nonprofit implementations at CRM Science. She’s also cemented her expertise in nonprofit by earning the Nonprofit Cloud Consultant Certification. “The learning never stops. But it’s always a fun ride.”
What the future holds
While Sarisha wants to remain on the delivery side, she doesn’t want to narrow her focus. “I think you could either become very specialized in something or continue to build breadth. I love working with clients but I don’t necessarily want to learn coding. I really enjoy working with a team as well.” For now, Salesforce Consultant seems to suit Sarisha’s current goals. “I like the idea of knowing that I can sit with a potential client, and be able to offer a list of possibilities based on their lay requirements. I think that’s a skill in and of itself and within Salesforce, it’s a valuable one.”