Our Partners’ grassroots leadership continues to drive sustainability, resiliency, and self determination in communities around the world. Historically disenfranchised communities are disproportionately facing the effects of a warming climate and industrial pollutants. Solar energy presents a simple, elegant, and scalable way to bridge that widening equity gap.
Communications and Operations Coordinator Honnold Foundation
Tell us about the inspiration behind the Honnold Foundation.
The Honnold Foundation was founded by professional rock climber Alex Honnold in 2012. Famous for his free solo ascents of big walls, Alex’s quest to perform a free solo climb of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park in 2017 is shown in the oscar-winning documentary Free Solo (2018).
At the time, in 2012, Alex was living in his car (a Ford Econoline van, retrofitted with a bed and storage), climbing all over the United States and, increasingly, the world. After expeditions to Chad and Borneo, he returned home and spent hours hunched over his laptop, researching carbon offsets, environmental activism, energy access, and charitable giving. In the end, Alex decided to focus his giving on solar energy because it’s so tangible, and so universally effective. The Honnold Foundation does most of our work somewhere in between— supporting community scale projects that increase climate resilience, bolster social and economic equity, reduce environmental impact, and improve peoples’ lives.
How is the Honnold Foundation helping create a better environment and future?
The Honnold Foundation believes in solar as a proven, environmentally sound solution to global energy poverty. We award grants to community organizations whose projects are innovative, equity-focused, and have the potential to shift the narrative on what’s possible for energy access worldwide. In 2020, we funded solar energy projects for 17 precedent setting organizations working in 32 communities around the world, on every continent except Antarctica. In 2021, we’ve committed over one million dollars in funding and are poised to have our most impactful year yet!
How has Donorbox helped you in fundraising and donor management?
In just under a year, we’ve added over 100 recurring donors to our network— a 20% increase! And in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 was our most successful year of fundraising yet. Donorbox’s sleek, easy to use integrations have played a big role in driving this growth.
Donorbox’s customizations and integrations offer powerful opportunities to streamline donation processes. On the front end, Donorbox’s tools helped us integrate donation processing directly into our website instead of redirecting onto a separate page— a move that’s helped grow our site’s engagement and traffic. Our donation tab was also customized to fit our branding, ensuring that the details matched our website in a sleek, user-friendly way.
Under the hood, Donorbox’s control panels give our team quick day to day insights on donor retention and campaign performance. The control panel also makes it easy for us to get our entire team involved with donor engagement. Thanks to “Moments”, a feature highlighting recent donor events, our team can reference a pre-cultivated list of donors for personal outreach, saving time on generating a more complex report.
We’re always looking for ways to improve, and so is Donorbox. Whenever our team imagines a feature that could be useful, but simply doesn’t exist yet, Donorbox’s attentive product team adds the proposal to their pipeline.
We believe Donorbox + Salesforce is a winning combination. Any insights you wish to share?
When we were considering a new donation platform, we compared the industry’s options closely. We quickly realized that Donorbox’s Salesforce integration would be the best fit. Their Salesforce Integration Team worked tirelessly to ensure that Donorbox would interface smoothly, seamlessly, and efficiently with our existing records. In previous data import experiences, we hired a consultant to assist with transfers. This time, we had a team of expert engineers working tirelessly on our behalf to make our transition as simple as possible.
The results have been transformational. Unlike previous platforms, our recurring donation records now update automatically when donors choose to pause their donation, saving our team time and resources. Almost all of our record keeping systems are entirely automated from end to end. Meanwhile, we can make tweaks to our Salesforce integration and data mapping any time. Donorbox’s integration tools don’t require a high degree of technical expertise, allowing non-technical team members to learn and contribute to optimizing our database.
Thanks to this integration, our Salesforce reports are more streamlined and accurate than ever before, and yield actionable, strategic insights that we can trust.
What have been the high points in your growth story and what’s next?
Our Partners’ grassroots leadership continues to drive sustainability, resiliency, and self determination in communities around the world. Their work inspires our team every day! To name just a few: Casa Pueblo is developing Puerto Rico’s first cooperatively managed, community owned solar microgrid; Navikarana is using solar energy and irrigation technologies to create sustainable livelihoods in the Indian Himalaya; Ceibo Alliance is using solar energy to protect remote indigenous communities’ ancestral ways of live while protecting one of the most biodiverse rainforests on the planet; Native Renewables is providing workforce development opportunities and solar arrays for off-grid homes on the Navajo and Hopi Nations.
The Honnold Foundation is growing, and so is the call for solar energy funding around the world. Historically disenfranchised communities are disproportionately facing the effects of a warming climate and industrial pollutants. Solar energy presents a simple, elegant, and scalable way to bridge that widening equity gap. So, in the coming years, our goal is simple: we’ll keep working.
In just under a year, we’ve added over 100 recurring donors to our network— a 20% increase in donations. And in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 was our most successful year of fundraising yet. Donorbox’s simple, easy to use integrations have played an undeniable role in driving this growth. Under the hood, Donorbox’s control panels give our team quick day to day insights on donor retention and campaign performance. The control panel also makes it easy for us to get our entire team involved with donor relationships.
Donorbox has been instrumental in facilitating our online donations. With seamless integration into our website and easy to use features and functionality, we have been extremely pleased as an organization and would recommend Donorbox to any non profit organization looking to streamline campaign efforts.
Donorbox hit everything we were required in our fundraising software, plus your platform incorporated features we asked for in our early discussions. Now we are seeing everything we wanted and these modifications are more ice cream on the pie.