We recently spoke with Fatemeh Bagheri, Membership & Programs Manager of the Container Recycling Institute, and asked her some questions about and how they have grown their organization by using Salsa.
1. What is your organization's mission?
Container Recycling Institute’s (CRI) mission is to make North America a global model for the collection and quality recycling of packaging materials. CRI is the model organization instrumental in bringing about a rapid increase in recycling for a world where no material is wasted, and the environment is protected. We succeed because companies and people collaborate to create a strong, sustainable domestic economy.
2. How long have you been a Salsa client?
Container Recycling Institute has been a Salsa client for three years!
3. In your first year using the Salsa platform, which area of your organization saw the greatest improvement?
When we first started using Salsa in 2011, we sent out a Weekly Headlines email every Friday to our list of about 200 people. Now, our Weekly Headlines email goes out to over 4,000 contacts - that’s a 1900% increase! Before Salsa, our overall contact list had between 6,000 and 7,000 supporters, and we now have over 9,600 supporters in our database (between a 37-60% increase).
Our fundraising has increased about 25% in the last 2 years - largely due to being able to implement programs, like our topical webinars andour tiered membership program.
"Before Salsa, our overall contact list had between 6,000 and 7,000 supporters, and we now have over 9,600 supporters in our database."
4. What were your challenges before you started using Salsa?
One of the biggest challenges for CRI prior to using Salsa was managing contacts, members, and followers since the old database was not integrated with email blasts and fundraising. Salsa made those aspects, as well as communicating with the broad group, much easier.
5. How did Salsa help you overcome those challenges?
Salsa helped overcome our challenges with such a great streamlined platform – not only are useful features already up and running, Salsa is always coming up with new, user- friendly and helpful tools.
6. What is your favorite Salsa tip?
My favorite Salsa tip is two-fold: the first tip I love is to make sure list cleanup is a priority; it really makes a huge difference! The second tip that has been helpful is to know your list. Knowing your list not only makes engaging so much easier, but makes list cleanup a breeze too!
"...not only are useful features already up and running, Salsa is always coming up with new, user-friendly and helpful tools."
7. If your nonprofit was a book/movie, what would its title be?
I like the sound of ‘Recycling in the Future’. We like to think of long-term solutions when it comes to material recovery and recycling – we know that the future of the environment depends on long-term thinking.
Thinking about recycling in the future is always fun to think about too – will it change drastically and what technology will be introduced that we haven’t thought of yet?
8. Which Salsa feature/tool do you plan to use more of in the coming year?
One tool I would like to use more in the coming year is the relatively new social lookup feature. Though we have used this tool here since its introduction, we are still getting accustomed to the tool and are trying to determine how to best use it in our day-to-day activities.
9. What webinar/blog/Salsa Commons post have you found most useful?
I found the Common Merge Fields Salsa Commons post the most useful. We have been revamping a lot of our auto-responses to members, including messages that would go out to recurring donors, the donation page merge fields were particularly useful when crafting auto responses directed at donors/members.
10. What advice would you give new Salsa users?
The one thing I found the most useful as a Salsa user was going to the in-person Salsa training/conference. Not only were the speakers incredibly useful, but the Salsa support staff were also so incredibly helpful, kind, and professional. Picking their brains really helped me hit the ground running.