Alpha Kappa Psi Creates 360-Degree Constituent Visibility with Salesforce Communities

Business fraternity makes membership more valuable through personalized digital experiences and streamlined connectivity with Salesforce

Salesforce Products Used by Alpha Kappa Psi


Alpha Kappa Psi is a professional co-ed business fraternity founded in 1904 with the purpose of developing principled business leaders. Originally started by four students at New York University, AKPsi now is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana. The organization supports more than 298,000 members across 263 chapters in four countries making it the largest and oldest business fraternity in the world. The chapter is rooted in the core values of brotherhood, knowledge, integrity, service, and unity.

Staying relevant after 115 years is a big challenge. Doing so among rapidly changing technology while adding 7,000 new members annually is colossal. AKPsi’s audience needs and demands had changed over time; the organization’s processes and workflow had not. The fraternity wanted new ways for sustaining its ongoing growth while also better delivering on its mission. Any new solution needed to honor the group’s twentieth century tradition while delivering on members’ twenty-first century needs. Galvin Technologies pledged a technological transformation worthy of the organization’s evolution more than 100 years in the making.

The Challenges

When it came to their system and processes, AKPsi suffered from great intentions made impossible by a lack of integrations. The Galvin Technologies team identified three major areas of improvement:

  • Disparate Systems – Over the years, the fraternity added technology systems with unique capabilities to serve members. However, the platforms remained disconnected across departments which created fragmented data throughout the organization. Staff found it unmanageable to quickly access membership data, let alone use it proactively.
  • Manual Processes – Because the systems did not interact, the team relied on spreadsheets for data tracking and reporting. Chapter Member Reporting required consistent monitoring, hours of manual data entry and updates, reducing the time available to the AKPsi staffs to focus on the goal of enriching member engagement. The team also manually tracked more than 500 volunteers, 1,200 donors, and 3,400 event attendees. Time-consuming data entry resulted in inaccurate information and backlogs. Plus, the process was costly with valuable staff hours allocated to this unproductive task rather than mission-driven activities like member engagement and education.
  • Information Access – A lack of data transparency further complicated things. Only staff at AKPsi’s headquarters could access system information. This meant hundreds of board members and chapter leaders, as well as thousands of members and alumni, could not view their own information or that of anyone else in the organization. Data requests required arduous spreadsheet reporting from the central office. The simple act of updating personal information required members contact headquarters.

For any nonprofit, people are the most valuable resource, so managing relationships is a top priority. Yet research shows 74% of nonprofits struggle capturing and maintaining accurate data on their constituents. AKPsi recognized its process was hard to maintain and unscalable. Its future depended on one connected system driving internal efficiencies and external engagement.

The Solution

AKPsi is committed to progress. The fraternity shared their 10-year plan for becoming a long-term learning and education organization with Galvin Technologies. The project team translated that vision into a technology implementation roadmap and got to work.

Galvin started by addressing constituent needs with customized Salesforce Communities. The branded portal supports content sharing, personalized digital experiences, business processes, and information access for defined groups of people. Galvin developed unique communities for students, alumni, volunteers, and their board of directors providing each with an experience tailored for their connection to the organization.

Communities solved one challenge, but the lack of data efficiency presented another. Legacy systems included Blackbaud Raiser’s Edge and Microsoft Great Plains. Galvin determined what new platforms were needed for AKPsi’s long-term vision: event management, learning management, ecommerce and shipping, fundraising, accounting, and marketing automation. The project team then identified best-in-class technology providers, most of them native to Salesforce, and connected them inside the CRM. AKPsi received multi-faceted functionality without requiring multiple points of access. Staff and constituents could retrieve data through Salesforce as the single point of truth while benefiting from these dynamic new features:

  • Venue & Encore (Kinetic Growth) specializes in automating, scaling and optimizing AKPsi’s revenue-related business processes inside Salesforce Communities related to eCommerce.
  • Fonteva Events offers online event management and ticketing with easy browsing and promotions geared toward the fraternity’s targeted audiences.
  • The Classy fundraising suite syncs AKPsi donors, contributions, campaigns, teams, and fundraising pages in real time. The platform works internationally and offers flexibility for different types of fundraising including peer-to-peer, crowdfunding, events, and one-time or recurring donations.
  • Zenkraft Multi-Carrier ships orders with more than 60 carriers inside Salesforce with a single click. The system sends mail and packages, compares rates, generates labels, tracks shipments, and manages returns for AKPsi’s marketplace.
  • The learning solution platform LearnTrac includes features for digital learning, surveys, resources, instructional plans, gamification, and certificates designed for improved membership education.
  • Accounting Seed manages the general ledger, invoicing, cash receipts, accounts payable, and financial projects within one platform using multi-currencies aligned with AKPsi’s global reach.
  • Nintex (Drawloop) Document Generation instantly transforms data stored in Salesforce into mission-critical documents, with workflows to automatically route documents, expedite reviews and approvals, and e Signature options.

With the new technology in place, Galvin tackled processes for improved efficiency. Collaboration through Salesforce Chatter created an easy way for staff to work together and reply to constituent needs. Online dashboards and reports eliminated spreadsheet updates and kept current data at management’s fingertips. Galvin implemented an automated document solution that allowed for donor acknowledgements to be easily generated and sent directly from the system or printed and sent via mail. Perhaps most importantly, the new technology configuration created many member self-service features allowing AKPsi’s staff to scale fraternity benefits without increasing headcount.

The Results

According to Brian Parker, Alpha Kappa Psi’s Chief Operating Officer, Galvin’s technology transformation improved every facet of the organization. The project team’s operational insight, innovative road-map, and mindful implementation made AKPsi’s ambitious goals attainable. The fraternity now held the power to demonstrate its programs and services delivered measurable success.

Centralized Data
– The new configuration placed all constituent data in one place. With a 360-degree view of their members, volunteers, and donors, AKPsi could better understand the people it served. This opened new opportunities for member programming and education, fundraising campaigns, and volunteer recruitment not possible under the previous setup. Leadership and front-line staff gained access to real-time constitute reports and dashboards keeping strategic plan progress top of mind. External board members and the volunteer committee also benefited from tailored reports without taking time away from core activities needing staff attention.

Efficiency and Effectiveness – Consolidating multi-functional systems inside Salesforce allowed for new automated processes and workflows. Galvin eliminated manually entered spreadsheets and emails, which saved enough hours for one annual full-time employee. The streamlining afforded the fraternity’s staff more time for education and outreach. Now possible were one-on-one interactions with students to help them grow into future business leaders.

Relationship Management – By learning more about its constituents, AKPsi could enhance member benefits. The team better leveraged its eCommerce platform with branded merchandise to generate additional revenue. The organization invested in enhancing its online learning library and created new events specific to member needs. In just the first 18 months since launch, the system supported more than 8,100 learning plans and 6,300 registrations across seven events.

Member Engagement – Through Salesforce Communities, each constituent type received a personalized, on-brand experience. Social intelligence used each individual member’s activity and highlighted relevant information, content, products, articles, and services. The Lightning dashboard showed how users interacted with the community and the most popular groups or topics. Peer-to-peer features connected students and alumni for job opportunities, networking, and advice. Galvin’s use of communities created a valuable social network unique to AKPsi’s members unmatched by similar organizations. More than 35,000 logins and 12,000 unique users have been recorded since the system’s launch and month-over-month activity continues to climb. For the first time, the fraternity can measure its impact and use the metrics for soliciting new members, future donations, and volunteers.

Self-Service – a study published by Zendesk found that 67% of consumers prefer self-service to speaking to an associate. Galvin configured AKPsi’s Salesforce Communities with this in mind. Office calls became the exception rather than the norm because constituents could update their own information. An online knowledge base provided an extensive collection of articles with valuable content and business processes. Users benefited from 24/7 desktop and mobile access. Online self-service also made volunteering or donating much easier. By giving members the right tools, the fraternity is projected to save more than 1,000 man hours per year, which are being reallocated to developing strategic education programs for constituents.

Let’s Talk

For a 115-year-old organization, a “we’ve always done it that way” mentality is hard to break. However, AKPsi leadership knew to stay relevant, they needed to revolutionize their platforms and processes. Galvin Technologies saw the organization’s vision and made it a reality. This historic fraternity now can continue its century of success by creating principled business leaders for years to come.

If your company is trapped in tradition and needs to move into the future, let Galvin Technologies assist with the transition. Our services achieve your goals for a better organization every step of the way.

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