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The Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisation

The Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisation (ACEVO) aims to bring together Chief Executives of non-profit, social enterprises and charity-based organisations. Established over 30 years ago, ACEVO provides 1,400 members with networking opportunities, educational events, and other professional development initiatives. Their goal is to enhance the skills of aspirational leaders to further serve their mission of driving change and improving lives.

Key Results

Members received an enhanced member portal experience

Expanded event building to larger teams

events building
time by 50%

The Challenge

ACEVO quickly gained a competitive advantage over many other associations with their digital transformation by upgrading their legacy system, Raisers Edge, to Salesforce in 2014. Over the past 5 years, the benefits of have grown increasingly apparent for ACEVO. was working well for the organisation, allowing them to track their key organisational goals through comprehensive reporting and easy-to-read dashboards that do not require configuration.

However, with members’ online expectations continuously increasing, ACEVO recognised the need to upgrade their online presence in order to provide an enhanced, modern and personalised experience for their members.

ACEVO acknowledged the work required to the front end, their website needed changes to the event registration and membership sign-up processes, as well as a more modern design. But the challenges didn’t end there, ACEVO also wanted to maximise communications with their members, sharing up to date news and new events that were relevant, based on their interaction with ACEVO to date. And as Jennifer Sowerby, Salesforce Administrator for ACEVO, explained, their legacy process of making custom configurations “was very inflexible” and it was a huge barrier “in terms of being dynamic and responsive” to their members’ expectations.

The Solution

After recognising the need for a website upgrade, ACEVO began to look for tools that would integrate effectively with their Salesforce solution whilst benefiting the member experience further. While Eventbrite was considered initially, the lack of in-built integration with Salesforce meant that any data captured would have to be transferred back into their CRM. With this option, there was also less flexibility with ticket options. Having communicated with Fonteva previously through attending an association-focused event and demonstration of the membership solution, ACEVO decided that Fonteva offered a “slicker and more modern looking feel” that would effectively meet the needs of their members. Using a Salesforce native solution would also allow them to “maximise their current solution without starting from scratch”.

“Fonteva understood the kind of problems you have when running events.”

Jennifer Sowerby, Salesforce Administrator for ACEVO

With Fonteva’s solution, ACEVO could easily remove common event planning challenges such as booking multiple tickets for the same event and gather key information such as dietary requirements. Initially, ACEVO was excited about the core elements of Fonteva’s solution such as the events management processes and community licenses. However, they also invested in the membership platform to enable full-scale association management capabilities in the future.

Being familiar with the Salesforce platform, there was already a base for the ACEVO team to build their knowledge on. As expected, getting used to a new system can be challenging. However, by taking advantage of the available Fonteva trainings and the ongoing support of the implementation team, Sowerby explained that the journey helped them feel that “we’ve got a great deal of ownership on the product”.

Previously, only the event manager could comprehensively build an events page as a Salesforce Campaign, which took up a significant amount of her time. With the help of Fonteva’s ‘click not code’ functionality, the ACEVO team no longer needed to consult on a large amount of technical support or rely on the events manager. “We understand how to do it ourselves,” Sowerby says. Time is also reduced by up to 50%, as previous events can be cloned and edited and all events can be managed on the Fonteva platform rather than some managed separately.

The Bottom Line

ACEVO has proved themselves to be a very forward-thinking, innovative association that puts
their members’ needs at the heart of what they do. ACEVO is using Salesforce and Fonteva to
maintain stronger insights and control of their system to be more responsive and engaging with their members

Prioritising the future of their association, with the Fonteva platform, ACEVO can reinvent their services and bring a new meaning to membership. Community hubs will allow them to “connect people in the digital world,” and is something they are excited to introduce to members. With Salesforce and Fonteva continually investing in better services for users, ACEVO is part of a community that continuously encourages growth and innovation. 

ACEVO no longer has to worry about members’ digital needs not being met. They are confident that they have the tools and passion to focus on the powerful leadership skills of Chief Executives – and that’s made possible through the ongoing support of Fonteva.

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