Ceres is a sustainability nonprofit organization working with the most influential investors and companies to build leadership and drive solutions to the world’s biggest sustainability challenges.
Ceres Investor Network comprises more than 161 institutional investors, collectively managing more than $25.2 trillion in assets. Members of the Ceres Investor Network collaborate on engagements with corporations, which lead to commitments by Fortune 500 companies to change their business practices. For the sake of maximizing impact, members of the Ceres Investor Network are also organized into working groups by thematic issue.
Ceres didn’t have an efficient way to facilitate online communications inside working groups. Engagements were shared via spreadsheets and emails, which evolved into massive documents that were confusing and tedious to maintain. Information was difficult to find, all data entry had to be completed manually by staff, and working groups couldn’t capture the rich history of interactions between companies and investors.
Another issue was internal communication. Members of different working groups had limited visibility; they couldn’t see what other working groups existed in the network and what other investors were doing. This was especially problematic as it made it more complicated for investors to work on more than one issue.
Ceres needed a platform that allowed investors to interact with each other and access certain records, but which still provided staff with control over critical information. They also wanted a collaborative experience with a consultant, and they came to Percolator with a general idea of what they wanted to build.
Percolator recommended using the Salesforce Communities platform. As opposed to a fully custom project, a Salesforce Community comes equipped with a rich feature set, saving time and money, while still providing options for customization and lots of control over permissions. A few custom build-outs later, the community was tailored for Ceres’ needs.
Ceres ended up with a sleek ‘Investor Portal,’ revolutionizing the way their staff and investor members conduct corporate engagements.
Features of the Community:
- An “Engagement Tracker” that allows investors to search, sort, and filter engagements by a variety of data points. For example, you can search for active dialogues with companies in the energy industry or the entire history of engagements with a particular company.
- Great search options so investors can easily find engagements they want to participate in, and the ability to sign on with just two clicks.
- Investors can access the entire history of interactions with a company for any given engagement, and can add notes and tasks and assign them to other investors.
- A rich permission structure that allows a great deal of control over information. Some engagements are entirely public, and available on Ceres’ main website, while some are completely private and only visible to staff.
- A community calendar where investors can post webinars and other events.
- A member directory, where investors can find others in the network, as well as easily control how much of their contact information is available.
- An Engagement Dashboard that highlights interesting trends and analytics from across the entire network.
- Chatter groups that enable staff and investors to communicate and share information about the specific issues they’re working on in real time.
Ceres is seeing increased engagement and collaboration among working groups. With more communication and collaboration comes more opportunities for Ceres to create real, lasting change. Check out screenshots from the investor portal below!
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