Data All in One Place: Fair Food Network

“The Percolator team took great care of us. They brought order to our data mess and helped support our adoption of brand new technology. We couldn’t have done it without them!”
-Madeline Smith, Operations Manager, Fair Food Network

About Fair Food Network

Fair Food Network is a national nonprofit dedicated to building a more just and sustainable food system. They work at the intersection of food systems, sustainability, and social equity to provide access to healthy, fresh, and sustainably grown food, especially in underserved communities. Fair Food Network implements model programs and brings the right people together to generate ideas, share resources, and promote policy changes to repair our food system.

Fair Food Network is a key player in the movement to take back and re-design our food systems on a local level that can influence and advance food system approaches both nationally and globally.

The Problem

Fair Food Network was a busy, growing organization without the right systems in place. They managed email and online advocacy with Salsa, and program contacts in random spreadsheets, Outlook contact lists, and post-it notes. Each staff person tracked the contacts he or she interacted with in different systems, and nothing was shared across the organization.

Some of Fair Food network’s programs, including a program developed to help people apply for financial or consulting assistance, were managed manually on paper. The inefficiency and risks for error were getting in the way of a good program that was ready to be great.

The organization was expanding rapidly, with programs across Michigan in Detroit, Battlecreek, and Ann Arbor, as well as across the Northeastern United States with their Fair Food Fund project. But their systems were not keeping up.

The Solution

Although Fair Food Network was starting with very modest formal technology infrastructure, they had a lot going on in terms of program work and services! The Percolator team conducted a full discovery process and mapped requirements from gift processing to field organizing.

They had big needs but budget constraints, so we helped them prioritize and developed a plan that would get all of their contacts in one place (Salesforce NPSP), upgrade the tools that were most important (email and e-commerce), and provide lots of training for their new technology world. The Fair Food Network also wanted ongoing support post-launch so their technology investments would stick, with some budget remaining to make improvements after the first phase of implementation.

The Results

Fair Food Network is now beginning to reap the benefits of a modern, integrated technology stack. Their Fair Food Fund program, previously administered by hand, is now almost fully automated through Salesforce-integrated Form Assembly forms on their website. Every staff member can find and access contact information across programs, and when there’s staff turnover, precious data isn’t lost.

They have worked hard at system adoption, and have a dedicated Salesforce admin on staff who has spearheaded additional training and coordinated with the Percolator team for ongoing support and post-launch improvements which have led to more useful reports and better efficiency for gift processing.

Fair Food Network has successfully taken a giant step increasing organizational capacity for programs and operations, and is ready for the growth that their mission requires.

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