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20NTC Session

Online Communities for Member Self-Service and Member Management FTW!


Major nonprofit, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), embarked on a project to create viable and robust online communities for members and affiliates. Beyond simple account self-service, members can renew membership, change chapter affiliation, donate securely online, and log educational volunteer documentation. Deep integration with NAMI’s CRM means that all engagement is recorded to the member record and can be included in impact reporting. Extending this self-service concept to affiliates, NAMI also rebuilt their tool NAMI360 for state and affiliate chapters so these employees and volunteers can manage their local affiliate via access to NAMI National’s CRM data. In this case-study style session, NAMI will discuss the genesis of this project, how the decision was made to pursue both a software solution and custom development, and how its two online communities have transformed the way members and NAMI team members self-manage, along with tips for planning a similar project.

Audience members will leave with an understanding of the benefits of online communities for members or other audience groups and be able to convey them internally and to higher ups, along with concrete steps to plan and price such an initiative.

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand how organizations of all sizes can benefit from empowering members, affiliated partners and volunteers to self-manage
  • Assess available tools to build an online community and compare to the cost of custom development
  • Leave with practical ideas and resources for providing or increasing self-service options for members, affiliated partners or volunteers

Target Audience

Member services, affiliated partners, and volunteer managers interested in secure online tools to enable self-service and provide value to constituents.


CommunityCRMDonor RetentionEngagement


Liz Norton

Senior Systems Manager


Liz Norton is the Senior Systems Manager for the Internal Strategy & Support team at NAMI. She manages NAMI’s Salesforce team and provides support for other IT systems as well. In addition to working at NAMI, Liz actively volunteers with NAMI Virginia and NAMI Northern Virginia, focusing on work with youth and young adults.

Katherine Jones

Senior Salesforce Consultant


With over 24 years of working for and with nonprofit organizations on Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Katie is an experienced Implementation consultant who can both define requirements at the highest level and implement automation processes for a client at the most detailed level. Katie’s passion is transforming the client end-user experience using a combination of overall process analysis and the Salesforce suite of tools.





March 25, 2020


1:45pm – 3:00pm



Collaborative Notes

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Session Evaluation

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