The GrassRoots Survey Mobile App
After working with nonprofits in Nepal, India, Cambodia and Ethiopia, founder Trish Perkins recognized a need for mobile field surveys which sync with Salesforce. After perusing the market, she realized that none of the solutions available were affordable for her small clients getting by on a shoestring. She set out to assemble a team of developers and others interested in making this service available not only to her clients, but to others in the nonprofit community.
The Grass Roots Mobile Survey App team believes that mobile technology is critically important for meeting the missions of many nonprofits worldwide. These nonprofits must have agents in the field to bring their services to those in need who are unable to come to a central office. Often, the nonprofit’s constituents are better served in their home environments. The urgency created by Covid-19 requires readiness to deploy the app as soon as conditions permit return to the field.
Affordable: The mobile app can be used by a group of field workers, health visitors, elder service visits, disaster workers, and other volunteer survey teams—but that uses only one license to access Salesforce.
Goes Anywhere: The app stores Salesforce surveys on the phone, so that even without telephone service or wireless network, the field workers can collect data, which, once back within Internet connectivity, can be synced with the organization’s Salesforce instance.
Free and Open Source: (Not free as in free beer; free as in free puppies…) There will never be a charge for this software. The Open Source Commons is structured also so that there will be people available to support users going forward. The Trailblazer Community already has a group dedicated to the app.
Timeline so far:
- 2015 - Pilot project for social service charity Hayden Hall was begun with health workers filling out paper forms and those forms being manually entered into Salesforce.
- 2017 - Salesforce developer Luis Campos-Guajardo created a proof of concept for the project
- 2018 - MTX, a Salesforce consulting company in India, made the Hayden Hall project its Corporate Social Responsibility project for the year and developed the first prototype.
- 2019 - The first twelve mobile phones with the app installed were distributed to beta testers across the Himalayan region near Darjeeling working with Catholic charity, Hayden Hall.
- 2020 - The team began work on the next phase of the project with the goal of making it available across the nonprofit Salesforce sector.
- 2021 - The Grassroots Survey Mobile App was accepted in the Open Source Commons Program, a Salesforce initiative to support open source work to bring affordable solutions to nonprofits.
- In February, at the Open Source Community Sprint, we assembled a team of techies interested in working together to get the GRMS App through Salesforce’s rigorous engineering review...with an eye to begin testing in the fall.
- In early April, the core group assembled online to troubleshoot issues and to try to streamline the install process.
- We have been meeting regularly all year with the goal of passing security review at Salesforce before the end of 2021. We’ll soon be looking for nonprofits willing to install the app and test it out. Stay tuned for a call for applications soon.