The Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility’s mission is to build a more just and sustainable world by integrating social values into corporate and investor actions. They have pioneered using shareholder advocacy to encourage companies to do better. Desperately needing an updated database structure, they came to Message Agency to find a solution that would also give members what they needed.
Twenty years ago, the Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) launched a custom front-end on a FoxPro database that empowered their members to coalition-build and manage their advocacy around human rights, workers’ rights, and the environment (among other issues) with publicly traded corporations in real time on the Web. It was cutting-edge—at least, for a while. Over the years, budgetary constraints forced ICCR to stretch the original database structure, rather than upgrade or replace it. In the end, they held onto our antiquated system a full 15 years longer than they should have.
Fast forward two decades, and not only had technology and user expectations far outpaced the abilities of the old system, so too had their institutional members’ advocacy strategies and impact measurement needs. They knew they urgently needed to develop a replacement system that not only worked on mobile platforms, but also could help their members mobilize and track campaigns with corporations, organize with other investors, and measure their impact anywhere, in the moment.
How did they leap ahead 20 years in only one? Message Agency helped ICCR rebuild their previously separate database and gateway member portal into one, unified Drupal front-end experience using open source tools. And we integrated that front-end with a Salesforce instance that we customized to enable program management and reporting through the CRM that demonstrated not just activity but real impact as well.
Message Agency and ICCR planned for success by deploying a user-centric approach, designing user-managed tools and helping stakeholders adopt the solution. We weathered the migration of mountains of unstructured data and carefully planned for a platform migration. The resulting solution streamlined members’ ability to create engagements with companies, research past actions with companies, recruit other investors to join their campaigns, track lobbying activity, draft resolutions, and sign on other investors to their resolutions.