Youth Business International Salesforce Community Support

Youth business International are a brilliant nonprofit organisation based in London, providing support for young entrepreneurs worldwide to start, grow and sustain their businesses – enabling them to create jobs, build communities and transform lives.

What they wanted


YBI connect and support expert organisations, partners and young people to develop and scale new solutions to the challenges facing young entrepreneurs.

As a result, their members deliver better quality support to more young people through sector-leading solutions and products.

YBI had previously used an independent third-party supplier to create a Salesforce Community which went live in 2018. The online Community is the official platform for YBI members around the world to connect, access resources and share knowledge amongst other things.

However, they found the Community had navigation issues — articles and documents were hard to find and upload, and any results found then presented in an unhelpful way. There was also no way of engaging or rating articles to help further support other members within the Community.

Their Community Events page wasn't working as expected either. One of the biggest issues was that the YBI team weren’t able to make any quick amendments themselves. This meant they were relying on the previous supplier to do this for them via an IT-support ticketing system.

YBI were becoming more and more frustrated and it was taking up to three months to make simple title changes. They needed more flexibility and a better user experience, and they needed it fast.

That's when they came to us.

How we helped

One of the key parts of the Community is the Knowledge area, where members can access and collaborate on various resources, including reports, articles, videos, presentations etc. to help support their wider communities.

YBI wanted to enhance the Knowledge area to help members and the YBI team find and share useful resources easily, presented in a way that members will want to engage and interact with the platform more often and with less frustration.

As a nonprofit organisation, YBI had a minimum budget available to them though a IT funding grant, and most of this had been spent delivering the Community. This meant that we had to make sure we made best use of the budget to deliver the biggest impact to the YBI staff and its members.

When the oe:gen team first looked at the front end and ‘under the hood’ of the existing Community, it was clear to see that the site had been predominantly built using custom components.

This was an issue for them in a few ways:

  • Using custom objects in a way they weren’t intended — this meant that the work arounds for the users were clunky and non-intuitive.

  • The custom components were configured in a way that made it hard to make any adjustments – even changing text headers proved to be near-impossible for a general admin user.

  • Out-the-box features and upgrades were lost in the custom solution, meaning that YBI would lose additional upgrades and added features in future upgrade releases.

We'd have absolutely loved to scrap the whole Community and start again, but we knew this wasn't a realistic option. Although the knowledge page was the core focus of the site, there were other pages and functions to consider that we wouldn't have been able to amend with the time we had. We really wanted to help these guys stay within budget.

YBI chose from two alternative options we had for them.

One, we could fix the issues they had within the existing custom components — however, they'd only find themselves in the same situation, needing to request changes through another support contract with us. This would also take the same amount of time as our second option.

Or two, we could create a new knowledge landing page using as ‘out the box’ components as possible so they benefit from all the great salesforce standard features and updates, with a view that these can be reused and transferred if they acquired a bigger budget to tackle other areas of the site in the future. This was our preferred option because it'd enable YBI to benefit from the following:

  • Accessibility to make any admin changes required

  • Enhanced user experience for internal and external users

  • Enhanced tried and tested out the box features

  • Automatic feature upgrades

  • Flexibility to move components to a new org in the future

  • Leaving existing configures structures intact for the other community features that fall outside of the knowledge scope.

With this second approach agreed, our Designer and Technical Lead worked together to create some design concepts that would work from a user experience viewpoint, but also in line with what could be delivered in the out-the-box configuration.

Our BA scoped the requirements based on the agreed design and tech concepts, adding in all the additional functional requirements requested by the YBI team and their external members. We worked collaboratively the entire time to ensure the right solution was created for them.


The result?


"We're absolutely satisfied with the delivery of the project. The team has clearly outlined the process, clarifying the scope of work and the timeline for completion. Excellent communication throughout the project and maximum availability to deal with unexpected circumstances. The team was clear since the beginning about what we could expect from the available budget and delivered what was agreed — no nasty surprises at the end. We completed the project broadly on time and entirely on budget. We highly recommend oe:gen!"

— Elisa Cattaneo, Youth Business International


Discover the Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack!

We'll support you in managing donor relationships, fundraising, volunteering, campaigns, events, and more.