Skip to main content

Modernizing a heartfelt mission

A happy young child makes bubbles at a family gathering.

At a glance

We helped a Canadian nonprofit that fulfills wishes for children with critical illnesses move to Salesforce on its journey to becoming a modern organization of the future.


Make-A-Wish Canada can now deliver its work processes efficiently to help its teams grant more wishes to children in Canada, moving forward in its heartfelt mission with confidence, control—and a single source of truth. 

Key Services

Data icon
System implementation icon
System implementation
Organizational change icon
Organizational change


Nonprofit & philanthropy

Key Technologies / Platforms

  • Salesforce

In support of more wishes

When children blow out the candles on their birthday cake each year, they make a wish. For children with illnesses such as leukemia, cystic fibrosis, and brain tumors, these wishes can be even more meaningful if they come true. That’s why organizations like Make-A-Wish® Canada (MAWC) fulfill wishes for Canadian children with critical illnesses—whether it’s a trip to Walt Disney World or a new puppy. 

Make-A-Wish Canada believes children’s wishes are an important part of their treatment journey. Research proves children who receive wishes can build the strength they need to fight their illnesses. The organization grants these wishes by raising money through corporate sponsorship, events, and mass-market fundraising efforts.  

Since MAWC underwent a major merger in 2019, and was working with multiple, disparate databases, processes were not as efficient as desired. 

Recently, MAWC also set a goal to grant more wishes for children. The organization is on track to grant about 2,000 wishes this year, according to Lyanne Goulin, senior vice president of mission and fundraising operations at Make-A-Wish Canada. 

The organization was looking to fill these additional wishes with technology that would allow MAWC to expand its reach, streamline its business processes, lay the foundation for a digital transformation, and become a technology-enabled nonprofit that could operate effectively on a national scale. “We were trying to build a national, consistent organization, and we know a CRM strategy is key to that in terms of process,” notes Goulin. 

Ivneet Chadha, vice president of digital, IT, and data management at Make-A-Wish Canada, joined the organization about that time and was tasked with leading this critical modernization. His role: to build out the technological function, from both the business and infrastructure sides. 

We can use this Salesforce solution to drive our business forward in a time of significant growth for our organization. We need to grow almost 50% in mission delivery this year.

Lyanne Goulin
Senior Vice President, Make-A-Wish Canada

For her wish, Aisha, age 7, wants to visit a Florida theme park. Aisha is battling leukemia, and Make-A-Wish Canada is helping make her dream come true.

Shooting for the stars, together

In 2023, Slalom helped Make-A-Wish Canada transform with a Salesforce solution. The name: Project Galileo. 

Project Galileo featured the Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP), a managed package that helps the nonprofit community engage constituents and fundraise seamlessly. From there, Slalom helped MAWC adapt the solution to the organization’s specific needs.  

Significantly enhancing its wish-granting capability is the top priority of MAWC. Everything managed in Salesforce NPSP is designed to support the granting of more wishes, whether it’s a fundraising or management process. There is now clarity on wish stages and tracking, while processes such as management and status consolidation were also improved, giving the MAWC teams a new way of looking at the wish data. 

On the donor side, the team is making improvements in donor care and stewardship. The donor care team is now able to query a donor’s giving and involvement to better serve and steward them, which improved the donor’s satisfaction with MAWC. The team is also finding the financial system functions at a higher level. For example, accurate tracking of campaign performance and reconciliation with the finance system has significantly improved. In addition, the data is more accurate since everything is pulled from Salesforce. This improves exactness and efficiency in segmentation and reporting as well.  

With development management, the new solution gave MAWC team members better visibility into tracking and lead development, helping them further enable data quality and avoid duplicating data, as well as track earlier-state engagement with volunteers and donors. 

The team also tracks wish family data with the new solution and is able to use that information to identify both trends and opportunities.  

When it came to stewardship, the Salesforce solution changed one of the key pain points for the team: having a single source for constituent data. When a team member reaches out to a constituent, they know the data is readily and easily accessible. MAWC can also now drill down into the data, looking for donors with a specific giving history, for example. 

A young girl enjoys a ride at an amusement park.

One team, using tech for good

Make-A-Wish Canada and Slalom worked as a single team, and training was tailored to MAWC from the beginning of Project Galileo as Slalom and MAWC decided on the type of learning that would be most beneficial for the organization. 

Goulin adds, “Slalom did an incredible job of engaging our team in the build—not just our technology team—but all of the users. Slalom got it—and us.”  

Slalom provided two weeks of custom, instructor-led training for 150 users, divided into different personas and teams for donation processing, marketing, and more. This training included instructional content as well as robust demos, hands-on training, and Q&A periods. Slalom also involved the MAWC champions, or “super users” of the platform. These champions were advocates who could provide early feedback that helped the team move forward efficiently. 

In fact, 91 percent of all MAWC staff attended at least one training session, and 87% attended more than one. Within a week of the solution going live, 100% of the organization’s team members logged on and used the application.  

slalom team make a wish Slalom made an impact on Make-A-Wish Canada, just as Make-A-Wish Canada made an impact on Slalom. That’s why Slalom team members Jordan Karrys, Corey Schreiber, and Simran Saini joined MAWCs Lynda Debono and Jennifer Chang to volunteer at the Make-A-Wish Canada and Honda Canada Indy Foundation, a marquee racing event in Toronto, Canada.

Creating efficiencies

The new solution has streamlined the organization’s critical business processes. For example, a data pull that used to take several months can now be completed in one month. This is a significant improvement, as Make-A-Wish Canada strives to meet its ambitious goal to grow its revenue by 100% over the next five years. 

“We can use this Salesforce solution to drive our business forward in a time of significant growth for our organization,” explains Goulin. ”We need to grow almost 50% in mission delivery this year.”  

So far, the organization is hitting its targets.

We have much better quality data today in Salesforce. More importantly, we now understand how to improve our data strategy to help us continually improve our organization.

Ivneet Chadha
Vice President of Digital, IT, and Data Management, Make-A-Wish Canada

Molly, age 8, has leukemia and hopes to meet her favorite princesses for her wish from Make-A-Wish Canada.

Becoming a data-driven organization

Being driven by data was a priority for Make-A-Wish Canada from the beginning, and Project Galileo was a big step toward that goal. 

“We have much better quality data today in Salesforce,” says Chadha. “More importantly, we now understand how to improve our data strategy to help us continually improve our organization.”  

Angela Fraser, director of business applications for Make-A-Wish Canada agrees, adding, “There’s so much information now that elevates what leadership can do. At a glance, leadership can see everything, whereas before they were only seeing parts of things because not everyone was working in one system. It’s been a journey to get us to the place where we are today and see how many more wishes we can complete.“

Fraser notes that there is much less risk with the data now. “Being on an up-to-date platform puts us at less risk. We’re able to make changes, and we have the freedom to be agile for the business now—and that’s a major win.”  

Enabling future innovation—with confidence and control

The multiyear journey that Make-A-Wish Canada embarked on has come to fruition in one consistent system that works for everyone to complete all the mission-critical work. Having this control over the organization’s future ensures MAWC can continue to enhance and grow its solution to meet any future needs and desires—on its own, or with a trusted partner like Slalom. 

“One of the biggest benefits for our organization is how it’s created a foundation for us to move to the next stage of innovation,” says Chadha. “Now we’re having more discussions and saying to ourselves, ‘How can we do better?’” 

Let’s solve together.