OAKLAND, CA (October 27, 2010) – Fair Trade USA, the leading third-party certifier of Fair Trade products in the United States, announced today that it has received a 2010 Convio Innovator Award. Convio, which produces software for nonprofit organizations, sponsors the Convio Innovator Awards each year in order to honor nonprofit groups that have successfully integrated Convio technology and the Internet into their operations.
The awards span 13 categories, and Fair Trade USA has received the award for "Applying CRM to Manage Your Mission." The award recognizes Fair Trade USA’s innovative use of Common Ground, a Convio application that helps organizations manage donor and volunteer information, and Salesforce, the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform upon which Common Ground is built.
"Fair Trade USA is truly a pioneer of this technology, as it was one of the first organizations ever to integrate Common Ground with a previously customized Salesforce.com application," Tom Krackeler, Vice President of Common Ground at Convio.
As a Fair Trade nonprofit, certifying organization, Fair Trade USA works with a wide variety of individuals, NGOs, foundations and corporations in a multi-pronged approach to international development. "The partnership with Salesforce and the Salesforce Foundation has been fundamental in allowing us to be creative social entrepreneurs and quickly innovate in new areas to further our mission. Without the financial, moral, and staff support coming from Salesforce, we never would have been able to move so far, so fast," said Paul Rice, President and CEO for Fair Trade USA. By integrating Salesforce and Common Ground into its operations, Fair Trade USA has been able to effectively manage both its fundraising records and its combined certification, vendor and stakeholder records.
"The integrated software has allowed Fair Trade USA to improve our planning and decision making, and to increase our efficiency and development efforts," said Joan Catherine Braun, chief financial officer for Fair Trade USA. "This emerging technology plays an integral role in helping us to fulfill our mission."
About Fair Trade USA
Fair Trade USA, a nonprofit organization, is the leading third-party certifier of Fair Trade products in the United States. Fair Trade USA audits and certifies transactions between U.S. companies and their international suppliers to guarantee that the farmers and workers producing Fair Trade Certified goods were paid fair prices and wages, work in safe conditions, protect the environment, and receive community development funds to empower and uplift their communities. Fair Trade USA educates consumers, brings new manufacturers and retailers into the Fair Trade system, and provides farmers with tools, training and resources to thrive as international businesspeople.
About the Convio Innovator Awards
Convio, a company that produces CRM software for nonprofit organizations, sponsors the annual Convio Innovator Awards in order to celebrate clients who exemplify the use of Convio technology and the Internet in building relationships and realizing positive results in fundraising, advocacy and communications. Visit convio.com  for more information.