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The holiday season is a time of giving. So, what better time to review what the folks at Salesforce.org are giving away to nonprofit organisations?
Here at VRP Consulting, we love working with our not-for-profit clients. That’s partly because they’re all lovely and we like that warm, fuzzy feeling we get inside from helping these amazing organisations that do so much good. But also, as a consultant, it means I often get to work with the many great tools Salesforce.org offers to nonprofits – often for free!
In this article, we’ll explore some of the best tools available for nonprofits. But first, let’s look at why your organisation – and others like it – may not already be using them.
Unopened gifts with your name on them
I’ve had the privilege of helping lots of nonprofit organisations during my two years at VRP. I’ve been involved from pre-sales all the way through to implementation of their CRM platforms, as well as designing AppExchange packages for the sector as a whole. One thing has always struck me: in spite of the large number of nonprofits using Salesforce, they’re not all taking full advantage of the free tools provided by Salesforce.
There are good reasons for this. It’s mostly down to the offputting investment of time needed to investigate the packages, then the additional investment of time to implement them. Also, the majority of nonprofits only have part-time Salesforce administrators, who usually volunteered for the role because they’re interested in the platform – not because of any past experience.
Unfortunately, the above usually means that charities either have to modify or completely reinvent their processes to fit the off-the-shelf (Sales Cloud) Salesforce implementation, or they spend more time and money than necessary on a custom-built Salesforce that meets their needs. All without the knowledge of what’s built, maintained and provided free by Salesforce.org and many open source collaborators.
What should be on your Christmas list?
Are you a nonprofit that uses Salesforce, but you’re just benefiting from the 10 free licences that Salesforce offer and not much more? Here’s a run-down of some great features that may be worth investing some time in to understand if they can help make your operations more efficient.
1. Nonprofit Success Pack (free)
The name of this package really sums it up well: for charities and other nonprofits, this core, free package is a great building block to successfully implementing Salesforce in organisations that have to process donations and gifts via Salesforce. The Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP) adapts the core Salesforce architecture from the sales-focussed B2B model sold to most for-profit organisations to meet the need of organizations that deal with individuals as donors.
This package helps your organisation to maintain and engage with your donors (constituents). The account object is modified to allow you to work with businesses as well as having many individuals under one household account. Relationships are also managed in NPSP via the linking of individuals: e.g. father, wife, coworker or friend. These relationships also automatically allow the attribution of soft credits to ensure you are not just attributing direct donations but also the influence constituents can have on others’ giving habits.
NPSP is also packed with enhancements that would ordinarily present for-profit businesses with hefty price tags. Most notable is Customisable Rollups, with which you can create fields that aggregate custom information captured on donations, or donors up to their parent records. Also, the NPSP Data Importer provides a guided route to load your external data on donations, donors and payments with smart matching criteria, dry runs and rollback functionality.
Find out more at Trailhead: NPSP
2. Volunteers for Salesforce (free)
The Volunteers for Salesforce (V4S) package is aimed only at nonprofits that require volunteers and is brilliant in its simplicity. It allows your organisation to define jobs that need filling in a structure that includes shifts and recurring jobs. Automation allows you to set up these recurring jobs without creating every record manually.
Once you have defined your jobs, you can start to fill them. V4S helps you to capture information about volunteers’ skills and availability. Using this data, it can do the hard work and compile a list of all your compatible volunteers.
On top of this, you can also publicise available shifts and jobs on your website and allow volunteers to sign up, taking the effort away from your staff doing admin and allowing them to focus on filling shifts that are most critical or difficult to fill.
Find out more at Trailhead: V4S
3. Programme Management Module (free)
Does your organisation deliver programmes to participants? Are you trying to track their attendance and the impact? This is the app to get your data architecture for capturing this information off to a flying start. Programme Management Module (PMM) is a suite of custom objects and automations that allow you to set up programmes and track cohorts of participants. Whether you’re providing goods or services, you can track the engagement with your programme. If you are using V4S to help deliver these programmes then this sits really nicely next to the package explained above.
The automation within this package helps you set up the services by creating schedules rather than having to create each session one by one. What’s more, once you have all this lovely, structured programme data, you can report on impact and adoption of your programmes and spend time working with the problem areas instead of wasting time trying to work out where the problems are. Don’t start from scratch with your data model, use PMM to jump start your Salesforce journey.
Find out more at Trailhead: PMM
4. Case Management (paid)
This one is perhaps a little more niche than the others but boy, it is packed with features! If you deliver human services then the Case Management module is a package you should really be looking into. It’s a paid application and when you see the amount of customisation and features this package offers, it’s clear why.
This module gives a whole new feel to your Salesforce layout, with a homepage dashboard that gives you all of your case load data right at your fingertips. It sits perfectly next to the PMM, which was earlier in the list.
As cohorts are engaged within the programme, they can be enrolled into an intake with templates for onboarding actions – all via a streamlined Lightning user interface made for human services organisations. You can manage inbound referrals and also provide outbound referrals from the Case Management module.
The contact object is supersized to hold lots more data and can help to guide your services on what data could be useful to capture about your own participants. Contacts who may require followup are front and centre on your homepage and client incidence and client notes can all be logged for you for all caseworkers to see if caseloads shift around.
This app really pulls all the information that you need front and centre. More than simply changes to the data model, it focuses on the UI, because casework is not easy and efficiency is key. You want the important information presented straight away, so that it’s quick and easy to know which client you’re seeing next and prepare for them.
Find out more at Trailhead: Case Management
We’ll be back with more, so don’t miss it!
I hope you’ve found this article useful and it’s revealed some of the many great possibilities open to nonprofit organisations who use Salesforce.org. In our next article on this topic, we’ll discuss the key features and value of more Salesforce packages for nonprofits: Grants Management, Outbound Funds Module, foundationConnect and Elevate. Stay tuned!
Meanwhile, if you’d like to continue investigating, there are more useful Trailhead learning modules available and more documentation at the Salesforce.org Power of Us Hub.
What’s more, VRP also has a great AppExchange package, GivingX. This can help your organisation if you want to synchronize all your valuable donor and donation data from JustGiving into your implementation.
If you like the sound of these features but still think that you will need help implementing them, then please contact your local VRP Consulting Sales Team. They will be able to help you and provide quotes for strategic focus teams to deliver these packages to your org in a simple and sustainable way.
About the author
VRP Consulting UK
Dan Collis is a Senior Consultant and Solution Architect within VRP Consulting’s UK team, who led the GivingX team. Dan has ten years’ experience implementing the Salesforce platform as well as end-to-end knowledge of Salesforce roadmap management and project delivery.