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What’s one thing all nonprofit (NP) organizations are fighting to do? Put as much time into advancing their mission as possible and spend as little as they can on things that don’t. That’s the true value of Salesforce® Nonprofit Cloud: helping you pursue your mission more effectively and minimize administrative effort, thanks to transformed processes and a real-time, 360-degree view of everything. A Salesforce Nonprofit QuickStart may be the best way to achieve it.
New capabilities to advance your mission
Salesforce Nonprofit Cloud enables automated processes to manage every program participant, donation, campaign, donor and contact. These powerful tools help eliminate time-consuming, laborious distractions from your mission. They also provide new abilities to measure and monitor your impact via an easy-to-use dashboard or report. As an end result, Nonprofit Cloud enables organizations to increase project management productivity, boost fundraising and enhance communication with everyone around you, whether they’re a donor, partner, volunteer or one of the people you’re helping.
What’s stopping you transforming your nonprofit?
Salesforce has worked hard to ensure nonprofits gain maximum benefit from Nonprofit Cloud – and make it accessible. They even provide nonprofits with 10 free user licenses for the Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP), so apart from implementation expenses, there aren’t any further costs for using the Salesforce platform (unless you need more user licenses).
The only thing standing in organizations’ way is the implementation, which requires specialist expertise. Concerns such as cost and timescale are stumbling blocks, but it’s not that the implementation itself is necessarily a difficult process for an organization – it’s finding the right route to take.
Three routes that haven’t always worked
Here are the three main implementation options nonprofits are looking at, plus the reasons they may not be choosing them:
- Engage a global system integrator (GSI) – likely to be costly and may not provide enough individual attention
- Bring in a freelancer to assist – they may be lacking in relevant experience or all necessary expertise
- Hire a dedicated in-house team – not cost-effective for a short-term project and hiring is difficult and time-consuming
With only these options, some in the third sector find themselves turning to small, bespoke CRM developers instead. These custom solutions may sometimes work out cheaper short-term but are often not as professional or futureproof, with bugs, missing functionality and other shortcomings. It turns out to be a false economy, and one they regret later on. However, there’s one more route they may not know about: a Salesforce Nonprofit QuickStart.
An option that’s perfect for nonprofits
Developed with third sector organizations in mind, we offer a Salesforce QuickStart Implementation for nonprofits that fast-tracks you to the full value and capabilities offered by Nonprofit Cloud and NPSP. It’s a short-time, high-impact engagement concerned with getting you set up, shaping your solution around your needs, preparing your team to use it and ensuring you’re all set to move forward – self-sufficiently, with complete effectiveness. In fact, it can take as little as four weeks to complete your implementation.
Over the years, we at VRP Consulting have had a great deal of experience with which to refine our approach. We’ve discovered the best process for an implementation follows this route:
- Explore the possibilities together – after an initial discovery workshop, we present solution options informed by it and what we know best fits nonprofits like yours
- Shape and refine your solution – we configure the chosen option around your specific needs, in close collaboration with you, staying flexible at all times
- Show and tell sessions – we provide you with the chance to give us input at every stage so you can see the progress and tell us where any changes are needed
- Handover and future-readiness – when you’re completely satisfied, we ensure any additional tweaks are made and you’re fully prepared to use your new solution effectively
We provide the scale, capabilities and deep bench of expertise you would expect from a GSI, but the flexibility and individualized attention they don’t. We want to be “on the journey” together: not just taking your requirements and then providing the finished result, but making the most of your steady input to create exactly what you need and ensure it will continue delivering for you long afterwards.
But so far we’ve only looked at the Salesforce QuickStart Implementation for nonprofits in abstract terms. Nonprofit work is about delivering real impact, for real people, in real life. So, let’s look at some real-life examples.
Helping a survivors’ charity reclaim control of their data
UK-based Lifecentre provides counseling and other services to survivors of sexual abuse. However, their data was getting in their way. Like many others, they had been using unwieldy, error-prone spreadsheets to store and keep track of information such as clients’ contact details and session schedules. They lost a lot of time manually calculating and processing clients’ scores from well-being self-reporting questionnaires. Mistyped contact details (e.g., a telephone number with too few digits) resulted in missed sessions
Using Nonprofit Cloud, we unified their data on operations, clients and well-being in one place, cleansing and migrating their records. We introduced auto-validation so new data would be automatically checked as it was entered, to help ensure accuracy – e.g., email addresses in the correct format, telephone numbers of the right length and all required information collected. We also created automated form calculations and workflows to streamline processing well-being data and assessing clients’ risk levels.
Lifecentre now has the data visibility and easy handling they need. It’s all in order, stored in a secure platform. If you’d like to learn more, watch the full Lifecentre story. Meanwhile, it’s time to explore another Salesforce Nonprofit QuickStart we performed.
Streamlining a youth engagement charity’s project management
A charity helping disadvantaged young people needed to transform project and event management. Managing their range of services required multiple processes and a complex database to track all users’ information. Although they already had a customized system, it wasn’t optimized for their needs as a nonprofit. So, they couldn’t easily generate accurate reports and had to use laborious workarounds.
First, we investigated the unique aspects of how they administered programs. This highlighted the need to manage events and track documentation and attendance information — a time-consuming task. We configured new NPSP functionality to track and display required documentation and track event attendees. The solution also made it possible to quickly find out who was attending an event and identify any missing documentation.
Today, the charity has the easy data access they need. They can simply and quickly track event attendance and capacity, and even provide program participants with tailored recommendations including relevant events and resources. Tracking and collecting documentation is no problem via a dashboard showing missing documentation. They can also present data-driven reports demonstrating programs’ effectiveness. Most importantly, they can now focus more of their efforts and time on activities that have the greatest impact for their participants.
Transforming donations, grants and lobbying for a climate charity
The environmental charity Hope for the Future (HFTF) equips communities, groups and individuals to communicate the urgency of climate change with their local politicians. Their legacy systems had labor-intensive administration demands and didn’t help them gain the insights they wanted into fundraising and lobbying. So, they couldn’t get an adequate sense of which activities were most effective. The charity wanted new abilities for program management, fundraising and grant administration. They also had one very specific requirement: a customized process for tracking, managing and analyzing lobbying activities.
We configured this Salesforce Nonprofit QuickStart using best practices and tailored it to meet the charity’s specific needs – including a custom lobbying configuration. It provides easy reference of lobbying targets and matches supporters via postcodes (zip codes), as well as collecting records of lobbying messages, responses and voting. This data can all be displayed in reports, allowing immediate insights into lobbying efforts and politicians’ engagement. The solution also provides access to NPSP’s “out-of-the-box” fundraising and grant management features, enabling HFTF to manage all core aspects of their mission in one place.
The charity now has a streamlined, unified platform to manage lobbying, fundraising and many other parts of their operations. I’m glad we could help make it a reality. If you would like to learn more, read our full Hope for the Future case study.
Your Salesforce Nonprofit QuickStart implementation
Because so many nonprofits trust us with their implementations, we’ve developed an unparalleled knowledge of third sector needs, their processes and how best to streamline them. It’s likely we already have a good idea of what you need to automate, for example, how a particular feature would be beneficial to you or what you need in terms of databases to pursue your mission most effectively. That’s how we put the “quick” in QuickStart.
And because nonprofits are such a big part of our world, we stay up to date with yours, including new third sector innovations and other developments. We’re also very active in Salesforce’s nonprofit ecosystem and a proud sponsor and presenter at the Salesforce Nonprofit Summit ‘22. And, speaking personally, the satisfaction I take in my work with nonprofits motivates me as much as professional diligence does.
It’s our mission to give you the best advice and ensure your implementation takes place quickly, smoothly and cost-effectively. We provide user training for up to 9 people as part of your package, including “training the trainer”, to empower your team members to teach others, as well as general Salesforce administration training in case you need to make any everyday adjustments or additions to your solution later on. We also include 8 hours of support in which we can make smaller tweaks or answer questions after it’s gone live. Long after our work is done, we want you – and your mission – to succeed.
Get in touch to kickstart your nonprofit’s transformation
As a nonprofit specialist at VRP Consulting, I’d be very happy to discuss how we can help your third-sector organization with your unique goals, challenges and needs. If you’d like to discuss your situation, or if there’s anything in this article we can explain a little more, don’t hesitate to reach out.
About the Author
Mateusz is a certified Salesforce Nonprofit Cloud consultant. He is passionate about supporting nonprofits and their teams, and playing a critical role in increasing their operational effectiveness and success.