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Salesforce for Non-Profits
December 3, 2023
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Salesforce for Non-Profits

Learn how to use Salesforce for Non-Profits, and what value does it bring to the Non-Profit sector.

I. Introduction

Many NGOs and Non-profit organizations avoid utilizing CRMs due to a common misconception. It is widely, though wrongly believed that CRMs are used mostly by businesses to build and maintain connections with customers. Since non-profits operate in a different realm by aiming at giving back to communities instead of working with clients in the traditional sense, they often don’t even consider CRMs for managing their operations, but in vain. Salesforce.org is a #1 CRM for non-profit organizations and NGOs, helping them improve fundraising, program management, grantmaking, and much more.

At its core, Salesforce for Non-Profits is engineered to streamline various aspects of non-profit management, from donor relationships and volunteer coordination to program tracking and fundraising. This technology enables non-profit professionals to centralize their data, automate routine processes, and gain deeper insights into their organization's performance.

By the way, Noltic is a seasoned Salesforce partner who used Salesforce Non-Profit Cloud to help Ukrainian Catholic University unify and optimize daily operations for processes like fundraising, recruitment, student and employee management, international affairs, and administration. You can read the case study here.

II. Understanding Salesforce

Salesforce is a leading cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) platform that provides businesses and organizations with a suite of tools and solutions to manage and enhance their customer interactions, sales processes, and overall operations. Founded in 1999, Salesforce pioneered the concept of delivering software as a service (SaaS), allowing users to access and utilize its applications through a web browser without the need for traditional software installations.

Salesforce plays a significant and impactful role in the non-profit sector by offering a comprehensive suite of cloud-based tools and solutions designed to empower organizations and enhance their missions. Leveraging its robust Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform, Salesforce provides non-profits with a sophisticated technology framework to manage relationships, streamline operations, and drive engagement.

At the core of Salesforce's contribution to the non-profit sector is its Nonprofit Cloud, a tailored solution that enables organizations to better understand and connect with their constituents. Nonprofit Cloud centralizes data, offering a 360-degree view of donors, volunteers, beneficiaries, and other stakeholders. This holistic perspective helps non-profits craft more personalized engagement strategies, fostering stronger relationships and ultimately driving greater support for their causes.

III. Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP)

Salesforce has a unique offering for all NPOs called Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP), which is specifically designed to help nonprofits engage with donors and constituents via their CRM platform. It is an invaluable tool for fundraising, program management, and marketing. Here is a list of NPSP features that help NPOs streamline their daily operations and dedicate their valuable resources to more important things:

  1. Constituent Management. Store and manage donor, volunteer, and member information. Visualize relationships among constituents.
  2. Donation and Grants. Track donations, pledges, and matching gifts. Manage grant applications and reporting.
  3. Campaigns and Events. Plan and track fundraising campaigns. Organize and manage events.
  4. Reports and Analytics. Create visual dashboards and reports. Gain insights into donor behavior and impact.
  5. Volunteer Management. Record volunteer profiles and hours.
  6. Program Impact. Manage programs and measure outcomes.
  7. Engagement and Communication. Use email templates and track interactions. Assign engagement scores.
  8. Membership. Manage memberships and communicate with members.
  9. Data Tools. Import data and prevent duplicates.
  10. Customization and Integration. Customize fields and integrate with other apps.
  11. Data Security and Compliance. Ensure data security and compliance.
  12. Mobile Access. Access NPSP features and data from mobile devices for on-the-go management.
  13. Constituent Portal. Provide constituents with a portal to view their donation history, update contact information, and more.
  14. Workflow Automation. Automate processes and notifications based on predefined triggers.

Now, we’ve already mentioned what tools the Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack offers that make it easier to run an organization. Essentially, the benefits NPSP brings to NGOs and NPOs can be outlined as follows:

1. Unified Management

With NPSP, managing your nonprofit's crucial information becomes a breeze. Imagine having all donor details, volunteer hours, and program specifics neatly organized in one central database. No more scrambling through spreadsheets or multiple systems – NPSP keeps everything in one place for effortless access.

2. Engagement Boost

Building strong relationships is at the heart of any nonprofit's success. NPSP allows you to do just that. Keep track of every interaction you have with your donors, volunteers, members, and beneficiaries. This means you can send personalized messages, acknowledge their efforts, and stay connected, fostering meaningful engagement that lasts.

3. Efficient Funding

Managing donations and grants can sometimes feel like a juggling act. NPSP simplifies this process. It lets you effortlessly track donations, manage grant applications, and keep an eye on fundraising efforts. Say goodbye to stacks of paperwork and hello to more time spent on what truly matters – advancing your mission.

4. Effective Campaigns

Planning and executing campaigns are key to your nonprofit's success. With NPSP, you can take your campaigns to the next level. Easily plan your initiatives, execute them seamlessly, and then dig into the numbers to analyze their impact. This data-driven approach ensures you're optimizing your outreach efforts for maximum effectiveness.

5. Data Insights

Numbers tell a story, and NPSP helps you decipher it. Create custom reports tailored to your needs. Want to know your fundraising trends? Curious about the success rates of your programs? NPSP's reporting tools put this information at your fingertips, empowering you to make informed decisions that shape your nonprofit's future.

6. Coordinated Impact

Volunteers are the lifeblood of many nonprofits, and NPSP understands that. It offers tools to efficiently manage volunteer programs, matching skills with opportunities and tracking hours. The result? A more coordinated, impactful volunteer effort that drives your mission forward.

7. Enhanced Transparency

Demonstrating impact is crucial for donor trust. NPSP helps you measure, report, and showcase the outcomes of your programs and services. This transparency gives donors and stakeholders a clear picture of the difference you're making, fostering stronger relationships and support.

8. Smart Solutions

NPSP isn't just about managing data – it's about making your nonprofit's operations smarter. Automate routine tasks, ensuring your team's precious time is spent on strategic endeavors. With data security features and self-service options, NPSP offers a holistic solution that supports your nonprofit's growth.

By embracing NPSP, your nonprofit gains a powerful tool that streamlines your efforts, enhances engagement, and empowers you to focus on what truly matters – making a lasting impact on your mission and the communities you serve.

V. How Salesforce Can Improve Non-Profit Fundraising

Imagine the fundraising landscape of your nonprofit undergoing a remarkable evolution, all thanks to the capabilities of Salesforce. Visualize a dynamic system that not only streamlines your donation processes but also propels your campaigns to unprecedented success. Salesforce initiates a transformative shift by enabling you to track and manage donor interactions with impeccable finesse. Bid adieu to the era of manual entry and say hello to a seamlessly organized database housing donor history, preferences, and engagement levels. Armed with this data-driven insight, you can craft personalized appeals that resonate with donor interests. For instance, tailored messages can be sent to those who consistently champion your education initiatives, showcasing how their contributions have transformed young lives. And that's just the beginning.

At the core of this transformation is Salesforce's effortless donation tracking and management system, effectively obliterating the need for laborious spreadsheets. Each donation finds its place within a meticulously recorded and easily accessible repository, bidding farewell to the hunt for data. But Salesforce's prowess extends even further. Through its engagement tracking, you're empowered to forge personal connections with your donors. Imagine extending a heartfelt thank-you to a devoted supporter, acknowledging their steadfast commitment.

Moreover, Salesforce's campaign management tools step in as dependable allies, ensuring every facet of orchestrating successful fundraisers is covered. From the initial blueprint to the flawless execution, the platform takes care of all aspects, guaranteeing your fundraising events run like well-oiled machines and leave an indelible impact. It's important to note that Salesforce is far more than a mere technological tool; it's a strategic companion. With its seamless efficiency and unwavering effectiveness, Salesforce augments your nonprofit's fundraising journey, paving the way for meaningful results.

Examples of Effective Fundraising with Salesforce

Several nonprofit organizations have leveraged Salesforce to revolutionize their fundraising efforts. The American Red Cross enhanced donor engagement by using Salesforce's integrated system to tailor communication and express the impact of contributions, resulting in increased donor retention. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) employed Salesforce's data analytics to identify specific donor segments, leading to targeted campaigns that resonated with donor interests, ultimately driving higher donations. Children's Miracle Network Hospitals capitalized on Salesforce's event management and social media integration, boosting event registrations and fundraising revenue through personalized engagement. DonorsChoose harnessed Salesforce's automation and AI capabilities to acknowledge donor contributions promptly and tailor funding requests to donor preferences, significantly increasing project funding and satisfaction. Habitat for Humanity utilized Salesforce's community engagement tools to create an interactive online platform, strengthening donor bonds through direct connections to beneficiaries and real-time project progress updates, resulting in heightened loyalty and increased contributions.

VI. Salesforce for Volunteer Management

Salesforce's Volunteer Coordination features within the Nonprofit Cloud encompass a range of capabilities designed to optimize the management of volunteers for non-profit organizations. These features include volunteer profiles that capture essential details such as skills and availability, facilitating accurate opportunity matching. The platform streamlines event scheduling, allowing non-profits to efficiently assign volunteers to specific shifts. Communication tools keep volunteers informed about opportunities and updates, fostering consistent engagement. The registration process is simplified, while check-in and check-out functionalities provide accurate attendance records. With mobile access, volunteers can interact seamlessly while on the move. Salesforce's reporting and analytics capabilities offer insights into volunteer engagement and impact, aiding program assessment. Custom workflows, integration with CRM, training support, and feedback mechanisms further enhance volunteer coordination. Overall, these features enable non-profits to build efficient, impactful volunteer programs that align with their missions.

The American Red Cross leverages Salesforce to swiftly match volunteers' skills with emergency response needs during disasters. Habitat for Humanity efficiently aligns volunteers with construction projects through the platform. City Harvest optimizes food distribution efforts, while Médecins Sans Frontières coordinates medical professionals worldwide. Boys & Girls Clubs of America streamlines volunteer engagement, and Volunteers of America ensures efficient program assignment. Meanwhile, 826 National enhances educational initiatives, Feeding America strengthens food bank networks, and Big Brothers Big Sisters facilitates mentoring relationships. National Parks Conservation Association underscores conservation through volunteer coordination. These organizations collectively illustrate how Salesforce's Volunteer Management tools cater to diverse needs, fostering efficient engagement, coordination, and impactful outcomes.

VII. How Salesforce Helps with Non-Profit Reporting and Analytics

Salesforce's analytics tools enable non-profits to segment their data for more targeted insights. This means they can understand the preferences and behaviors of different donor groups, volunteers, or beneficiaries. Armed with this knowledge, organizations can tailor their communication strategies and outreach efforts to resonate more effectively with specific segments.

The platform also supports benchmarking and goal tracking, allowing non-profits to set performance targets and measure their progress over time. This ensures accountability and helps organizations demonstrate their impact to stakeholders, from donors to board members to regulatory bodies.

Salesforce's integration capabilities are key to its reporting prowess. It can consolidate data from various sources, providing a unified view of an organization's activities and relationships. This is particularly beneficial for non-profits with complex ecosystems involving multiple programs, locations, and stakeholders.

VIII. Getting Started with Salesforce for Non-Profits

If you want to see actionable results, you need to have a plan. Although the following steps may differ based on varying factors, and the specific plan will vary based on your organization's needs, scale, and existing systems, here is a general overview of the things you need to do to benefit your Non-profit organization:

1. Define Your Goals and Needs

Identify the specific goals and requirements of your nonprofit. Determine what you want to achieve with NPSP, whether it's donor management, volunteer coordination, program tracking, or a combination of these.

2. Gather Data

Collect and organize your existing data, including donor records, volunteer information, and program data. Cleanse and standardize the data to ensure accuracy and consistency.

3. Purchase and Set Up Salesforce

Acquire the appropriate Salesforce licenses for your organization. Create your Salesforce instance and configure basic settings, such as user permissions and security.

4. Install Nonprofit Success Pack

Install the Nonprofit Success Pack from the Salesforce AppExchange. NPSP provides pre-built data models and processes tailored for nonprofit needs, including donor management, campaigns, and relationships.

5. Configure NPSP Settings

Customize NPSP to align with your organization's workflows. Configure settings such as donation management, recurring gifts, engagement plans, and fundraising levels.

6. Import Data

Import your cleansed data into NPSP. This includes importing donor records, volunteer information, and any historical giving or interaction data. Ensure data mapping and transformations are accurately set up.

7. Customize Data Model

Customize NPSP's data model to match your organization's unique needs. This could involve creating custom fields, objects, and relationships to track specialized data.

8. Set Up Fundraising and Donor Management

Configure tools for managing donations, pledges, campaigns, and appeals. Set up tools for tracking major gifts, grants, and soft credits.

9. Establish Volunteer Management

Implement NPSP features for volunteer coordination. Customize volunteer profiles, assignments, and reporting to fit your organization's volunteer programs.

10. Create Reports and Dashboards

Build custom reports and dashboards to track and analyze your nonprofit's performance. Create visuals that showcase donation trends, program impact, volunteer engagement, and more.

11. Training and User Adoption

Train your staff on using NPSP effectively. Encourage user adoption by providing resources and addressing any questions or concerns.

12. Testing and Quality Assurance

Thoroughly test your NPSP setup to ensure data accuracy and proper functionality. Identify and resolve any issues before going live.

13. Data Migration

Migrate your live data from your existing systems to NPSP. Plan the migration carefully to minimize disruptions and data loss.

14. Launch and Iterate

Launch your NPSP instance and start using it in your daily operations. Continuously gather feedback from users, monitor the system's performance, and make adjustments as needed to optimize processes.

Training Resources for Non-Profit Salesforce Users

To facilitate effective utilization of Salesforce for non-profit operations, a variety of training resources are available. Salesforce Trailhead offers interactive modules tailored for non-profit users, covering topics from basic navigation to advanced customization. The official Salesforce NPSP documentation provides comprehensive guides for understanding NPSP's features. Online webinars, YouTube tutorials, and dedicated non-profit communities offer practical insights and networking opportunities. Local user groups and meetups, as well as collaboration with consultants and training providers specializing in non-profit implementations, provide personalized guidance. Learning from other non-profits using Salesforce and trial-and-error exploration within sandboxes further enhance training. Emphasizing continuous learning ensures non-profit staff can harness Salesforce's capabilities effectively while adapting to new updates and features.

In the realm of non-profit organizations, where every action resonates with a purpose-driven mission, the partnership with Salesforce brings forth transformative possibilities. By seamlessly integrating technology and compassion, Salesforce equips non-profits with an array of tools tailored to their unique needs.

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