Did you know that according to a recent Salesforce.org report, 76% of Nonprofits lack a data strategy? One of the greatest challenges in the nonprofit world is being able to effectively communicate impact via data. Data is essential for non-profit storytelling but is often hindered by archaic processes. While the pandemic wreaked havoc on all businesses, it did force many nonprofits to commit to prioritizing investment in technology, specifically CRMs. At CRM Science, we’ve seen firsthand proof of this with increased engagement from nonprofits seeking to utilize the various products and tools that NPSP has to offer.
The process of moving away from spreadsheets and into a CRM can be extremely overwhelming. Even for those nonprofits that currently employ NPSP, there is a lot of ground to cover. So, in this blogpost we’re going to break down how we’ve helped nonprofits strategize, prioritize and increase user adoption, as well as provide tips on how nonprofits can use the many resources that Salesforce has to offer.
Where to begin?
Have you ever spent hours trying to run a report for a funding grant? Have you ever wanted to organize your data based on your different types of constituents? Have you ever wanted a better way to keep track of volunteers? Or grants that you provide? If you answered ‘yes’ to any of the above, then you likely want to invest in some type of technology to not only collect and organize your data, but also analyze and visualize it.
NPSP is Salesforce.org’s emphatic answer to all of the questions. While there are a multitude of resources and products available within NPSP, the first thing any nonprofit needs to do is stand NPSP up.
How do you do that? While there are trailheads to guide you through the process, one of the ways in which CRM Science has helped numerous nonprofit organizations over the past year is through our Jumpstart Programs.
Need to Jumpstart things?
Having worked at non-profits, I’ve personally seen the numerous barriers that present themselves when it comes to actually implementing new technology. With a limited budget, often the most difficult task becomes what to prioritize first.
This is why our Jumpstart programs are genius. Think of it as a quickstart - all of the initial foundational groundwork is laid down by professionals who know Salesforce and NPSP in and out. With our expertise, you can configure Salesforce to meet your business needs and processes where they are currently.
There are 4 Nonprofit Jumpstart Programs currently offered:
Depending on your area of focus, we are paired with you to get NPSP (if you are not currently using NPSP) and a specific application of your choice up and running over the course of 4-6 weeks. As part of the Jumpstart program, we provide:
Application Installation & Configuration
Guidance for Data Preparation
Recommendations & Best Practices
What if you are just starting out with Salesforce? Or if you would like to stand up Fundraising, Case Management, and Grants Management? Our recommendation is to start off with a focus on one or two aspects of your organization so that you can lay a strong foundation for other areas of your work.
How do I actually get my data into Salesforce?
What’s the point of having a house if it’s empty? While that may ring true, it’s important to create a robust framework before you actually start furnishing your space. Through Jumpstart or not, the same is true of data import.
This is the biggest way in which we empower our nonprofit clients - by walking through the data import process with them so that they can actually see their data in their live environment. Seeing is believing, after all. Data preparation guidance and data import are vital aspects of each Jumpstart program, so if that’s where you’re struggling, we highly recommend looking into them.
However, we are well aware that many nonprofits might not have the budget to allocate towards one of these programs. What do you do then? Here are some resources to look into:
NPSP Data Importer Trailhead
This tool, combined with the NPSP data import template, was created by Salesforce.org to make it easier to get your data into Salesforce. However, that doesn’t mean it isn’t time intensive.
This video (along with countless others that Salesforce.org have provided) takes you through the steps of actually populating the NPSP data import template and how data actually flows into your org.
Power of Hub Documentation (only accessible if you have a Salesforce login)
The official documentation for NPSP, this resource is exhaustive in explaining all the aspects of data import, including advanced mapping.
What are the various products NPSP offers? And are they free?
While it’s exciting to know that you can layer numerous applications and features on top of your basic NPSP, it is confusing to figure out which products are free and which require additional licenses. Here is a simple breakdown:
Program Management Module (PMM)
Tracks Programs, Program Engagements, Services, and Service Deliveries for any programs that you offer to constituents.
Volunteers 4 Salesforce (V4S)
Tracks Volunteer Engagement and allows for Volunteer Management.
Case Management (CM)
Uses the PMM framework to allow service providers to track Case Plans, Incidents, Assessments, and Outcomes.
Grants Management (GM)
Uses the Outbound Fund Module (OFM) framework to let you manage incoming Grant deadlines, Applications, Deliverables, Reporting, and more.
A finance product inside of Salesforce that connects to your organization's finance products outside of Salesforce.
A suite of integrated fundraising solutions for nonprofits and education that provides a way to convert visitors into donors (donation/fundraising platform).
In the last year itself, we have helped 10 nonprofit organizations, either through the Jumpstart program or wall-to-wall implementations (where we have set up several applications as well as experience cloud sites/communities). We pride ourselves on having this diversified consulting approach and we only hope to offer our services to many more organizations doing such important work.
About the Author
Sarisha Meda is a Salesforce Analyst at CRM Science. Sarisha has been in the Salesforce ecosystem since 2011, is a Salesforce Certified Administrator, and Certified NonProfit Cloud Consultant. In her role, Sarisha works on delivering Salesforce solutions for enterprise clients to help them maximize the value of the platform. She is passionate about data storytelling and empowering organizations with the ability to effectively speak to their work in a data-driven manner.