Blog

Connect: The New Way to Click & Pledge

Click & Pledge, the online donation tool for nonprofits that integrates with Salesforce, has really upped its game with a new platform called Connect. What Click & Pledge Does Well The functionality of Click & Pledge, both on the payment processing and on the Salesforce integration end, has always been superior. The money goes straight to your bank and the contact data goes right into your Salesforce— keeping everyone happy. Particularly helpful is the sophisticated logic Click & Pledge employs to prevent duplicates. For example, when Paul Baxter gives $100 to your organization every Christmas for five years, the logic recognizes that the single contact Paul Baxter gave a total of $500, rather than five separate Paul Baxter’s donating $100 each. What Click & Pledge Used to Do Less Well Click & Pledge generates its own payment forms and receipts, and the problem was that the documents it produced looked like relics from the 1990’s. The concern wasn’t only that documents were unattractive; many clients were concerned that the payment form looked so different from the surrounding website that people would hesitate to enter their credit card information. Pictured below: The old Click & Pledge payment form Now Click & Pledge offers attractive, editable forms that satisfy the needs of even the most discerning Development Director. Pictured below: The new Click & Pledge payment form template No More Portal If you’ve been using Click & Pledge for a while, you’ll be familiar with the Portal. Previously, one of the problems with Click & Pledge was that some of its functions were configured inside Salesforce, whereas other remained outside in the Portal.  If you wanted to integrate Salesforce, create a payment form, or report on any Click & Pledge data, you had to negotiate this portal (pictured below).   Click & Pledge has replaced the Portal with Connect, a user-friendly, intuitive administrative screen. This new, sleek dashboard is pictured below. Connect also integrates the peer-to-peer fundraising functionality into the Click & Pledge dashboard. Previously, the peer-to-peer functionality was only accessible through a separate app. This feature gives your agency not only additional income in the present, but the opportunity to attract additional ongoing supporters. It’s named The Free Social Fundraising Platform, shown below.   Updated Security Finally, the whole package is protected by a new and more robust security system requiring two-factor authentication. Your donor’s money has never been safer.... read more

Pitfalls and Best Practices: How to Keep Your Salesforce Project From Being Doomed

Participants from our popular Salesforce Bootcamp for Nonprofits trainings will be familiar with an exercise we run called “Pitfalls and Best Practices.” In this exercise, we hand out sheets of paper to every participant, each piece with a different scenario on it. The students then must interpret the situation and use an anecdote to illustrate why it is or isn’t a good thing. We will often pass on particularly noteworthy stories at other Bootcamps, with names redacted of course! A selection of these “Pitfalls and Best Practices” are offered below. So, you can either give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back, or shudder at the mistakes you have made (or maybe just barely avoided). Salesforce is free. Like a free puppy. This quote is from Marc Baizman of the Salesforce Foundation and is aimed specifically at nonprofit users. “Yes, the Foundation makes 10 free licenses available to every organization with a 501c3, but no, that doesn’t mean your troubles are over. Without proper care and training, that cute puppy can make a big mess in no time.” Garbage in, garbage out. Like a kid on Christmas Day, new users can’t wait to open up their Salesforce accounts and use it right away! Don’t let your excitement lead you to make a potentially painful dataset mistake; don’t rush migrating your current data without giving it a long and careful examination. Slowing down will help you avoid putting a lot of duplicative or out-of-date data into your shiny new system. Having an intern or volunteer set up your Salesforce instance. This is another temptation particular to nonprofits. Anything that saves a buck must be good, right? Unfortunately, even if the intern or volunteer is competent to set up your system, their temporary status guarantees that they won’t be around in a year or two to maintain it. Keep that in mind for down the road when you want to build out the system, add users, connect a third party app, etc. Lack of leadership. The fact is that in this world, someone has to be in charge. If no one takes initiative of the Salesforce implementation it will either languish, take way too long, or fail to meet important organizational needs. Either way, it will cost more and accomplish less if someone doesn’t step forward to own the project. Salesforce will not create or fix business processes. Clients ask us... read more

Click & Pledge Update: Is Your Domain Secure?

Click & Pledge, the online donation portal, has recently notified its users of a domain security update. Our clients asked us to advise them on how to respond to this. Fortunately, the solution is relatively straightforward. Like Salesforce, Click and Pledge is aware that it is passing on extremely confidential information like credit card numbers, names, and emails. Their email is a demonstration of their commitment to following the latest protocols in ensuring that the information remains confidential. This is what the email notification looks like: Click and Pledge provides tools so that you can post a donation form on your website. The issue is whether the donation form is hosted locally (i.e. by you) or remotely (generally by Click and Pledge themselves). Either way you can easily confirm whether the donation form is secure. Here are four easy steps to follow: Go to your website Click “Donate Now” or the equivalent Look at the command line on your browser. If it begins, “https:” you are secure. If it only begins “http:” you should follow the instructions in the email in consultation with your web developer.  ... read more

Salesforce Encryption Update: What You Need To Know

Salesforce has begun updating its security encryption standards, which potentially impacts any third party software that makes a real-time connection into Salesforce. Everything on the internet will be forced to be TLS1.1 compliant in 2018, but Salesforce has decided to go a year early. In order to ensure that your Salesforce will continue to work as smoothly and efficiently as always, we are recommending three actions: test your browser, update Outlook for Salesforce, and use third party compliant software. The full blog post lists the software that we have found compliant, and details our recommendations.

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Meeting Your Mission & Ours: Introducing Bootcamp PLUS Trainings

Like all of our clients, 501Partners is a mission-driven organization. We do the work we do because we want to support the vital services that nonprofits perform. And how do we do this? 501Partners provides nonprofits with tools to track outcomes and plan for the future in an informed way. Salesforce is our primary tool of choice to help accomplish this goal. For the last four years we have had the privilege of working with over 165 organizations, all with diverse missions. Whether it be job readiness, eliminating the achievement gap, disability rights, promoting citizenship, health services access, or homelessness prevention and legal reform — we believe Salesforce is the most powerful and flexible data tool available that will meet your nonprofit’s data needs. Continuing our commitment to the nonprofit sector, 501Partners is pleased to offer Bootcamp PLUS, a series of half-day trainings that focus on one specific issue that is key to Salesforce success. This format allows us to present specific, detailed scenarios with plenty of time for questions. Our ultimate goal with Bootcamp PLUS is to support organizations in developing a deeper understanding of their own Salesforce system. By developing this internal capacity, users become more engaged throughout the organization and typically have fewer adoption issues. In addition, Bootcamp PLUS allows us to present some of the most popular third-party apps that integrate with Salesforce and allow users to solve issues in payment processing, communications, and events management. Our current Bootcamp PLUS offerings include: Native Salesforce FunctionsDescription Salesforce Toolbox for AdminsLearn what you need to manage your Salesforce instance: add and remove users, edit and create profiles, merge and export data securely. Salesforce Advanced ReportingLearn how to choose, organize and edit a variety of report types so you can present your data to others in your organization. Salesforce for Case ManagementTrack and report interactions with program participants to efficiently manage cases, track client progress, and showcase success. DIY Salesforce Data MigrationLearn how to prepare your data efficiently and transfer any type of data from your old database into Salesforce without the stress. Third Party ApplicationsDescription Form Assembly for SalesforceLearn how to integrate Form Assembly with Salesforce, set up forms and surveys, customize responses, and avoid data duplication. Mass Emailing with SalesforceIntegrate Salesforce with a mass emailer and create automated emails that assign tasks, respond to requests, pass information to the right staff person, and respond to constituents. Salesforce for Event... read more

New Name, New Features: The Nonprofit Success Pack

The Salesforce Nonprofit Starter Pack has been rebranded and renamed to the Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack. Along with the renaming, Salesforce.org has released two new features, Engagement Plans and Levels. We are really excited about these two new features, primarily because we can see the value they add to the NPSP, and to nonprofits organizations. Here’s why the Nonprofit Success Pack lives up to its name, and what we love about it: Engagement Plans: Think of Engagement Plans like Action Plans. They are a series of tasks (phone calls, emails, mailings) and/or scheduled events (meeting to review progress, training meeting, fundraising event) that must be completed in accordance with the plan you’ve designed. It’s similar to the plans that we project management nerds love to create. Create as many Engagement Plans as you like, and reuse them for multiple contacts or organizations in your system. Essentially, they are a set of tasks that help your nonprofit connect with constituents. To do so, first create a Plan Template, then add the tasks that help you execute your plan. You can assign dates to these tasks, and make Tasks dependent upon finishing a prior Task. Once you have set up all the tasks that are needed to complete the plan, you save it. Then you can select a New Engagement Plan from the Contact screen. The breadth of use cases for this new feature spans across enterprises. We can easily see how useful Engagement Plans would be for staff and departments, such as:       Development operations       Volunteer management       Grant-making steps       Training programs       Case management       Sponsor Management These plans standardize key processes and can be kicked-off manually or automatically when used in conjunction with Levels. (The next great new feature.) Levels: Levels allow organizations to track a constituent’s level of commitment and engagement based on criteria such as total gifts or hours volunteered. For instance, it is important to know who your major donors are and how to target them. Levels can work in tandem with Engagement Plans to outline who, what, how and how often to communicate with your constituents. You only need to set up your levels once, which saves everyone valuable time. Hereafter, the NPSP will monitor the fields you’ve selected and automatically update related Level fields daily. NOTE: In order to use Levels, you must be on NPSP 3.81 or greater (September 2016 release).  If you don’t know what version of... read more

Play in the Sandbox for (Salesforce) Safety

USE A SANDBOX TO AVOID COSTLY MISTAKES Did you ever have one of those moments where you wished that your life had an “Undo” button?  Of course you did! Maybe it was when you did something stupid, or when you crumpled a fender trying to squeeze into a parking place. Clients often assume that Salesforce has one too, and they blunder ahead without fear. The bad news is that Salesforce does NOT have an Undo button. Why not? As an online platform, it really can’t: once a command is sent to the server in Seattle or Atlanta or Kuala Lumpur, one cannot retrieve it. However, Salesforce does have something that’s just as good as an Undo button: it’s called a Sandbox. A Sandbox allows you to test out changes to your Salesforce without affecting your data. Once you get the Sandbox working, you can reproduce it in your organization’s Salesforce account (called Production) and Voila! You’ve created your own Salesforce Undo button. Types of Sandboxes When you create a Salesforce account, your organization automatically receives a certain number of Sandboxes. If you have created a Salesforce instance recently, you will be able to set up the following four types of Sandboxes as part of your instance (three of which are free of charge): Developer (30 available): This type of Sandbox is adequate for most purposes. It is an empty version of your Production Salesforce; it contains all the objects and fields but none of the data.   Developer Pro (1 available): Developer Pro includes customizations like dashboards and report types that you have created in Production, which is not included in Developer. This is only necessary if the changes you are testing involve these functions. Partial Copy (1 available): This is a new and very useful type of Sandbox. It has the same structure as Developer Pro but it includes hundreds of your actual records. This is helpful when you are testing a procedure that has consequences for your entire Salesforce instance, such as upgrading to NPSP 3.0. Full Copy (0 available): You must purchase this from Salesforce directly. It is a complete copy of your Salesforce instance, including all objects, fields and data. There are certainly a few situations where this would be ideal. The cost has risen recently to over $500. Creating a Sandbox To create a Sandbox, follow these steps: Click Setup   In the Setup... read more

Think Like Einstein: Unlock Salesforce’s Capacity

When I was a kid, one of the scientific-sounding myths that stuck with me was that the average human “only” employs 10% of their brain, while geniuses like Albert Einstein utilize up to 20%. If your organization is using Salesforce only as a development tool, you are only tapping into a very small percentage – perhaps only 10% – of your Salesforce capacity. It is easy to forget that Salesforce is primarily a CRM (Constituent Relationship Manager). So many nonprofit users focus exclusively on its formidable suite of tools for tracking all types of financial transactions. Use Salesforce to Synchronize Data Across the Entire Organization When used correctly, Salesforce synchronizes all your agency’s departments. Best of all, it streamlines the process of mass uploading data to Salesforce from other databases. Just about every product on the market can produce your current data into CSV (Comma Separated Value) format, which is the data type that Salesforce reads. In our work, we’ve found that most development contacts are not cross-referenced across the organization. For every Annual Gala or fundraising event, there are donors who not only give but volunteer, too. To pull up a list of those who do both can be time-consuming and inefficient if you are using two different data systems. Five Minutes of Effort = Your Customized Report In a conventional development arrangement, you’d first go to the Development Director to get a list of everyone who donated, and then go to the Volunteer Director for his or her volunteer list. Someone would then have to manually cross-reference the lists. (We are already feeling your pain.) If you were using Salesforce for both your development and volunteer databases, you would simply write a report to indicate who has both donated and volunteered in the last year.   So Easy. Five minutes, tops. Ah – but now what if you want to cross-reference donors with former program participants? Or volunteers with former program participants? With only five minutes of effort, you’ve got that list too. No More Information Silos Salesforce enables you to track ALL your important relationships in one place, many of whom may become future donors. This robust tool offers the ability to track information about your service recipients, volunteers, families of volunteers, partner organizations, government regulatory agencies; and not to mention the friends, family members and associates of your current donors. The result: no more silos.... read more

Starting from the Finish Line: Structuring Your Salesforce Instance

Using Salesforce successfully and efficiently long term depends on starting with a sturdy and adaptable structure. By strategically basing your Salesforce on your business processes, you can ensure proper and reliable data reporting and open a window into a high-level understanding of nonprofit organizational program outcomes, trends, financial benchmarks, and more. Building your Salesforce correctly requires capturing data with an eye to reporting on it, helping you achieve your nonprofit organization’s service and fundraising goals, and offering insights for organizational planning. At 501Partners, we approach our clients’ Salesforce structure with the mantra, “Plan the beginning with the end in mind.” We are sharing five of our “pro tips” to structure your instance correctly at the beginning, so you spend less time adjusting your reports, and get what is most valuable out of it in the end.  1, Understanding Reports and Objects: Make Sure Salesforce Knows What You Want Reporting is an essential part of your nonprofit’s success, and if used correctly, Salesforce can make what would normally be an exhausting process into just a few clicks of your mouse. Before you start reporting, however, be sure that you are asking for the right kinds of information and that you’re inputting and using the selected information correctly. All data in Salesforce is stored in separate “objects” (“tables” for people more familiar with conventional databases), and you use these objects to create reports. The objects that are most commonly used on the non-profit sector are Contacts (People), Accounts (Organizations), Opportunities (Donations) and Campaigns (Events).  When you create a report, make sure that you use the appropriate reporting template for what you need to know.   For example, if you want to create a fundraising report, make sure you specify whether you want to focus on Donors or Donations. If you want to report on Donors, you need to start with Contacts. Note that Donor reports can include total donations, but will not show every specific donation from an individual, as seen below.   To report on donations you need to start with Opportunities. Since one donor may make many donations, however, you may find the same names repeated over and over again. 2. Use Picklists, Not Text Fields, to Increase Reporting Accuracy Accurate reporting depends on clean, consistent data. Imagine you are collecting demographic data about your constituents and one of the questions is “Primary Language.” You could collect this information... read more

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Upcoming Events

May
31
Wed
501Partners Nonprofit Networking Event @ Cafeteria Boston
May 31 @ 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
501Partners Nonprofit Networking Event @ Cafeteria Boston  | Boston | Massachusetts | United States

You’re invited to join 501Partners for a happy hour to connect with other nonprofits, learn about innovative ways to use Salesforce, and enjoy appetizers and drinks on us!

Cafeteria Boston is just one short block away from the Hynes Convention Center, host of the Salesforce World Tour. (Attendance at the World Tour is not necessary to join us.)

Appetizers and a free drink ticket for wine or beer included.

Please RSVP for this event to give us an idea of who’s coming! No ticket is required upon entry.

Jun
1
Thu
Click & Pledge for Payments in Salesforce @ Virtual
Jun 1 @ 12:00 pm – 12:30 pm
Click & Pledge for Payments in Salesforce @ Virtual

Click & Pledge Events combines the financial power of standard Click & Pledge with a fully-featured events management tool. This webinar will show you how to use C&P Events’ built-in form building tool, shopping cart, and donor levels, and how to use its integration with Salesforce to capture and report data on all your event attendees.

Jun
2
Fri
Bootcamp 101 @ 501Partners
Jun 2 @ 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Bootcamp 101 @ 501Partners

Are you a nonprofit that needs help understanding and implementing Salesforce, but lacks the skills and resources to take advantage of the platform’s power?

If yes, we have a great event for you – our Salesforce Bootcamp 101 for Nonprofits!

At 501Partners, we’re experts at Salesforce and want to share our knowledge with nonprofits that are looking to use this powerful platform to improve operations.

By the end of the bootcamp you will know how to:

  • Process Contacts
  • Record Donations
  • Manage Tasks
  • Customize records
  • Import Data
  • Launch campaigns
  • Generate reports
  • Create Dashboards

Who Should Attend: Executive Directors, Development Staff, Admin Staff, Volunteer Coordinators, Program Directors

-x-x-x-x-

What attendees have said about Bootcamp

“Overall, great job! Working while learning was extremely helpful. I was able to learn a lot that will make me stronger and more effective while using Salesforce.”

“I wish I had taken this class 1.5 years ago, it would have made my job a lot easier!”

“Thank you so much for a great workshop! I definitely learned a lot, and I look forward to diving into Salesforce and seeing what it can do for our organization.”

Paul, the presenter was awesome! The best part was that he was able to pause and answer questions, and then continue with his train of thought. He’s very easy to understand, and able to demonstrate on the screen how to actually do things, including when answering random questions.”

“Watching an experienced user use Salesforce really teaches you a lot more than just trying to read manuals or help pages on your own. It was also useful to hear how the other attendees use salesforce at their companies.”

Jun
15
Thu
Click & Pledge for Events in Salesforce @ Virtual
Jun 15 @ 12:00 pm – 12:30 pm
Click & Pledge for Events in Salesforce @ Virtual

Click & Pledge Events combines the financial power of standard Click & Pledge with a fully-featured events management tool. This webinar will show you how to use C&P Events’ built-in form building tool, shopping cart, and donor levels, and how to use its integration with Salesforce to capture and report data on all your event attendees.

Jun
16
Fri
Salesforce Toolbox for Admins @ 501Partners
Jun 16 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Salesforce Toolbox for Admins @ 501Partners | Boston | Massachusetts | United States

Salesforce Toolbox for Admins

Many organizations find having a Salesforce system administrator on site to be advantageous, not to mention cost-effective. This half-day training is designed for the relatively new nonprofit Salesforce admin who wants to be a confident user of the most helpful and frequently-used Salesforce functions. You’ll leave knowing how to administer Salesforce to support your program, organization, and staff data needs. Come ready to practice adding, ask your questions, and learn alongside your peers.

We will walk through active use cases, and discuss some of the most commonly-asked questions about nonprofit Salesforce system administration. Finish the workshop with confidence and the ability to:

  • Add and Remove Users
  • Create a Company Profile
  • Edit Profiles
  • Use Data Securely
  • Export Your Data Safely and Efficiently
  • Merge Contacts and Accounts
  • De-duplicate Contacts Without Stress

This workshop is offered in conjunction with Bootcamp Plus: Salesforce Advanced Reporting. Sign up for a single session, or both for a heightened Salesforce learning experience.

Salesforce Bootcamp for Nonprofits 101 completion, or equivalent experience, is a registration pre-requirement for any Bootcamp Plus workshop. Contact us at (978) 232-9200 if you have any questions about this requirement.


A Few Details:

Please make sure to bring a laptop to the training. We do a lot of hands-on exercises. We also recommend using Chrome or Firefox browsers (Internet Explorer and Safari do not work well with Salesforce).

Note: Chromebooks and tablets are not recommended.

We are located above The Fours Restaurant on the 5th Floor. The closest T station is North Station (Orange or Green Line). Follow this link for more information about our location, including parking options: http://501partners.com/contact-us/directions/

We will provide some coffee and snacks in the morning, and will give you a lunch break around noon to visit local restaurants.

Salesforce Advanced Reporting @ 501Partners
Jun 16 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Salesforce Advanced Reporting @ 501Partners

Salesforce Advanced Reporting

Learn how to choose, organize and present each of the most common reports that any nonprofit admin will use in this Salesforce Advanced Reporting workshop. Leave with the confidence to run the right report, correctly, and show your staff and board what’s happening now and what may happen in the future!

We will identify the type of information you’ll need from each report, learn how to select the report type, and ultimately how to present the data to others in your organization. We will also review the structure of Salesforce and its role in reporting so that you have a wide-angle view on building reports.

Leave with the confidence and knowledge to:

  • Create and Run Commonly Used Reports/Charts
  • Use Pre-built Reports in the Nonprofit Starter Pack (NPSP)
  • Build simple reports
  • Create Charts
  • Create and Run Tabular and Summary Reports
  • Manipulate Mailing Lists: Exporting Data to Excel
  • Export to Campaigns
  • Create Dashboards

All of our workshops are taught by our Director of Training, Paul Baxter. Salesforce Bootcamp for Nonprofits 101 completion, or equivalent experience, is a registration pre-requirement for any Bootcamp Plus workshop. Please contact us at (978) 232-9200 if you have any questions about this requirement.

This half-day training is offered in conjunction with Bootcamp Plus: Salesforce Admin Toolbox. Sign up for a single session, or both for a heightened Salesforce learning experience.


About Bootcamp Plus:

Our advanced Salesforce skills workshops are designed to offer a deep dive into one specific function of Salesforce, with the goal of enabling you to confidently maintain your own Salesforce instance in-house. Each half-day workshop opens with a foundational overview of the subject and walks you through active use use cases to make the subject concrete and understandable. This training series is designed for hands-on learning and offers plenty of time for asking and responding to your questions.

All of our bootcamps are taught by our Director of Training, Paul Baxter.


A Few Details:

Please make sure to bring a laptop to the training. We do a lot of hands-on exercises. We also recommend using Chrome or Firefox browsers (Internet Explorer and Safari do not work well with Salesforce).

Note: Chromebooks and tablets are not recommended.

We are located above The Fours Restaurant on the 5th Floor. The closest T station is North Station (Orange or Green Line). Follow this link for more information about our location, including parking options: http://501partners.com/contact-us/directions/

We will provide some coffee and snacks in the morning, and will give you a lunch break around noon to visit local restaurants.

Jun
29
Thu
Roll Call & Attendance in Salesforce @ virtual
Jun 29 @ 12:00 pm – 12:30 pm
Roll Call & Attendance in Salesforce @ virtual

Roll Call is a custom solution designed by 501Partners with educators, trainers and event planners in mind, making attendance tracking in Salesforce a seamless process. Allow us to guide you through a demonstration of this product, which facilitates bulk attendance tracking and automation, with fully configurable attendance pages, customizable fields (including photos and links), automatic record creation and management, calendar integration, and mobile compatibility.

Jul
13
Thu
Enhanced Volunteers for Salesforce: Individuals @ 501Partners
Jul 13 @ 12:00 pm – 12:30 pm
Enhanced Volunteers for Salesforce: Individuals @ 501Partners

An effective volunteer management solution eases the workload burden around scheduling, reporting, and communicating with your volunteer network. Join this webinar to learn how our efficient solutions allow you to focus on nurturing and enhancing your relationships with your volunteers. You’ll see tools for handling both individual and group volunteers, collecting waiver forms, and tracking hours served with check-in application


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