Events Management Apps: What to Look For

Nearly every nonprofit is dependent on fundraising from donors, whether it be private individuals or corporations. For that reason, many nonprofits host galas or other fundraising events. These events give an organization the opportunity to tell its story, make a splash, honor current supporters, and hopefully bring new donors into the fold.

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...