Notes and Attachments—We Hardly Knew Ye! (Part 2)

By | CRM & Salesforce, Data Management, Nonprofit Resources, Nonprofit Tech, Salesforce News and App Reviews, Salesforce shortcuts and tips

In Part I of this blogpost I covered how the familiar Notes and Attachments related list is giving way to the new, separate Notes and Files objects in Salesforce.

In this post we’ll look at how to convert your existing Notes and Attachments to new Notes or Files. Whether you need to do this depends on how and how frequently you used these tools. Some of our clients are very conscientious about using Notes to update every interaction they have, and often report on these.

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Notes and Attachments—We Hardly Knew Ye! (Part 1)

By | Data Management, Nonprofit Tech, Salesforce News and App Reviews, Salesforce shortcuts and tips, User Management

Salesforce has been making noises since at least 2016 that the “Notes and Attachments” related list is not long for this world. With the Winter 2018 update, they are making good on this promise.

However, there’s no need to panic, as they are 1) allowing users to preserve all their existing notes and attachments; and 2) replacing “Notes and Attachments” with two full-fledged objects—“Notes” and “Files,” with the effect of vastly increasing the usefulness of these functions.

In this post I’ll be showing you how to activate and use the new objects and discuss the enhanced functionality.

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Managing the Departure of a User or a Super-User

By | Data Management, Nonprofit Tech, User Management

It’s never easy having a colleague leave your organization, but after you throw the party and eat the cake, be sure to take care of her Salesforce account. Accounts are valuable. You don’t want someone who is no longer there taking one up. Above all, for the sake of security, you don’t want someone who has no defined connection to your organization having access to your constituents’ names and giving histories.

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Connect: The New Way to Click & Pledge

By | CRM & Salesforce, Donor Tracking and Management, Nonprofit Tech, Salesforce shortcuts and tips

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.

Initially, Click & Pledge only gives access to the person who originally applied for payment processing credentials. That person must then invite additional Users. There is no limit to the number of users, but the system makes it so that an outside party is unable to access your organization’s Click & Pledge account without primary user authorization.

Here’s a step-step guide for adding users:

Step 1:  The authorized user enters her email address

Step 2:  She receives a code by email


Step 3: She invites other users, who then receive an email giving them access to the account, mirroring Step 1.

More improvements on the way!

Click & Pledge assures us that more improvements to appearance and functionality are on the way. At 501Partners, we’re eager to see where Click & Pledge will  do with the new Connect platform. (Disclosure: more than 20 of our clients currently use Click & Pledge.) In the interest of the nonprofit sector as a whole, we are thrilled with where Click & Pledge is going.


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

By | CRM & Salesforce, Salesforce shortcuts and tips

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 to set up Salesforce to support their existing business processes, so we do some shadowing to see how they do things. In one case, when we presented our proposal, the client asked us, “Why do five people have to handle every check before it gets deposited?” The consultant said, “I was about to ask you the same question.”

People entering data should be properly trained.

You wouldn’t let people drive without going to driving school, but many organizations are happy to let whoever shows up manage their data. As I was migrating original data from an organization’s old database to Salesforce, I noticed that nearly 1/3 of all the records began with the letter “T.” The English language  just doesn’t have that many words beginning with “T,” so I looked closer. And what did I find? “The Barr Foundation;” “The Boston Foundation;” “The Hyams Foundation;” etc., etc.  And of course nearly all of these records also existed without the word “The,” so most of them were duplicates.


This is our favorite. It can take several months to set up an efficient Salesforce instance.  But it can take years to unravel a poorly constructed Salesforce instance. Don’t rush. Come up with a plan and do it right the first time.


Click & Pledge Update: Is Your Domain Secure?

By | 501Partners News, Nonprofit Resources, Salesforce shortcuts and tips

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.



Salesforce Encryption Update: What You Need To Know

By | Salesforce News and App Reviews

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

By | CRM & Salesforce, Nonprofit Resources, Our Services

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:

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Bootcamp PLUS assumes a basic knowledge of Salesforce; in general we recommend that participants have taken Salesforce Bootcamp 101 or can demonstrate equivalent knowledge.

Additional training topics are in development, and we are open to suggestions — what do you want to learn next?

Bootcamp PLUS sessions are presented at the 501Partners office on a monthly schedule in rotation with our popular Salesforce Bootcamp 101 training. Upon request, trainings are available to be held on-site for large groups.

New Name, New Features: The Nonprofit Success Pack

By | CRM & Salesforce

The Salesforce Nonprofit Starter Pack has been rebranded and renamed to the Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack. Along with the renaming, 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:

npsp_salesforce1Engagement 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.

npsp-compatibility-300x300NOTE: 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 NPSP you are using, please reference this article that will help you determine what version you are using.

These new features will streamline important processes for your nonprofit organization, and maximize impact through constituent engagement. The Nonprofit Success Pack will help you meet your mission.