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Understanding What ‘Operational Capacity’ Means for Your Salesforce Project (Part 2 of 2): Managing Salesforce Throughout Its Lifecycle

By | 501Partners News, CRM & Salesforce, Data Management, Good Governance, Nonprofit Management, Nonprofit Resources, Nonprofit Tech, Operations and Development | No Comments

In our previous post, we introduced the idea of the organizational capacity model and the graph of decision variability over time that helps illustrate the idea. In this post, we take the same graph but break it down differently, to reflect a project’s lifecycle.

The first takeaway in this series is that knowing your current organizational capacity can help you align the type of Salesforce projects you pursue for optimal success. You can read about that in more detail here.

Takeaway Two: Your technology enforces your organization’s business processes, which puts a burden on your organization at the same time it offers efficiency gains.

Graph displaying decision variability over time
Everybody wants technology that fits them perfectly—technology that helps them do their work faster and better while alleviating pain points. When you adopt an enterprise system such as Salesforce, you have access to a powerful platform that can be made to automate just about any business process you can think of. In our ebook on the Data Maturity Model, we explain why that should be approached with some understanding of what your organization can support. In this post, we want to further explore the lifecycle of a Salesforce customization, and illustrate both the types of skills you may want to look for outside of your organization, and the tasks your organization should be prepared to take on for a healthy, well-maintained custom project.

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Staff brainstorming ideas

When Should You Automate in Salesforce?

By | 501Partners News, CRM & Salesforce, Data Management, Good Governance, Nonprofit Management, Nonprofit Resources | No Comments

…I have observed that people want the magic new thing more than they want improved management to fix problems. Managers need to carefully determine the areas in their business where new technology is the right choice and other areas where a back-to-basics management approach may be more effective.

- Temple Grandin, quoted in Tribe of Mentors by Timothy Ferris

Is Your Organization Truly Ready to Automate?

Nonprofits are in a unique position with their technology needs. With complex program delivery and ever-changing funder requests for new and different data, it is often a struggle to map an organization’s processes, let alone find the right technology to support those processes.

In my role as 501Partners’ senior solutions architect, I’ve had the opportunity to build or design dozens of interesting, complex technical solutions for a range of organizations using Salesforce. Needless to say, I’ve learned some important lessons along the way.

Lesson 1: Assess internal capacity. It’s critical to align internal capacity with technology selectionthis is so important that it became the subject of an entire ebook.

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The word Plan Action on two matching puzzle on orange background.

Understanding What ‘Operational Capacity’ Means for Your Salesforce Project (Part 1 of 2)

By | 501Partners News, Case Management, Data Management, Data Maturity, Nonprofit Management, Nonprofit Resources, Nonprofit Tech
501Partners often works with organizations who are trying to use their Salesforce implementation to help transform their operations. We’ve learned that our clients’ chances of success are dramatically improved when they are able to think about where their organization is in terms of operational and data maturity.

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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.

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Express Grants: Training Reimbursement for Nonprofits from the Workforce Training Fund

By | 501Partners News, Nonprofit Resources, Operations and Development
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010816-IMG_3106As a non-profit executive, you know that your most vital asset is your employees. In a time where you face constant challenges in technology and funding, training is essential for maintaining the effectiveness of this critical resource. Rarely does an opportunity to enhance your employee’s skills and expertise crucial to your organization present itself in as easy and generous manner as it does with the Workforce Training Fund.

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the importance of volunteering

The Importance of Volunteering

By | 501Partners News

Last Friday, Bill and I had the opportunity to volunteer at Community Servings, one of our wonderful clients who are working hard to make sure that chronically ill people get nutritious, balanced meals. Not only that, but Community Servings makes sure that their caregivers and family members get these delicious meals, as well. You can learn more about these Real Life Heroes here.

On Friday, Bill and I spent our shift in the kitchen, preparing the meals for distribution. Never the culinary expert, there was a slight learning curve for me when I was asked to expertly chop cucumbers and to make a carrot/cranberry salad. However, the head chefs were very helpful and kept things lighthearted and fun. A Top 40 radio station played us some holiday classics in between a rotation of Taylor Swift and Beyonce – it was a great time for a great cause.

In honor of the holiday spirit, and inspired by our trip to Community Servings, here are five reasons why volunteering is such an important thing to do, and why you should sign up for a shift the next chance you have:

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501Partners is Thankful For…

By | 501Partners News

A simple list of the things we’re truly thankful for as Turkey Day approaches:

  1. The NPSP Data Importer. We recently were introduced to this impressive tool by the Salesforce Foundation’s Marc Baizman. Currently, our consultant, Paul, is checking into all of the great features included in this data importer. Expect more information soon!
  2. Funny cat videos. Sometimes you just need to laugh. We are big fans of turning to YouTube for our fixes, and our go-to search is ‘funny cat videos.’ Here’s a sample of our favorites.
  3. Chocolate. The 501Partners office is partially fueled by chocolate. In what we call ‘The Fun Room,’ we have several varieties. Just like with Salesforce solutions, one size does not fit all, and expecting only Hershey’s to cut it for the diverse chocolate needs of our staff would just be wrong. (Note: This is also a stellar reason to become a Salesforce Academy participant.)
  4. Coffee. In addition to chocolate, coffee is THE fuel for all of 501Partners’ needs. We can always be counted on to have fresh coffee brewing. Whether it’s first thing in the morning, 2pm or late at night, it is essential that a pot of coffee is ready and waiting to be devoured by our lovely band of caffeine-aholics.
  5. Our Bootcampers & Academy participants. Salesforce Bootcamp and Salesforce Training Academy are two of our favorite things that we do here at 501Partners. Between the amazing people that we get to meet at each training and the wonderful amount of learning that goes on as a result, we are truly grateful to be able to run these programs.
  6. Salesforce. Of course we’re thankful for Salesforce, the platform upon which we base everything we do. Salesforce is such an efficient and powerful tool, and it makes life so much easier for us and for our clients…We can’t not be extremely grateful for it!
  7. Clients. Time to get serious: We LOVE our clients. Each and every one. The whole reason that we do what we do is to help the nonprofit sector make the world a better place for everyone. The fantastic group of nonprofit organizations that make up our client list are truly real-life superheroes. Without them, the Greater Boston area, the nation, and the world would all be lacking something amazing. Whether they are rounding up food for those in need, making sure that all children – no matter their background – have access to superior education, or something in between, our clients leave us in awe each and every day.
  8. Each other. Finally, we are grateful for each other. Here at 501Partners, everyone has a great deal of love and respect for one another, and we are able to combine our skill sets in ways that benefit our clients. All of us have the same philosophy of putting the client first and customizing all of our Salesforce solutions for the exact organization we are working with. And, possibly most important of all, we all know that a day without coffee is hardly a day at all.

Well, that’s our list. What are you thankful for? Let us know on Twitter and Facebook!

Google Maps and Your Nonprofit’s Data

By | 501Partners News, CRM & Salesforce, Information Technology, Nonprofit Tech

Please join Jenn Taylor, 501Partners’ COO as she leads a hands-on discussion and training on the use of Google Maps to map your nonprofit’s data.

The event is being hosted by HandsOn Tech Boston on Tuesday, May 14, 2013 from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM (EDT) in Cambridge, MA. To register, please click here.

For a preview of the process, you can visit page on Success Stories or directly at this link.

501 Partners Logo

Welcome to 501 Partners

By | 501Partners News

501_logoWelcome to 501Partners’ new blog posts.  In the future, we’ll be talking about a number of topics including:  nonprofits, information technology, constituent relationship management systems, cloud computing, bookkeeping and finance, fundraising and social media.  All of these subject will be covered in the context of how nonprofits can improve their operations and effectiveness.

If you have any ideas for future topics, we’d be happy to receive them.

Allan & Ira