A study by SurveyMonkey made headlines last week when it revealed that social media users are far more generous than we might think. The survey, which polled around 1,000 adult users who identified their social media habits as ‘regular,’ yielded some very useful insights for nonprofits, including which social networks are the most effective for implementing fundraising ideas. In particular, LinkedIn users were found to be the most charitable, having given, on average, more than $100 and more than ten hours to various causes in the past year. What’s interesting, though, is that less than 1% of these same users find LinkedIn to be useful for finding out about charitable causes and events. When it comes to brainstorming fundraising ideas for your nonprofit, don’t underestimate the power of social media; further, don’t neglect to research which networks will work the best for your campaign. Though these tasks can seem daunting, they’re important, and Salesforce understands that. Here are a few handy ways to harness social media with Salesforce and to really propel your online fundraising. Read More
Salesforce has recently announced that certain malware may be able to steal a user’s Salesforce credentials. At this time, Salesforce does not believe it is affected. However, it is always good to take preventative measures in these situations. The name of this malware is Dyre or Dyreza; this would be a program (like a virus) that runs on the user’s computer. The malware could target any site, it just so happens that Salesforce is its target. (Click here to learn more about malware) You should follow the instructions below to keep your Salesforce account and your computer safe.
- Find out what antivirus program is running on your computers (home, work, laptop, etc. – anywhere that you might login to Salesforce).
- Use the website of your antivirus program or contact your IT provider to find out if you are protected from Dyre or Dyreza.
Salesforce has made some changes, but you don’t have to worry about what they mean for your NPO. That’s what we’re here for. Salesforce has changed their API (Application Program Interface) a little bit and this may affect some of your connected apps. The impact should be minimal and you will be able to login, but some features may act strangely until the permissions are corrected. Outlined below are the specifics of this change, along with screenshots to better help you understand how to deal with the shift. Read More
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I’ve always considered myself a people person, not a techie, and once thought those were mutually exclusive. While I’ve recognized the importance of technology, I never thought I would be one to lead others in that way.
So, how did I become a Salesforce Administrator?
If you get the emails that Salesforce sends out to systems administrators, you probably got a baffling email last week with the subject “Action Required: Whitelist All Salesforce IP Ranges to Prepare for Login Pools.”
First things first: the chances of small and mid-sized nonprofits needing to do anything about this email is very slim. Check with whoever manages your IT and network, they’ll know what this email means and whether you should do anything.
But because the question has come up a couple of times, we figured we’d try to translate. This isn’t really about Salesforce, but it’s a quick peek into the inner workings of the internet for the curious.
Inner workings of the Internet
Many of us don’t even bother with the address bar on our web browsers anymore – we just type in what we want and whatever search engine we use goes out and fetches it. So these days you can type “salesforce” into the top address bar of your browser, and more or less go to the right web site. If you’re old enough to read this blog post, you’re probably old enough to remember when you had to type in “www.salesforce.com” or “login.salesforce.com,” or type in “google.com” and go search for whatever you were looking for. If you deal with web pages at all, you know that you have to find the URL (human readable name) of a web site in order to link to it.
That human readable web address (URL) has some magic behind it. When you type it into your address bar, your computer first talks to your local network, which talks out to the world, to find out how to translate “login.salesforce.com” into a unique IP address. A unique IP address is just a string of numbers tied to a unique computer somewhere, like a telephone number is tied to only your phone. How a request gets from your computer to a global computer to Salesforce servers, back to your computer, is pretty neat, actually, but we’ll trust you to read more on your own.
IP Address assignment in today’s day and age
In the very old days, you got one IP address per human-readable address. Your own organization’s web site probably has only one IP address. For massively busy and distributed (cloud) systems like Salesforce, or Google, what actually happens is that any of hundreds, or thousands, of different IP addresses can actually answer a request for “login.salesforce.com.”
Whitelisting Salesforce.com’s IP Addresses
So Salesforce is just expanding the number of computers that can answer a request for “login.salesforce.com.” This never impacts most people. However, if you are dealing with systems that have to be absolutely sure that “login.salesforce.com” isn’t coming from some evil hacker, you will get a list from Salesforce of what IP addresses are legit, and you’ll whitelist those IP addresses. If you’ve done that, you need to expand your list soon. That’s all this is about.
Over the last couple of months, I have been doing a “Listening Tour” of local nonprofits to learn more about how organizations are managing their data and the challenges they face. I’ve met with staff from 10 different nonprofits, ranging in size from 5-100 staff, and representing a variety of issue areas. I’ve heard the perspectives of program and development staff, as well as those in charge of managing the data for their organizations.
With such a spread in size and maturity, it’s no surprise that each organization handles data differently and uses a variety of systems. There was a huge range in the levels of sophistication, from the small organization that was mainly paper-based and tracked constituents on an Excel spreadsheet, to the organizations using the full extent of CRM software to manage most of their enterprise-wide data functions.
Law 3: Salesforce is a tool, not the silver bullet
Take a deep breath. No seriously, you’ll feel better.
Salesforce can be an incredibly powerful tool for a nonprofit. This much is clear. But it has limitations; Salesforce cannot save your entire world.
Law 2: Proof, Transparency and all the baggage that comes with
SalesForce is an incredible management tool. It can inform a manager with more information about their staff’s time/effort than they ever dreamed possible. It can bring a veritable renaissance of programmatic improvements and outcomes as well as the most transparency that your nonprofit has ever known. Wherein we find our double edge.
Repeat after me: Push Up.
We’ve spoken to dozens of nonprofit organizations during the past eighteen months, and a clear pattern of data management has emerged. It spans a breadth of nonprofits from tiny history societies to large, capacity building nonprofits.