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CRM & Salesforce

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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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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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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.

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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).

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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.

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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, 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.

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Play in the Sandbox for (Salesforce) Safety

By | CRM & Salesforce, Data Management

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.

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Think Like Einstein: Unlock Salesforce’s Capacity

By | CRM & Salesforce, Data Management

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.

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