Salesforce for Nonprofits: Building a Better Future Professionally

Salesforce for Nonprofits
23 December, 2020 5 min to read

The Salesforce CRM platform has earned itself a reputation as an indispensable tool that can perfectly adapt to the goals of any given organization. Nonprofits are not an exception. They need the same high level of management that large businesses do; in fact, they need professional management even more so because they rely on the goodwill of donors and volunteers.

Salesforce for nonprofit organizations is a way to reduce manual labor, keep the data under control, and save the effort that would rather be spent on engaging more donors and managing charity programs. Nonprofits usually deal with scarce resources, and so Salesforce Nonprofit Cloud provides professional solutions to allocate those resources efficiently.

Salesforce Nonprofit CloudSource: Salesforce

Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack Overview

To clarify, Salesforce Nonprofit Cloud incorporates many products and features; Nonprofit Success Pack is but the most prominent of them. Taking into account the needs of the particular organization, one could add one or more Salesforce products into their Nonprofit Cloud. It could be, for example, Datorama or Pardot listed as Marketing Cloud products. The amazing news about the Nonprofit Success Pack is that this product features ten free user licenses when enlisted through the Power of Us program. It is also Open Source. It evolved from the Salesforce Nonprofit Starter Pack launched in 2008, and so, when it was upgraded from “Starter” to “Success” in 2016, the NSPS abbreviation stayed the same.

Just because nonprofits stand for the greater good, it doesn’t mean they should shy away from empowering opportunities that modern technology provides. The mission of nonprofits is to make a social impact and engage as many people as possible in such a way that it doesn’t feel like a daunting obligation to them. Salesforce Cloud software makes that mission much easier.

The three pillars of the Nonprofit Cloud are Fundraising, Marketing & Engagement, and Program Management, and the Nonprofit Success Pack seamlessly binds them together while also aggregating data from other connected services.

These tools are designed to put any nonprofit on track and empower it to bring more value to the community it serves.

The Fundraising Solution

 The Fundraising solution does not only conveniently store all the donation and gift data, but it also synchronizes the data across your Cloud and your team, excluding opportunities for miscommunication. The gathered data is going to be used to predict income months ahead, thus enabling your organization to plan and execute its goals even better. There’s no need for more spreadsheet management, as the data-driven insights will be visualized as compact charts and graphs in a single dashboard window. Of course, you decide which data to view.

A single fundraising platform enables you to easily distribute the funds between your projects and retrieve easy-to-read reports for donors or legal bodies, too. Engagement Plans keep your volunteer teams focused on the essential tasks related to the respective programs, while the Accounting Ledger further expands the range of actions possible when it comes to your financial data.

The Salesforce Elevate product goes hand in hand with the Fundraising solution, serving as a neat and functional platform-independent front-end interface that potential and loyal donors can access at any time. Once a donation is submitted through Elevate, it is automatically recorded into the Cloud database, updating all the linked data insights on the go. Imagine how much manual labor it could save over the course of a year.

All the data is going to be consistently verified by Salesforce Data Integrity package tools, which perform, for example, duplicate contact removal, address formatting, and National Change of Address updates instead of your volunteers.

The Program Management Solution

Manage, measure, and adjust nonprofit program data with the help of Salesforce Program Management. The default PM module is a part of NPSP. Nonprofit Cloud Case Management helps organizations deliver top-tier constituent care with the help of tools that track services, case plans, notes, incidents, assessments and outcomes, regardless of the scale.

The current pandemic has changed the way organizations work forever. Work.com creates safer environments and helps nonprofits reopen for business.

The Marketing & Engagement Solution

Salesforce encourages nonprofits to gain more exposure by advertising their cause – in a good way. What kind of content appeals to your constituents most? Find out with Customer 360 Audiences!

Make h3 Marketing & Engagement and h3 Program Management with appropriate feature description - I'm not sure if it's all is mixed.

DatoramaSource: Salesforce.

If you heavily utilize emails to communicate with constituents, consider installing Pardot.

Are you ready to analyze the impact of your organization and make corresponding decisions based on intelligent analytics? See Datorama.

Group donors into Households and manage the relations between donors, groups, and your team members. The Household Account model also enables you to track and manage relations with other organizations, gradually allowing your nonprofit to become even more connected:

Household Account modelSource: Salesforce PowerOfUs

The number of available Salesforce solutions and products for nonprofits might make it difficult to grasp at least some minimal knowledge about all of them. But this is not a requirement!

The reasonable way to deal with the load of knowledge that the Salesforce platform comes with is to go for the free, open-source Salesforce NPSP Trial and build up as necessary.

Salesforce Nonprofit Pricing

The pressing question for a nonprofit, especially one just starting out, is, ‘How much does NPSP cost?’

A Salesforce NPSP membership costs nothing for the first 10 users if applied via the Power of Us program. However, your organization must pass the 501(c)(3) organization eligibility requirements.

If a nonprofit organization is not yet qualified as a 501(c)(3), they may choose to opt in to the Salesforce NPSP Trial, which provides 10 Sales & Service Cloud Enterprise Edition licenses for the 30-day period, giving them a chance to finish the Power of Us program application and continue to use the Trial after the period expires.

Note that the products which are not a part of the Sales & Service Cloud + NPSP (like those belonging to the Marketing Cloud) will have to be purchased separately, although they may have a significant discount for nonprofits attached to them.

The table below describes the discounted editions available for nonprofit organizations. It is important to tell the difference between those four, so here is a breakdown of the features first.

The Sales Cloud is the groundwork of operations for an organization. It contains a complete toolset to manage one-time and recurring donations or various kinds of gifts, track the progress on grant acquisition, and visualize all the respective data through Dashboards updated hourly. It improves team productivity with engagement plans and levels, task management, and campaign management.

The Sales Cloud Chatter Feed serves the team as a local social network, making crucial updates instantly spread across the organization and allowing the basic features like comments and user tags along with regular communication. It also supports integration with Outlook, Gmail, and Google Apps. Additionally, it also includes one Partial Sandbox and a Developer Sandbox so the Cloud integrity could be tested before being rolled out online. It would probably be more appropriate to call the Sales Cloud a Charity Cloud in the context of nonprofits because it’s obviously not necessarily about sales.

Think of the Service Cloud as a Customer Support Service Cloud. As such, it is designed to make customers happy because their cases will be processed faster by the proper agent. In this case, your customers are the constituents: donors and beneficiaries. New features that come with the Service Cloud include special Case Objects, Console Apps, Contracts, and Entitlements. Case resolution efficiency is further enhanced by automation and API scripts.

Compared to the Enterprise Edition, the Unlimited Edition expands upon the functionality of the Cloud software in terms of max user storage and the number of custom objects, upgrades the sandboxes, and adds more learning possibilities, plus improved support for its owner. It does not add any unique products. In general, license editions reflect their user’s level of control.

Products Sales Cloud Enterprise Edition + NPSP Sales & Service Cloud Enterprise Edition + NPSP Sales Cloud Unlimited Edition + NPSP Sales & Service Unlimited Edition Cloud + NPSP
Price, PUPM $36 $48 $72 $96

Moreover, Salesforce applications for nonprofits come either at discounted prices or free of charge.

It is absolutely possible to start out using the Salesforce Enterprise Edition and install NPSP as an extension. Salesforce software is modular in nature, so there won’t be any problems in doing so. However, the reason NOT to do that is that now you know how little Salesforce for nonprofits costs compared to its business version analogs.

As you can see on the table, every extra Enterprise Edition NSPS license would cost $36 per user per month. The regular business organizations have to buy Enterprise Edition licenses for $150, so it turns out that nonprofits have a massive 76% discount on top of their 10 free license limit.

Likewise, the Unlimited Edition licenses, which usually cost $300 for businesses, come at the $72 PUPM price for nonprofits.

Another reason to start working with NPSP right away is that in the Nonprofit Success Pack, Salesforce uses different wording for some concepts. Salesforce CRM was originally designed as a B2B platform, which made some of the terms used in the original data model inaccurate in the case of nonprofits. Thus, an Opportunity became a Donation, an Account became a Household or Organization, and a Contact became a Donor.

The products on the table below are not initially included in the Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack for a simple reason: Not every organization needs their advanced functions. The price is stated per organization, per year.

Accounting Subledger Starter $2,500
Elevate $5,000
Insights Platform Data Integrity $1,000
Nonprofit Cloud Case Management $360
Grants Management $2,100

All subscription prices are charged in advance annually.

Is Salesforce Free for Nonprofits?

Apparently, the first 10 licenses that Salesforce provides gratis make an overall impression that the whole service, including installation, maintenance, and learning, is free. However, it is only free if a given organization keeps the count of their Nonprofit Cloud restricted to 10. Adding more users to the Cloud increases the expenditures.

However, even at the stage of installation and initial configuration, your team members may not always possess the competence required to get the system up and running. The installation of non-free AppExchange applications and products outside of the initial Sales & Service Cloud product suite will cost extra.

It is possible to get the free help of fellow volunteers with Salesforce usage experience and proficiency (or even the Salesforce team consultants in person), but hiring a dedicated certified professional will save a lot of time, for a price.

Salesforce NPSP Training

Training is just necessary in the case of any Salesforce product, and the platform itself offers plenty of options to raise one’s level of proficiency with NPSP. Although self-education is one of the most efficient ways to learn when driven by proper motivation, professional help has an advantage: A certified Salesforce professional can point out a shortcut on your learning journey whenever you get stuck.

Apply for the Pro Bono Program

If you apply for the Pro Bono program, there is a chance you can work with Salesforce team members themselves. These are the people who are willing to consult the community members pro bono (literally, for good). This is how you can get yourself a real nonprofit Salesforce consultant free of charge.

However, such an application must meet clear requirements. The goals of an applying organization must be clearly defined, the approximate time to provide a working solution should not exceed 20 hours, and it is preferable that the applicant’s query does not concern third-party applications. Otherwise, there just may be no volunteer ready to pick the application.

Upgrade to Unlimited Edition

Money-wise, running the Unlimited Edition is on the high end of the scale. Nonetheless, the Unlimited Edition includes extended customer support, developer support, the ability to edit Knowledge base, and full sandbox environment functionality. These features could prove useful to sizable nonprofits.

Hire Certified Salesforce Partners

Nonprofits often lack resources to bring their ideas to life, which is perfectly understandable. So, if Pro Bono professional assistance and the edition upgrade are not available at the moment, the remaining options are to choose a certified Salesforce partner or to get in touch with the local and worldwide nonprofit community. The former is suggested if an organization aims for optimal performance and already has a clear vision of what they expect from their Success Pack.

Ask the Community for Help

The Power of Us HUB is a dedicated forum where nonprofits connect, share experience and help each other out. The reason why this resource was created is, first and foremost, because the community itself voted for it as the most desired feature they would like to be implemented.

Why the Power of Us HUB was created — Salesforce.

The HUB has gathered certified Salesforce partners, team members, and customers together, not only so they can join their efforts toward building a better world, but also to build a caring community among themselves. All the professionals in the nonprofit, K-12 and higher education domains are welcome. Its difference from the Trailblazer Community lies exactly in the fact that it is meant for nonprofits and educational institutions.

To fully use the HUB, however, one must be a registered Salesforce user, as it only accepts a single Salesforce login, so there is no need to create a separate account.

The Power of Us website also stores community-supported Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack Documentation.

On the other hand, the Trailblazers community is still there to enable anyone willing to learn more about Salesforce products in a fun and rewarding way. One can use Trailhead to connect with local enthusiasts who may potentially be interested in their endeavor.

By the way, if you were looking for Salesforce Nonprofit jobs, this is a chance to become an activist yourself: Just help the community maintain the knowledge base or share some advice with fellow trailblazers.

Salesforce NPSP Success Stories

More than 40 thousand nonprofit and educational institutions have already entrusted their vital data management processes to Salesforce Nonprofit Cloud solutions.

The intention to change the world is actually enough by itself to drive real change – provided that it is met with the support of the community and reinforced with determination to do the work it entails.

Pencils of Promise is dedicated to providing equal access to children all around the world. For instance, they built a school for the small community in Guatemala, giving the gift of education to more than 100 students. The Salesforce Pro Bono program helped them set up the Nonprofit Starter Pack and move on with their calling. Pencils of Promise was partially funded with a $25,000 grant by Salesforce itself. Now, more than 210,000 people in total have benefited from their programs.

Atlanta Mission, an organization with an 80-year history, eliminated issues with data inconsistency, lack of communication across their collective, and human error with the help of NPSP, Pardot, and AppExchange:

Heather Webster, CRM Specialist, Atlanta MissionSource: Salesforce.org

For those hesitant about whether their nonprofit will make full use of the Salesforce platform implementation, there is a short survey:

  • Does the organization have a clear implementation vision and plan?
  • Does it have strong executive sponsorship?
  • Do its team members have sufficient familiarity with and interest in Salesforce features and capabilities?
  • Is the team committed to continuously learning to use Salesforce in the future?
  • Does it collaborate with a skilled consulting partner and plan its budget according to the scale of implementation?
  • Is the team committed to accurately porting their data into the Salesforce CRM and keeping it up-to-date?

The confident “Yes” answers indicate that a given organization will make the most out of their Salesforce NPSP experience.

Considering the fact that Salesforce nonprofit pricing is as low as it could be, there are no reasons to stop learning how NPSP can empower your organization to bring more good into the world. There is always something that can be improved.

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