If you are interested in improving your organization’s performance by taking advantage of Salesforce and the Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP), there’s truly never been a better time.
First, you’re joining tens of thousands of nonprofits who streamline their work on the Salesforce platform. Second, you’re taking advantage of the years of built-in best practices from nonprofits. Third, you’re benefitting from the top-of-the-line, secure, feature-rich platform supported by over a decade of Salesforce research and development (now $1B annually in investment). Finally, you’re entering at a very exciting point, when Salesforce has just upgraded NPSP to an ultra intuitive user interface: Lightning Experience (more on that below).
Nonprofit Success Pack’s core features are designed for tracking constituents, donors, donations, and grants. They also offer powerful reporting and dashboard capabilities, 360-degree views of your organization’s related activities, and automated tasks and reminders to keep you on track. NPSP can serve as “central command” for your fundraising and contact management needs.
Our client Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency (Wayne Metro) replaced a cumbersome legacy system database with the Nonprofit Success Pack. Now they have full staff access to the database, quick and customizable dashboards, and more. “Everyone can log in and see the information they need,” said Lindsay Nickles, Communications Manager at Wayne Metro. “And donor tracking is a lot better. Salesforce allows for a full view of a donor or relationship. Instead of relying on constant staff communication to know what staff member is talking to what member at a foundation or corporation, we can just log in to Salesforce to see phone calls, emails, and even asks. It’s a one-stop shop to know what has been done and even to plan future actions.”
NPSP provides a versatile base for all sizes of fundraising department and the infrastructure to manage high volumes of donations. Due to its user-friendly configurability, NPSP also saves your organization funds on development and empowers your staff to make needed changes themselves.
Unlike many siloed systems, Salesforce’s flexible foundation also allows your nonprofit to expand beyond donor management and connect this information to other areas like program management. For example, Wayne Metro built out program management in Salesforce which sends and tracks SMS updates and reminders to their staff and human services clients, with the help of app SMS Magic. They’ve seen an increase in client engagement compared to other forms of outreach, with a 90% text open rate.
Nonprofits can extend custom Salesforce objects to track a nearly infinite number of needs, from program applications to student grades, event attendance to volunteering. In addition, you can automate with workflows and processes that are triggered automatically by other processes.
NPSP offers a robust, connected donor management system that unifies your work and grows with your organization. The upgrade to Lightning makes an already powerful platform even better.
Notes on Lightning Experience: The streamlined and more intuitive Lightning interface means a faster, more efficient user experience for you. There are also some great new Lightning perks that didn’t exist in Classic, the previous interface. They include:
- Visualization of the stage of Lead and Opportunity records using Sales Path
- Configurable record headers (compact layouts) that put key information at the top of a page
- Bigger, brighter and sharper reports and dashboards
- More intuitive layout of records with Lightning App Builder
As you learn how to work with Salesforce, you may notice that the interface looks different from examples you see in some help documentation. These documents are being updated from Classic. Salesforce is moving quickly, but a full transition from one interface to another is a multi-year endeavor. Fortunately for you, they are already over a year into the transition. If you’re already using Salesforce, we believe now is a great time to consider switching to Lightning.
There are a few last-mile tweaks you may see in Salesforce’s upcoming Spring ‘17 and Summer ‘17 releases. Some of these are Salesforce improving upon features (such as a complete revamp of Campaigns), rather than trying to achieve parity with Classic. Should you run into an area where you’d prefer to use Classic, you can switch back at any time. As a new user, most of the time you won’t even notice the difference. You’ll simply appreciate the smooth, modern interface of NPSP in Lightning.
Exponent Partners has been working with the Nonprofit Success Pack since its inception. We contributed our coding expertise to the managed package in its early development, and have been implementing it for nonprofits ever since. Learn more about our QuickStarts and QuickConsults, and how you can get started with managing your donors, programs, and more on Lightning.