From Household naming enhancements to data importer goodness, we’ve got some amazing updates from some amazing people with the latest amazing Nonprofit Starter Pack release. In fact, if were to sum it all up in word, we say it was, uh…
Watch the rundown to get caught up in about 60 seconds:
For the full release notes, check out the announcement in the Salesforce.org Power of Us Hub (Salesforce login required)!
Another Nonprofit Starter Pack release, another installment of the PUB Crawl’s Release Notes Rundown! The updates pushed last night provide some fantastic new functionality for tracking soft credits and matching gifts within the Nonprofit Starter Pack and we just couldn’t help but gush with love and appreciation for those that made it all happen.
For the full release notes and the 20+ pages of documentation on how to make the functionality available to your Salesforce org, check out the announcement in the Salesforce.org Power of Us Hub (Salesforce login required)!
Well, we’re taking another step in your life easing effort! For those who think reading is totally overrated, we’re rolling out the first installment of the PUB Crawl: Nonprofit Starter Pack Release Notes Rundown. Within about 60 seconds, you’ll hear the latest additions and updates to the Nonprofit Starter Pack, the open source, community-driven, Salesforce.org-shepherded CRM engine powering many-a nonprofit’s social change-making engines.
This inaugural installment runs down the details of Release 3.62 as shared by Jason Lantz of Salesforce.org plus tosses in a few little extras of our own. So belly up to the PUB Crawl bar and hear the barkeep share the latest news: Read more »
We’re happy to give a hearty welcome to Now IT Matters, our latest Soapbox Engage Salesforce Partner.
Here’s the word straight from our newly minted partner on why Now IT Matters…well, matters:
Online petitions can be a great strategy to rally support for a cause and spark social change – all while building excitement for your mission, boosting donations, and dramatically growing your supporter list.
But where do you start and what do you need to succeed?
Get the answers to these questions and more as Laura Shapiro, Director of Digital Engagement for Global Fund for Women, dishes on what led to the success of IGNITE: Women Fueling Science and Technology, a campaign to create more equitable access to tech for women and girls worldwide that garnered more than 20,000 signers.
Fresh on the heels of Soapbox Petitions being added to the Salesforce.com AppExchange, we’re pleased as punch to share that Soapbox Events has joined it there as well!
Through clicks not code, Soapbox Events provides simple yet powerful online event management tools integrated with Salesforce. That combination makes it a rare bird. Just ask Justin Birdsong, Manager or Technology Product Development for the Cultural Data Project:
“Soapbox Events is a really, really excellent tool. I spent about 6 months researching different options and looked at everything from free bolt-ons to paid apps to full-scale customized consulting projects, and frankly, nothing really fit the mold unless we were prepared to spend tens of thousands.”
In late February, Google announced a significant change to its search algorithm. While it usually doesn’t talk much about how its crawlers review Web pages, this particular change was worthy of notice because it will affect essentially every website, including one run by your nonprofit. Starting April 21, Google’s search algorithm will have greater focus on “mobile friendliness” in determining page rank. In particular, when supporters look for you on their mobile devices, your page rank will be greatly affected by whether your site has a full level of optimization. That means less visitors and fewer people getting interested in your cause if your site isn’t optimized. Nonprofit content management tools with mobile device optimization in mind can help you manage this significant change to the way your supporters see you.
An impact event
Many online publications, including Entrepreneur Magazine, are already calling this “mobilegeddon.” There’s a good reason for that: While the two largest algorithm changes, Panda and Penguin, were significant, they didn’t have that much scope. They were usually targeting websites that were attempting to game the search engine to score page views based on faulty or malicious content. On the other hand, this update will impact every site on the searchable Web, including regular websites. More importantly, there has been an increase in mobile searches, garnering up to 60 percent of all searches according to comScore. That’s a lot of supporters looking to see your work. If you’re not thinking about mobile already, this should be the kick in the pants that gets you going.
This past week, the South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Festival hosted a panel on nonprofit organizations, called “Activism At Its Best.” In it, the main question was: What can organizations do to increase online engagement among potential supporters? This is an especially big question when it comes to the one demographic that everyone likes to talk about but nobody seems to grasp: millennials. You can’t just coast on your name anymore, especially because there are so many organizations out there that are trying to do what you’re doing. Instead, your cause is the focus, since their interest in you is often based on that alone. You have to reach out to them, rather than the other way around. Nonprofit CRM software can assist by giving you better ways to effectively communicate with them.
Go for the connection
When building up that connection, it’s important to have a strategy that invokes the cause as much as possible. At the SXSW panel, Hilary Gridley of DoSomething.org noted that her organization’s template for drawing in supporters is defined as, “Know it. Plan it. Do it. Prove it.” This model of thinking taps into the ideal of actions taking a personal agenda, according to The Nonprofit Times. Similarly, you should have a strategy for your nonprofit’s mission that is built on people doing things for their own sake, not just for the greater good of the cause.
Another way to interest millennials is direct communication and support. Young people, who have grown up on social media, feel a need to be more connected to the cause and people that influence their beliefs. Lori Painter of PETA turned her nonprofit’s site into a source that coaches people who are interested in supporting animal rights, but aren’t sure how to really do it. While you don’t need to overhaul your site and staffing to reflect how to help with your cause, you can be supportive by simply answering emails or social media posts.
“Even if you don’t have full time staff, just take the time to respond and listen, that’s the way to build relationships,” Painter said.
Provide a more direct way to give
Just as much as your organization develop a more personalized agenda among supporters, donors should be treated in a similar manner. According to Network for Good’s Millennial Donor Playbook, you should determine if you’re doing enough for your organization to create a connection with potential donors. Millennials can be an impulsive bunch, acting in the moment. Playing to that aspect through pictures and video can help push these people to contribute to your cause in some way.
More importantly, you should be able to give these millennials the means to explain themselves when they act on the cause. This includes explaining where exactly their donations went in a way that is transparent and succinct. For example, after the contribution is made, send the donor a video that shows your organization conducting a mission backed by monetary gifts. After seeing who benefits from donations, millennials can share the cause with others, making your more compelling to people everywhere.
As a nonprofit, why would you need a “sales” database and a customer relationship management software solution? CRM software, such as Salesforce, and integrated technologies can help you not just run your organization more quickly and effectively, but also help you grow and sustain relationships.
Simplify your operation – and make your life easier – by consolidating processes
Tal Frankfurt, founder and CEO of Cloud for Good, shared a personal anecdote with Beth Kanter, author of Beth’s Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media, that captures what nonprofit life may look like for many in the sector: As a nonprofit resource manager, he inherited a hodgepodge of project management and data-management tools, ranging from Excel to Constant Contact.
The result? A vast, unruly donor database that gave the organization very little actionable insight into their constituent relationships. Sounds like quite the headache.
Using the Salesforce Foundation’s philanthropic model (allowing a number of free Salesforce licenses), Frankfurt was able to not only consolidate data using Salesforce, but track every donor interaction as well – giving them an “institutional memory,” enabling personal communication with a diverse range of constituents.
Instead of spending time maintaining parallel databases and interacting with multiple interfaces, Salesforce empowered stakeholders to spend more time nurturing relationships. By no stretch of the imagination, Frankfurt’s organization doubled its donation-related income within the first year.
Crowdfund your own campaign without the scary cost
Groundwork Opportunities (GO), a nonprofit charity that invests in health care, education and environmental ideas, seeks out leaders in neglected communities around the globe and provides them the support they need to bring their ideas to life.
According to Bart Skorupa, GO’s executive director, crowdfunding platforms were originally used to raise funds online, which was OK – at least at first.
During one of their first projects, as outlined in a Salesforce Foundation e-book, GO raised $12,000 for a biogas plant in Uganda. The drawback? Crowdfunding platforms charge fees – and depending on how much money you raise, those fees could be significant. Very significant.
“So suddenly we owed $850 for the privilege of using the platform,” Skorupa cited. “We thought at that point, how hard would it be to build our own crowdfunding platform?”
GO learned that, utilizing Salesforce‘s campaign feature, it didn’t need to use crowdfunding to receive donations. Instead, the nonprofit could run its own crowdfunded campaign directly from its site – without fees – by connecting the site with the CRM via a simple data bridge. That meant more of the money raised would go toward the causes it was intended for instead of supporting a third-party crowdfunding platform. Sounds like a win to us.
There are many integration tools available to nonprofits to streamline and automate Salesforce operations. Some solutions involve complex coding challenges that nonprofits may not be suited to tackle or have the budget for which to pay. Luckily, platforms like Soapbox Engage exist so you can easily create and build online engagement tools that integrate with Salesforce at a nonprofit-friendly price.
Ignite cultural shifts across your organization
According to Hopeworks N’ Camden Executive Director Rev. Jeff Puthoff, the No. 1 benefit of switching to a Salesforce CRM is the meaningful engagement it makes possible with constituents, as cited in the Salesforce Foundation e-book.
Before, Puthoff said his staff used an Excel spreadsheet, which was time-consuming to update. Nor could it track specific information. Puthoff explained this disorganization made it difficult to locate information, much less use it effectively.
Now much of the organization’s operation is automated, pushing volunteers to new levels of engagement. Surprisingly, however, something else began happening, too.
Using Salesforce’s Chatter feature, employees began to communicate much more effectively with one another, increasing collaboration and sharing.
“Chatter is ultimately a cultural change,” Puthoff said. “It’s about understanding data, and defining opportunities, and grasping the importance of transparency and power structures. It’s a new kind of stream, much different from email, and learning how to use it can take some time…Culturally, as an organization, we need to understand that we have relationships with each of our volunteers, our donors, our trainees, and those relationships need to be managed with care. Salesforce and Chatter are helping us do that.”
Employing Chatter, Puthoff and his team organized a “reduce the murder rate” campaign. By sharing information and data across the organization, the nonprofit was able to successfully campaign an effort to combat the city’s murder rate.
Be it consolidating data, making data more actionable and flexible to the needs of your nonprofit or igniting a shift toward a more socially engaged organizational culture, Salesforce is a powerful ally when it comes to nonprofit management. And everyone needs allies.