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What is the Salesforce Lightning Experience and should I enable it for my organization?

The Salesforce Lightning Experience is a slick new user interface layered on top of your existing Salesforce account that focuses on allowing sales teams (or development and fundraising teams in our nonprofit community) to work and close opportunities faster. It is generally available as a feature that can be enabled by Salesforce administrators starting with the Winter ’16 release.

If enabled for users, they will see a new link under their user menu to “Switch to the Lightning Experience”. This will load a whole new beautiful interface for viewing and interacting with your Salesforce data. If they need to switch back to Salesforce Classic, they can do so by clicking on “Switch to Salesforce Classic” from under their user menu (accessible in the Lightning Experience by clicking on the user avatar).

To enable or not to enable, that is the question.

The Lightning Experience is tremendously cool, there’s no doubt about it. It offers tons of neat new functionality and a beautiful interface that makes data look just oh so much friendlier and more impressive. It also includes great enhancements for list views, report filters, inline email, enhanced notes, etc. You can read more about how great it is here. However! The new stuff is so sexy and compelling that it’s easy to miss some of the fine print about what’s not included yet, and some of the missing things are pretty critical! Because of the amount of things not supported yet, we’re considering this Winter ’16 release an “admin release” that allows Salesforce administrators to be able to start exploring and evaluating the Lightning Experience to plan to rollout over the next year (or beyond).

What’s not supported yet?

  • No Campaign & Campaign Member data

    This is critical for anyone using Soapbox Engage or Soapbox Mailer. If you access your Salesforce database from a user account running the Lighting Experience, you will not be able to view your Campaigns or Campaign Member histories. To view this information, you would need to switch back to Salesforce Classic. This functionality is on the roadmap for the Spring ’16 release, so it’s not far around the corner, but it’s not there yet.
  • No ability to “Find/Merge Duplicates” or “Add to Campaign” for Leads

    Again, if you are using Soapbox Engage in particular, you will likely not want to switch to the Lightning Experience until these are supported (or at least not switch your user accounts that need to access these functions).
  • No inline editing

    If you are using inline editing a lot (where you double-click a field to make quick edits instead of needing to click the “Edit” button to edit the whole record), you may want to hold off on migrating to the Lightning Experience since this functionality does not yet exist.
  • No custom buttons

    If you have custom buttons setup (such as the “Send” button included with Soapbox Mailer or the “Attendee” list button setup for Soapbox Events), these will not appear in the Lightning Experience. Want to get involved in the discussion of how this might be addressed in the future? Join the conversation here.
  • No support for person accounts
  • No record merging
  • No mass email

There are some other things too. For the full list, check out this Trailhead module called “Is the Lightning Experience Right for Me?“.

So what does this mean for your organization?

The Lightning Experience is undergoing rapid development, so many of the current limitations will addressed and covered in the next few releases. We highly encourage Salesforce administrators to begin learning about the new functionality and exploring in a sandbox environment so you can be well-educated in creating a plan for if, when and how you will want to start rolling this out to your users. It’s up to you as your organization’s Salesforce pro to make an informed decision about when your organization may be “Lightning Ready”.

For more information check out these awesome Trailhead modules:

And if you have feedback on successes and challenges, we’d love to hear about it! Please share with us and the community through the Power of Us Hub so we can help each other along this journey.


PUB Crawl for October 6, 2015

Welcome to the inaugural edition of the PUB Crawl! I’ll be sharing the top items discussed in the Salesforce Foundation’s Power of Us Hub (“PUB”). Why? Well, I’m reading the entire PUB anyway, so I figured, heck why not pass some kernels of knowledge to my amigos?

Let’s belly-up, and dive right into it! Read more »


Soapbox Events available on AppExchange

Fresh on the heels of Soapbox Petitions being added to the AppExchange, we’re pleased as punch to share that Soapbox Events has joined it there as well!

Soapbox Events

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.”

If you’re interested in learning more, check out our listing on the AppExchange or explore the full suite of Soapbox Engage online engagement tools.


Soapbox Petitions now available on AppExchange

We’re happy to announce that Soapbox Petitions is now available on the AppExchange!

Soapbox Petitions Read more » Process Builder: Writing Sophisticated Code without Being a Programmer – Guest Blog Post

We’re proud to feature this guest blog post by Ashima Saigal, Founder of Database Sherpa. Database Sherpa is a consulting firm serving nonprofit organizations and a Soapbox Engage Partner.

Ashima Saigal, Database Sherpa By Ashima Saigal Founder, Database Sherpa

Salesforce does it again, working toward their mantra of Clicks Not Code, with Process Builder. Released in Spring 2015, Process Builder takes Workflows and Visual Workflows to the next level. You can create records, update fields on any related record, launch trigger-ready flows (immediate or scheduled), send an email, post to chatter and submit for approvals with Process Builder.

So, what does this mean for a nonprofit? Read more »


On your mark, get set… Nonprofit Starter Pack Community Sprint!

Tomorrow, we will be hosting a gathering of community members for a Nonprofit Starter Pack Community Sprint, and we couldn’t be more excited! What’s a community sprint? It’s an event where everyone, whether accidental techie or rockstar developer, can collaborate in person to contribute to an open source project. And, oh what a great open source project the Salesforce Nonprofit Starter Pack is! Empowering thousands of nonprofits to manage donor and supporter data, track program metrics, and do just about anything with data they need to through free or deeply discounted tools, we confess we’re massive fans and couldn’t be happier about lending a hand to help make it even better.

With the Salesforce Nonprofit Starter Pack, your nonprofit can transform its ability to connect with supporters and advance your mission.

We’ll be giving a round up of the day’s events and accomplishments here on our blog after the keyboards are set aside and the dust settles. For now, we’ll just give a massive shout out to the fantastic community members who are giving of their own time and resources to make a contribution for the good of the nonprofit sector!


Soapbox Engage Petitions app is the first advocacy tool ready for the new NGO Connect

Soapbox Petitions for NGO ConnectWe’re excited to announce that the Soapbox Engage Petitions app is the first advocacy service ready for the newly announced NGO Connect platform from the Salesforce Foundation.  With the Soapbox Engage Petitions app, organizations like the Global Fund for Women have created engaging and compelling online advocacy actions, growing their supporter and donor base without needing to invest in more IT.

Now with the NGO Connect platform, organizations can use enterprise-grade CRM services in conjunction with Soapbox Engage Petitions app to jumpstart their online advocacy campaigns and save time and money.

“We’re extremely excited to bring the next generation of online advocacy to enterprise organizations using NGO Connect,” said Ryan Ozimek, CEO of PICnet.  ”For too long, large organizations needed to use outdated advocacy tools that created data silos.  Today, with the Soapbox Engage Petitions app and NGO Connect, organizations will no longer have to make a decision between best of breed advocacy tools or best of breed CRM services.  They can have both at the same time!” Read more »


For nonprofit, Soapbox Engage not just technology platform but true partner for success

When Action for Healthy Kids chose Soapbox Engage, beyond the clicks and code of a powerful and beautiful website that supercharges their mission, they found a true partner:

“I do believe that Soapbox stands by its mission,” said Anthony Moss, Web and Database Manager for Action for Healthy Kids. “They speak the nonprofit language well and want to forward the mission of nonprofits. From my experience, that’s rare – and it’s true across the company. We, as an organization, really appreciate that.”

Read more »


Soapbox Engage: “Only tool I could find” to effectively measure program impact for nonprofit

Action for Healthy Kids faced a common dilemma at the core of every nonprofit: how to gauge impact. Specifically, as a nonprofit mobilizing thousands of volunteers to catalyze change in schools across the nation, how could they know how many schools they were touching?

In Soapbox Engage and, Action for Healthy Kids found their answer:

“We purchased a list of 130,000 schools across the country and uploaded it to,” explained Anthony Moss, Web and Database Manager for Action for Healthy Kids. “We then directed users to our website where they could search for the school with which they are affiliated by utilizing the Soapbox Engage Salesforce search tool.”

Read more »


“Painful, painful” grant application process made easy and efficient for staff and applicants with Soapbox Engage

When Action for Healthy Kids elected to build their new website with Soapbox Engage, they chose more than just a great looking, mobile-friendly website that was easy to manage and useful for event registrations. They adopted a powerful platform integrating with in ways that have transformed core business processes.

“The process for applying for our grants has completely changed as a result of Engage,” said Anthony Moss, Web and Database Manager for Action for Healthy Kids. “It was a painful, painful thing before. We’d have to send people to Survey Monkey and dowload responses in an Excel file.”

Read more »