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
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 »


3 ways to target donors in your next campaign

It can be difficult to find new donors. Every person has their own unique tastes, and more importantly their own reasons to be interested in your cause. There are many things going on in a potential donor's head that could either favor your appeal or cause it to be ignored. In addition, today's society is increasingly individualistic and fragmented, turning everyone into special snowflakes. It's become increasingly less useful to send out blast communications and expect people to follow through. So what can you do then to drum up support or increase the amount of money raised through each donor? Targeting your donors can be the answer. Here are some ways to do precisely that with the help of nonprofit CRM software:

Each person has his or her own donor preferences. How will you target them?Each person has his or her own donor preferences. How will you target them?

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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!


Dealing with donor levels: Cultivating nonprofit donors of varied amounts

So, you've got a lot of supporters, and many of them make donations on a regular basis. But not every donor is the same. You need to think about them both as individuals and as different groups of people.

But they all donate money, what's the difference?

It's how much money they contribute. Depending on the amount of money they're willing to give, people have certain expectations for you and your nonprofit.

Like, they want a place on the board? Special privileges? Snacks?

No, not snacks. However, through giving more or less money, donors have different expectations about how they should be treated and what they should have access to. They also have unique ideas on how they receive communications from you regarding your organization. But the behavior varies with the amount of money contributed. This is why you should consider using donor levels. Nonprofit CRM software can help you develop and assign them to new and existing donors.

Each person here donates differently. What levels will you put them in?Each person here donates differently. What levels will you put them in?

But how would I set up donor levels? Our donor base varies wildly in terms of what we receive.

There are a lot of methods you can use to set up donor levels. Simple tiers with max limits is one way of doing it. In fact, that yields its own rewards if you have people that aren't entirely sure how to donate. You can create donation incentives at levels based on what donors receive in return as well as based on what the money will do, according to the Nonprofit Hub.

For example, you can set donation tiers on the initial give. If you work for a foundation that provides healthcare to people in third-world countries, you could say that $25 would help vaccinate an entire family against various diseases, $100 could supply the whole village with vaccines, and $300 would supply them with all the medical equipment they need to perform basic care. This has twofold benefits: For one, you can better identify and communicate with your donors based on what they donate. Smaller individual donors will get regular emails and social media communications regarding general information on your cause, while big individual and corporate donors will have a direct line to what you. Two, it incentivizes donors to give a little bit more. They may be wavering on how much to contribute, but if they have a clear idea of where it's going, it'll inspire them to donate more.

Well, the small and big donors are already easy to deal with. What about those in the middle? There are a lot of them, and they donate quite a bit.

You're right. The idea with the middle tier is to give them a sense of distinction from the rest of their donors. As The Non Profit Times suggests, you want to make sure that they feel more prestigious than standard donors while at the same time not giving too much away to the point of alienating your elite sponsors. Giving them a club name, as well as making targeted efforts to get them to auto-renew their donations. These little features you can create using CRM software for nonprofits.


How nonprofit CRM can make your campaigns viral

Every nonprofit, including yours, are likely still envious of the ALS Association. Last year's Ice Bucket Challenge campaign not only raised a significant amount of cash for the organization, but brought a huge amount of attention to the condition also known as Lou Gehrig's disease and its overall lack of research funding. Can you imagine what would happen if you could knock out two birds with one stone like that for your cause?

You don't need buckets of ice for a good viral campaign.You don't need buckets of ice for a good viral campaign.

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4 methods of measuring your SEO for your nonprofit

Is your SEO up to snuff?How does your SEO measure up?

Raising awareness for your cause can be a tricky business. You may have clipboard people on the streets and special ad placements in print and web publications, among other things. What about search, though? There are a lot of people thinking about your organization's mission, either directly or indirectly. These people could become donors, volunteers or supporters very easily. As a result, you should be looking at ways to improve your search engine optimization, or how you're seen and discovered on search engines. By doing that, you'll get more people to look into the projects your nonprofit is working on.

But how do you measure your SEO? Being a nonprofit is quite different from being a media page. You don't have people placing ads on your site, and you're not necessarily looking for page clicks. So here are some tips to get you going in the right direction, using basic analytics tools:

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What Awesome Games Done Quick teaches nonprofits

Playing video games has never been as charitable.Playing video games fast has never been as charitable.

Last week, just outside Washington, D.C., a large group of video game players and fans gathered for a week-long event called Awesome Games Done Quick. It was a marathon streamed live on the Internet that had gamers finish video games as fast as possible using skills and a variety of exploits, a process called "speedrunning." You may think that this event seems ridiculous and unrelated to nonprofits. However, by running it like a telethon, AGDQ raised $1.56 million in donations through various channels in that week for the Prevent Cancer Foundation. Such an incredible fundraising drive helps us provide valuable insights on using the Internet as way to hold events and raise money. Here are four lessons you can learn from this experience, especially as it relates to using nonprofit CRM software.

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Q&A: How nonprofits can leverage celebrity endorsements to raise money and further their missions

The Coast Guard Foundation made waves when it landed the celebrity endorsement of Sig Hansen, Deadliest Catch star, on the show Celebrity Apprentice. We sit down with Jennifer Fyk, Senior Director of Communications for the Foundation, to ask how nonprofits can leverage celebrity endorsements to further their missions and how using Soapbox for their website empowers them to get the most out of this unique opportunity.

Jennifer Fyk, Coast Guard Foundation
Q&A with Jennifer Fyk
Senior Director of Communications,
Coast Guard Foundation

Q: Why did Sig Hansen choose to support the Coast Guard Foundation?

A: As a crab fisherman who makes his living in the rough seas of Alaska, Sig Hansen is personally familiar with the life-saving work that the U.S. Coast Guard does on a daily basis. Once he learned there was a way to give back to the men and women of the Coast Guard by supporting the Coast Guard Foundation, it was a perfect fit.

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PICnet’s 5 best articles of 2014

Before we truly put an end to 2014, let's remember the best moments.

While some people like to think that looking back on 2014 is strictly limited to December, we at PICnet believe that a year-in-review should happen in January. After all, December is part of the year, so it's rather silly to consider the year finished before the ball actually drops. In any event, 2014 was a big year for us and we saw a lot of things happen in the nonprofit sector, from payments to petitions. Here are some of our best articles from the last year. We think you may find them enlightening and fun.

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Coast Guard Foundation nets nod as Sig Hansen’s Celebrity Apprentice charity of choice

We couldn’t be happier than to see organizations using Soapbox for their website needs succeed so we could barely contain ourselves to learn that the Coast Guard Foundation reeled in Deadliest Catch star and Celebrity Apprentice contestant Sig Hansen’s nod as his charity of choice on the popular TV competition ruled by Donald Trump and his coif.

Should Hansen avoid hearing the oft-quoted, much-parodied “You’re fired!” phrase from the real estate mogul, the Coast Guard Foundation will net a cool quarter of a million dollars. Read more »