Posts Tagged ‘npsp’

PUB Crawl for October 19, 2015

Welcome to the second 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!

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Getting started using Salesforce for advocacy campaigns

Inauguration 2013With this week’s second inauguration of President Obama, and the announcement of the new Organizing for Action nonprofit, the world has seen first-hand that the future of advocacy is data, data, and data.  As the President begins his second term, we’re likely to see the debate over important social issues of our time become even more competitive than before.  Now is the time for organizations to gear up for the next wave of advocacy.

Earlier today, we covered how the Obama campaign successfully utilized it’s strong database tools to run important A/B communication testing to determine message effectiveness.  While it’s going to be rare for an advocacy group to have the war chest of funds that the presidential campaigns had this year, there’s a powerful database tool that we believe is about to see a significant uptick in the advocacy world in 2013:

The question:  how can your advocacy group get started using Salesforce, and even the open source Nonprofit Starter Pack (NPSP), to build a successful campaign database and platform?

Here’s three ideas you can implement right away to start using Salesforce for your advocacy work.

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How to easily contribute to the Salesforce Nonprofit Starter Pack

Salesforce Nonprofit Starter Pack LogoIf you’re one of the thousands of organizations using the Salesforce Foundation’s open source Nonprofit Starter Pack, you have a good understanding of the great features and power that comes under the hood.  It’s one of the world’s best fundraising apps sitting atop one of the best cloud platforms, and it’s improving every day.

For some of you, open source software might be a new and somewhat mysterious concept.  Luckily, there’s a not-so-well-kept secret to  but the immense power of it is what enables so many fabulous organizations to use the Nonprofit Starter Pack (NPSP):  you have the power to contribute to it and make it better.  The question is, how?

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Salesforce fundraising tools top talk at Quarterly Connect

PICnet Quarterly Connect Q1 2013Each quarter, PICnetters from across the country fly in to our Washington DC headquarters for a one day all-hands meeting to discuss the success of the previous quarter and plan for the quarter ahead.  Since today’s Quarterly Connect was our first of the year, it doubles as our annual planning event of the year, giving me an opportunity to share a vision for the company moving forward through the year.

We discussed the unique opportunity our team has in today’s environment to take some important steps forward on new products that we’ve planned for many years.  We’ve agreed that our Soapbox Engage service’s integration with Salesforce, and the tools we’ve created to help organizations fundraise more effectively online, are key to our clients’ success in 2013.  Based on these building blocks, we’re excited to work with our clients, partners, and friends to continue expanding our services for the sector.

This plan dovetails nicely with our existing commitment to further evangelize about the Salesforce Foundation’s Nonprofit Starter Pack, a service that enables organizations to utilize the Salesforce service more appropriately for charitable organizations.  All of our new products planned for 2013 will have deep integrations with the Salesforce service, benefitting the more than 10,000 organizations currently using Salesforce.

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Salesforce Tooling API and nonprofit developer happiness

Salesforce Spring 13Salesforce is well-known for its cloud database model and architecture, making it one of the most popular platforms for building the next generation of apps for non-profit organizations. With the forth-coming Spring 13 release, developers will receive a late holiday present:  the new Salesforce Tooling API.

One of the challenges that developers have had during the past few years is easily sharing their code and best practices with other organizations to help create an open source ecosystem around Salesforce. This is often due to barriers to entry that make it a bit difficult to easily export/import code into your Salesforce instance, especially for those of us supporting the Nonprofit Starter Pack.

In short, it’s not easy to collaborate within the Salesforce developer community as it is in other software communities.

With the new Salesforce Tooling API, however, developers in the community can start to build tools for other developers that might make it a lot easier to share code and ideas.  The Tooling API allows for access to key building blocks of development, including Apex classes, triggers, and VisualForce pages.  This means that our developer community could effectively create tools that makes it easier to share their code, thereby increasing the flow of best practices within our community.

It’s enough to make this open source supporter giddy with ideas for the future. Read more »


Data import tips for Salesforce and the Nonprofit Starter Pack

If you’re looking to import data into Salesforce for your nonprofit organization, there are a number of training resources you have at your disposal from and the Foundation. Read more »


Free seminar on website integration with Salesforce in Seattle


If you’re in the Seattle area and want to learn about ways your Salesforce database can be integrated with your website, look no further.  On Tuesday (December 11, 2012) from 4pm – 5:30pm PT, I’ll be joining Meghan Morrison from Swift River Consulting and Deb Twersky from 4Culture for a free presentation to the Seattle Nonprofit Salesforce User Group in downtown Seattle to share our lessons learned to help you raise more money and gain more supporters online with Salesforce.

This will be a great opportunity to see and hear some of the hottest ways to help your organization integrate your online fundraising, event management, mass email communications, and much more with Salesforce.  From homegrown solutions to our Soapbox Engage service, you’ll walk out with actionable knowledge that you can use the next day to help your organization become more efficient at online engagement.

If you’d like a deeper dive, and you’re in Seattle on Tuesday, drop me an email and I’d be happy to talk through your online engagement challenges with Salesforce, and see what we can knock out over a cup of coffee.


Improving the Salesforce Nonprofit Starter Pack API

Imagine if you’re a third-party developer creating integrations with the Salesforce Nonprofit Starter Pack (NPSP).  Right now, you need to build services on your own that manage the routing of data, creates matching between inbound data and existing data in the NPSP, and much more.  With the NPSP spread across multiple Salesforce packages, integrations for donations, event registrations, and more can be quite cumbersome.

What if instead, the NPSP had a pre-built set of APIs that you could tap into, providing you a landing zone for your inbound data.  A location where you needed to know little-to-nothing about the NPSP, but your organizational clients could know that their data was being properly routed to its own home.

Well my friends, a few good folks from the NPSP developer sprint in DC this week have started to make this happen.  Life as we know it for ISVs will become much better.

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What’s missing in Salesforce Nonprofit Starter Pack?

While there’s healthy discussion happening in the Nonprofit Practitioners user group, an area that isn’t highlighted enough is new ideas for the Nonprofit Starter Pack.  I don’t mean just feature ideas for fundraising, donations, case management, etc.  I’m talking about bug reports, bug fixes, documentation, tutorials, translations, and more.

With such a great community of users and implementers, this seems like a missed opportunity.

During chats at the Nonprofit Developer Sprint in DC this week, Salesforce Foundation staff  made it clear that they welcome community support in a variety of contexts, including ideas that can make the software itself better.  Hence, the Foundation’s fantastic support of events like this week’s sprint.  The challenge, it seems, is that there hasn’t been a path to community engagement in the form of cultivating new feature ideas, bug fixes, documentation, etc.

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Comparing the Salesforce Nonprofit Starter Pack options: Trialforce vs managed packages

If you’re interested in getting your hands on the Nonprofit Starter Pack (NPSP) for Salesforce, there’s two standard ways to get started.  Depending on your needs, especially if you’re just tinkering before building a full Salesforce implementation for your organization, one of these installs will likely be more useful to you than the other.

The most common way is through a system called Trialforce.  This is the type of Salesforce org that is created when you sign up for the Salesforce Foundation’s free product donation form.  The benefit of using this version of the Nonprofit Starter Pack is that it comes pre-built with a number of items that aren’t included in the managed package version of the NPSP, like record types that are specific for non-profit organizations.

This can save  you a lot of time getting up and running; however, if you’re looking for a customized installation of Salesforce, you might end up spending quite a bit of time deleting customizations.

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