Drive Nonprofit Success with the Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack

I’ve been in the nonprofit world for the past 5 years working with various constituent database platforms. I have seen it all in regard to “workarounds” within the nonprofit platforms currently available, which is why the need for a full-integrated, customizable solution is at an all-time high. Nonprofits are getting more creative with the methods used to fulfill their mission and that calls for an agile and ever-changing software package. When you think about Salesforce you likely think Sales, Service, and Marketing for major corporations. You’d be right, however, Salesforce threw their hat in the nonprofit ring a few short years ago and it’s paying off big time for nonprofits everywhere. The mission behind the Salesforce nonprofit donor-centric platform is simple – allow donors to be an integrated part of the mission, not just a funding mechanism.

Because nonprofits are so unique in their offerings and missions, the platform they choose must be flexible and customizable. There are two major cloud platforms Salesforce has rolled out to accommodate many of the needs of any nonprofit organization. Elevate and the Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP) go hand in hand to create a suite of integrated offerings. One of the most notable things about the Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP) is that it is open source. That means Salesforce NPSP encourages exchange, collaboration, and transparency of the product. This is a great way for nonprofits to have their input taken into consideration for new features and functionality.

For any nonprofit to run smoothly you ideally need a few key pieces: a payment processor, donation forms, a constituent relationship management software, and some form of marketing to solicit. The Salesforce Elevate platform covers the functionality needed right out of the box with Giving Pages, Payment Services, Engagement Hub, and Philanthropy Cloud for Causes. When combined with your Salesforce CRM (+NPSP) you’ve got a fully integrated cross-cloud powerhouse at your fingertips.

When you get your shiny new NPSP that sits on top of the Sales Cloud Enterprise Edition you’ll have everything that normally comes with Sales Cloud plus all of the key functionality you’ll need to successfully run your nonprofit. Some of the basics covered out of the box are constituent relationship management, address and seasonal address management, volunteer management, donation management, basic grants management, basic membership management, basic batch entry, pre-configured and customizable donor reports, and engagement plans and levels. This cloud-based product covers all the essentials and then some. You’re likely familiar with the basics if you’ve spent a day in the nonprofit world, however, let’s cover some cool features that make Salesforce stand out among the crowd.

    • Philanthropy Cloud for Causes: A corporate impact platform gives every employee access to a global network of opportunities to donate, volunteer, and advocate for any cause in which they are passionate. If your organization is in the US and is an active, non-revoked 501(c)(3) on GuideStar, it will automatically be included in Philanthropy Cloud to receive donations.
    • Payment Services: Streamlined integration from all your donation channels into Salesforce CRM via NPSP. Payment Services is PCI-DSS Tier 1-compliant, thus securely managing your donors’ credit card information. Payment Services offers Gateway Connector, a payments API, tax receipt capability, and CRM integration. It boasts a wider choice of gateways and processing options. You can run donations, pledges, and recurring gifts all through Payment Services.
    • Giving Pages: A fully integrated (with Payment Services and NPSP) solution that creates modern, company-branded donation forms. The forms are search engine optimized and help in creating a meaningful experience for the donor instead of just transactional. As we move away from strictly transactional interactions Giving Pages allows for a story to be told while engaging the donor.
    • Nonprofit Cloud Engagement Hub: This is a feature I have personally wished for many times. A community/donor portal that allows for the community feel we are accustomed to seeing from Salesforce along with the donor being able to see their giving history and volunteering activities. This keeps donors and volunteers engaged with your mission and gives a sense of ownership. The donor begins to feel like the work of the organization is part of who they are and an extension of their own efforts.
    • Insights Platform Data Integrity: This piece is the stuff dreams are made of for any database manager. We all know that the number one thing about databases is bad data in equals bad data out. “Insights Platform is designed to help your organization streamline and automate data management processes, improving the quality of your constituent information. It gives you:
      • Address standardization to ensure constituent addresses are correctly formatted with USPS-standard city names, street abbreviations, ZIP+4 formatting, and more. Only US addresses are supported.
      • National Change of Address (NCOA) updates to keep up with constituents who change their address with USPS. NCOA updates may also qualify your organization for postal discounts.
      • Duplicate Contact management to find and merge duplicate Contacts in Salesforce using Contact Merge and Duplicate Jobs.” –
    • Accounting Subledger: One of the less glamorous yet very necessary pieces of the puzzle, accounting subledger is what marries fundraising and finance together. This comes with customized templates for widely used accounting systems, including Blackbaud Financial Edge, Sage Intacct, Quickbooks, NetSuite, Banner Finance, Oracle Peoplesoft, Microsoft Dynamics (Great Plains), Workday and FinancialForce. This allows for transparency and consistency between development and finance.
    • Power of Us Hub: This is a nonprofit community with over 27,500 users answering questions and sharing best practices to the tune of over 6,000 posts per month. 99% of questions posted get answered according to Salesforce. If you’re looking for a place to collaborate with other nonprofits, this is the place to go.
    • Program Management Module is a free extension of the Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP) that provides a consistent view across all platforms. The module is customizable to meet the needs of a nonprofit’s program, service, or client.

Even with all the stand-out features named, it doesn’t begin to cover the Salesforce Nonprofit AppExchange. This is the home of 3,000 partner apps, 3.5 million customer installs and dozens of applications created just for nonprofits, the Salesforce AppExchange is a comprehensive place for social and mobile cloud apps that round out anything else your organization needs that is not included in your Salesforce CRM + NPSP/Elevate. The thing that makes Salesforce stand out among the crowd, for me, is how customizable it is. If you can dream it, it can be built.

Overall, Salesforce has come out strong in recent years among major players who specialize in the nonprofit vertical. As nonprofits get more creative in their approach, the software offerings will need to keep up. I look forward to seeing this space expand!

Kelsey Gibson

Kelsey Gibson

Business Systems Analyst

Kelsey Gibson is a Salesforce Business Systems Analyst. As an Army combat veteran, she is accustomed to exceeding expectations. Kelsey holds the Salesforce Admin Certification, as well as multiple other CRM certifications. She has 4 years of consulting experience with a specialization in business systems analysis and is passionate about finding the best solutions for her clients.

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