By Laura Geunther Reposted from Apttus X-Author: http://x-author.com/salesforce-mvp-month-joni-martin/
Apttus is excited to feature it’s third installment of the Salesforce MVP of the Month program, in which we spotlight the exceptional leaders of the Salesforce Ecosystem that have lent us their expertise, knowledge, and ongoing contributions, ensuring both our individual improvements and the betterment of the platform as a whole. It’s thanks to these individuals that our daily questions have been answered on the Success Community, difficult admin tasks have been made easier, and even empowered some of us to get certified.
This month we interviewed Joni Martin (@jonikbryan) who is an inspriational leader not just in the Salesforce ecosystem but the nonprofit community as well. She founded her first nonprofit when she was 19, working with middle school and high school girls to empower them to take autonomy in health and relationship choices. Since, she has spent the nearly 2 decades heavily involved in the nonprofit community, helping found two nonprofit organizations, currently serving on the board of The Nourish Collective, and as a member of the North Richland Hills Community Emergency Response Team.
She also founded Girlforce in September 2013, in the Power of US Hub, hoping to connect to other nonprofit women using Salesforce, and to give nonprofit women a place to educate themselves and their peers through study groups and professional and personal development opportunities. From their start in 2013, they have grown from 25 members to nearly 1,500!
She considers herself a nonprofit storyteller helping nonprofits use data to tell the stories of empowerment, compassion, inspiration, and change, and she advocates for building the capacity of nonprofit organizations through technology. In her day job at Now IT Matters, she helps align vision with resources that serve the nonprofit sector. In short, she helps nonprofits tell their stories better.
1. How and when did you start working with Salesforce?
The first time I logged into Salesforce was in 2012, when the nonprofit I am involved with adopted Salesforce to do donations management. Previously, we were using the sticky-notes and spreadsheets method, and Salesforce opened up possibilities with online donations and automation that I never dreamed existed before! It was a game-changer for us, and in the first fundraiser we had following our adoption of Salesforce, we raised 3 times the amount we had raised previously, just due to ease of payment!
2. What couldn’t you imagine doing every day without Salesforce or the AppExchange?
Apsona has made data imports a breeze for me. I can’t imagine life without that app!! I also can’t imagine life without online donation processing apps like Click&Pledge and Soapbox! Collaborating with my virtual team around the country is significantly easier too, with Salesforce Chatter, and keeping tabs on my nonprofit clients is significantly less painful with the awesome reporting Salesforce has available to me. All in all, I can’t actually imagine doing my job without Salesforce. Oh, and the opportunity planning wall? How great is that app! It makes my opportunities visual, and for this right-brained person, that’s a big deal!!
3. Most of us depend on MVPs like you to answer our questions. Who do you turn to if you have a question about Salesforce?
I turn to a few places for my Salesforce questions:
- Girlforce – With over 1500 women in the Girlforce community online, we have a huge pool of knowledge to draw from. If I can’t find the answer in Google, or among my team members at Now IT Matters, I will immediately turn to Girlforce!
- Salesforce Success Community – Almost all of my questions can be answered by searching in the Salesforce Success Community.
- Foundation Office Hours – Foundation office hours brings together knowledgeable partners and users in the nonprofit community with end users and admins. You’ve got questions? They’ve got answers!
- Stevmo – When all else fails, ask Stevemo. He has the answers on nearly everything.
4. What is your favorite app (or top 3 if you can’t decide) from AppExchange and why?
- Apsona – Batch uploads, updating and editing lots of records at once, importing data… Yes, please! Apsona makes all of our lives so much easier, and it’s FREE.
- Click&Pledge – The fees are reasonable and the team behind C&P is always trying to improve the product and make it better for the users. I love what this company stands for and how far the product has come!!
5. Do you have any advice for brand new Salesforce users?
Jump in and find your tribe! Salesforce has so many resources for new users like you. First, get involved in a localuser group – a lot of cities have several to choose from! It will give you exposure to functions that you might not have known about, and I learn something every single meeting I go to.
Second, find a community group online that resonates with you and jump in. The larger community can be hard to break into, and somewhat overwhelming at first, so drill down to a group that focuses on specifically what you do, then expand out from there! I also recommend Girlforce for all the nonprofit ladies out there – it’s a great jumping off point. Third, fear not. Salesforce is not a delicate flower that will be broken if tweaked. I HIGHLY suggest getting a developer org and start building stuff. Join a study group and learn about certifications. Jump in and install apps in your developer org. Try new stuff and see what works. You can do it!!
7. What kinds of things are you involved in, like to do outside of the Salesforce ecosystem?
I am on the board of a nonprofit, The Nourish Collective. We do soap and water projects in developing nations around the world, and we have an awesome fundraiser every year that I help with, called The Good Karma Circus. I am really involved in a community group I started at my UU church called The Back Porch, where we ask questions that have no answer and find family in each other. I love hooping and watching fire spinners at drum circles. I love reading and writing – particularly about religion, mental illness, social justice, and women’s issues. I have three incredible kids that I’m lucky enough to be mom to (Bella, Will and Jesse) who light up my life and spend all my money. As a family, we love outdoors stuff like camping, swimming, hiking, and the occasional sidewalk chalk. I am lucky enough to have friends all over the globe, so I try to find community wherever I touch down. In my spare time, I love to crochet and sample microbrews.