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Cloud TnT: Being a Changemaker: Shonnah Hughes

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A PODCAST FOR NONPROFITS USING SALESFORCE. With Tim Lockie, Tracy Kronzak, and Joni Martin.

Cloud TnT talks cherry pie, guinea pigs, NPSP Days, and Tim’s kids. And, much more substantively, race, gender, justice, the difference between being an ally and accomplice, and the world of technology with recent MVP Shonnah Hughes, including her Trailhead for All initiative. This one got out a bit late due to the recent election, but is perhaps now even that much more relevant. One of our recent favorite discussions, and something we hope has some wisdom and comfort in it right now. 

Being a Changemaker: Shonnah Hughes

 

 

Reflections from Tahoe Dreamin’

Reflections from Tahoe Dreamin’

 

There is something special about community-run regional Salesforce events like Tahoe Dreamin’. They’re more intimate events that allow for more meaningful conversations. And there’s something special about a conference run entirely by Salesforce users who want to dedicate their time to learning more about Salesforce

Last week, 200 Salesforce users gathered in South Lake Tahoe to network, learn, and get inspired.

Sarah Joyce Franklin, SVP of Developer Relations and GM or Trailhead at Salesforce, gave a keynote speech that set the tone for the conference. In it, she made three key points that provided a new perspective on how you work with your Salesforce instance:

1. Change the story from “Can I change the world?” to “Will I change the world?”.

At Now IT Matters, our clients are in the business of changing the world, and that can be a daunting task. From connecting with constituents to monitoring program outcomes, leveraging Salesforce to fit your organization’s needs can be equally intimidating. But instead of asking yourself if you can do it, as yourself how you will do it. Just changing the story puts you on a path and is the first step in planning your success.

2. Do not be ruled by fear.

As I attended the sessions at Tahoe Dreamin’, I amended this to “Do not be afraid of Lightning.” Many nonprofits have been reluctant to switch over to the new platform because it’s different, it’s unknown. And if we’re being honest, that’s a little scary.

But Lightning isn’t something to be intimidated or worried about, it’s something to explore and be excited about! Turn it on in one of your sandboxes and play around. Collect use cases from your Salesforce users and see how you can solve them in Lightning. If you fail, it’s just a sandbox. And if you succeed, your users will thank you.

3. Be the change.

This comes from the famous Gandhi quote, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” And it holds true when managing a Salesforce instance. Be an example to your users. Inspire them to learn Salesforce by earning some Trailhead badges, or get a certification. Want them to get excited about the platform? Get excited about the new features coming out in the Spring ‘17 release and share them with your users.

Whether skiing down a snowy mountain or taking the leap to convert your org to Lightning, the point is to take the chance. Could you end up with a failed project (or a face full of snow)? Absolutely. But try anyway.

A Little Hope Goes A Long Way

A Little Hope Goes A Long Way

 

Chronic depression has been a shadow of mine since high school, and while I’ve learned to live and deal with it, life events sometimes darken the world for me; so to say that 2016 wasn’t great for me is an understatement. From a bitter election to my dad’s cancer diagnosis, it felt like the year ground humanity down; Carrie Fisher was the last straw. I was reminded last week that hope is the best defense against despair. When it comes to hope a little can go a long way. So I want to start 2017 with a few Bozeman nonprofit organizations and Salesforce heroes that gave me hope in a hard year.

 

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First up is Bridget Wilkinson from Bozeman Area Community Foundation on the day that the online giving platform, Kimbia, went down for the local Give Big day that she spent a year organizing. Over 130 local nonprofits had spent months working on social media, local businesses had volunteered their locations as donor lounges; thousands of hours went into preparing for a day of giving only to have the online platform stall out at 9:30 in the morning. I had talked Bridget into letting me play tech support for the day, and by 10 am the writing was on the wall, Kimbia wasn’t functional. At 10:30 four of us put our heads together and came up with a plan. Katie worked media communication with Bridget, a board member set up a phone bank with a local business ( Foundant), and I set up a google spreadsheet to hand enter donations. Yes, a google spreadsheet. Our goal for the day was $300,000 in donations. When the dust settled (two weeks later) we had raised over $430,000. 19 volunteers hand entered over 2,000 donations recorded on printouts of the google sheet. Bridget has entered legendary status (which she deserves) among Montana nonprofits (I heard at a conference that Bridget had another backup plan in case the first backup plan failed). It reminded me that technology, while important, is never a replacement for relationships; people give to people.

familypromiselogoLate in 2015 I met Christine Armstrong the Volunteer & Outreach Manager at Family Promise of Gallatin Valley at her office after hearing that she needed some help with Salesforce. The vision of Family Promise is near to my heart, and I wanted to help. Her salesforce instance was overwhelming her and an hour with me didn’t do much to help. In fact, I left feeling that I had made things worse and that she was going to avoid the system and just work in excel as much as possible. I could not have been more mistaken. She was at the first User Group meeting and started using two hours a week to focus on learning Salesforce. She presented on custom fields at a future user group meeting and by mid-summer, she was working with a Salesforce tech from the National office of Family Promise to get her instance upgraded. She came to nearly every Summer School user group session where she used what she had learned to help other users with their Salesforce issues. Her grit and perseverance inspired and helped me to believe in the resilience of awesome admins.

mccWendy Wigert, Director of Operations with Montana Conservation Corps (MCC) is a force to be reckoned with. She is friendly and personable, but when it comes to Salesforce and data she is also on the ball, in control, and comes to a discussion with strong opinions and unapologetic (and reasonable) expectations. It doesn’t work for every personality, but Wendy pulls it off with style and as a result, MCC continues to grow as it provides Montana with valuable services and develops the leaders of tomorrow. It seems like every third person I meet in Montana has served with MCC. NiM migrated two Access databases for MCC last year and provided initial training for their staff. Wendy had her team in Trailhead getting badges and learning Salesforce before the first Access database was even exported. She doesn’t just talk about Salesforce with her staff, she learns it and creates the space for her staff to learn it as well. And while that might be rare, it’s best practice and what we hope for; it meets our expectations for a good admin and project champion. However, she was a first on two things in consulting. First, she created the time and space for her staff to correct all data errors that they could find; by hand one record at a time; this included several thousand duplicate records. When I told her about a dedupe tool she pointed out that she and her staff would know the data much better by looking at each record and that at the end of it would be sure that the data was pristine. I had my doubts that the work would get done, but she hired a temp, created time for her staff, and they had it knocked out within a few weeks. She also instituted a bi-weekly learning meeting (called Brain Trust) where her staff show up and answer questions and solve issues together. There is a strong economic argument that the best expense an organization can make is increasing knowledge of internal processes, and MC is proving this to be true. Wendy has transformed their data footprint with a smile on her face; encouraging words to her staff to level up with Salesforce, and personally demonstrates to me what can be done with focus and commitment.

thrive-logoThen there’s Thrive. They have been making families stronger and supporting kids for over 30 years. When my son was struggling with reading we met with teachers and guess who showed up… yep, someone from Thrive. When my daughter started having lunch with a college-aged mentor once a week guess who set it up; also, Thrive. The best teacher I have ever experienced, quit construction in his 40’s and got a teaching degree because of his volunteer work with Thrive. Vanessa Skelton helped implement Salesforce a few years ago and now co-leads the Bozeman Salesforce User Group with me. Last year I had the privilege to share office space at Thrive. I witnessed first hand the passion their staff holds for the children they serve when one staff member was brought to tears when she received bad news about a mentee. I’m not totally comfortable with the fact that her sobs brought me hope, but as someone who uses cynicism as a shield, the raw grief and vulnerability of that moment motivated me to embrace the sad instead of pretending it away.

rogue-oneI saw Rogue One the day that Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia) passed away. Maybe I was more reflective than I should have been, however, the movie left me pondering the relationship between Hope and Sacrifice; that rebellions and nonprofits are built on them. Thank you to all of you who stand for a better world against all odds and give of yourself personally each day to our community; you are being watched and you are making a difference! I would love to hear where you found hope in 2016 and your aspirations for 2017.

Cloud TnT: Staff Favorite Episodes

cover170x170CLOUD TnT: A PODCAST FOR NONPROFITS USING SALESFORCE.With Tim Lockie, Tracy Kronzak, and Joni Martin.

Want more Cloud TnT?!? Catch up with some staff favorites from this year:

 

 

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A Screwdriver and Lightning Boat: Steve Molis

A Very Special Cloud TnT with Salesforce superstar Steve Molis. Cloud TnT covers all kinds of ground, from answering questions and being of genuine service, to equality for all. Tracy fangirls out, and then cries (again). SteveMo chokes up. This is a golden recording, and there are no words for how much fun we had, just listen…

 

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The Next Level: Adam Kramer

While Tim’s away, Cloud TnT is helmed by Joni and Tracy with a fantastic interview with #AwesomeAdmin and consultant extraordinaire, Don Draper. We mean, Adam Kramer. Topics include NPSP evangelism, the NPSP Advisory Board, and building on the NPSP as a technical and community tool, and taking it all to the next level. Does the NPSP have a new mascot? It just might…

 

 

maddYou Really Have to Solve the Problem: Chris Robinson

 

While Tracy is away, Joni and Tim continue Cloud TnT’s #AwesomeAdmin series. Mothers Against Drunk Driving uses Salesforce to help deliver its nationwide services, and Chris talks about his journey implementing, his organization’s work, creating buy-in, and how being a Salesforce administrator fits in to all of it.

 

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Bringing Us Together: Bonny Hinners

A lively discussion with #AwesomeAdmin, User Group leader, and MVP Bonny Hinners all about how important the customer is to Salesforce, and the changing role of the Salesforce community. A great segue to Dreamforce and the newly-announced Nonprofit Success Pack, covering the Dreamforce keynote previews and the Boston NPSP Sprint. We’re super excited to be heading to Dreamforce this year!

#LevelUp with the Salesforce Community

How One DevAdmin #LeveledUp at Dreamforce

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More than one person has described Dreamforce to me as going to Summer camp, where you get to reunite with all the friends you haven’t seen for the past year. While this might not be the best way to convince your boss to let you attend this conference-to-end-all-conferences, it does highlight one of the most valuable products Salesforce has to offer: the community.

Yes, the hands-on-training sessions are great learning tools, and the keynotes are always an exciting look at what’s coming up in future product releases. But when you’re back at your office, sitting in front of your computer, baffled by the Process Builder that keeps inexplicably failing, who’s going to help you?

Answer: all those friends you see every year at Dreamforce.

Whether you post your question in the Success Community, Developer Forum, Power of US Hub, or call in to one of the dozens of office hours hosted by Salesforce users like you, you have a wealth of access to people who’ve stared at that same Process Builder and want to help you be successful.

So go ahead, give us your toughest questions, your seemingly insurmountable Salesforce challenges. We’ve got a community of thousands that wants to help you #LevelUp.

How NiM #LeveledUp at Dreamforce

What we have Learned and how NiM #LeveledUp at Dreamforce '16

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Dreamforce '12 was my first Dreamforce. My focus that week was on spending time with the NiM team, individual empowerment, and skills acquisition. In addition to meetings with my team, I had a long list of sessions to attend and I scurried all over campus to be sure I was at the "must do" events. By the third day, I had learned a ton, but I was WORN OUT! I had also missed a key opportunity to build community.

While Salesforce.org offers ways to build community online through the Power of Us Hub and the Success Community, Dreamforce just can't be beat for connecting in person. The connections I made at Dreamforce '15 provided a source of inspiration and encouragement that lasted the whole year!

For Dreamforce '16, my goal was simple: have five meaningful conversations.

Some of these conversations were with old friends, some with folks I knew from the Power of Us Hub but had never met in person, some with strangers. I find myself thinking daily about these conversations and how I can allow those conversations to take root and shape NiM -- and me -- this coming year.

Cloud TnT: Dreamforce 2016 and All The Things

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A PODCAST FOR NONPROFITS USING SALESFORCE. With Tim Lockie, Tracy Kronzak, and Joni Martin.

One week after the week of Dreamforce 2016 ends, Cloud TnT reflects on our experiences and what's next. Lots of shout-outs to our friends and family, with thanks to our listeners and sponsors. 

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Dreamforce 2016 and All The Things

#LevelUp for Success with NPSP Engagement Plans and Levels

#LevelUp for Success with NPSP Engagement Plans and Levels

The new Nonprofit Success Pack takes moves management to the next level (pun totally intended!) with native tools including Engagement Plans and Levels.

These amazing new tools provide development staff with great efficiency in managing cultivation efforts and planning for the next “ask.” Engagement Plans leverage the power of both Activities and Tasks (including Reminders and Recurring Tasks) which allow staff to easily spin up and follow a plan for cultivation without needing to install another app.

Staff can start with an Engagement Plan template - based on tested and proven paths - and then tailor Engagement Plans to align with a donor’s interests. Gone are the days of missing important steps in a cultivation process because you failed to create a Task!

My personal favorite new feature is NPSP Levels.

Being able to track giving levels, plus have future gifts automatically adjust a donor’s giving level, and then segment Contacts or Households for targeted marketing according to giving level have long been popular requests from our clients. We achieved this through a combination of tools including reports, roll-up summaries, custom fields, and Process Builder, but took several “extra” steps for something so fundamental to moves management.

Now, with NPSP Levels, development staff can easily set up Levels based on Minimum or Maximum Amounts for a variety of fields (see below) on the Account, Contact, or custom objects.

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And, as for the requirement that Levels update dynamically; now Levels are automatically updated nightly when batches run. If that’s too long to wait, then you can also push an update through the NPSP Settings “Run Batch” utility.

Add an Engagement Plan to the Level to launch a series of cultivation efforts when someone hits a specific Level, and then you have one efficient moves management machine!

I’m thrilled to introduce these new features to our clients and watch them #LevelUp for Success with the new Nonprofit Success Pack! I’d love to hear about how these new features impact your development team, so please send in your stories via Twitter: respond via Twitter!

PS –NPSP Product Managers: Over time, we’ve added handy dandy badges representing the different giving levels by using image formula fields. With the badges, development staff and volunteers have a simple visual cue to inform their real-time engagement with the client. Sounds like an idea for a future release to me!

The Tipping Point for Nonprofits Utilizing Salesforce

 

The Tipping Point for Nonprofits Utilizing Salesforce

The past three years have been incredibly exciting for nonprofits who utilize Salesforce to #LevelUp their development, volunteer, and programmatic operations.

tippingpoint1 In fact, the pace and breadth of change have been so spectacular that we are truly witnessing a Tipping Point in the evolution of Salesforce.org that will be felt for years.

Three distinct developments have contributed to this unique moment in time:

First, the Power of Us Hub launched in 2013.  This user-friendly online community quickly became the go-to resource for nonprofits utilizing Salesforce.  Did we mention it is 100% free!

Second, there was the revolutionary release of Cumulus (aka NPSP v.3) in 2014.  This upgrade re-aligned the architecture of the Nonprofit Starter Pack so that nonprofits could benefit more readily from the same features enjoyed by Fortune 500 companies.

In addition, the upgrade included goodies such as improved management of households, donations, and addresses as well as a centralized location for all NPSP settings and trigger management for the geeks out there.

Third, is the surprise release this week of the Nonprofit Success Pack, the successor to the original Nonprofit Starter Pack and first major upgrade of 2014’s Cumulus release.

According to Salesforce.org the Nonprofit Success Pack includes these new features to help nonprofits #LevelUp:

  • Campaign Advancements: Nonprofits can create personalized engagement plans that track the steps needed to engage with different types of donors and volunteers to improve fundraising and volunteerism. In addition, nonprofits can merge campaigns and reports to generate new groups that can be targeted with integrated marketing campaigns, helping nonprofits to engage more deeply with constituents.
  • Donor Management Advancements: New innovations that track employer matching programs, manage memorial gifts, and in-kind gifts so nonprofits can better manage their all of their donor relationships.
  • Constituent Levels: Nonprofits can create different levels of contact classification based on any number of variables (donations, volunteer hours, etc.) so that engagements can be tailored to many different kinds of supporters.
  • Lightning Ready: NPSP is built on Salesforce Lightning, providing a modern and intelligent user experience on any device, enabling nonprofits to work faster and smarter.
  • New Languages: NPSP is now available in three additional languages, Spanish, German and Japanese.

Source: http://www.salesforce.org/introducing-salesforce-nonprofit-success-pack

This is only the beginning according to Kevin Bromer, VP of Product Delivery at Salesforce.org, “We release a new version of the Nonprofit Starter Pack every two weeks and that’s a real part of our commitment to keep the product on the cutting edge.”

Of course, with so much positive change coming so quickly it can be tough to keep up and ensure your nonprofit is getting the most out of its investment.tippingpoint2

As always, we encourage nonprofits to stay on top of new developments through participation in the Power of Us Hub; however, if your nonprofit needs a little – or a lot – of extra help Now IT Matters will be here to assist.