nonprofit admin

How to get Fiscal Year NPSP Rollups with Custom Fiscal Year Enabled by Michelle Regal

Inheriting a Salesforce org from another administrator can be both freeing and frustrating. One major source of frustration we’ve seen recently? New admins logging into their new-to-them orgs, only to find that the previous admin enabled Custom Fiscal Years.

*cue melancholy music*

This is horrifying for a couple of reasons, mainly

1. Your organization does not have custom fiscal years. Say it with me: “My organization does not have custom fiscal years.” That’s right, if your organization’s fiscal year is a standard 365 days (no matter when it starts), then you do not need Custom Fiscal Year enabled.
2. Once you turn on Custom Fiscal Year, you can’t turn it off. Ever. Even Salesforce Support can’t turn it off for you. You’ll need to start a whole new instance of Salesforce.
3. All of your NPSP rollup fields that calculate donations based on Fiscal Year are invalid because they aren’t compatible with the Custom Fiscal Year setting.

So what’s an admin to do?

After shaking your fists at the sky and crying out in frustration, head over to the AppExchange and install Declarative Lookup Rollup Summaries (DLRS)* in your Salesforce instance, because we’re going to solve your donation rollup problem!

Once you have DLRS installed in your org, you’ll need to create a few fields on the Opportunity and Contact objects to help with the rollup calculations.

First, create a number formula field to calculate the Fiscal Year on the Opportunity (Donation). The formula should look something like this:

CASE(
  MONTH( CloseDate ),
  1, (Year( CloseDate )),
  2, (Year( CloseDate )),
  3, (Year( CloseDate )),
  4, (Year( CloseDate )),
  5, (Year( CloseDate )),
  6, (Year( CloseDate )),
  (Year( CloseDate))+1)

In this example, a donation made on 2/1/2016 (February 1st, 2016)  would be assigned as Fiscal Year 2016, while a donation made on 7/1/2016 (July 1st, 2016) would be assigned as Fiscal Year 2017. 

Update the formula so the CASE function includes a line for every month in the calendar year before your fiscal year start. For example, this organization’s fiscal year starts on July 1 (7/1), so I included a CASE condition for months 1-6.

Create a currency field on the Contact to hold the sum of donations for a particular fiscal year (i.e. Sum of Donations FY2017). This is where the result of your DLRS rollup summary will go. 

Next, create the Lookup Rollup Summary to sum the amount of all related Opportunities (Donations) that are Closed Won and fall in that fiscal year. The key is setting the Criteria: StageName = 'Closed Won' AND Fiscal_Year__c = 2017. 

Fiscal Year NPSP Rollups

Similarly, if you want to count the number of donations in a particular fiscal year, you just need to create a number field on the Contact object to hold the amount and create a Lookup Rollup Summary where the Aggregate Operation is Count.

But what if I just want a field that calculates for THIS fiscal year?

The only way to automate that is with custom Apex code. However, you can “hack” a solution with DLRS by just updating the year specified in the Relationship Criteria to the current fiscal year. (You’ll just need to remember to update it each time a new FY rolls around.) Just remember to click Save and then Calculate when you update the year so all your Contact records get updated.

* Make sure to read through the DLRS documentation to learn about how the rollup summaries work, latest release features, and any limitations.
 

Salesforce Spring '17 Release Overview

The Spring '17 Release empowers everyone to be their best with amazing new innovation for Einstein and Lightning built right into the Customer Success Platform. We want to make sure you're prepared to take full advantage of all the new features. Join our AMER Success Team for release highlights, use cases and best practices that will help you drive business value for your end users.

Changes Are Coming to Your Web-to-Lead and Web-to-Case Forms

With Web-to-Lead and Web-to-Case forms, Salesforce provides an easy way to connect your constituents to to your Salesforce database. All it takes is a few clicks: select the Lead or Case fields you want to include, and like magic Salesforce...

A Single Merge to Rule Them All

A Single Merge to Rule Them All

It’s often a thankless task, but sending out Thank You letters is an important part of the development process. These letters give nonprofits yet another way to engage supporters so it’s important to personalize their message whenever practical.

Enter Apsona and Apsona Document and Email Merge. Nonprofits can leverage these powerful, but inexpensive utilities to produce custom acknowledgment letters for print or email and do so with only single generation of merged letters.

Let’s use a real-life example to demonstrate what we mean.

Let’s say a nonprofit receives 200 donations one week and they break down as such:

  • 100 received with no indication of what campaign generated the donation
  • 50 received at a dinner gala to support a specific program
  • 25 received because of an end of year campaign
  • 25 received in advance of a summer fun run

In the above situation a nonprofit has a couple options:

  1. Send 200 acknowledgments with a generic thank you and no mention of what prompted the gift
  2. Send custom acknowledgments with a message specific to the encounter that generated the donation.

The first option above is typically the fastest, but also the least satisfying.  The second option is best, but often requires generating multiple document merges, one for each campaign, and that can become time-consuming for staff. Utilizing a little trick we developed, a nonprofit can get the best of both options: efficiency and greater customization.

An Overview of the Solution

The solution relies upon each active Campaign having an Acknowledgement Letter field containing the main body of an acknowledgment letter. In addition, each Donation record should identify the relevant Campaign above via the Primary Campaign Source field.  If the relevant Campaign isn’t known then utilize a default or placeholder Campaign.

Utilizing an Apsona report and merge action, these fields link each Donation to the appropriate acknowledgment Campaign for purposes of merging the relevant text into an Acknowledgement letter.

Configuring the Acknowledgement Solution

The configuration isn’t horribly difficult; however, it requires a familiarity with creating and editing Salesforce fields, updating page layouts, creating Apsona reports and merge actions, and creating a MS Word document with appropriate merge fields.  Below is a high-level overview of the configuration.

Step 1 - Fields

There are four Salesforce fields required:

  • Acknowledgment Letter - Create a long text field on the Campaign object and set the number of lines to at least 20. The field should be added to all relevant Campaign page layouts.

For each active Campaign that may generate donations, be sure to populate this field with the body of a corresponding Acknowledgement letter. The body should consist of all text beginning after “Dear …” and should include a sign-off such as “Sincerely, Executive Director.”

  • Primary Campaign Source - This is a standard Salesforce Donation field that already exists although it should be made required to ensure all future donations have a Campaign value.  This field will identify what Campaign for the proper acknowledgment letter. Alternatively, if there is concern about using this standard field, then consider a custom Donation field that looks up to a Campaign record.
  • Acknowledgment Status - The Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP) includes this field. Creating the following picklist values if they do not already exists and ensure the field has been added to all relevant Donation page layouts:
    • To Be Acknowledged (set this as the default value for the picklist)
    • Do Not Acknowledge
    • Acknowledged
  • Acknowledgment Date - The NPSP also includes this field so ensure it is visible on all relevant Donation page layouts.

Step 2 - Merge File

There are two key elements to remember.

First, you’ll need to create an Apsona-friendly MS Word template. For more about how to create a merge template.

Second, you’ll need to upload the template to Salesforce Documents so that it is available to Apsona. This document should include a merge field that will be a placeholder for the Acknowledgement Letter text. To see a simplified merge document.

Step 3 - Apsona Single-Step Report

Create an Apsona Donation report. This report should include any relevant Donation, Account, and Contact fields, as well as the fields indicated above. This ensures the text of the Acknowledgement letter is available for merging and for updating of the Acknowledgement Status and Date fields. For more about creating Apsona reports.

Step 4 - Apsona Merge Action

Finally, you’ll want to create an Apsona Merge Action to complement the report above. For more about creating Apsona Merge Actions. This action should do each of the following:

  • Identify the Salesforce Document above for merging
  • Map the merge fields, including the Acknowledgement Letter field
  • Set the Acknowledgement Status to Acknowledged
  • Set the Acknowledgement Date
  • Generate a single MS Word document for printing
  • If desired, create an Activity entry for each Donation acknowledged

Solution Variations

The approach outlined above is simply one approach. There are a number of ways it can be adjusted to meet your nonprofit's needs. For example, some nonprofits will prefer to email these acknowledgments while others might prefer a different set of actions upon creation of a merge document.

We Can Help

Of course, every Salesforce instance and every nonprofit’s needs will vary and that’s why Now IT Matter’s is here to help. In addition to configuring solutions such as this, we also help clients think about how to streamline and enhance current processes so they aren’t stuck with a one-size-fits-all solution. If you think this solution might be for you then give us a call so we can talk more about your nonprofit’s needs.

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.

Community and Becoming More

We’ve all been there: walking into an exam room clutching your pencil in one sweaty hand and your scratch paper in the other, you find your assigned seat and look around at the other test takers while the proctor logs you in and tells you that you can get started whenever you’re ready. Girlforce ladies all over the US have sat down to take certification exams in the past few months. For some of us, it was the first time we had taken a Salesforce exam, others were taking repeat exams, or getting additional certifications. We recently polled Girlforce members who had passed Salesforce exams about their tips and tricks for passing, and we came up with the following three keys for success: 1. Be prepared. Finding a study group to help you learn difficult concepts and clarify the subject matter is essential. Virtual study groups, like the ones we have in Girlforce, or in-person study groups, like a local User Group, can be great resources in your study. Don’t leave it to chance – study, read, study some more, take practice exams. Feeling prepared when they walked into the room was crucial for most test-takers we surveyed. Find out what your weak point is, then make your weak point your best point! Judi Sohn (KELL Partners) shares:

“My tip: the questions are often written in such a way that it's just as easy to pick out what's wrong as what's right. So on questions when you have to pick 2 answers and you're not sure, focus on eliminating the absolutely impossible choices. There's always at least one. If you're lucky, there's 2 that you know beyond a shadow of doubt can't possibly be right and what's left has to be it.”

Preparation doesn’t mean you have to know all the right answers, but you should know enough about the subject to hopefully deduce the right answer in multiple choice! 2. Keep a tally. One of the most common answers to our poll about how people passed exams was getting through all of the questions and checking the ones for review to look at before submitting the test. Karen Fitton (Bigger Boat) passed her exam by “keeping a tally of questions I was certain of and marking the ones I didn't know to review. I go through [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent="yes" overflow="visible"][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type="1_1" background_position="left top" background_color="" border_size="" border_color="" border_style="solid" spacing="yes" background_image="" background_repeat="no-repeat" padding="" margin_top="0px" margin_bottom="0px" class="" id="" animation_type="" animation_speed="0.3" animation_direction="left" hide_on_mobile="no" center_content="no" min_height="none"][the exam] once quickly without dwelling on the questions, answering what I know and marking the others for review. Then I have a sense of how much time I have for the review and how I think I am doing.” Liza Mueller (Echoing Green) advises test takers to use the paper and pencil provided in the exam to keep track of your certainty to answers:

“Questions for which I was uncertain got circled on the paper, where I also jotted down my gut instinct, or the two answers I was waffling between. Once I was completely through the exam I returned to the uncertain ones to read them more carefully. This helped me manage my time and nerves!” Mary Pustejovsky (Heller Consulting) adds: “I kept a running tally to help me know how many I had "for sure". It just gave me the confidence to finally hit that "submit" button!”

3. Be confident. Ashima Saigal (Database Sherpa) admits to struggling with test anxiety: “The mere act of sitting down to answer [multiple choice] questions puts me in a solid state of fear." Many of us don’t love taking tests, and some of us are downright afraid of them. During exams, in addition to marking answers for review and writing notes, Ashima kept a percentage tally of those she was confident about the answer to, as well as those she hasn’t the slightest idea about and would entirely guess. Confidence was her mantra:

“When I sat down, I wrote down immediately on my paper, "You know this stuff and can do it" and when I began to question myself or my brain went blank, I went back to that place on my paper. When I started to panic (it happens to me during tests), I would close my eyes and breath.”

The hidden advantage to working together to share in preparation, giving each other tips and confidence is that in the process, you become more than you were. The Exam gives you certification, the group gives you community. As Jeff Winger in Community says “You’ve just stopped being a study group. You have become unstoppable. I hearby pronounce you a community.”[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]