Additional Resources

Converting One-Time Donors to Sustainers

In the nonprofit world, not a day goes by without activity related to fundraising.  Wouldn't it be awesome if a higher percentage of donors signed up for monthly giving rather than just one-time gifts?  A steady flow of consistent donors could help organizations abide through lean times and grow existing programs.

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.

9 Google Drive Tricks

9 Google Drive Tricks - Mostly a Repost

Why use these 9 google drive tricks?  In the good old days, between typewriters and cloud documents, there were applications that lived on computers, programs they were called, two of the most popular were Word and Excel.  Like a typewriter they produced a single version document.  The document could be created, saved, then sent to someone else.  Who would edit, save, and send back.  And then there were 2 (3 actually, v1 - original, v2 - edit, v3 - copy of edit).  This produced unlimited versions of essentially the same document which changed each time opened/saved and copied itself exponentially.

When NiM started, we knew that wouldn't work in a collaborative environment so we used google docs from the beginning and while there have been formatting limitations, for the most part we are much more efficient because of gDrive.  One of the limits to drive is the inability to tag documents.  This is ironic considering Google basically invented the concept of tagging, but drive doesn't support it.  I know this because I was looking for a way to tag documents and came upon this article by CloudDock (which navigates to their "how it works" page because their home page forces a signup).  Their post is copied in this post, but they wrote it, not us.  We don't use CloudDock, but we do use most of the 9 tips they recommend in their article.

Do you use any of these features?  Are there other power features you're aware of?

9 Google Drive Tricks

Google Drive has really upped its game of late. You get up to 15GB for free, 100GB for $2 a month, or 1TB for $9.99 a month. Hard to complain with that. While Google Drive is easy to use you may not be aware that there are several easy ways to get more out of the service without having to use any extra apps. You can use Drive to attach larger files to emails, save space on your hard drive, recover old version of a file and more.

Check out the list below for some useful tips to get more out of OneDrive.

1. Use Drive to attach larger files to emails

Google Drive has made sending files and photos as email attachments sexy again, apparently. When you’re attaching files from you computer, you can only attach files up to 25 MB. But, by inserting files using Drive, you can now send a file up to 10 GB. The recipients can easily view them online. And if the files aren’t shared, Google Drive will prompt you to do that before the email is sent.

Also unlike traditional attachments where you have to wait for the file to upload, attaching a file through Drive doesn’t require you to re-upload the file. Simps.

2. File Versions

If you collaborate on documents with colleagues or clients it helps to see exactly what changes were made and who made them. Did you know you can use Google Drive for this? Drive keeps 30 days worth of file revisions (up to 100 versions).

To view older versions of the file, just head to the Google Drive website:

1. Navigate to the file you want to see the revision history of.

2. Right click on the file and click Manage revisions… from the drop down menu.

3. Now you can see all the versions of the file as it was updated.

Unlike Dropbox, if you rename the file or change the file location you can still see the history of the file.

3. Make Google Drive your default documents folder

You might want to make Google Drive as the default documents folder considering the features it offers.

For Mac users, Open Terminal (in Utilities) and type cd Google\ Drive/. Hit enter, and then type In –s~/documents /documents. Hit enter again and watch the magic happen.

For windows users, right-click on your Documents folder, click Properties, click Include a folder, choose your Google Drive folder and finally select it and click Set save location. And that’s it, next time you save a document in a program like Microsoft Word; Google Drive will be selected as the default save location.

4. Work Offline 

Make files available offline so you can view them when your phone or tablet loses service, like on a plane or in a building with a bad connection.

To make files available offline just head to the Google Drive app on your phone or tablet:

1. Navigate to the file you want to be available offline.

2. Click on the Info icon to the right of the file name.

3. Slide the Available Offline toggle to On.

Now that file will be saved to your mobile device so you can view and edit it when you’re offline.

5. Save space on your hard drive with Selective Sync

Selective Sync is a feature of the Google Drive desktop application that allows you to select only the folders you want to be synced to your computer. Selective Sync gives you the control to ensure you have only the files you need on any computer. It’s especially handy if you want to save space on netbooks and other computers with small hard drives.

To enable Selective Sync, head to your Google Drive preferences from your desktop:

1. Click on the Google Drive icon from the menu bar.

2. Click Preferences… from the dropdown menu.

A window will appear with a list of the top level folders in your Google Drive. Once you select “Only sync some folders to this computer” only the folders with a tick next to them will be synced to your computer. All un-ticked folders won’t be synced to your computer but they will still be available through the Google Drive website, your mobile apps, and on any other computer linked to your Drive account.

6. Restore file from bin

Accidentally deleted a file from Google Drive on the desktop? No biggie, just head to the Google Drive website and log in to its online version, click Bin on the left menu. And there you go, all the files you’ve deleted.

Now all you have to do is check the box beside the file you want to recover and just click Restore. Emergency over!

7. Use Forms to Collect Data

Google Forms lets you run a survey or quickly create a team roster with a simple online form. Whatever information has been input into the form will be automatically compiled into a spreadsheet, neatly organized so you can analyse the results.

To create a Form just head to the Google Drive website, click on the Create option and select Form. From here you’ll be able to set up the form.

8. Inserting Images

Google Drive allows you to drag and drop images directly from your desktop into specific Google Docs, which is a pretty quick way of sprucing up a document.

You can also insert images directly from a Google Image Search. Simply go to Insert and then Image on the menu bar, and take it from there.

9. Use stars to flag key files

Stars allow you to identify important files for quick access. To “star” a file, just head to the Google Drive website or the mobile app and click on the star on the left hand side of the file name.

That concludes our list of 7 Things You Didn’t Know Google Drive Could Do. If we failed to mention any tips it would be awesome if you could share your own tips and tricks for Google Drive in the comments below!

4 Best Practices for Nonprofits Using Salesforce

[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"] Often nonprofits become frustrated and overwhelmed when using a CRM system as sophisticated and complex as Salesforce. How do I get help? Where do I find resources to train our staff? Where are the answers to my questions?

Here are some best practices for nonprofits using Salesforce. Help is just a click away!

1. Become involved in a Salesforce Community online or in person. There are a number of communities online that offer free help and support for nonprofits utilizing Salesforce. Some of my most utilized are:

Salesforce Success Community (

The Success Community has several components, among the most helpful:

  • Answers: This tab has answers to commonly asked questions around Salesforce functionality and how to do various things.  Hint: If you google a Salesforce question, you almost without fail return an answer that is helpful. Those results are generally in the Salesforce Success Community Answers.
  • Help and Training: This is where you can contact support, find out about new releases, and take online training videos (many free!) surrounding Salesforce functions and best uses!
  • Ideas: If Salesforce doesn’t do it yet, you can bet there’s an idea submitted about that function! If you find your suggestion for improvement in the Ideas section, make sure to vote it up so Salesforce makes the change!
  • User Groups (under “More”):  User Groups are a great resource for getting your questions answered and finding solutions to your problems. I highly recommend that everyone become part of the User Group in your area. They have nonprofit user groups as well as developer UGs and Admin UGs

Power of Us Hub (

Using your regular Salesforce login, you can get into the Power of US Hub. This community is much like the Salesforce Success Community, except that it is specific to nonprofit Salesforce users. It has questions and groups like the other community, as well as helpful resources specific to NPOs.

2. Train your staff to use the things they need. If your staff member is running reports, they should watch a report building training video, or join one of the many free Salesforce webinars covering common uses of Salesforce produced for the community. If they are needing to primarily use Campaigns, check out a video or read best practices white papers in the Success Community about campaign usage. If the information is being kept in Salesforce, staff should not be permitted to keep it elsewhere – ie, keeping their contacts separately on an excel spreadsheet.

3. Map your processes and come up with standardized practices surrounding the entry of information. Where is information being duplicated? How many people are touching the same data and putting it into different places? How does a member’s life cycle at your organization look on paper? Reduce the number of touches each person’s data has – i.e., Contact information should be entered directly on the Contact record, rather than in Outlook address books and/or excel and/or paper and/or Access. If the constituent NEEDS to live in 2 places, (ie – accounting for payroll information AND Salesforce for membership information) that can be acceptable, but it’s in your best interest to reduce the number of places to as few as possible.

4. Address User Adoption. Why aren’t people using Salesforce? There are a number of ways to get people logged into Salesforce and using the system. One good way is through the use of Chatter, a collaborative tool that will allow you to communicate electronically with all of the staff in your organization, and have organic conversations around donors, members, constituents, opportunities, or any other items you’re tracking in Salesforce. There are user adoption dashboards available for download in the AppExchange as well. Once people are working in the system, it comes alive. People begin to trust the data, and people begin to find that they have built a 360 degree view of your constituents by collaboration and smart processes.


Dive in Deeper:


Exasperation + Communication = Answers!

[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"] A few years ago (for most of us here at NiM), we were sitting in your seat.  Non profit program managers, operation directors, After School Program Staff, Development Directors, maybe in the rare case a VP of Social Marketing.  A friend had told us about Salesforce -  FREE for 10 users.  So, skeptical, we turned to the web started poking around because hey - we're tech savvy (well maybe the most tech savvy in this office!) and if there was a free product to use to help us fulfill our mission - it was my job to ferret it out.

After hemming and hawing on the decision with stakeholders within your organization, you finally pushed them to a point of decision and they went for it.  You were installing / implementing Salesforce and now you KNEW you were over your head. start looking around again, poking around - how do I get this thing up and running?  Data imports?  AppExchange? QuickStarts?  Its going to cost HOW MUCH?

After watching YouTube videos til your eyes bled, you knew you were stuck.  You knew what had to get done, but the information was an extreme overload.  Drinking from the firehose indeed, Mr. Benioff - how do you expect anyone to pick up on this and actually capitalize on it?

STOP HERE.  Turn off the computer.  Pick up the phone.  Call somebody.  I love Google as much as the next guy but Google speaks computer and I speak English.  I'm in my position (and my field) because I love it, I believe in the mission, and I think I'm doing some of the best work on earth.  How's Google supposed to translate "mission" into bits and megabytes for me?   My advice to you: don't wait as long as I did to pick up the phone to connect to one of these resources:

1.  Account Exec.  Somewhere in that email inbox is your first email from some friendly guy or gal at the Salesforce Foundation who welcomed you to Salesforce (if you've signed up and have your trial org).  Chase them down like its a Salem Witch Hunt and when you get a hold of them, get contacts: other NPOs fitting your staff size, your annual budget size, your service area / constituent base, your mission type - and start from there.  My Account Exec (AE) at the time was just a guy I ended up calling on my way back from my most recent Salesforce (free) Cloudforce event.  Overwhelmed with info, I needed answers somewhere and Jesse Maddex, my Salesforce AE, was the guy to help.  He introduced me to a guy guessed it - Now IT Matters.  After some phone calls and some confidence boosting, I was on my way to some answers.

2.  User Group. There's one somewhere in your state or within 200 miles or so.  Find that number, call the User Group Leader and get 5 suggestions on how to move forward.  User Groups would have tripled my learning curve if I had started there instead of puttering around the web for the first 18 months of my experience with Salesforce.  There are Non Profit User Groups throughout the world.

3.  The local cool guy. Find that local NPO that has it together and take them out for a beer, coffee, or both.  Start with the folks who can answer questions about their donor data / constituent data:  the ones who know their data well and can show you how they're growing their giving pyramids, how they're increasing their communications base, or expanding their programs - through the use of well informed metrics and reporting.  They might be using Salesforce, they might be using a similar product - but if they are capitalizing on their data there is something you can learn there.

Dive in Deeper:



Salesforce Mobile Approvals - Approval Central App

Salesforce mobile approvals

Approvals are not available in Salesforce1 natively.  Enter Approval Central for Salesforce1, a free app simply that adds a tab to the Salesforce1 sidebar as its own tab.  For developer types, this package adds a single custom tab so it has no effect on code requirements.  It currently has a 5 star rating and is a product of Salesforce Labs, yet another way that Salesforce gives more value to its customers.

Note that in the future this may become standard functionality for Salesforce1, in which case it very simple to uninstall.

Approval Central For Salesforce1

Great for managers on the go, Approval Central puts all your pending approvals in one place inside the Salesforce1 mobile app, making business decisions a snap. All of the relevant information you need to make an approval decision is now one tap away.

  • Instant Visibility: Consolidated view of all pending approvals inside Salesforce1

  • Save Time: No more searching for approvals, they are all in one place

  • One Click Action: Make approval decisions on the go

Approval Central is perfect for executives with little time and managers on the go. By seeing all pending approvals in the left nav (aka Navigation Menu) of the Salesforce1 mobile app, business decisions are easy to prioritize and make on the go. Whether a big deal needs approval or a member of your team needs to schedule their time off, Approval Central consolidates all of your pending approvals into one place. And this works seamlessly across all Salesforce1 compatible devices including iOS and Android.

salesforce mobile approvals



Don't forget to help the Salesforce community by taking a moment to review apps. It just takes a second and helps the developer by showing that it's an app that is still relevant and helps the community by setting expectations about the app.