Angela Adams

How NiM #LeveledUp at Dreamforce

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

dreamforce

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.

#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.

levels

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!

#LevelUp with NiM this Fall!

#LevelUp with NiM this Fall!

Every fall I find myself ready to “level up” - to improve my game in work and life.

Perhaps it’s a byproduct of life being divided into semesters for so many years, but without fail, I’m hit with an infusion of inspiration around the time that school starts.

For many years, I tried to resist starting new endeavors in September.

Couldn’t I tackle my goals and achieve the same success in February?

Turns out the answer is a resounding NO!

With time, I’ve surrendered to, and have come to embrace, this rhythm.

So, when the school supplies start filling the stores and the air turns a tad cooler... I pay attention: it’s prime time for professional growth! 

Recently, I’ve been asking myself:

What personal and professional goals can I jumpstart in the fourth quarter and achieve this coming year?

How can I align my professional goals to benefit #TeamNiM and our clients?

Changes to the Salesforce Ecosystem and the Role of Consultants

Like me, our Executive Team tries to pay attention to patterns and trends, too. We've been discussing NiM’s history and identifying game-changers in the Salesforce ecosystem for nonprofits since our inception. Included in that list are the introduction of the Power of Us Hub, Girlforce, NPSP3, and Trailhead! These are some mighty big changes!

I recall having conversations in 2013 with stakeholders who had never heard of Salesforce. Fast forward to today, when most of our clients have legacy CRM solutions - and are eager for change. For some nonprofits, use of a CRM solution has highlighted the fact that their business processes need adjustment. For others, their business processes are first-rate and they desire a CRM solution that can be customized to better match their needs.

Either way, by the time most new clients approach us now, they’re convinced Salesforce is the solution for them and they’ve already…

  • Initiated a new instance of Salesforce
  • Installed the NPSP
  • Applied for the Power of Us grant
  • Logged in to the Power of Us Hub, and
  • Taken a Trailhead module or two!

Nonprofit Salesforce professionals are equipped with tools and resources unlike any they’ve had before. Exciting enhancements on the horizon point to increased collaboration, community building, and real-time constituent engagement to drive social impact.

Given all of the changes in the ecosystem, has the role of consultants changed, too?

We think the answer is yes, and wonder - 

Instead of needing an expert to do “all the Salesforce things”, do clients need a personal trainer?  

Someone who will:

  • Ask important questions and strategically advance the organization’s mission?
  • Equip Salesforce Admins to accelerate their own learning and realize their full potential?
  • Support and challenge clients as they level up?

Level Up

From day one, our mission has been “to be a sustainable company that makes the world a better place by increasing the capacity of nonprofits through the development of brilliant staff.”

When Tim wrote that mission, he was originally thinking of NiM’s own staff. Equipping NiM staff to level up has always been a core company value. But, our mission and methodology support equipping nonprofits and their Salesforce Admins to level up, too!

The more we’ve considered being a personal trainer who equips nonprofits and nonprofit Admins to level up, the more excited we’ve become.

From now until Dreamforce, #TeamNiM will be sharing what #LevelUp means to them and their goals to #LevelUp. Along the way, I’ll share our plans for NiM to #LevelUp as well.

In the meantime, I’d love to hear from you:

What is your organization doing to #LevelUp? (Tweet your answer)

What goals do you have as an #AwesomeAdmin? (Tweet your answer)

How should NiM #LevelUp in our role as your #LevelUp Partner? (Tweet your answer)

Where in the world is NIM!?

Now IT Matters has been all over the country this summer! Justin Barss, our Director of Sales, took an epic road trip to visit nonprofits we work  with and our staff as he drove with his 4 kiddos and his wife from Virginia to Spokane Washington! He got to check in with Todd Hash in Kentucky, Warren Wade in Indiana, Angela Adams in Illinois, and Tim and Jenny Lockie and Renee Storm in Bozeman! With a trip total of ~6,000 miles, JB covered some ground! Check out some of the pics below!! BarssBozeman

JB World Tour lockies

WarrenBarssStop

BarssIsComing

 

 

Coming soon, you can find us here...

  • Tim Lockie is headed out to Hollywood Blvd and the great city of Los Angeles! And Noooo, it's not to get his own star there (although he totally deserves it!). He'll be there in the next couple of weeks to visit some of our LA clients. If' you'd like to get time on his calendar, be sure to let us know!!
  • Angela Adams, Justin Barss, and Joni Bryan will be at Midwest Dreamin' July 21-22 in Chicago at the Navy Pier. Woohoooo! We'd love to see anyone who plans to attend MW Dreamin', and it's not too late to REGISTER!!
  • And of course, some of our team members will be at DREAMFORCE 2016!!!!!!! We are STOKED about #DF16 this year, and about the headliner band, U2!!!!!!!!!!! With that, we're wishing you a fun time this July - here's hoping that you have a fun-filled, relaxing summer month! :) And in case you need a little inspiration for chillaxing and letting go this July (and to get you pumped about Dreamforce, here is some inspiration:

Southeast Dreamin' #LoveStories

Angela Adams, Operations Director at Now IT Matters, spoke at Southeast Dreamin' in Atlanta with Sarah Deutsch on March 10. It's pretty amazing to work on a team that is so gifted and passionate about community! Following are her reflections on the conference.

Last Wednesday, Sarah Deutsch and I were burning the midnight oil to finish slides for our SE Dreamin’ presentation. As we worked, we shared stories; at alternating points laughing and trying not to cry. Jen Wobser, who was gracious enough to put up with our late-night shenanigans, reflected “The best presentations are like conversations.” We decided to speak from the heart and share our tech #lovestories — bullet points be damned.
Early the next morning, Mary Scotton rocked SE Dreamin' with her keynote “Go To Coffee: the Power of Authentic Connections.” After a bit of karaoke and dancing, she spoke to us about the power of community and the need for face-to-face connection and she challenged us to personally face into the lack of inclusion in tech. She provided a perfect foundation for our talk later that afternoon on “Activating Your Community: Coding Love!” We couldn’t have planned it any better!
During our presentation, I shared my tech #lovestory: the tale of how my team at Now IT Matters and my sisters in Girlforce helped me succeed in my career and care for my family during a difficult time last year. Sarah shared her tech #lovestory of going from driving a forklift to being a Salesforce MVP and holding five — soon to be six! — Salesforce certifications, supported all the way by the Success Community and Girlforce.
Our #lovestories are stories of community, of family. Of vulnerability and authenticity. Of taking the risk to - gasp!- get to know people face-to-face and allowing them to support us. Our Salesforce career journeys, our tech #lovestories, are stories of #codinglove through community.  And we aren’t the only ones with stories like this! If you haven’t taken the chance to join the Success community or Power of Us Hub (for nonprofits). . . do it soon. Then get curious. Communicate. Share the real you. More than just offering an amazing platform, Salesforce is leading companies in #codinglove through the community.
Regional events like SE Dreamin' are a great venue to get to know fellow Admins, Developers, and Consultants face-to-face and learn their #lovestories. In my opinion, SE Dreamin' was a perfect combination of relevant sessions, networking opportunities, fun — hello, Apex and the Limits and Happy Hour! - and time for community building.
Next up, Midwest Dreamin' . . . I’ll see you there!

Confessions of a Social Media Skeptic

[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"]Nonprofit CRM + Social Media: A Match Made in Heaven (or at Least the Cloud) Confession: I'm a skeptical user of social media. I don't have a LinkedIn or Facebook account. I still have a Twitter account, but have only logged in once in 2014. So, suffice it to say, when I first re-careered as a Salesforce Consultant and Operations Manager at NiM, I was suspicious about Chatter. "It's like Facebook for Salesforce. Great..."

Two years later, I made it a personal goal to change my stripes -- and made it a departmental goal that all written project collaboration be done through Chatter. (If I was going to use it, then so was every one else, by George!) Seven months later, we're better off for it. Chatter has revolutionized the way we communicate and collaborate at NiM! Here are my top five "wins" from using Chatter for internal communication:

1. We've seen a strong increase in our team spirit. On any given da,  in addition to project-related Chatter, you can also find our team members joking around, encouraging each other, making bets on whose email Inbox will be to 0 first, challenging each other to get the best Utilization Rate, sending birthday wishes, and participating in all sorts of Chatter shenanigans. (Note to self: If you give a colleague Login Access, you can expect to have your Chatter profile picture changed!). Chatter is the primary way we build relationships with one another and built our rapport - something that is a perpetual challenge for those working remotely.

2.  We've all noted improvement in our ability to manage our Inboxes. Chatter allows us to use email only when necessary and provides a mechanism for timely responses to items that might otherwise get buried in a full Inbox. As an added bonus, gone are the days of needing to search my Archived folders for an email I vaguely remembered getting -- I can simply search the Chatter feed or Chatter topics!

3. We've improved our project documentation significantly through using Chatter to post project notes, Change Log items, files and links to Google Docs.

4. In Using Chatter as a gateway drug to Salesforce, I've seen increasing interest among our "non-Admin/non-Dev" employees in learning more about the power of Salesforce.

5. For times when you need a "just in time" answer, Chatter Messenger can't be beat. We ask our employees to download Chatter Desktop and login when they're available for questions. This provides us with instant access to one another for times when you have a quick question -- or are in a meeting and need to quickly confirm a response! But be warned - sometimes the Chatter conversation can be more interesting than the meeting and if you have a team like mine, they might also try to intentionally distract you!

After seeing the strides in our own communication, collaboration, and team spirit since fully adopting Chatter, Chatter is one of the first aspects of Salesforce that I introduce to clients. I've gone from a reluctant user to seeing Chatter as an invaluable asset for adoption and long-term Salesforce success. Now, about those other social networks. . .

Dive in Deeper:

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