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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.

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.

Less is More: 3 Simple Ways to Clean-up your Salesforce Instance

Less is More: 3 Simple Ways to Clean-up Salesforce

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Everyone (well most everyone) appreciates a nice, neat workspace. It helps one focus on what’s most important and promotes calm in a sea of endless distractions.

It’s no different for Salesforce. Eliminating system bloat can go a long way toward improving the user experience.

Here are three relatively simple ways to begin cleaning up your Salesforce instance.

Fields

The granddaddy of bloat is too many fields. It’s starts innocently enough with a single user request, but over time those user requests for fields begin to take a toll on end-users and administrators

The problem with too many fields

  • Increases data entry time as users search through increasingly long page layouts
  • The most important fields get lost among trivial fields

Do you really need a field?

  • Is the field required to capture information for key reports such as those for reporting on a grant?
  • Are staff even bothering to complete a given field?

Cleaning Up the Bloat A great first step is installing the FREE application Field Trip. This utility scans your Salesforce data so it can report on how frequently a field is being used. If no one is bothering to complete a given field, then it probably isn’t important enough to keep around. To make a case for eliminating extraneous fields run a few Feld Trip reports, summarize your findings, and discuss with your power users and management team.

Get Field Trip - https://appexchange.salesforce.com/listingDetail?listingId=a0N30000003HSXEEA4

List Views

list-bloat-blogList Views can get out of hand FAST, especially if all users have access to create new List Views!

The great thing about List Views is that you can quickly get to key records without running a report; however, if everyone is making their own List Vies and sharing them with everyone else then it all blurs together.

Questions to Ask?

  • Is a List View being used regularly? – Maybe it was created for a special purpose 5 years ago and has since been forgotten.  If so, delete it.
  • Does everyone need access to see a particular List View? – Maybe some List Views are only needed by development staff while others support programming staff, if so restrict visibility as needed.

Does everyone need access to create new List Views? – Get ahead of the problem by limiting who can create new List Views.

Chatter Groups

chatter-archive-blogCleaning up Chatter groups is as easy as 1-2-3

First, review all active Chatter groups and Archive those that are not actively used. You can do this by opening up a group’s settings and clicking the Archive button.

Second, updated the settings for each group so that they automatically archive after 90 days of inactivity.

About Archiving

  • Archiving does not delete a group and its content
  • An archived group can be reactivated

What is My Domain and why will Salesforce require it?

What is My Domain and why will Salesforce require it?

Starting with the Spring ‘17 release, Salesforce is going to require that all current and new Salesforce orgs have My Domain enabled.

This new requirement will help avoid any surprises when Salesforce performs routine maintenance on its servers. My Domain is also required to create a branded login or use Single Sign-On with Salesforce and to use Lightning Components.

How do I know if I have My Domain enabled?

The easiest way to see if you have My Domain enabled is to log into your Salesforce org and look at the URL.

If it looks like this:

mydomainurl1-2

with something like your company’s name followed by “.my.salesforce.com”, then congratulations! You’ve already enabled My Domain in your org. Way to be ahead of the game!

If it looks like this:

nomydomainurl

with a letter/number combination like na29 preceeding “.salesforce.com”, then you do not have My Domain enabled for your org and should enable it before the Spring ‘17 release.

How do I enable My Domain?

Surprise! There’s a Trailhead trail for that. The trail takes about an hour, and will walk through all the steps and considerations for creating a subdomain in Salesforce.

Here are a few things to keep in mind while turning on My Domain:

  • The subdomain cannot be changed once created, so choose wisely!
  • Any hard-coded references to URLs in your Visualforce pages, Email templates, etc. will need to be updated with your new orl URL. We recommend having an advanced Administrator or Developer make these updates. This article provides information on how to find and update hard-coded references in Salesforce.
  • Once My Domain is enabled, users will be able to log in to your Salesforce org by going to http://[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"][subdomain].my.salesforce.com instead of to the Salesforce login website.

My Domain creates a more branded experience for your users and will ensure fewer headaches in the future as Salesforce continues to update and maintain its systems.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

NPSP: So Much Change, So Little Time

So Much Change, So Little TimeHousehold Naming & Primary Contacts

There have been many big changes lately to the Nonprofit Success Pack that a few new features may have been missed.

For example, you can now adjust the universal Household Name settings so that only the Primary Contact of a Household is included within a Household Name and within associated Formal and Informal Greetings for all Households in your Salesforce org.

Let’s say there are two members of a Household: Fred and Wilma Flinstone and that Wilma is set as the Primary Contact. Now you can adjust the Household Naming settings so that only Wilma’s name is used for purposes of naming.

In the example above the result of these changes would be:

Household Name = Wilma Flintstone Household

Formal Greeting = Mrs. Wilma Flintstone

Informal Greeting = Wilma

To make the adjustment go into Household Name Settings within the NPSP Settings utility.  Now update the following values within Household Name Settings:

  • Name Connector = (leave empty)
  • Name Overrun = (leave empty)
  • Contact Overrun Count = 1

screenhunter_2846-nov-04

 

After making this adjustment you’ll need to use the Refresh Household Names batch feature to force an update of Household Naming throughout your records.

A word of caution: these changes will apply to all Households in Salesforce.

An Alternative: Case-by-Case Changes

If you only want to limit the Household Name to the Primary Contact on a case-by-case basis, then utilize the Manage Household button on individual Household records.

The Managed Household feature will provide more granular control by allowing a user to exclude specific contacts from Household Naming fields. In the example below, the child within a household is excluded.

screenhunter_2848-nov-04

To learn more about Household Naming check out this article from the Power of Us Hub: https://powerofus.force.com/kA080000000CsCJ?srPos=0&srKp=ka0&lang=en_US

 

Cloud TnT: That Much Better for Someone Else: Nick Lindberg

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

A more humorous review of Dreamforce 16 recorded BEFORE Dreamforce – yeah, we’re that good. And we also talk to MVP Nick Lindberg about service, friendship, and the Good Old Days of Salesforcelandia. A heartwarming story of family and community ensues. 

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That Much Better for Someone Else: Nick Lindberg