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.
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.
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
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:
- Send 200 acknowledgments with a generic thank you and no mention of what prompted the gift
- 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
- 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
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.
Less is More: 3 Simple Ways to Clean-up Salesforce
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.
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 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.
Cleaning 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.
- 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?
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:
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:
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]
Justin Barss, NiM Director of Sales, spoke today at Dreamforce on using forecasting in Salesforce to #levelup your fundraising! Click here to learn how to #levelup fundraising for your nonprofit organization!
Now IT Matters is here to help your organization #LevelUp, reach out and we will get you in touch with Justin, (415) 690-8567. You may also want to set up forecasting for your nonprofit on your own by following the steps Justin outlined in his presentation. The presentation slides are available for download here. Full content courtesy of Tim Lockie.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In this special edition of Where in the World is Now IT Matters, Justin Barss gives us a 45 second montage of not-to-be-missed highlights of the Salesforce World Tour in Washington, DC!
We missed a blog post last week because I was in New Orleans at the Higher Ed Summit 2016!
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It was so much fun and I learned all about the coolest stuff happening in Salesforce for Higher Ed. Here's some reasons why you shouldn't have missed the Higher Ed Summit (and should definitely attend the next one): 1) Lots and lots of brilliant higher ed brains - all in one conference: Whether you're curious about what Stanford is doing with data or interested in tracking emotional intelligence for research using Salesforce, the biggest Universities are using Salesforce in new and innovative ways, and the folks building those solutions are all right there! You could have had lunch with them, or attended one of their sessions.
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2) You've got questions? They've got Answers! - Not only was the entire Higher Ed Advisory Council present, there were lots of opportunities to talk with them, ask them questions, and even attend a live HED Office Hours! (If you missed the chance, you can still catch Higher Ed Office Hours on the regularly scheduled phone conference! Check our the Higher Ed group on the Hub for more info!)
4) HEDA!!!!! - HEDA (Higher Education Data Architecture) is the newest release of epic from Salesforce for Higher Ed. It builds on the Nonprofit Starter Pack model for a low-cost solution for Higher Ed Institutions right out of the box. I'm excited to see where this will go!
5) Girlforce - Girlforce is launching into Higher Ed and we hosted a Girlforce Happiest Hour at the Higher Ed Summit. We have a presence at many Salesforce events and we're always happy connect and learn from each other!
If you're in Higher Ed, make sure to connect with others in the Power of US Hub. It's where the party's happening![/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]