So you've decided to get the 10 free donated licenses from salesforce.org for your nonprofit - congratulations! If one of the reasons you're excited about Salesforce is because of the license donation, you're probably interested in how you can keep your costs down and your return on investment high while using this incredibly flexible constituent relationship management software in the cloud. Here are a few tips:
1. Be flexible. This can mean a few things, of course, but the general rule of thumb to remember is to focus more on what you need to accomplish rather than how it needs to be accomplished. In other words, put your needs in the form of "we need to report on how many new donors we have attracted each month" rather than "we need a report in PDF format with a green column showing how many new donors we obtained for each calendar month."
2. Get on the trail! The more you're willing to use learn yourself, using the fantastically free Salesforce Trailhead online learning tool, the better off you will be. Think about it - spending a lot of money per hour to have a consultant do a custom training for your Salesforce administrator or staff is probably not worth it for about 80% of what your staff needs to learn. If your staff can complete certain trails and badges before doing certain customized training with your consultants, you will save hundreds if not thousands of dollars. What's even better, is that this will assure that everyone comes into the custom training your consultant does with the same base level of knowledge. And what's more exciting is that you can track people's progress in Trailhead and make sure that everyone has earned the same badges.
3. Know the true drivers of your timeline. Almost everyone who hires a consultant wants the project done immediately. What is the real reason for your urgency? Do you have an event coming up? Is there a board meeting? The more honest and open you can be with your consultant and of course the more flexible you can be in your date, the better off you will be. The more urgent and desperate you are the more likely you are to pay a pretty penny for expedited services.
4. Be willing to do work yourself. Not only is learning Salesforce an excellent investment for the long run at your organization, you can save thousands by doing some of the data clean up yourself or other tasks that can be extremely expensive if only consultants do them. Ask your Consultants directly what tasks you can take on to lower the total project cost.
5. Dedicate the internal resources. Almost every client I work with has vastly underestimated how much internal capacity a CRM project can take. There's a wide variety of knowledge that only nonprofit staff have and are actually better positioned than the consultant to do - for example, working with the executive team, mapping out certain processes, clarifying internal timelines, and creating the exact field mapping from the legacy system.
There are many more ways to save money working with consultants. One great way to start is to just ask. That said, working with Salesforce is an investment and if you truly have no budget you may want to reconsider your decision until you learn more. How can you learn more? Glad you asked. The Nonprofit CRM Summit has a free session for you on nonprofit system administrators as leaders which you can get right here.
“The Nonprofit Success Pack is like a swiss army knife of social change goodness.” - Missy Longshore, Principal, Longshore Consulting
Have you heard that the NPSP is now the Nonprofit Success Pack? That’s right, the NPSP is stronger than ever as a versatile tool to serve nonprofits and foundations around the world with their CRM, fundraising, volunteer management, analytics, and other data needs!
Whether you’re already on Salesforce’s NPSP or are just getting started, Longshore Consulting recommends these 7 tips to succeed with the NPSP:
Did you miss #AdminHour: Let's Learn Salesforce Charts! on September 8, 2016? Well, fear not, friends, you can catch the full replay right here. Why would you want to do that? Well, because, it turns out, not many people I've surveyed (about 50 folks who are learning Salesforce since May of 2016) have a lot of experience with Salesforce charts. But data visualization can transform your organization. That's right. I said it. Well, actually, Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic, author of the amazing book Storytelling with Data, and speaker at the Nonprofit CRM Summit, said it, but she's right. So join us as we get (or rather, got) hands on with this critical skill!
Also, I'd be remiss if I didn't take this opportunity to let you know that #AdminHour is changing a bit to serve you better. That's right, it turns out it's a bit challenging for us all to get hands on in Salesforce without the ability to get hands on in Salesforce via screen sharing. So for now we're experimenting with a great, fun, highly interactive webinar format where we (presenters) can still appear on camera for that oh-so-personal touch, and you can still interact live via chat. The format is the same: follow along during the hour to enhance your Salesforce skills in your own Salesforce organization - none of that watch and learn, implement later stuff! So please, tell your friends.
As a matter of fact, why don't you join us next time? Details can always be found here. The next #AdminHour: Let's Get Ready for Dreamforce! is Wednesday, September 21, 2016 at 5:00pm PT/8:00pm ET, and it will be a fun, interactive way to meet people, get your questions answered, and get tips and suggestions from Dreamforce veterans, locals, and new attendees alike - all are welcome! Register here right now!
The start of September can only mean one thing... the start of the Fall conference season!
If you're anything like me, shopping for comfortable conference-appropriate attire is not at the top of your list of fun and exciting things. Add that to the fact that I work with nonprofit organizations and live in the Bay Area, and the thought of parting with my cash for designer duds can make shopping feel like a daunting task.
ThredUp is a web site and app of super gently worn designer and all around high quality clothes for women and kids. They also have maternity wear, along with handbags and shoes.
Why am I telling you about this? Because I am really glad my priest told me about ThredUp when I posted on facebook last year in need of affordable conference clothes for Dreamforce (seriously, she's awesome).
Also, they have one of those referral code offers, where if you use the link I provide you, you'll get $10 off your order, and I'll get $10 off. So, I hope this info is helpful to you and we can both benefit!
Use this link to get $10 off.
And yes, these are actual photos of me wearing what I got at ThredUp at conferences last year. I got Calvin Klein, Kenneth Cole, and other awesome stuff for unbelievable prices. NOTE: shipping can take a long time, so order well in advance of your event.
Want to learn Salesforce without needing to dress up? Looking to learn reports and dashboards, adoption strategies, configuration techniques, and data cleanliness that works for you in a relaxed hands on nonprofit training environment with less than 10 people? Join Longshore Consulting for pre-Dreamforce *in your instance* live, in person training in the Bay Area on October 3, 2016. Here's all you need to know! Note registration closes on Thursday, September 15, 2016!
Missy (@missylongshore on Twitter and Periscope) writes this blog just for you!