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:
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!
1. Trailhead will be EVERYWHERE at Dreamforce. Seriously. There will be new trails and quests, opportunities to win swag like a Trailblazer hoodie sweatshirt and Astro dolls of various sizes, and if you've never logged in to Trailhead you'll be farther away from cuddling up to the Cloudy of your dreams. Plus, after this blog post, Trailhead is the best way to prep for Dreamforce (of course!).
2. Every session will be linked to a Trailhead module. This is true. Log in to sessions you plan to attend and you'll soon see a link to the relevant Trailhead trail. Be prepared by earning badges now so you can stay up to date with fast paced sessions!
3. If you're not using Lightning, you'll be confused at Dreamforce. While not every HOT (Hands on Training) will be taught in Lightning, *definitely* be sure to check the description for sessions that are "in Lightning" so you can be prepared. And if TrailheaDX is any indication, all presentations and demos from the main stage and keynotes will be in Lightning. Use Trailhead to get you caught up to speed and comfortable with Lightning if you haven't made the switch over from Classic yet.
4. Avoid on site overwhelm. There's so much that will be happening at Dreamforce, Trailhead is a great way to get mentally caught up before you arrive so you'll have room in your brain to take in the news about all of the exciting new things that are coming up in the Salesforce universe. After all, Salesforce consistently ranks as one of Forbes' most innovative companies in the world. With the announcement of Salesforce Einstein and Salesforce's many recent acquisitions, you never know what Marc Benioff and the team are up to next! Some Trailhead badge suggestions are: http://bit.ly/trailheadbydf16 - then see how you stack up and get to work earning those badges!
Couldn't get in to Dreamforce (yup, it's sold out)? Looking to learn more 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!
Dreamforce is coming! If you're a nonprofit looking to maximize your Dreamforce investment, it's best to plan ahead so you can make sure you'll be able to apply the lessons you'll learn all year. Big changes are coming to #DF16, so let's go over them:
1. The campus will be significantly different. Get to know the new layout of where things are and be sure to plan extra travel time between those Hands On Training sessions in the Hilton, the Salesforce.org Zone (which is farther away this year in the Westin St. Francis Union Square), and sessions on other parts of the campus.
2. Marc Benioff's keynote will be in a much smaller room (Moscone North Hall D, about one half the size of the previous keynote space). That means if you want to be physically in the room (which I highly recommend doing at least once), I suggest lining up at least one hour in advance of the keynote start time (currently scheduled for 1:00pm on Wednesday, October 5, 2016).
3. Trailhead, Trailhead, Trailhead! Trailhead will be the major theme again in the Developer and Admin Zones. I know this isn't a surprise, but remember you can do Trailhead at home for free, so catch up now so you don't feel overwhelmed when you arrive in San Francisco. One great way to get started is the Get Ready for Dreamforce badge here.
4. One expo to rule them all: There's only ONE cloud expo this year. This is great so you don't need to walk between Moscone West and Moscone South, but it may mean you want to plan accordingly to make the most of your visit.
5. The U2 concert is far away! The Cloud Palace, aka the Cow Palace, is not in San Francisco, it's in Daly City and is almost 20 minutes south of San Francisco (driving with no traffic) and is not BART (subway) accessible. While I'm sure there will be shuttles and so forth, be sure you plan accordingly! (The road to DF16 also mentioned that the majority of us will be watching the concert from outside since the venue only seats 12,000 people, so bring many layers of clothing and, as always, extremely comfortable shoes).
6. UNDER CONSTRUCTION: Remember that Moscone is under construction! This means less sessions but the same amount of people (or maybe more people). Be sure you register in advance as soon as agenda builder goes live at the end of August, arrive early to sessions to claim your spot, and plan extra travel time for the larger campus (especially if you're going to nonprofit sessions). I know this is the same advice you hear every year if you're a Dreamforce veteran, but due to this year's construction, fewer sessions, less rooms, and more people, I recommend taking this advice seriously, especially if there's a session you really want to get into on Tuesday or Wednesday (there's a lot more wiggle room on Friday and Thursday after the concert).
Want more? Longshore Consulting is offering a small group (3 to 10 people) Salesforce training for nonprofits and foundations on Monday, October 3, 2016 - the day before Dreamforce, in the San Francisco Bay Area. Included in the session will be a 20 minute review of your Dreamforce agenda. The training will focus on charts and dashboards, data cleanliness, and user adoption. What's unique about Longshore Consulting trainings is that the entire time you will be in your organization's Salesforce instance, immediately applying what you're learning. To indicate your interest, get more information, or ask questions, fill out this form.
Just when you thought you had your fill of Salesforce by reading all of the blogs out there (h/t Salesforce Ben for this list) , you need to go for a walk, hop on a train, or (gasp!) get on a plane with no internet service. What’s an awesome Salesforce person to do? Subscribe and download my friends, subscribe and download (to Salesforce podcasts!).
But what Salesforce podcast is best for you? I suggest you try out a few and find the best fit. Here are some resources to help you out:
Salesforce Podcasts by Francis Pindar from January 1, 2015
A nice, quick overview of just some of the Salesforce podcasts out there, including links to the shows and social profiles of the hosts
List of Podcasts for Salesforce Developers and Admins by Jitendra Zaa from October 20, 2015
The bios are a bit more detailed in this list post, and includes one or two that are not included in Francis’ post.
So now it’s time for the inception portion of our post, as if the above wasn’t meta enough for you.
Here’s my post about my favorite Salesforce podcast, Cloud Focus Weekly, explaining 5 reasons why you should listen, especially if you’re a nonprofit. Let’s just say frenemies are involved. https://longshoreconsulting.wordpress.com/2015/05/07/best-salesforce-podcast-for-nonprofits/
And now of course the reason I was inspired to think about all of this out there: I appeared as a guest of the Button Click Admin Podcast! Here’s a writeup of the episode, which includes a link to listen and a mention of #AdminHour.
Even more fun:
As I prepared to be on the Button Click Admin podcast (thanks again Mike and Gillian!), I listened to a lot of episodes and learned there are now even more Salesfore-themed and Salesforce-adjacent podcasts. These include:
The Marketing Cloudcast - it’s awesome and you do not have to be a Salesforce marketing cloud customer to enjoy it. My favorite episode so far was the DonorsChoose.org one.
One of These Things Podcast - with Salesforce MVPs Becka, Jared, and Matt - interesting dialogue with fun too; I loved the recent discussion of TrailheaDX - how is it pronounced?
Marketing Over Coffee: definitely Salesforce adjacent, but super popular and informative!
Feeling overwhelmed by all this information? Looking for a partner to help you manage your time and hold you accountable so you can make amazing social change by getting your Salesforce organized? Let’s talk! Longshore Consulting is here to help you by managing the information overload of the Salesforce world so you don’t have to feel overwhelmed.
Today we’ll be looking at Salesforce and the integration with your preferred mass email provider. I have seen countless organizations use both these tools effectively. Combining these two elements can dramatically improve your campaigns.
Effective integration to align both these elements starts with these 7 tips:
The most important part of any effective campaign is strategy. Think about what you want to achieve: a strong online presence? Higher donor satisfaction and retention? This will set the foundation for your strategy goals.
Next you need to communicate your strategy goals to the people that you work with. Involve everyone - just because they might not be directly involved in your work does not mean they don't have ideas and information that you could use to execute your strategy in the best way possible.
What I have typically seen in various organizations is different people executing different elements of each campaign with their own strategies in mind. Create cohesion in your organization by working towards the same strategy goals - this can only come from effective communication.
3. Goal Setting
Have a number and a deadline - be clear and specific. The more specific you are, the more likely you are to achieve your goals. For example, we want to increase monthly donors by 20%, or we want to attract 100 new email subscribers.
4. Meaningful Content
Really understand what your audience wants to see from you, and create meaningful content that exceeds their expectations. Timely communication is one thing, but meaningful content is king in this day and age of information overload.
5. Visually Appealing Content
People will spend more time with content that they find visually appealing. So take the time to build email communication that is both meaningful and relevant to your audience, but also easy on the eye. Consider the last email newsletter you opened. What made you open it? What did you like about the layout and design? Can you apply these design elements to your own work?
6. Tracking Results
Now that you’re working towards meeting your goals, you need to track your progress. What are your emails doing once you send them? Is your audience opening them? Are they unsubscribing? Are they forwarding your content? You need to know exactly what happens to your email once you send it. Then you can use that information to improve your content to reach your goals faster.
Creating meaningful content starts from understanding your audience. One simple way to do this is to segment your database. You can do this through your Salesforce CRM standard and custom fields. For example, if I’m planning on running a Salesforce training in New York and Philadelphia in May, I need to be able to segment my database geographically in order to invite relevant people to each event. It means you have to create more content to reach the different segments, but communicating with the right people in the right way can lead to great wins!
Are you excited about integrating Salesforce and email marketing at your nonprofit? Contact Longshore Consulting today for a consultation so you can start, jumpstart, or refine your efforts. Either way, make sure you subscribe to get the very latest information and exclusive fun tips in your inbox.
Want more fun? Check out the slide version of this post below!
On October 4, 2016, tens of thousands of Salesforce aficionados will gather in San Francisco to hear about the future of Salesforce, learn how to best use Salesforce in their organizations, and network with experts across industries at Dreamforce (#DF16). As the largest nonprofit technology conference, Dreamforce is an excellent time to meet with other organizations and learn from their mistakes and successes.
What’s the best way to maximize your time at Dreamforce? Start preparing now! Make a list of who you want to meet and what questions you have, so you’ll know what sessions to sign up for when it’s time for that. Work Dreamforce into your annual budget and be prepared to reserve your hotel room early as they fill up fast.
In the meantime, enjoy my five top picks for Dreamforce 2015 videos to stay motivated in your nonprofit Salesforce success:
That's right, the results of the 2016 Nonprofit CRM Survey -- #NPOCRM -- which was created, conducted, and analyzed (with love) by Longshore Consulting, are ready!
In March and April of 2016, nonprofits from across the country, of all sizes, answered a series of questions about their current use of Salesforce. Questions asked about overall satisfaction, ease of use compared to 12 months ago, happiness with 11 different Salesforce products and services, and open-ended feedback opportunities.
One of the biggest takeaways from the survey is that nonprofits are currently not focused on implementing Salesforce Lightning and upgrading to the Nonprofit Starter Pack v 3.0. To find out what the biggest concerns and priorities are for nonprofits, be sure to download the full survey results.
HINT: One of the top three worries nonprofits have is ‘removing dirty data from our Salesforce instance/deduplication.’ To solve that issue for you, Longshore Consulting created Clean Your Instance: a 7 Day CRM Challenge for Nonprofits. It’s completely free, and you’ll learn how to prevent duplicates and how to easily monitor and prevent dirty data, in just 5 minutes a day with step by step videos.
Another surprise is that most nonprofits either have multiple Salesforce administrators or do not have a trained Salesforce administrator at all. Not many have been to paid Salesforce training, like ADM 201, and the feedback on it was not overwhelmingly positive. This is a bummer because the survey results also indicate that the organizations with a trained administrator are more satisfied with Salesforce on all 3 indicators of overall satisfaction, including whether it makes Salesforce easier to do their job.
To find out the Salesforce products and services that nonprofits ranked highest (and lowest), get the full report.
Please check out the results and comment below or on social media using #NPOCRM to let me know what you think (what surprised you? what will you do differently?), and also please tell me if you'd be interested in attending a free webinar to go into more detail on the results.
Thank you again to the 159 nonprofits who Salesforce responded (100 results were 100% complete), your feedback is invaluable!
Missy (@missylongshore on Twitter and Periscope) writes this blog just for you!