I often encourage the nonprofits I work with to avoid using multi-select picklists, and I always get the same question back: Why? Here are a two of my many reasons why I personally advise against using multi-select picklists whenever possible, why do you use or not use them?
1. They are really difficult to work with in formulas. Example: I wanted to use values from a multi-select picklist field as part of a naming convention for cases. There's not an easy way to do this. In fact, Salesforce help points out there are very few formulas where multi-select picklists can be used. Here they are:
2. They are hard to work with in reporting. Example: I wanted to use race as a multi-select picklist field to allow people to self identify in whatever way they choose. This is great, until I realized that to accurately capture people and that myriad ways to self-identify, I'd have to create a report for each picklist value (e.g., African American, Asian, Latinx, etc.) and then people would be double counted across the reports (e.g., someone who multi-selected African American and Latinx). I would then also need to create reports with all of the possible permutations or report on each person individually to allow for their full individual expression. Instead, I opted to use checkboxes which make reporting much more clear. Also, to be clear, to be able to report on one option in a multi-select picklist requires a super annoying workaround! Ugh! Read how to do that here. How this makes me feel:
So, what are your thoughts? Are there times when you don't need to report on multi-select picklists so you just use them anyways? Are there times when you've used one only to realize later you would have preferred checkboxes? Let me know!
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:
As you may have heard, the #DF16 agenda builder (in English: the 2016 Dreamforce session registration tool) goes live on Wednesday, September 7, 2016 (as of this writing the exact time of day has not been announced).
But don't worry! With a few simple tools and strategies you can be ready to take advantage of all that Dreamforce has to offer:
1. Watch the Road to Dreamforce '16 right here. It's live every Tuesday before Dreamforce from 11:00am PT to 11:30am PT, but the recordings are always available. Many people tweet tips using the #RoadtoDF16 hashtag or you can ask your own questions to get them answered.
2. Bookmark sessions in advance so you can narrow down the list of 1,900+ sessions when it's time to register on September 7, 2016.
3. Review this PDF of how the agenda builder works. Special thanks to Heidi Hopkins for posting it!
4. Take a deep breath. Not all the locations, times, and even sessions are posted yet. I try to follow two rules:
a. Hands on Training sessions fill up first, fast, and will be for sale after Dreamforce. That's right, they're recorded, but after Dreamforce in 2015 I was only able to access the recordings by paying a minimum of $99 to access them!
b. Not all sessions are recorded. For nonprofits, there's the Community Cascade day which won't be on the agenda for another week, and my Developer Zone theater sessions were not recorded at Dreamforce 2014 or 2015. Also, roadmap sessions and many others are not recorded for various reasons, so be sure you understand exactly what sessions to attend. Don't know for sure? Ask in the session chatter feed, the all Dreamforce chatter group, or your best option: @ mention the speakers on Twitter so they can confirm (although they may not always know).
5. Advanced tip: Use this **unofficial** agenda builder app (thank you Deepak Anand of Dazeworks!) in a developer org to help you get organized!
What are your best tips and suggestions to keep calm while you're planning your agenda? Let me know in the comments!
Want to learn Salesforce without needing to stress? 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!
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!
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.
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!
Missy (@missylongshore on Twitter and Periscope) writes this blog just for you!