I have wanted to write about “Salesforce for nonprofits” for some time now. As you many of you know, I have had the privilege to volunteer for several nonprofits over the years and have enjoyed giving back to the community. Whether you are a novice Salesforce user or an expert with multiple certifications, there are so many nonprofits that can use your help right now. Salesforce as a platform is being used more and more in this sector across the US and the world. I would like provide some basics as it relates to Salesforce for nonprofits in this week’s blog.
As you can appreciate, most nonprofits are lacking in the resources to run their operations in an efficient manner. Even more importantly, if a nonprofit is not running efficiently, they are probably not able to focus as much time to their core mission. What Salesforce.com (the company) does very well as part of the Salesforce Foundation is as a nonprofit you receive 10 licenses to the Salesforce platform. This set of free licences is all part of the company’s 1:1:1 initiative which alot of other companies subscribe to nowadays. On the surface 10 licenses may not seem like alot to some, however this can be the difference between a nonprofit being a lean running machine or a one that can struggle with high cost of overhead and lack of efficiency. Salesforce calls this program the “Power of Us Program” which is basically all the details you need related to “Salesforce for nonprofits”, and this program consists of the following:
- 10 donated Enterprise Edition licenses
- Deep discounts on additional licenses, products and/or services from salesforce.com
- Discounts on salesforce.com training
- Discounts on salesforce.com events
- Access to salesforce for nonprofits and higher ed specific user groups, events and webinars
- Discounts on participating Apps and consulting partners from the AppExchange
In addition nonprofits can get free add-ons through the Salesforce App Exchange site. A really great add on application for nonprofits is “Volunteers for Salesforce” which can provide your nonprofit with the essentials to get started. This app has really nice ways to track fundraising, volunteers and manage it all in the cloud effectively. If you are a nonprofit considering moving to Salesforce you should make sure you have the right resources to help you get set up on the platform. I say this because with all this cool technology at your disposal, there is a bit of a catch. I equate the 10 free Salesforce.com licenses to giving a puppy to someone who has no idea how to take care of that puppy or properly train it. Although its great and can be a wonderful experience, if you don’t put in the proper controls and training in place or even basic governance and process, you will have some major issues with your salesforce instance.
For those of you on the corporate/business world and have experience with Salesforce (IT/the business) and want to sharpen your skill-set, consider volunteering at your favorite local nonprofit. The nonprofits would really appreciate your help, while you are doing your part to better your local community. In my experience with local nonprofits over the last several years, is they can use some assistance with maintenance and operations of their salesforce instance. If you are interested in knowing if a nonprofit in your area is using or considering using “salesforce for nonprofits” and want to help, here is my advice to find these nonprofits. First, contact your local Salesforce rep who works on your company account, if this applies. They can connect you to the Salesforce Foundation pretty quickly. Alternatively, you can contact the Salesforce Foundation directly by simply filling out this “contact us” form. As always, reach out to me directly and am happy to answer questions or get you started on Salesforce for nonprofits. Either way as a nonprofit organization looking to implement the platform or someone with salesforce experience looking to help, get out there an make it happen. This is a win-win for all.
Hector Perez Jr