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In the meantime, here are six tips for getting started with
Salesforce for Nonprofits today.
Tip One: Access Your Free Salesforce Licenses
If you are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, Salesforce has a grant waiting for you. It’s 10 free user licenses. Don’t wait. Sign up for your trial and then apply for your nonprofit’s grant. You’ll likely get this grant approved in a matter of days.
You don’t need a detailed plan to get this done. Get it. Open it. Start learning.
Tip Two: Learn the Language
For new users, Salesforce terms may sound foreign. That’s because Salesforce was initially created as a for-profit sales and marketing tool.
The Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack addresses this challenge. NPSP now speaks fluent “nonprofit,” but it still comes with some of the old for-profit slang.
Take time to understand core terms like objects, fields, contacts, household accounts, organizational accounts, relationships, affiliations, opportunities, and campaigns.
A good way to learn these terms is to head over to the Salesforce e-learning platform. It’s known as Trailhead. Check out Understand the NPSP Data Model
(FYI: to access this online training, you’ll need your Salesforce login credentials, so make sure your nonprofit has received its free licenses).
Tip Three: Learn by Doing
The best way to learn Salesforce is to use Salesforce! Don’t wait to upload your data to start learning
Login into Salesforce, and navigate through the steps below. NOTE: you might initially be frustrated because you can’t find the fields. Don’t fret. You are going through these steps so you learn where the fields are and more importantly how the fields connect and relate. All this will become second nature, but if you get stuck and can’t find the answer in Trailhead, just give us a call at the iMission NP Salesforce hotline (203) 747 -8042 extension 703.
Tip Four: Focus on Data that Matters
Time and time again, we’ve seen organizations delay launching Salesforce (or other CRMs) for months (and even years) because they want to all their data cleaned-up first.
Of course, you don’t want to port over bad data, but in most cases, you can launch your transition to Salesforce by importing only the essential data – the information you really need to get work done more effectively. Later, you can get valuable but not essential dirty data cleaned and imported.
Tip Five: Target Simple Workflows
Salesforce is so much more than a place to house data. It’s a powerful tool to simplify and automate work, saving time, enhancing servicing levels and improving collaboration.
Select a few simple workflows that your team could use for a test drive. Showing people how they really can do more with less provides the incentive to learn Salesforce and find ways to exploit its power, now and in the future.
Tip Six: Find a Way to Get Quick Answers
Salesforce is big, powerful and flexible. That brings complexity. Resolving this complexity often does not require deep thought. It’s about being able to get quick answers for taking simple steps.
What’s great about Salesforce are the online groups and communities that can help. You may be able to solicit the support board members or volunteers who are using Salesforce in their jobs. A Salesforce consultant committed to your teams training and capacity building also should be identified for support.
If you are still wondering if Salesforce should be in your nonprofits future, then check out our blog, 5 Reasons Why Salesforce Is Right for Your Nonprofit.