Tag Archives: Purple Vision Partners

Connected Non Profit Conference – what you missed.

Last week, Salesforce.org organised an event called the Connected Non Profit Conference.  It was a small, sell-out event.  In the spirit of it all being about connected non-profits, we find some C words to describe what we found at the event

Concept

Every year, Salesforce organises Dreamforce, a beastie of a conference in San Francisco where basically a whole city-load of people all turn up and hear what’s happening with the Salesforce platform.  It sounds like a lot of fun but it is a long way away and pretty expensive to get to, especially for those on a non-profit budget.

A Mini-Dreamforce, 1-day World Tour event happens every year in London (May 18th 2017 – mark your diaries) that takes some of the content and positions it for just a day.  Other stuff happens that is brand specific.

These are all lovely.  They’re useful.  They’re exciting.  They’re a great place to meet really interesting and inspiring people. But they’re not focused on non-profit, they are focused on the entirety of the Salesforce world.  True, all the learning and new products and innovations are relevant as they are available to non-profits.  But the language is just, well, not us.

So kudos to the team at Salesforce.org in London for recognising this and putting something on just for us.  I think the size was just right for a first one – small, about 300 or so.  We can only grow from here!

Content

The stories at the event focused on – as you would entirely expect – how Salesforce has driven non-profit success.  From hearing about the new Non Profit Success Pack (Salesforce, distilled down for non-profits) and its roadmap (the new features that Salesforce will add, alongside the other features that may be unlocked via the Salesforce releases 3 x per year or the fortnightly (yes fortnightly) pushes to the NPSP), through to compelling stories and case studies.

We talked data (of course) and saw how Wave Analytics brings data to life and helps charities like RED to tell their story.  How with the help of partners, charities have created new functionality to deliver things like Gift Aid or bespoke programme management, how UNHCR use Salesforce to manage their fundraising programmes and more about email marketing and the connectivity.

This is the story of RED – their goals and how Salesforce is supporting them to deliver their goal.

This video makes me cry but fills me with so much hope.

Of course, it’s money that makes a difference but you can’t mobile, measure and deliver – or start to raise those funds – without the right tech.  Message clearly received there!

Connections

The measure of success of any event has to be two things – the quality of the content you hear and learn about, and the quality of the conversation you have with other people who are there.

One of the great things about this being a small and focused event was the ability to get to speak to so many of the people who were at the event.

Some were already Salesforce customers, some people looking at options on the market and there were a few of us partners around – and while the reality is we are ‘competitors’, we’re actually quite nice people and feel that we’re more part of a ‘community’ too if you see what I mean.

So there was lots of buzz and conversation, some free advice being bandied backwards and forwards and a lot of entente-cordiale.

And then there’s Cody

Cody is the name of the bear that features across all of the new visual identity Salesforce are adopting.  It relates to trailhead – the free learning paths offered by Salesforce to get users to adopt the system.  If I am honest, I am not convinced about Cody and campgrounds, but he keeps good company with other mascots so at least it keeps things interesting wondering who might show up next!

If you see another Connected Non Profit event pop up in our social feed, or via Salesforce.org, I urge you to act quickly to register.  This one was well worth attending.

Related Services from Purple Vision

To coincide with CNPC_16, Purple Vision launched two new services

Other Purple Vision blogs about NPSP

Steps to success with Purple Vision non profit success pack partner, Purple Visiom

Steps to success with Salesforce

This blog by Purple Vision CEO, Steve Thomas, is about the new Non Profit Success Pack.  Purple Vision has been supporting charities to adopt NPSP since we became Salesforce partners in 2010.

NPSP. 

Same acronym, slightly changed name – from non-profit starter pack to non-profit success pack.

A casual observer would be forgiven for suggesting that this change, announced recently by Salesforce.org with much fanfare, is little more than a minor makeover.

The technical enhancements that accompany the name change are comparatively light additions to the established core of the product which remains unchanged. But the change is significant – we believe that this shift  recognises the maturity of (arguably) the most successful software solution ever written for non-profit organisations.

In this way, we regard the Non-profit Success Pack more as a ‘coming of age’ than an ‘upgrade.

What makes NPSP unique and valuable?

Even in the world of charities it is unusual to get something for nothing. But NPSP really is a free gift. Salesforce.org, the philanthropic arm of Salesforce.com, launched the Nonprofit Starter Pack back in 2008 as an enhancement to its previous Nonprofit Template.

Since that time they have supported the solution through substantial upgrades as well as continuous enhancement releases. NPSP can be provided pre-installed with the Power of Us donated licence programme, as well as in open source code from Github.

Perhaps more significantly, by consolidating NPSP as the de facto framework for all non-profits that use the world’s best CRM system, Salesforce.org is paving the way for a whole new phase of development that will leverage its ever-evolving technology platform.

Salesforce today is almost unrecognisable from its origins as (unsurprisingly) a sales management tool. It has become a comprehensive customer-facing technology platform with

The Non-Profit Success Pack continues to provide the essential baseline that enables all non-profits to take advantage of these features with a structured but flexible framework that models their unique needs.

connected-np

This unique approach to donated licences with an open source overlay has helped build a substantial and active community of tens of thousands of organisations that benefit from Salesforce.

With the latest facility for developers, partners, and even customers to build and customise their own apps and features, NPSP will encourage and support a future with even greater diversity, innovation and collaboration.

What does NPSP actually do?

In a nutshell – it’s a special layer on top of the core Salesforce system – a data architecture designed to meet the special needs of non-profit organisations.

The key effect of NPSP is to adapt the Salesforce focus on business-to business (B2B) activities so as to more closely resemble a business-to-consumer (B2C) model that is common to charities.

NPSP sets up structures to manage

  • the relationships between individual donors,
  • their households,
  • the organisations they are associated with.

It also establishes a standard model for

  • creating and managing pledges,
  • donations,
  • recurring gifts,
  • volunteers.

Where next?

NPSP as the standard for quality, reliability and innovation

NPSP was originally intended to provide an entry point for smaller organisations to get started with Salesforce – hence the former name Starter Pack.

Those with additional requirements take advantage of the 3000+ pre-integrated third-party applications in the Salesforce AppExchange, together with bespoke development by a growing cadre of certified developers and partners (like Purple Vision).

Crucially, the success of NPSP means that it is increasingly accepted as the standard model, providing an industry-wide benchmark for organisations of all types, sizes and geographies.

The development focus for Salesforce.org in future is to constantly reinforce the central role of NPSP whilst actively encouraging customers, partners and developers to innovate on this platform.

Examples of this in the Success Pack include new features such as:

  • personal profiling,
  • in-memoriam donations
  • in-kind donations,
  • campaign tools
  • upgrading the user interface to the latest Lightning standard,
  • enabling NPSP for more languages, starting with Spanish, German and French.

Innovating with the security of a solid platform

The flexibility of the Salesforce platform means that customisation is safe and straightforward to undertake, especially with the extensive frameworks for formal accreditation and informal learning and support. With such a large community, developments evolve in all sorts of new directions. This leads to innovative and successful outcomes but also, in some cases, organisations find themselves with a system so heavily customised that they lose some of the flexibility of a common standard architecture.

At Purple Vision we believe passionately in future-proofing solutions so that our clients retain maximum flexibility around their long-term strategic objectives. We strongly support the development of universal standards such as NPSP, which mitigate the danger of over-customisation and we have been accredited by Salesforce.org as one of just four International Impact Partners formally supporting NPSP.

Wherever possible we advocate well-built, proven apps over DIY customisation.

We have tested, installed and supported scores of AppExchange solutions and we know where they work well (and where they don’t), and whether they offer value for money. As the saying goes, we prefer “clicks not code”.

Our solutions almost always involve NPSP, and we have delivered scores of successful solutions that work very effectively within this standard.

For example:

Be a non profit success with NPSP and Salesforce.org.  

Find out more about being a Salesforce success:

Take action – get started with Salesforce NPSP and Purple Vision

Purple Vision NPSP Resources

 

 

Finding the right CRM partner

A question that often come up is what things people should look out for if they’re looking for a CRM partner or someone to work with on a project.  How do you pick who is right from the many people out there?

Your relationship with the team who will work with you on our CRM is vital so its a great question to ask.   

Let’s start with language

The term ‘consultant’ is often a loaded one for many – perhaps not quite up there with tax inspector – but a word that challenges some.  Your reaction to the word will be based on your own experiences (we’re all grown up enough to know there’s good and bad in all professions), and what you’ve heard from others.  While you might engage a CRM consultant, we prefer to think of the term in a collegiate way – we’re the colleagues you haven’t met yet.  And the term we prefer to use for this relationship is partnership.

There’s a really important point behind that for us – success is based on trust, honesty and integrity from both sides and in working together.   Your project – be it CRM, CMS or anything else – is not one sided.  Its your project, who you hire is there to help you and be on your side.

Its just like online dating (ish)

I’d like to say that finding a partner to work with on your CRM programme is not at all like finding a partner via an online dating site, but as I think about it, there are some similarities.  Not the kind of similarities that cause the most entertainment and horror thankfully (though you might find the odd out of date photo on LinkedIn!) but a few all the same:

  • It can take time – in the world of online dating, if you want a partner or long term relationship, you have to be committed to the search. You have to put the time in to search and find someone who is right for you.
  • Find out what’s on offer – check out who or what is out there by doing research in all the usual ways. Google is your friend.
  • Likes and Dislikes – let’s assume we’re not shallow and aren’t *just* interested in the photos or brand identity. When you dig around online you’ll find lots of info about what a potential partner is interested in, talks about and delivers.  You’ll know if that is interesting to you or not and if there’s a synergy with your team and organisation.
  • Gentle introduction –  a bit of ‘this is who we are and what we need – who are you?’ will help you to find out how a potential partner replies to you – are they friendly and welcoming?  Helpful?  Do you like what you hear or read?
  • First date – nothing like a date really, but you’re both trying to find out the same kind of things – does what I read match the reality?  Do they know what they’re talking about?  Is there synergy and energy?  Plainly and simply, do we get along?  Something to think about for organisations is that your CRM partner may pose difficult and challenging questions as your relationship develops – how do you think you’d handle that? That’s all this first meeting is really about – what are you looking for, what are we the partner looking for, do we get along and want to take this further.
  • The ‘relationship status’ chat – once you’ve worked out if you can work with a CRM partner, it’s time to have the chat about the terms of the relationship.

Some would say it’s all a PR exercise, and to them, I’d suggest it might well be if: 

Do all the R’s: 

  • Research – ask around, look around and listen to what’s being said about partners on the market. Find out what you can via You Tube, Google (other search engines are available of course!), LinkedIn and more.
  • Reach-out – chat to a few likely prospects to find one you feel an affinity with
  • Rationalise – be rational about your expectations. Is anyone really perfect?  Are you? If there are niggles in your mind about a potential partner, ask them the questions so you can work them out and be rational about what you’re expecting them to deliver with you in the time and to the budget you had in mind.

 Don’t do the P’s:

  • Panic – you’re not the first organisation to be bamboozled by how to find a CRM or a partner to implement it. But if you have a clear goal and strategy it’s easier to find a system that will support you to achieve your objectives. Knowing what you’re looking for and why puts you ahead of the game already!
  • Procure – don’t procure a system with tick boxes and paperwork. A tender isn’t likely to pluck something unexpected and perfect from obscurity for you. Quite the opposite in fact – because of the investment of time and effort in completing a paper exercise lots of supplier partners just don’t respond so you may miss out on a good match.  Take the time to do some research and make some calls rather than relying on good people finding your RFP buried online somewhere. By all means, use a procurement process to satisfy all the boxes you need to tick – but after you’ve had some meaningful conversations with providers who have taken time to understand what you need and why.
  • Pontificate – well, not too much. Procrastination is the enemy of action. The sooner you find a partner, the sooner you can gain the benefits of a new CRM to help you deliver your tasks and goals.  Stay focused on the end result throughout – that focus will help you ask the right questions and find the right people to help.
Snowgoose, Just Giving and Salesforce

What Napoleon’s height teaches us about Online Fundraising (Snow Goose)

Everyone knows that Napoleon was short.

Except…he wasn’t. He was average for the time, around 5’7″.

How did we get it so wrong? Well, turns out in French inches, he was 5’2″, and due to our inability to measure him, we just assumed he was short. This mistake has been passed down through generations, been used to explain his motivation, and even helped coin the ‘Napoleon Syndrome’ for short people supposedly trying to compensate. For such a simple measurement mistake, this has had some pretty big ramifications.

Our failure to accurately measure Napoleon is understandable. Even today it’s considered impolite to rush up to a man holding a measuring stick. Even on the third date…

What do we fail to measure in the Fundraising world that we should be measuring? Today’s topic is online fundraising, and it’s incredibly difficult to measure, especially when it comes in through multiple channels.

A common story among charities goes something like this. They started off with JustGiving, were lured by the lower fees of Virgin Money Giving, only to try even cheaper BT MyDonate, before trying EveryDay Hero or returning to JustGiving for the features.

Donations were flowing through three or four online fundraising systems, not to mention a CAF Donate page and a few legacy Paypal recurring donations set-up by last year’s fundraising assistant.

In this situation, you’re getting the money, but what you’re not getting is the data.

At least not in a system you can measure. This means that you can’t answer the following questions, at least not without spending a day mushing files together in Excel:

  • Who are our top 10 fundraisers? (because we want to host a dinner for them)
  • Who raised the most money last year but didn’t raise anything this year? (we might want to ask why)
  • Who has donated to at least three different fundraisers? (because they might be next year’s superstar fundraiser)
  • What are last year’s top 100 donors? (because we might want to send them a handwritten card)

We’re excited to let you in on a secret.

You can now answer these questions, even if you use every different fundraising system on the planet.

Snow Goose is a charity focused application that aggregates all of your fundraising data onto one platform. It’s based on Salesforce, so you also get all the features that come with Salesforce.

With Snow Goose, you can smoothly import data from multiple platforms and report on standardized data.

Snow Goose in action is straightforward for both the fundraiser and the rest of the staff.

Fundraisers mainly click Next half a dozen times as they monitor the import process and check for any contacts that are flagged as having conflicting data. Thousands of donors, sponsored and voluntary and donations can be imported in minutes, with duplication handled in the background.

And the rest of the staff see donations against both the eventer and the donor. Snow Goose beautifully handles this dual credit and accepts data from multiple online fundraising platform.

Which brings us back to Napoleon and his not-so-short height.

  • What mistakes are you making about your Fundraising data because you can’t measure it?
  • What impact is this having on next year’s strategy and fundraising targets?
  • Could you communicate with your donors but don’t because they aren’t in your database?

Without measuring your online fundraising across multiple channels, you can’t even know what you don’t know!

Whether Snow Goose helps Salesforce in its challenge to Blackbaud, only time will tell. But we think it’s a great addition to the Salesforce platform.

It plays nice with the old and new Non-Profit Starter Pack, as well as roundCause/ NGO Connect, which is sponsored by the Salesforce Foundation and coming to the UK soon.

Snow Goose is priced so that it’s accessible to almost any sized charity, with the price ranging from 0.7% of donation value for smaller charities, to 0.1% of donation value for the very largest.

A team of partners helps charities implement Snow Goose and optimize the data for increased fundraising and we’re delighted to have Purple Vision are one of these implementation parters

If you’d  like to know how Snow Goose can help you raise your fundraising targets, give Purple Vision a call!

More info