Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP) | Ultimate Guide

Alex Jeter
October 28, 2019

Check out our ultimate guide to using the Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack.

Salesforce is a powerful constituent relationship management (CRM) solution. There’s a reason it’s one of the most commonly used for organizations of all types: it’s completely customizable.

For-profits can use it to track sales leads, clients, and marketing initiatives. Meanwhile, nonprofits can use this donor management solution for their fundraising leads, prospect research, and other aspects of fundraising campaigns.

As a nonprofit organization, it’s easy to be drawn to Salesforce due to their advertisement of it being a “free solution” up to 10 users.

This solution includes the general Salesforce tech and the Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP), a great solution to get started configuring the software. However to get the most use from the software, you need to take an additional step in building it out, rendering the solution no longer free. 

But what is included in the Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack? How can your organization make the most of the tools it provides? That’s what we’re going to cover in this article. Read through from the beginning to learn all there is to know about the Salesforce NPSP, or use the navigation below to jump to the section that interests you the most:

  1. What is the Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack?
  2. How to use the Salesforce NPSP Features
  3. Maximizing your use of the Salesforce NPSP
  4. Benefits of the Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack

Ready to master your use of Salesforce? Let’s get started!

What is the Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack?

What is the Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack?

The Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack is a free solution offered to organizations to help them get started using their Salesforce CRM. It’s the first step to configuring the solution for your nonprofit.

The Salesforce NPSP uses and expands upon the data model used by the CRM to organize data. This standard data model is designed to help users understand how the data is organized similarly to a spreadsheet or database. To understand this concept, we must first go over some standard Salesforce terminology:

  • Object: Objects are like the spreadsheets you use to track information. They are the tabs at the top of your Salesforce screen that measure different aspects of your nonprofit. Standard objects that are a part of Salesforce include accounts, contacts, leads, and opportunities. You can also create custom objects to track specific priorities.
  • Fields: Every object has fields attached to it. This is where you find the details of the object you’re looking at. For instance, under your “accounts” object, you may have a field for client contact information like their cell phone number.
  • Records: Records are like the cells of a spreadsheet. This is where you input information according to the correct object and field of that data. For example, within the “accounts” object, you may have a field for the donor’s name, and the record shows that the donor’s name is Phil Smith.

The Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack has very specific terminology.

Salesforce apps, like the NPSP, are sets of objects and fields that help organize individual aspects of your nonprofit. The great thing about this specific Salesforce solution is that it organizes data by building out the standard Salesforce data model.

We said from the beginning that the Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack is a great way to start customizing your Salesforce solution. However, it’s not the end-all-be-all app. You’ll want to look for a complete fundraising solution that works side-by-side with this data model for easy organization of key metrics, but we’ll cover this in more detail later.

Learn more about how to use the Salesforce nonprofit Success Pack features.

How to use the Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack features

The Nonprofit Success Pack uses the standard Salesforce objects specifically to organize nonprofit data:

  • Accounts are used to organize records about supporters' households, companies, and other sources of funding.
  • Contacts track data about individual stakeholders such as donors, volunteers, members, etc.
  • Opportunities hold records of promised or fulfilled donations.
  • Campaigns are used to help your nonprofit track the progress of each ask and activity. You can tie them to certain opportunities.

Past these standard objects, the Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack also offers additional customized objects that are specifically used for nonprofits. For instance, affiliations, relationships, engagement plan templates, and recurring donations can all be tracked in their own specific Salesforce objects.

Your nonprofit can use each of these different features built into the Salesforce NPSP to organize the data you collect about each of your funding sources.

This all sounds pretty cool, right? But have you noticed a few key things missing from this solution? It’s all about organizing data, but how do you collect that data? In order to maximize the use of the Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack, you’ll need to expand its functionality with integrations or apps for a complete fundraising solution.

Learn More About Salsa Engage for Salesforce!

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Maximize your use of the Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack.

Maximizing the use of the Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack

In order to maximize your nonprofit’s use of the Salesforce NPSP (and of your CRM in general), you’ll need to build out your software toolbox. Integrating your fundraising tools with this essential database will help your nonprofit streamline various activities and organizational reporting.

You’ll need to invest in a fundraising solution that offers all of the different fundraising tools your nonprofit needs. For instance, you should look for tools such as:

  • Donation pages
  • Donation tracking
  • Peer-to-peer fundraising
  • Marketing automation
  • Online petitions
  • Click-to-call advocacy forms
  • Secure payment processing

When you invest in a complete fundraising solution that integrates with Salesforce, the software will work side-by-side with your NPSP to collect key information for custom reports. The flow of data looks something like this: 

Data flows from the donor to the CRM and is organized using the Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack.

In this model, the actual interaction the donor has with your nonprofit is completed using a fundraising toolkit. The following steps will help you further choose how to build out this fundraising ecosystem for ideal data flow. 

Consider the Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack data model as you build out the software.

1. Build out your fundraising system with a solution whose data model works well with the NPSP.

The first step to building out your fundraising system is to make sure the fundraising software you choose will work together with Salesforce and the Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack.

We recommend investing in a complete solution with a lot of fundraising functionality rather than multiple one-off fundraising apps. Investing in a complete fundraising solution has several key advantages:

  • All of the software features from each tool within the solution work together. While you could purchase tools separately, such as a peer-to-peer fundraising tool and an event registration tool, those two tools won’t interact with one another. When they’re a part of a single system, you can use the data from each to help the other succeed. For example, host a peer-to-peer campaign leading up to your event and send invites to new donors.
  • It's easier to configure two data models rather than many. The Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack data model is designed to work with the standard Salesforce model. This is because they come from the same parent company. However, investing in a bunch of one-off apps from various providers could become confusing, as each has a separate data model. It’s much easier to combine two data models (Salesforce and a complete fundraising solution) than to try to piece many together after investing in every app you need to succeed.
  • You can save money in the long run. Buying one-off apps from different providers can add up very quickly. You may end up paying a lot more in the long-run by investing in many different solutions than if you invest upfront in a single solution that meets all of your current and future fundraising needs.

When you look for this solution, focus on the gaps that are missing from the Salesforce NPSP. What isn’t offered? Also, consider your organization’s current and future priorities. Does the solution offer everything you need?

To explore the fundraising features of Salsa Engage, a solution designed to meet all of the fundraising needs of nonprofits and integrates with Salesforce, click here.

Consider integration information as you build out your software alongside the Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack.

2. Be sure all integrations have the features that make it easily configurable with the Salesforce NPSP

Once you know all of the fundraising features you’re looking for in your fundraising solution, you’ll want to make sure the integration features make it easily configurable with the Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack.

Look for integration information such as:

  • Bidirectional data integration. Activities and engagement data should sync so that records are updated both in your Salesforce database and in your fundraising software. This allows for relevant marketing and engagement data to flow into Salesforce while allowing for donor segmentation and automation in the fundraising solution.
  • Frequent synchronization. Make sure the data you view is as close to real-time as possible. Some systems will automatically synchronize data as frequently as every 5 minutes. This allows your organization to make timely decisions for dynamic engagement.
  • User-friendly setup. Make sure the configuration doesn’t take an army to set up. It should be easy for the average Salesforce user to set up and manage the sync between your fundraising solution and Salesforce.
  • Match and merge functionality. The last thing you want to do is limit the functionality of either software investment by integrating them together. Make sure your fundraising solution will work with Salesforce’s built-in duplicate matching rules (or that you can manually control the merge settings).

Just because fundraising software advertises their integration with Salesforce doesn’t necessarily mean that the solution works well with the NPSP. Make sure you look for one that has all of the features that will fill the gaps left in the functionality of the Salesforce NPSP and work beside it to fill your nonprofit’s needs.

Consider data safety as you build out your software alongside the Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack.

3. Make sure to take data safety into consideration.

When a supporter donates to your cause, they’re putting a lot of trust in your organization. They trust you to keep their personal information safe. Nothing can be more harmful to an organization as a data breach.

With the Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack, your organization can harness the safety measures offered by Salesforce. Plus, you can control the access that different members have of your objects, fields, or records. This control looks something like this:

  • Objects. Simply set the permissions for each object to prevent and allow certain individuals to create, view, edit, or delete the records of each object.
  • Fields. Even if you provide an individual access to a record, you can restrict their access to fields within that object, making it appear invisible to some and visible to others.
  • Records. Allow individuals access to objects, but restrict the records they can see/edit. For instance, someone might see personal information for themselves but not their coworkers.

Investing in a single software provider for your fundraising solution is another way to protect your constituents. As long as that provider has tight safety regulations in addition to Salesforce, you have fewer accessibility risks when tying data to fewer providers.

Consider talking to a consultant to maximize your use of the Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack.

4. Consider talking to a consultant who can help you customize the solution to fit the growing needs of your nonprofit organization.

Salesforce is incredibly versatile. You can use it for all sorts of activities and functions. If you’re unsure about how to configure your solution to fit all of your needs, or simply want to ensure you’ve gotten the most out of it, you can always talk to a consultant.

Consultants who specialize in Salesforce configuration will help you make sure your solution makes the most of your Salesforce NPSP and the software you choose to integrate with that CRM solution.

For strategies about hiring a Salesforce consultant to get the most from your software, check out this article by DNL Omnimedia.

Learn more about the benefits of the Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack.

Benefits of the Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack

If your organization has invested in Salesforce, the Nonprofit Success Pack is an important and fantastic starting point to configure your CRM solution.

Some of the benefits of configuring your Salesforce software with this solution include:

  • It’s free for nonprofits for up to 10 users.
  • It’s customizable and configurable to your needs.
  • The NPSP helps begin the larger configuration process.
  • It’s built by Salesforce, so the data models work together seamlessly.

Because it’s designed specifically for nonprofits, you can expect your Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack to help your organization track campaigns, compile relevant reports, and help you use Salesforce to its greatest potential.

The Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack is a great starting point for organizations to begin the configuration process after they’ve invested in the world’s leading CRM. However, you’ll need to invest in fundraising software in order to really get the most out of your tech ecosystem. That’s why we have Salsa! Salsa Engage for Salesforce works beside the NPSP to fulfill the needs of your nonprofit.

If you want to unlock more supporter management and fundraising tips, check out these additional resources:

Learn More About Salsa Engage for Salesforce!

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