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#ProjectPlayback: NPSP Implementation for a Community Development Nonprofit

#ProjectPlayback is a series of articles reflecting on projects that I’ve lead. I hope you enjoy reading about my thought process, experiences, and take-aways. Feel free to share your feedback in the comments!

A colleague in my network reached out for support implementing the Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack at her community development nonprofit. They run a lean, but mighty team and needed to maintain organizational function during this transition. Because we didn't want to disrupt their ability to run programs throughout the year, we decided to break the implementation into a few different pieces, starting with the most critical.

We first ensured a baseline of security and user settings, then focused on the management of accounts and contacts: their partners, donors, volunteers, vendors, program participants, staff, and advisory board. At first, we thought we would need to create different types of accounts and contacts to categorize and sort their various stakeholder groups to understand their engagement. However, through our exploration and analysis, we determined that they did not need lots of different types of contacts/accounts to track their interactions. Instead, they needed one or two types of contacts/accounts with lots of different ways that they could relate to their organization and programs.

For the technical build, we enabled and customized households to use for donor tracking. We added a few new custom fields and page layouts for contact management and turned on affiliations. Affiliation types were created to track advisory board, staff, and other members. Campaigns and campaign member types were created with custom fields and page layouts to capture program-specific information. We also installed the Volunteers for Salesforce package, completing the 360 view of their stakeholder engagement. Reports and dashboards were added to help the organization monitor the success of their programs and how they interact with different groups of people.

Simplifying the contact and account customization allowed them to make the most out of Salesforce’s standard functionality and streamline reporting. Customizing affiliations and campaigns allowed the organization to track multiple points of engagement with their stakeholders and better understand how to cultivate donors, participants, staff, and leadership.

The project was a success and exceeded my client’s expectations. I was proud of my work and glad to be able to contribute to the mission of the organization. To me, personally, there’s nothing more rewarding than hearing this type of feedback:

”It was a huge comfort that Laurel understood our organization and small nonprofits. I was quickly able to trust our consultant's judgement, because she demonstrated understanding of our organization's mission and values. The training I got along the way on the construction and back-end of Salesforce was relevant and helpful. She made the process of building a Salesforce platform far easier than I could have imagined it would be. We will be working with her in the future!”

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