More and more NFPs are making the switch to Salesforce. Over 55,000 of Salesforce’s customers are not-for-profits and the number is rising rapidly. So what is it about the Salesforce solution that makes it perfect for the sector? In this blog, one of our NFP consultants, Bethany Smith, uses her experience of moving from Raiser’s Edge to Salesforce to define her top 8 reasons why making the switch makes sense.
Not a One Trick Pony
Probably the most important benefit of Salesforce is the fact that it doesn’t just “do” fundraising. Many organisations use it to:
- manage volunteers: tracking applications, onboarding, logging hours and more;
- manage events whether they’re for fundraising or not;
- track programs being delivered, including who is participating, what services they’re receiving; and so on.
Gradually, over time, it is possible to deliver all of your organisation’s processes using Salesforce. No siloed data. No spreadsheets. No more multiple licencing contracts!
Data is Key
We all know that data is at the heart of everything we do, and this is especially true for fundraising professionals, so a simple reporting solution is critical for any solution.
Salesforce has an incredible amount of “wow factor” when it comes to reporting. Real-time reports can be run at any time to showcase important campaign information, response rates, attrition rates and so on.
But running reports (and collecting them together into a real time dashboard) is just the first amazing thing about Salesforce’s reporting capabilities. Unlike Raiser’s Edge, creating Salesforce reports is simple with a drag-and-drop interface. No SQL or complex queries are needed so anyone with a little bit of training (and system permissions) can create or edit reports. This takes the burden off that one Raiser’s Edge superuser, the person who is often lumbered with the responsibility for generating reports for others.
Adding graphs to reports is also really easy and takes just a click of a button. These graphs can then be combined to create a very visual dashboard summary of all the key metrics that matter.
Salesforce reports are quite simply beautiful!
Flexibility and Adaptability
If the last two Covid years have shown us anything, it’s that we need systems that are adaptable: systems that can change as our internal business needs change or the world around us changes. Salesforce has that in spades.
Much of what an organisation needs from a system can be configured, using a simple no-code process. Additional fields can be added, page layouts changed, even automations built all without the need for code.
This flexibility and low-code approach means that Salesforce can keep pace with your organisation as your needs change.
Incremental change is a given with Salesforce, whether that’s because a system admin can easily maintain the solution, or because of the three major releases delivered each year. For example, in the Spring 2022 release, these three AI-driven, out of the box predictions have been added that allow fundraisers to know the:
- likelihood to become a recurring donor
- likelihood to become a first time donor
- likelihood to become a top donor.
All features in the regular releases are made available at no extra cost to all Salesforce users, with no need to do manual updates. And all are fully documented so you know what you’re getting in advance. Here’s the documentation on those nifty little predictions mentioned above.
Integrate to Almost Anything
Integrating to Salesforce is really easy, with many open APIs and pre-built connectors. This makes it simple to integrate to Outlook or Gmail; marketing automation tools like MailChimp or Campaign Monitor; finance systems like Xero; and of course your website.
This ease of integration means your organisation doesn’t have to have siloed data. With Salesforce, you can know everything about your stakeholders making it easy to build relationships with them.
Segmenting your Stakeholders
In Raiser’s Edge, every stakeholder and organisation record has Constituent Codes to help with segmentation. But these codes need to be manually added and managed. Salesforce doesn’t have the concept of Constituent Codes. There’s simply no need for them. For segmentation purposes, reports can be easily created and run, generating lists of stakeholders quickly. And when it comes to looking at a stakeholder’s record, all data points are easily accessible, making it unnecessary to have a Constituent Code. Automations also make it easy to update data fields on a record, for example, tagging a record as a major giver when a certain threshold of donations has been reached.
This should be easy right? But in Raiser’s Edge, finding the record for the constituent you’re looking for can be challenging. Salesforce’s global search searches all records and fields using the simple search terms entered. Not only that, Global Search doesn’t even need complete words to find the records you’re looking for. This might seem like a small thing, but wasting time looking for a specific record can add up and take you away from your core function.
Automation for Efficiency
Creating automations in Salesforce is very easy and, again, requires no code. Using a simple drag and drop interface, administrators can create Flows that follow a business process like this one.
You can create almost as many automations as you like to make sure you’re working efficiently, and to keep your data in tip top condition.
Finally, the Salesforce global community is second to none. Whether that’s user groups sharing information, access to free online training through Trailhead, events like Down Under Dreaming (here in Australia), or just the general friendliness and collaboration between Salesforce professionals around the world, finding help and support is generally easy.
Why not join your local group now and see what all the fuss is about. There’s groups in:
- Melbourne which is co-lead by our National Sales Manager, Nicole Aebi-Moyo
Salesforce’s contribution to the global NFP sector is also significant with every registered NFP entitled to 10 free licences and significant discounts on any additional licences needed. The company as a whole does philanthropy and corporate social responsibility very well.
If you’re looking to move to the world’s best CRM, why not contact us to find out more about our approach to implementing a great fundraising solution.