Dreamforce ’14

Screen Shot 2014-11-02 at 9.13.29 PMWe recently attended Dreamforce, the annual Salesforce convention. Dreamforce is full of Salesforce User case studies, classes on Salesforce and 3rd party application functionality and new announcements. Dreamforce is also attended by more than 140,000 people and this year keynote speakers included Hillary Clinton, Will.i.am, Arianna Huffington, and others. It is quite an event.

There were several important learnings we wanted to share with you:

  • Peer to Peer Fundraising
  • Nonprofit Starter Pack
  • NGO Connect
  • Mobile
  • Email Communication
  • Communities
  • Wave (Analytics)

If you’d like more information on any of these items, or anything else from Dreamforce, please let us know.



Screen Shot 2014-11-02 at 9.16.48 PMOne of the emerging trends we were most interested in hearing about was Peer to Peer funding, and several Salesforce customers presented excellent studies on their implementation. Key bullets:

  1.       P2P can be effective. People are 7 times more likely to give to an individual that they know, than an organization
  2.       P2P is not just for events, leading organizations are running Peer to Peer campaigns year round
  3.       There are some excellent 3rd party application providers emerging, like Classy, that make the Peer to Peer technology setup and operation much easier.
  4.       Successful P2P is not just about the technology, it also requires good process that includes how-to documentation and storytelling support for the fundraisers as well as feedback and praise for the fundraisers
  5.       The implementation leaders are taking the donors that come in through fundraisers and putting them on nurture tracks (with automated communication processes) to turn them into continuing donors, using tools like Salesforce’s Exact Target

Next Step: If you are already using P2P you should make sure data is captured in Salesforce. If  you are not using P2P fundraising, maybe you should!



Recently the Salesforce Foundation announced a new product, called NGO Connect (see below). Does that mean the end of NPSP? No.

The two products will be targeted for different customer bases, with NPSP the entry level product, and NGO Connect the product for larger organizations and those with more complex donor management.

Much of effort next year will be put into turning NPSP into a robust Open Source product, meaning community developers will be able to add functionality, such as Salesforce1 compliance.

However, more functionality is being added by Salesforce, including:

  1.       Better data import, with an improved UI and more complex import capabilities
  2.       Improved Contact and Household merging
  3.       Multiple addressing for Organization accounts.
  4.       A new functionality called Allocation that will enable donations to be distributed between different funds with templates that allow this to occur automatically for donations of particular types.

You should be aware though that all of these improvements will be made to v3, the newest version of the Nonprofit Starter Pack.

Next Step: if you are on NPSP v2 you should think of upgrading soon.



png;base64c5849bad0ab1a00cThe Salesforce Foundation has reached an agreement with roundCorner to sell their Salesforce based Donor Management system, previously called roundCause. Moving forward the product will be called NGO Connect and SF will facilitate the development direction. NGO Connect is a conversation in itself, but if you’d like to discuss the functionality and roadmap please let us know. You might also want to read a previous post.

Next Step: If you are a larger or fast-growing nonprofit organization, you should pay attention to NGO Connect.



Screen Shot 2014-11-02 at 9.19.01 PMSalesforce1, the mobile front end for Salesforce, has been around for a while now. However, with the introduction of a new rapid development environment called Lightening, it is easier than ever to make your implementation mobile optimized.

Did you know:

  • A user will spend an average of 4 hours per day on internet-based work.
  • This includes 4 sessions of 36 minutes on a laptop, 12 sessions of 7 minutes on a tablet and 19 sessions of 1.2 minutes on their phone.
  • Almost half of the time spent connecting to the internet will NOT be spent on a laptop.

Next Step: If you haven’t yet thought about how Salesforce on the phone or tablet to make your organization more efficient, it is time.


One of the more interesting developments we saw at Dreamforce was the use by nonprofits of a Salesforce technology called Exact Target, which supports a concept called the Nurture Track. A potential donor may engage with your organization with any level of knowledge or commitment, but no matter where they start, they must be nurtured to a donation with communications that are unique to their needs. And the only way that this large amount of personalized communication can be done is through some automation.

This approach is great because:

    • With nonprofits, historically people have given money only after a long development process.
    • Today, as several nonprofits explained, with new ideas like peer to peer fundraising and internet giving, an organization may get the first donation without the donor knowing much about them and subsequently need to be nurtured into additional ones.
    • Many nonprofit executives I talked to also saw the connection between Nurture Tracks and Engagement Ladders.
    • Having automated communication will increase the specific communication and information needs of constituents without using additional staff time.

Next Step: Think about your donor relationships.  Are they in need of nurturing?



While this is not a new feature, Communities continue to receive attention from Salesforce, such as the new Community designer. Nonprofit organizations could use Communities to more effectively engage their constituents. To name just a few examples we have seen, communities can:

  • connect families with health professionals
  • allow students and mentors to collaborate
  • facilitate conversations between volunteers working at different sites

Next Step:  Consider how Salesforce Communities can allow you to engage your constituents in new ways.



Screen Shot 2014-11-02 at 9.20.15 PMThis was the main announcement made by Mark Benioff. With what is also called the Analytics Cloud, organizations will be able to report on data currently stored in separate systems (HR, Finance, etc.), as well as interact with the data in more complex and meaningful ways than currently available through standard reports and dashboards.

Next Step: None at this point as nonprofit pricing is not yet available.