Putting on a training conference is an involved undertaking for any organization. When I heard we would be hosting the first ever NPSP day where local nonprofits could “converge together for the ultimate betterment of the communities we serve. In exchange, attendees will leave empowered to leverage the NPSP to aid their own professional development and learn about opportunities they can give back to our open source project” I was excited and curious on how this would play out.
How do you empower 43 attendees from 26 local orgs to demonstrate learning, foster connections and contribute in a way that will better AZ communities?……….in 9 hours.
My background as a music educator with a masters in education and ten years experience allowed me the opportunity to view the prep and execution of NPSP day through the lens of an educator and newcomer to the Salesforce community. In the spirit of discovery and contribution I am excited to share with you our teachable moments and tips to a successful NPSP day.
Tip #1: Prepare
Set aside time to prepare for your NPSP day. As a team, Sputnik Moment engaged in over 150 hours of planning. This included team meetings where we discussed food/venue logistics, specific topics, instructional techniques, messaging and outreach. In the beginning, deliverables were “clear as mud.” It was not uncommon for our team to start down one avenue of an idea and then turn around and do something completely different (like choosing our venue). Our strength was identifying that this is normal. By remaining flexible and not sticking to specifics early on we continued to prioritize our end goal (creating a day where all nonprofit admins could discover, learn and contribute.) But, this process meant that once a final decision was made our tasks had to be efficiently executed. I recommend to plan for setbacks and anticipate extended timelines. The one deliverable date that does not move is your event date. “The show must go on.”
Tip #2: Include Opening/Closing Circle
Opening/Closing Circle* is an activity where participants introduce themselves, identify their goals and share their progress. Our nonprofit admins’ interests split evenly into three categories: beginner/overview, intermediate/reporting and advanced/process builder. As an educator, gaging ability/knowledge level is incredibly important for success. This activity seamlessly provided us powerful data in a personable way. It gave Sputnik’s team the ability to provide specific individual feedback and connect motivations to learning.
*This is a Ryan Ozimek idea.
One teachable moment here is set a realistic time frame for this activity. We misjudged the amount of time it would take for 43 individuals to share. Make sure to do the math. If every individual shares for 3 minutes then adjust your schedule to accommodate. If time is an issue, adjust the grouping style (have a few smaller circles) to accommodate more participants.
How do you empower an individual to “do the Salesforce thing?” Learning requires an individual to practice towards a specific goal. Our agenda had multiple opportunities for active engagement and our most successful was our Minihack session.** Rather than show how to create a custom object, implement an image or build a process, Sputnik’s team stepped aside and assisted participants in the process of doing these things. **Minihack documents created by Mike Potavin and Jason Cook
This approach requires a great deal more thought and preparation (#1) than your run of the mill session. But the reward was undeniable. We had brand new admins creating custom objects on their own and seasoned nonprofit admins modifying the activities to fit their org’s needs at the same time. The session was so successful when we announced a break no one moved.
In conclusion, regardless of your ability/knowledge level and admin status in the Salesforce Nonprofit Community you can find support online at the Power of Us HUB and in person at an NPSP day near you. “Our crazy soon-to-be community driven movement” has officially begun.
We are always looking to improve. If you attended the session and would like to provide feedback on the day please complete the following feedback survey.
Email Sputnik Moment at [email protected] with questions.