Salesforce.org recently announced Nonprofit Cloud, a new offering that pulls together multiple Salesforce products that serve three key operational areas in nonprofits: Fundraising and Donor Management, Program Management and Mission Measurement, and Marketing and Engagement.
It’s a great story as it feels for the first time that a comprehensive vision for nonprofits is being realized. Let’s dig into what this means and explore some of the key takeaways.
1. The creation of Nonprofit Cloud elevates nonprofits to “top-tier” status
Perception matters, and, before Nonprofit Cloud, the product portfolio for nonprofits felt siloed, almost antithetical really to the DNA of the interconnected Salesforce Cloud ecosystem.
This first-class citizen status reinforces Salesforce’s commitment to the nonprofit sector, giving organizations that are considering a Salesforce-based solution the assurance that they can look forward to continued investment and innovation. There is a robust product roadmap in place for Nonprofit Cloud, to include the Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP) Batch Gift Entry and the announcement of a Data Storage Optimizer (a data archival tool), along with a number of other enhancements.
2. Nonprofit Cloud is more about positioning than about new software
This is a real positive because navigating Salesforce’s product choices and understanding how they could be used together to advance a nonprofit’s mission was challenging. Framing the entire conversation under the Nonprofit Cloud umbrella ties everything together and helps focus attention on use cases that are familiar and meaningful to these organizations.
A great example of this is the positioning of the Einstein product suite in the Nonprofit Cloud. While no significant product announcements have been made yet, one can envision the potential for Einstein Analytics for Impact, Opportunity Insights, and Prediction Builder to help organizations improve fundraising performance and predict outcomes. This will be a welcome innovation that should spur more nonprofits to employ Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools.
3. Out with the old, in with the new
Mission Launch has been grounded (Salesforce is pro-pun, so we couldn’t miss this opportunity!), and Growth Kit is the new kid on the block. Nonprofit Cloud will be offering product bundles called “Kits”, which group products and solutions together in ways that make sense for organizations looking to start modestly and scale their adoption of technology as they grow. The entry point and first Kit in the Nonprofit Cloud is the Growth Kit, which replaces Mission Launch and includes the Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP), Pardot, and Quip and is targeted to small and medium-sized organizations.
NPSP has been the foundation for nonprofits to build upon, providing pre-built fundraising and constituent management capabilities including the ability to manage donors, grants, campaigns, programs, and volunteers. Pardot adds the ability to automate marketing activities and drive personalized engagement to donors and other supporters. Quip is an integrated collaboration platform that will enable staff and volunteers to be more efficient in how they work together. The inclusion of Pardot, in particular, is a great move and will help organizations elevate their game by talking to the right people at the right time, all to advance their mission.
4. Nonprofit Cloud should simplify the purchase of a Salesforce solution
Before Nonprofit Cloud, nonprofits wishing to acquire products across the Salesforce suite often had to deal with confusion and delays due to crossover between Salesforce.com and .org sales organizations and pricing strategies. Now that the most popular products are being offered by .org under the Nonprofit Cloud and further bundled into Kits, it is expected that the pricing and negotiation process should be simpler and more streamlined. After all, changing technologies can be stressful enough…you shouldn’t have to sweat the purchase!
5. There’s still free stuff in the Nonprofit Cloud
Nothing has changed regarding the availability of free licenses and nonprofit-specific software. 501c3 organizations are still entitled to up to 10 free licenses annually, and the NPSP continues to be a free and highly popular entry point for organizations who want to start managing their fundraising and donor management activities in one centralized system of record – Salesforce.