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Review: Nonprofit Cloud Featured

Review: Nonprofit Cloud sendi gibran

Large nonprofits should have a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution to help them keep track of relationships with donors, volunteers and people who are vital to their organization. While medium and small nonprofits could benefit from a CRM - larger nonprofits such as American Red Cross, Amnesty International, and United Way cannot thrive without one.

While popular nonprofit CRMs like Blackbaud, Kindful, and DonorPerfect are well known within the nonprofit community – Salesforce is gaining momentum within the industry offering their answer to a robust nonprofit CRM – Salesforce.org Nonprofit Cloudan integrated CRM for nonprofits to expand their impact, from anywhere.

In Use:

Salesforce’s answer to a nonprofit CRM – Nonprofit Cloud gives charities access to products geared towards fundraising, marketing, engagement and grants that scales alongside the nonprofit.

In an interview with Idealist Consulting, Kate Mirkin who at the time was the Director of Product Marketing at Salesforce.org explained Nonprofit Cloud is the complete set of Salesforce technologies that address the technology challenges that nonprofits face.” Mirkin who is now the Director of Strategic Marketing Programs at Salesforce.org goes on to say – “It includes Salesforce products like Sales Cloud, Marketing Cloud, and Communities - as well as products built specifically by Salesforce.org for nonprofits.”

A CRM is supposed to be an “all-in-one” platform for a nonprofit organization. Nonprofit Cloud does a pretty good job of being a “one-stop-shop” for users. Within the platform a charity can utilize an activity dashboard, manage campaigns, communicate to donors and track contributions. But it does come at a cost. One of the most common feedback associated with Salesforce.org’s Nonprofit Cloud is the steep price. With expensive set up costs, and monthly fees – it’s almost impossible for a smaller nonprofit to be able to afford it – and with no free trial or free version a nonprofit can’t try it before they buy in. While the Nonprofit Cloud starts at $60 per month/per user this doesn’t take into account set-up fees and necessary trainings.  

Technology Needed:

As the name suggest, Nonprofit Cloud sits on the cloud so a nonprofit can access their data from anywhere. With mobile apps available – a stakeholder can quickly check metric, send out communication or track their grants from anywhere.

Like with Salesforce – Nonprofit Cloud integrates with Tableau so a charity can have an easier time visualizing their data. The dashboards within Nonprofit Cloud are clean with a wide selection of graphs and charts that makes a nonprofit’s data easy to digest. There are over 70 reports that a nonprofit can use and is fully customizable.

Tableau is not the only integration within Nonprofit Cloud. There are over 3,000 integrations and apps that charities can utilize through Salesforce’s Marketplace. The extensive list includes QuickBooks, Docusign, and DonorSearch.  Please note that some of these apps and integrations do come with a monthly subscription fee while others are free.

 

Ease of Use:

Because of the sheer size of Salesforce.org Nonprofit Cloud– it can be hard for nonprofits to wrap their heads around how to use it and what’s available to them. While Nonprofit Cloud does offer training assets, phone support and chat – many nonprofits have found it difficult to navigate the platform. On Capterra, a comprehensive software directory website - Brad K., a co-director at a nonprofit organization wrote – “Intuitive is not a word I would use for Salesforce.”

Recap:

Salesforce.org’s Nonprofit Cloud is Salesforce answer to a robust CRM aimed at nonprofits. The CRM allows a charity to do everything they could possibly need to within the confines of the platform. From communication, data analysis, and engagement – Nonprofit Cloud boasts an impressive offering. And what they don’t have – one of their 3,000 apps do have to make a nonprofit’s life easier.

Advantages:

  • Tailor the platform to your needs. Software is customizable to fit a nonprofit’s needs
  • Robust CRM that embraces the phrase “One-Stop-Shop.”
  • Over 3,000 integrations and apps that nonprofits can utilize

Disadvantages:

  • The platform is expensive after you add up set up costs, app prices, and monthly subscription fees
  • The learning curve for Nonprofit Cloud is vast – taking many hours to set up, train, and navigate through the system

My Opinion:

Nonprofit Cloud is aimed at large nonprofit organizations that run similar to a business i.e United Way, Red Cross, and Amnesty International. Because these nonprofits are huge – they have the capabilities to train employees and possibly hire a Salesforce administrator who specializes in set up, integrations, and navigating through the CRM. In these cases - I do see the benefit of Nonprofit Cloud and the over 3,000 apps that nonprofits can utilize.

I don’t see a case for small-medium nonprofits. It would essentially just cause them a headache and drain them of what little money they do have – once subscription fees and set up fees are factored in. There are cheaper CRMs available that these charities could utilize that don’t break the bank – but still have a decent selection of offerings.

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Danielle Loughnane

Danielle Loughnane earned her B.F.A. in Creative Writing from Emerson College and has currently been working in the data science field since 2015. She is the author of a comic book entitled, “The Superhighs” and wrote a blog from 2011-2015 about working in the restaurant industry called, "Sir I Think You've Had Too Much.” In her spare time she likes reading graphic novels and snuggling with her dogs.

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