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Celebrating 10 Years of Community-Driven Success in Nonprofit Technology with NPSP

By Lori Freeman October 9, 2018

Dreamforce 2018 attendees learn more about nonprofit technology and the NPSP data model
Every year, over 3,000 of our closest nonprofit friends and peers descend on San Francisco to attend Dreamforce, the largest technology conference on the West Coast. Just last week, we were inspired, grateful, and thrilled to share such a special event with organizations of all sizes and causes.

But, if we think back to where we were 10 years ago, so much has changed. And it all started with NPSP, which was then called the Nonprofit Starter Pack (NPSP). This week, NPSP turns 10! That’s right, our industry-standard data architecture is 10 years old this week.

Let’s take a look at our history, where we’ve been, and where we’re going. We’re excited to celebrate what we’ve accomplished together.

NPSP: A Brief History

Nonprofit Cloud journey
Before 2008, the Salesforce Foundation provided free subscriptions for nonprofits, but without a scalable and upgradeable core architecture to base the solution on, every organization was responsible for its own unique upgrades. Although most nonprofits share similar requirements, each implementation was unique, costly, and not easily repeatable. In 2008, the Salesforce nonprofit community started working on the first version of NPSP, the Nonprofit Starter Pack. The Nonprofit Starter Pack lived on the AppExchange as 5 separate apps. Today the Nonprofit Success Pack is a complete integrated suite.

Initially, NPSP 2.0 was a fundraising/donor management application, with core donation management, donor engagement, and basic reporting and analytics. Over the years, NPSP has evolved to include the new Lightning Experience user interface and became far easier to customize and configure, setting the stage for the Nonprofit Cloud.

Today, the Nonprofit Success Pack is a core component of the newly released Nonprofit Cloud. NPSP serves as an industry-standard data architecture to power your mission: You can advance your fundraising, marketing, programs, and impact measurement with NPSP.

The Community: Working Together Towards a Common Goal

NPSP has come far, thanks to people like you – our community! We celebrated with several thousand nonprofit friends at Dreamforce, and we want to continue the celebration by sharing our gratitude for the work we’ve accomplished together.

Dreamforce gets a one-on-one live demo
Dreamforce attendee gets a one-on-one live demo

1. Proven impact across nonprofits of all sizes

Through working together, we’ve seen huge impact in nonprofits achieving tangible successes, including:

  • 30% decrease in cost per dollar raised
  • 30% increased donor acquisition
  • 34% increase in donor retention
  • 34% increase in funds raised
  • 88% of customers reporting that Salesforce has helped them increase their impact

Conversations at Dreamforce 2018
Conversations at Dreamforce 2018

2. Trust & Transparency

Trust is our number one value and working together with the community is part of that. NPSP is open source, which means that anyone can access code that powers the foundation of Nonprofit Cloud via GitHub.

We focus on trust through transparency, security, compliance, privacy, and performance and work to deliver the most trusted infrastructure in the industry. A few of the ways we keep trust top of mind all the time include keeping up to date with real-time information on our system performance and security and having all employees complete Annual Security Awareness Training. Our core values are outlined in this fun, free, and interactive Trailhead Trail.

And transparency continues to be key as we continue to make an impact together, as seen in this year’s first ever Social Impact Report.

Nonprofit session at Dreamforce 2018

3. Building a Platform, Not a Point Solution

Building technology that meets the needs of nonprofits to manage their entire mission is core to what we’re doing. Many organizations start with NPSP and then branch out to other products like marketing automation, predictive analytics, and more. Whether you’re building relationships with donors, measuring the effectiveness of your programs, or trying to engage with your constituents on the channel of their choice, uniting all this data and processes in one place helps you stretch your resources further and gives you a complete view of the work you’re doing towards your mission.

Attendees at the 2018 Orlando Community Sprint love collaborating!
Attendees at the 2018 Orlando Community Sprint love collaborating!

4. Community Collaboration & Innovation

Working and collaborating with the community is exciting and our special sauce here at How do we ensure we collaborate from here, with you?

Events like Dreamforce, one of the largest technology conferences in the world, and other nonprofit industry events.

NPSP Community Sprints, which are hosted several times a year in cities across the US. Admins, developers, users, and partners all come together for two days to work on making NPSP even better. These events are unique in that they bring together the community across the country (and sometimes multiple countries) and product teams to work together to define issues in the market and how our technology can help do that. Some great innovations like Customizable Rollups and Account Soft Credits have come from Community Sprints!

User Group Meetings, around the world, organized by customers that meet online and in person to network and share tips and tricks.

The Power of Us Hub, an online community of over 40,000 Salesforce users from nonprofit and education organizations. In the Hub, users can submit ideas to the team, and thanks to NPSP’s open source code base, community developers can collaborate with our team to implement those ideas. The Hub also contains a repository of documentation created by the community and our team of technical writers. It’s a treasure trove of how-to guides, best practices, and articles to satisfy your inner NPSP geek.


The Ranger Station at Dreamforce 2018, where attendees could stop by and get directions. With, you don’t have to go it alone with your nonprofit technology.
The Ranger Station at Dreamforce 2018, where attendees could stop by and get directions. With, you don’t have to go it alone with your nonprofit technology.

5. Strong Partner and App Ecosystem

The value of our platform includes our larger partner community and ecosystem that powers various customer needs. The flexibility of organizations extending their use of Salesforce by accessing over 3,000 ISV apps is unique and something we’re grateful for always. By getting access to world-class apps and expert partners, you can find more success as an organization and continue to improve and build on an industry-standard data architecture. And when you are looking to implement Salesforce, we have an ecosystem of System Integrators (SI) partners in the US and worldwide to plan and help you find success with your new technology.

We are humbled by our inspiring customers who are working every day to change the world. And, since 2017, we have provided a 100% carbon-neutral cloud to our customers. Together, we can advance towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals and do more to make sure that everyone who wants to change the world has the technology to do so.