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Chicken Soup for Your CRM: 5 Reasons to Upgrade to NPSP 3

By January 28, 2016

By: Michael Potavin, Nonprofit Salesforce Consultant, Sputnik Moment

It’s been almost a year and a half since the release of the Nonprofit Starter Pack (NPSP) version 3 and a number of our clients are now wondering if it might be time for them upgrade. Back when NPSP 3 was released, I was working at Feeding Matters, a nonprofit that is a champion for pediatric feeding struggles. We were early adopters of v3 and it made a huge difference to our organization. There are many really great reasons to upgrade. Here are some of my favorites:

5. Health Check

This new feature will not only identify which parts of your data have the sniffles, but how to go about fixing it. I was able to clean up orphan contacts and empty accounts with ease. Think of it like chicken soup for your CRM. Yum.

4. Address Verification

Data can get dirty and addresses are one of the places where we see the greatest inconsistency. Is it Street or St? Arizona or AZ? Can’t somebody else fix this? YES. Feeding Matters sends out a yearly mailer and for many of our donors, this is the only contact they received. It had to look clean. There are currently three services available to do this in NPSP 3. Learn more here.

Feeding Matters

3. Affiliations

While this feature was available in NPSP 2, it made a lot more sense for us to implement it with the Household Accounts (see more below). We can track where our contacts work, where they volunteer, what boards they are on, even the organizations where they are members. We could set the primary affiliation for the person, so we could define who they were to us. The more we know about our contacts, the better we are able to tailor our messaging to reach them.

2. Unified Admin Settings

It’s now all under one tab, so no more searching around! Making admin changes used to be more time consuming. Like most nonprofits I wore many hats and time was a huge commodity. Increase my efficiency? Yes please!

1. Households are Accounts!

Welcome to the fold, Households! While families are obviously key to Feeding Matters mission, we were not using households prior to NPSP 3. Having Household as a custom object presented some reporting challenges for us and we had elected not to use it. Now with v3, the Household is a standard object. With this new model, our report generation was simplified. For instance, our donor report for the annual report is a click of a button away.

While we were able to upgrade with little issue, every organization is different, so please make sure to always test in a sandbox before installing a new app.

Looking for some help with your upgrade to NPSP 3? Learn more at

Watch the Upgrade Webinar Recording