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Getting started with NPSP

By January 10, 2017

By: Kirsten Kippen, Idealist Consulting

So you just started a new job at a nonprofit and/or found out from your boss that you get the lucky task of spearheading your organization’s NPSP implementation. Woohoo! What’s NPSP again?

If this sounds familiar, fret not! By taking on your Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP) implementation project, you are fortifying yourself with an extremely useful skill that can be used throughout your career: the skill of managing a technology project.

Still not convinced? Well we’re here to help. The first step will most likely be to build a plan and create a budget. Here are our top tips for how to begin this.

1. Understand the pain.

Talk to your team to figure out why you need a new CRM and build your case around it.. Ask these questions:

  • How many hours each week does your staff spend juggling Excel spreadsheets, Google docs, free online software, and other systems that don’t “talk” to each other?
  • How many times a year does your board or executive team need high-level reports? How long does it take for you to compile them?
  • How many times per year do your donors or constituents interact with you?
  • What difference would it make to your bottom line if you could increase these interactions by 10%/20%/100%?

2. Prioritize your requirements.

Know what is truly important to you and your team and what you can’t live without. What can you get from third party applications and/or customizations? If you had to choose between a payment integration and marketing automation platform, which would it be? Make sure you know what you want AND the order of importance. Shift secondary requirements to phase two, so you can build your foundation before adding additional bells and whistles.

3. Know your goals.

Many organizations benefit from working with a consultant to help plan and implement their Salesforce implementations. By identifying goals, this will not only help you to be more efficient when you talk to consultants about what your needs are, it will also help you show ROI. Here are some examples of appropriate CRM implementation goals:

  • Increase revenue by X%
  • Reduce administration data entry time by five hours per week
  • Increase leads by X%
  • Increase check processing time by 20 hours for each campaign cycle
  • Increase event RSVPs by X%
  • Transition X donors from check to online donations

4. Identify the stakeholders.

At a minimum, you should identify the following roles in your CRM implementation project:

  • Executive Sponsor/Champion – an executive that has a vested interest in project success
  • Project Lead/Project Manager – one point of contact who will communicate on a regular basis with the consulting partner and is empowered to make key decisions
  • Stakeholders – anyone else from your organization who needs to be kept up to date with project status updates and changes (this could include board members, Salesforce admins, or senior management)

After you’ve completed these four steps, you’re ready to talk to a consulting partner, get your Salesforce licenses, and begin your implementation. Congrats!

To learn more about how to take this journey at your nonprofit, join our webinar with Idealist Consulting and Rallybound on January 18. Banfield Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to making a world a better place for pets, will also share how they are using NPSP to transform their reporting process and increase donations.

Register for Webinar