By: Vered Meir, IT Business Analyst, and Steve Backman, Technical Architect Lead, Year Up
Year Up started with Salesforce nearly 10 years ago, and over that decade, we stretched the original implementation to its limits with customizations and managed packages. We looked to the Nonprofit Starter Pack (NPSP) to help us standardize household relationships, gift management, organizational affiliations, household mailing addresses, and more. We have just started using the NPSP and it has been wonderful to have this package of advanced features available in an open source, community-supported format.
The community is the heart of the NPSP, and we wanted to give back to the community in a meaningful way. This past spring, we attended the NPSP Sprint in San Francisco not knowing exactly how we would be helping or what we’d be doing. NPSP Sprints are in-person events that are open to anyone interested in contributing to the Nonprofit Starter Pack in a variety of ways. You don’t need to be able to write code to make a difference! Improved user guides, better standard reporting and definitions for new features came out of the spring Sprint. It was amazing to see people come together in-person actually making measurable improvements and contributions to the package in just two days!
When we attended the Sprint in March, we brought our experience from Year Up’s recent conversion to the NPSP 3 and prior experiences with the package. Everyone at the spring Sprint brought different experiences with Salesforce and the NPSP, which contributed to the richness of the ideas and results. We loved the community spirit and the genuine care and effort that all participants put into the continuous improvement of the software.
Our intention was to both share and listen, and we knew that our participation would help us in our roles at Year Up as we grow the system and support our users. Our approach to adopting the NPSP has been modular — we are rolling out specific features of the NPSP at our own pace. This allows us to stay close to the NPSP standard architecture with only minimal customizations.
The next Sprint takes place September 12-13th in Boston, where we are both located. As we are still in our first year year of NPSP implementation, we look forward to another concentrated immersion in this fantastic community event and look forward to the improvements these two days will bring. Open source projects like the NPSP need community participation to stay vital! If you want to give back and help make the Nonprofit Starter Pack even better, come join us in September!