Salesforce.com for Nonprofits

For those of you who are new to salesforce.com, the company also runs a foundation. One of its charters is to donate CRM licenses to qualified nonprofit organizations to help them better manage their various constituents (donors, corporate sponsors, grant recipients, volunteers, etc.).

That’s right. Free salesforce.com licenses! Whoa, whoa. Hold your horses. If you’re part of a nonprofit, please read the following.

Before going for the shiny new free ball, stop and consider a few things:

  • Who in your organization is going to be the point person for rolling out and maintaining the system? (Are you sure he/she would agree?) 😉 Many nonprofits find that the hardest part is the first step of getting salesforce.com rolled out the right way.
  • Who will be on the rollout team that has the time and the ability to give the administrator an idea of the real pains? Make sure that people who’ll be using the app every day have a representative voice. All that data won’t be captured if your front line doesn’t buy in.
  • Can you produce a prioritized list of your biggest constituent-related pains? Brainstorm the wish list, and talk with the rollout team to narrow and focus the list down to 1-3 main problems that you all agree should be first addressed. Sometimes you may uncover issues that you’ll need to figure out regardless of what technology is used.
  • What is your nonprofit using today? Think about the system’s users and how you can both capture their feedback and possibly prepare them for upcoming change.

Done all that? Have a point person and a prioritized list of issues? Still interested in this free stuff? Watch the Foundation’s video presentation to get an overview of both Salesforce.com, its foundation, and the license donation program. The video should give you your next steps if you think this is the right solution for you.

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