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Getting Started: Configure and Customize NPSP
You’ve started down the journey of preparing your organization for success by reading the "Prepare for Success" article, so now it’s time to think about customizing your Salesforce database to match your business processes. And, maybe even automate some common repetitive tasks! Even if you choose to work with a consultant to assist with the customization, you need to know your business processes and understand what it is you need them to build for you.
Configure and Customize for Nonprofits: Offered live monthly
This webinar is designed to help you configure your organization's fundraising processes in Salesforce and make things easier for your users. We will focus on using the core Salesforce objects to track donations from start to finish and creating a seamless user experience through simple customizations.
1. Stop! Do you know your own processes?
One caveat before doing any customization: make sure that you clearly understand your organization’s processes and systems before attempting to customize Salesforce to support those processes. This step is critical to ensure you add the right custom features which will be adopted by your users. Some people find it helpful to create visual process diagrams in order to clearly display the steps of a particular process, and what information is captured at each step. This may seem like overkill at first, but it can often reveal inconsistencies and misunderstandings even within a small team. Some useful tools to help you with process diagrams:
Pic from "What I've Learned About Donor Management" - a good blog about creating process maps for fundraising.
There are many other tools out there to assist you with creating these types of diagrams, but the most important thing is to have a clear understanding of what steps people go through when collecting information, and exactly what, when, how, and why people are collecting it, whether the information is about donors and donations, mosquito netting, vaccines administered, and so on.
2. Basic Organization Information
One of the most simple first steps your Administrator can take to configure your Salesforce instance is to ensure that your organization’s information is updated, and the primary contact has been set correctly in your Company Profile in Setup. This helps avoid issues down the road, for example all new users you create will by default utilize the company’s timezone, language, and contact details!
To update these settings, log into Salesforce and navigate to the Setup Menu. In the left hand menu locate the Administer section, and click on Company Profile, then Company Information.
You’ll want to make sure you’ve set up:
This is also where you can see how many additional user licenses your organization has. If you need any more, reach out to your Salesforce Account Executive!
3. Nonprofit Success Pack Configuration
Wait a minute! Have you read up on the NPSP, explored the Power of Us HUB, or earned yourself some Trailhead badges yet? If not, it’s a good idea to start there so you understand what amazing features you have at your fingertips.
The Nonprofit Success Pack includes a number of settings that can be adjusted based on your organizational needs. To go to the NPSP Settings, click the "+" button at the end of your tabs and look for the NPSP Settings link. Click on the link to open all the settings for the NPSP.
Prior to making any changes to the default settings, be sure you understand all the ramifications of the changes you are making by referencing the NPSP Documentation.
One of the most important decisions you need to make is what Account Data model will your organization be using. What’s an Account Model? Why do I need to make a decision? Read up on the Account Model here!
4. Adding Custom Fields and Custom Objects
Every organization is unique and wants to track information specific to their programs and donors. Custom fields and custom objects are the best way to do that. If you’re familiar with Excel, then you can “translate” to Salesforce lingo using the following diagram:
To understand more about how this works, there is an excellent "Data Modeling" training series available via Salesforce Trailhead.
Before adding any custom fields and/or objects, always ask yourself:
It’s very easy to go overboard and add lots of customizations, but it makes the interface confusing for your users and they won't enter data in your new fields.
These AppExchange applications can be helpful when assessing whether or not to keep or remove a specific field or object.
Now that you’ve customized your data structure, you may want to adjust exactly what information is displayed to everyone.