10 Salesforce Terms You Need to Know


2014 has been a whirlwind year for nonprofit Salesforce users and you can be excused if you’re still catching your breath! Ever since Benioff kicked off his keynote with a focus on Haiti relief efforts and Salesforce1 at Dreamforce 2013, there has been an undercurrent of energy and new marketing announcements to the nonprofit world nearly every month.

Many of you have been early adopters for solutions like roundCause, but at Idealist Consulting we’ve also noticed that there a number of nonprofits of all sizes who are understandably confused about the latest terminology, solutions, and where their organization might fit into that equation. So today’s post is focused on ten terms we think you should know if you’re a nonprofit using Salesforce, or if you’re considering using it in the future.
If you already know all ten, give yourself a gold star, maybe you can write a follow up post for us on what the next hot terms will be!


A mobile development platform announced at Dreamforce 2013. Also a mobile app for accessing Salesforce on the go.

Salesforce1 for Nonprofits

Think of this as a strategy distinct from Salesforce1, rather than a product. Announced at the InnovationForce + SocialGood Summit in May 2014, Salesforce1 for Nonprofits aims to give nonprofits ideas about how to strategize around four pillars: Communities, Program Management, Fundraising, and Communications. Read our thoughts on why this matters here.

Nonprofit Starter Pack

The Nonprofit Starter Pack, or NPSP for short, is the “starter home” for nonprofits who want to get up and running quickly. Version 3.0 (previously known as Cumulus) was released August 2014. This new version has many strengths including more ways to facilitate householding.


An enterprise-level solution developed by roundCorner. roundCorner has now partnered with the Salesforce Foundation on a renamed product, NGO Connect, which has replaced roundCause.

NGO Connect

An enterprise-level solution announced in September 2014. NGO Connect is supported by the Salesforce Foundation and developed by the former roundCorner team. It’s particularly good for organizations with sophisticated fundraising needs, but is exciting news for nonprofits for other reasons too.

NGO Connect Bios

NGO Connect Bios is a part of the larger NGO Connect product, usable alone through a Bios license, or as part of a full NGO Connect license. Bios is the part of NGO Connect meant to manage nonprofit constituent relationships. It includes customizations to the standard Account and Contact objects, as well as use of other related objects to better manage common nonprofit relationships, including Relationships and Preferences. Read Cat Monaghan’s post for more details on what Bios are and how your organization can use them.

Power of Us Hub

A central online community maintained by the Salesforce Foundation where you can ask questions, access nonprofit and higher ed relevant resources, and connect with like-minded users. Since its launch in July 2013, the Power of Us Hub has grown to over 10,000 users and has established itself as the go-to place to connect with people from all levels of the Salesforce ecosystem.

Salesforce Success Community

Similar to the Power of Us Hub, the Success Community is a place to engage with and get answers from a passionate community of customers, partners and Salesforce experts – only here it’s not limited to nonprofit users, so you can learn from the best practices across different sectors on topics like mass email or application recommendations. You can also connect with your local User Group here.


Salesforce’s annual conference, which has grown to be the largest tech conference on the planet with over 100,000 attendees, over 7,000 of which are nonprofits.

Benioff’s shoes

Ok, this one’s just for fun (and because we needed a tenth term), but will garner you serious street cred with Salesforce folks if you can work in a reference. Marc Benioff, Salesforce’s founder, is known for stunning footwear and his shoes even have their own Twitter handle.

These terms are just the beginning, but once you know these you will be able to navigate the latest Salesforce product announcements much more easily. So get those flashcard tools out and start quizzing your co-workers!

Ready for more? Idealist Consulting offers a quarterly training called “Salesforce Basics for the Accidental Admin” covering native functionality of the Nonprofit Starter Pack. Our next one is October 29-30, learn more and register here.

About Kirsten Kippen

Kirsten joined Idealist Consulting after 8 years of intercultural communications experience in both the nonprofit and private sectors. She enjoys helping organizations advance their missions through tech solutions and her specialties include training, content marketing, and event management. A lifelong Northwesterner based in Portland, Kirsten enjoys exploring the nearby mountains and local food scene in her spare time.

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