3 Quick Salesforce1 Wins for Nonprofits

Salesforce1 Wins for Nonprofit Organizations

There was a recent Power of Us Hub survey that is a good reflection of how the nonprofit community has been talking about Salesforce1. Posted in the Salesforce1 Collaboration Group, it asked what is Salesforce1 anyway? An app? A set of APIs? A new UI? Or a mobile application platform? The answer, of course, was “all of the above.” Salesforce developers are working fast and furiously to optimize for mobile – there are just 33 “Salesforce1-ready” apps on the AppExchange today but there are undoubtedly many more creative ideas coming out soon.

We recently completed our first Salesforce1 implementation at Idealist Consulting – it was an exciting project that integrated Google Maps and DocuSign functionality and allowed the Sacramento Tree Foundation to take their mapping and monitoring to new levels (you can read more about it here).

Working on this project gave us some ideas for quick wins that nonprofits can implement immediately to start getting more familiar with Salesforce1. Note: you can use Salesforce1 today in your mobile device – just log into your existing instance through a browser or download the app on your device.

Quick Salesforce1 Wins for Nonprofits

Access your Organization’s Data

With Salesforce1 you have access to your data anytime, anywhere. Here’s an example of how this could come in handy: Say you’re a major gift officer going to lunch with a major donor. You want to review all communications with the donor of the last 6 months and see what their most recent gift amount was. This is now data you can pull up on your device in the parking lot before the meeting.

Collect Data On-site

Not only can you easily access your data, you can also collect and update it remotely through Salesforce1. Using the same donor lunch example, after the lunch you can record notes about the conversation, or update contact data before you even get back to the office. If your organization does any kind of door-to-door or petition-based efforts, with a little development help this idea naturally scales – you could develop custom objects where anyone out in the field can collect info that your central can then report on and communicate with in real-time.

Chatter as a Lifeline

Remember lifelines from the TV show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, where contestants are allowed a limited number of lifelines to ask a friend for help? Many organizations have begun to use Chatter the same way, to lean on the community’s knowledge when they’re stuck. This can be an enormous help when you’re at a board retreat or working remotely – if your organization is used to using Chatter regularly, it may be much quicker to get a response this way than by sending an email.

These are just a few ideas for quick ways nonprofits can use Salesforce1 – the possibilities are endless, particularly if you have a little budget to throw at your overall mobile strategy in 2014.

By making Salesforce1 available to any user anytime, anywhere, without having to purchase or administer additional license types, Salesforce.com has removed the ‘barrier to entry’ for mobile technology. Nonprofits now have no excuse for not embracing and adopting this flexible and user-friendly platform.

For more details on Salesforce1, including an in-depth Q&A and webinar on Sacramento Tree Foundation’s Salesforce1 deployment, head on over to Idealist Consulting’s blog.

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.


  1. Susan Kenna Wright

    Salesforce1 is so easy for users to access and update data. Fantastic.

  2. Great info on Salesforce1!

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