How to Install the Nonprofit Starter Pack in a Sales Cloud Org

How to install the Nonprofit Starter Pack in a Sales Cloud Org

Every now and then I come across a nonprofit client that is using (SFDC), but for whatever reason hasn’t installed the Nonprofit Starter Pack (NPSP). “Whoa!” you say, “But how/when/why would this happen?”

There are actually several totally reasonable answers. Maybe they inadvertently opted out when they initially signed up for their trial or maybe they’ve been using SFDC for their client operations and are now extending it to manage their fundraising and development functions (which NPSP excels at). In either case, the question is: What does it take to install the NPSP in a standard Sales Cloud deployment?

Installing the NPSP in a brand new Sales Cloud org (what you get with the Foundation 10 Enterprise Edition license donation) with no data and no custom configuration is pretty easy. What’s more, it shouldn’t take more than an hour or two at the most to install all the packages and configure the settings.

You can find, install, and read about the NPSP packages on the AppExchange. There are five of them:

Note that some of the packages are dependent on each other. Contacts & Organizations should be installed first. You do not need to install ALL of the packages (for example if your organization doesn’t manage Recurring Donations, you probably don’t need to install that one). Additional documentation on the NPSP can be found here on the Salesforce Foundation’s website.

The complexity and time commitment of installing the NPSP increases if your organization has already been using SFDC for a while. While generally this falls into the “don’t try this at home” category, I assume if you’ve made it this far, you are an exceptionally curious admin and may benefit from an understanding of these complexities:

‘Retrofitting’ (for lack of a better word) your configuration to work with the NPSP. This entails reviewing any custom fields that your organization may have created prior to installing the NPSP and identifying any redundancies or conflicts. For example: you created a custom field for storing personal email on the contact record – but NPSP has one too.

‘Reorganizing’ existing data to work with the NPSP. The most obvious work here is around the Account-Contact data model since NPSP will use either One-to-One or Individual (neither of which you would have in a standard Sales Cloud implementation). There are lots of other areas where you might also need to re-organize data. You could migrate it (in the example of the custom personal email field I mentioned above) from a custom field to an NPSP field. Or, if you’re feeling ambitious, you could normalize and move it to another object (for example if an org has been storing Spouse Names in a custom field on the contact record and wants to create separate contacts linked by Households).

In either case, getting a look at the current org and data (custom fields/objects) would probably give you an idea of how much work would be involved in each. A good Operational Process Review and discussion and establishment of Org best practices would also be in order prior to planning or executing either #1 or #2.

For additional, very detailed instructions on how to install the NPSP, see these instructions on the Power of Us HUB.

Do you have experience with installing the NPSP into a Sales Cloud org? Let us know your tips in the comments below.

Calista Carter

About Calista Carter

Calista has been working with nonprofits since 2001 and has worked as a consultant, development director, board member and volunteer. Most of Calista's clients are nonprofits and most of her work is migrations (from other CRM platforms) and customizations. She feels very fortunate to have a career that combines two sectors (IT and nonprofit) that are constantly reinventing themselves and where people are passionate and generally love what they do. She also likes to ski, hike, road trip and camp with her husband and family.


  1. Susan Kenna Wright

    There’s an NPSP section in this paper that explains the NPSP functionality for fundraising. It’s a helpful reference.

  2. Thanks for posting this Calista…We have come a long way since the NPSP was first released in 2008. Its nice that the fundamental install can now be encapsulated in a single blog post.

  3. Bryan Giese

    What’s not to like about a STARter pack? (sorry, it had to be said). Getting set up with Salesforce might feel overwhelming if you aren’t familiar with it. Be sure to do a bit of research and get familiar with all the steps before you start. It also helps to ask in the groups mentioned above for help. Salesforce has a great community, and someone is always willing to lend a hand.

  4. Great tips! Thanks for the links to the Salesforce Foundation and Power of Us HUB – those resources are helpful with all of the screenshots.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *