A Few of My Favorite Things About Salesforce Nonprofit Starter Pack [Tech Tips]

A Few of My Favorite Things About Salesforce Nonprofit Starter Pack

I love Salesforce. I love the variety of Apps available to nonprofits, and there are great features about many of the fundraising apps available. (For more information and in-depth reviews of top fundraising applications built on the Salesforce.com platform, download our report, The New World of Donor Management Apps for Nonprofits.)

After the original posting, roundCorner announced their partnership with Salesforce.com and the release of the renamed product NGO Connect. Find out more here.

Previously, I wrote about my favorite features of Luminate CRM.  Today, I want to touch upon my favorite things about the Salesforce Nonprofit Starter Pack (NPSP).

Choose Exactly What You Need

The NPSP is a lightweight series of packages that allow nonprofits to get up and running quickly. There are multiple packages, so you can choose exactly which ones you want to install, and you don’t have to use all of them. I love that it creates baseline functionality without being overly cumbersome. It allows a nonprofit to take advantage of the numerous other Apps in the Salesforce.com ecosystem and not worry that it will not “play well with others”.

One of my favorite features of the NPSP is the ability to create user-defined rollups (UDRs). These are outside of normal Salesforce.com roll-up functionality, and allow a lot of flexibility in determining which gifts might count in someone’s giving total. For example, you can exclude event tickets or purchases from your totals if you like.

Another feature I love about the NPSP is the new Relationship viewer. It gives you a visual representation of how people are linked together. It’s a great way to see how people are connected to other people and who might know the prospect you’d like to approach.

My tips for using the NPSP:

  • Take advantage of the NPSP Google group. Chances are, your question has been answered there before!
  • Go to office hours. Every week the Salesforce Foundation offers office hours for people to bring their questions about the NPSP. It is free and does not require registration.
  • Use the AppExchange. The NPSP provides great baseline functionality. But what if you want to track volunteers? Manage your event? Create a survey? All of these Apps (and more!) are available on the AppExchange — some for free, and many discounted for nonprofits.

What is your favorite feature of the NPSP? What are your favorite Apps to install with it? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


The Connected Cause is a place for experts in the nonprofit online space to share perspective, offer guidance and promote best practices for using today’s technology effectively. Our goal is to provide a comprehensive source of collaborative thought leadership for the nonprofit industry.


  1. Susie Saxten

    I, too, really like the new Nonprofit Starter Pack relationships functionality. It not only allows you to configure relationships with their reciprocals (e.g. Parent, Child) but you can specify a different reciprocal depending on the gender of the contact. (e.g. if the relationship is Parent, the system will automatically assign a reciprocal of ‘Son’ for a male,’Daughter’ for a female, and ‘Child’ if the contact’s gender is unknown). Being able to set all of this up in the back end is great for keeping data clean, and I haven’t seen that level of specificity in any other system.

  2. The Connected Cause

    If you are looking for more info on the Nonprofit Starter Pack, Salesforce Foundation has a webinar scheduled for March 12, 2013 at 9am PST.

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