Quick Review of Nonprofit Applications for Salesforce: Nonprofit Starter Pack (NPSP)

Review of the NPSP for Salesforce.com

Nonprofits today have an exciting opportunity with all of the new and emerging technology that’s been designed to help them build and manage their relationships, engage with constituents, assist with fundraising and more. While there are many options for websites and applications to assist you with every aspect of your nonprofit, many of these apps, specifically the donor management application have been built on the popular Salesforce.com platform. But with so many choices, how do you make the right decision for your organization? Heller Consulting has reviewed the top 5 donor management apps: Affinaquest, Causeview, Luminate CRM, roundCause and now, today we will be taking a look at the Nonprofit Starter Pack.

The Nonprofit Starter Pack (NPSP) was created to help nonprofits use their instance of Salesforce.com to further their missions. The Salesforce platform is very powerful but also very flexible and customizable, which can be a little daunting for new users to start with such a blank slate. This pack aims to fill in the holes with configurations that address different business processes.

The NPSP is really a series of six “managed packages” (another term for App) which are offered free of charge by the Salesforce.com Foundation. These managed packages are a set of functionality that can be installed into your nonprofit’s Salesforce. In the case of the NPSP the functionality includes: custom fields, custom objects, reports, workflow, page layouts, Force.com Code (Apex) and VisualForce pages. Additionally, nonprofits can opt to implement some or all of the Apps if they require greater functionality.

The 6 apps that make up Salesforce’s Nonprofit Starter Pack (NPSP):

  • Contacts and Organizations
  • Households
  • Recurring Donations
  • Relationships
  • Affiliations
  • Batch Data Entry

When all of the Apps are installed, they provide baseline functionality for nonprofit fundraising.

NPSP would be a good option for the following situations:

  • Smaller nonprofits with simple fundraising tracking needs
  • Nonprofits that frequently handle multiple currencies
  • Nonprofits with low record volumes
  • Nonprofits needing a lightweight fundraising application in addition to other non-fundraising Salesforce.com customization and configuration
  • Nonprofits of any size seeking a mission-only deployment, or needing a free and simple way of managing individuals that is compatible with most Appexchange applications
  • Nonprofits with a large budget for customizations
  • Nonprofits not requiring a Salesforce.com App that strictly enforces fundraising “best practice” processes

To review all of the donor applications mentioned in this post, download Heller Consulting’s top 5 donor management apps report where you’ll discover what makes each app unique, things to consider before adopting each product and what types of organizations are the best fit for each app.

Download the Donor Apps Report Now!

For more detailed information about everything Salesforce.com related for your nonprofit, go to Salesforce.TheConnectedCause.com.


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.

One comment

  1. Susan Kenna Wright

    With the NPSP you’ll need to select an Account/Contact structure. There are other posts about this. It’s good to note that typically, the “mixed” model (both 1×1 and organizational accounts together) can cause some issues (e.g. creating orphaned 1×1 Accounts) and the Foundation generally recommends using either the individual model with a ‘bucket’ account or the 1×1 model and affiliations, but its not designed for both together (though may work).

    If you want to support it though, a simple trigger on the Contact that looks at the Account Name and either deletes the associated Account if its a 1×1 being attached or deletes the value in the One2OneContact__c field on the Account (which would allow them to view the Account) would do the trick.

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