Your Salesforce Questions Answered by Salesforce MVPs

Salesforce is an incredible piece of software that can be customized to your specific needs, wants and desires, as long as you know how to use it. That’s why last week we outlined 37 posts we’ve written over the last year that are filled with Salesforce tips and tricks designed to help your nonprofit organization get the most out of your Salesforce instance. During Dreamforce, Heller Consulting‘s Salesforce MVP, Mary Pustejovsky, spoke at a Q&A session with other Salesforce experts, answering specific questions from nonprofit organizations just like yours. The panel was moderated by Gorav Seth and also included additional Salesforce MVP’s Bonny Hinners, Sharif Shaalan, Thomas Taylor and Will Nourse.

Before the panelists got started answering all of your questions, they were asked what feature of service they’d been using recently that was cool, helpful to share with the audience and these were their answers:
BonnyLook for services that are not on the app exchange. There are a lot of useful Chrome extensions and the website If This Than That ( is another one to check out that will help make lives easier.
MaryI’ve been really getting into Salesforce Flow recently. Another feature worth checking out is Publisher Actions.
SharifTake a look at for your sandboxes. They spit out fake data for you to play with. It’s better than creating a bunch of ‘Jane’ or ‘John Doe’ accounts!
ThomasI’d take a look at You can use this to further examine fields and properties.
WillI’d second everything that Mary said. Look at visual flow which will help you automate some of your business processes.

Q: Is there a way to create a custom button that would attach a specific document? I always have these three documents that I need to attach to opportunities.
A: If you use Chatter you can add the documents in there to make them easily searchable. Another option is to make sure they are in the content library. A perk of this library is if you have a document that gets updates, the library keeps the documents under the same name making it easier for you to run reports based on the document as a whole, so you don’t have to keep track of revisions.

Q: We are building a public policy initiative and looking to build out our elected officials database. Suggestions on best way to associate staff with officials?
A: Use data hierarchy and place the account as “The Office of Senator John McCain” and create child accounts for all of the local legislative office. The contacts you place here can be tagged with their specific areas of expertise, making them searchable. A great website to use is They are collecting data for all state and local public officials, making your jobs much easier.

Q: I have a question about account models. We currently use the NPSP’s individual account but are quickly approaching 400,000 constituents. We’ve talked with others who have told us to move over to a One-to-One account and another that recommended a Person account. Can you explain the differences between these models?
A: If you are considering moving to a Person account, you should be aware that once this account is turned on, they can NEVER be turned off. The One-to-One account creates a household account, person account is a merge of person and contact. If you are looking to move between these accounts, migrations are possible and not too complicated, but we recommend doing it in the sandbox first.

Q: One major pain point for our organization is donor forecasting. Any suggestions?
A: For anyone who you know will be giving recurring gifts, you can set up installments in advance with their expected donations. When forecasting, you can run reports on money that you haven’t yet received complete with dates you are expected to receive the donations. To be a bit more accurate, you can even calculate 80% of donations expected as we all know that these recurring donations do not always come through as expected.

Q: We are looking to start a Chatter for external groups to use to network, communicate and as a way for us to send them invites to upcoming events instead of email.
A: United Way uses Chatter for outside organizations and individuals they are working with as a collaboration space. Chatter is a great way to accomplish specific missions with those groups. You can share files and go back and search them. Another option is to use Communities as it allows you to bring constituents in and share data with them, invite them to events and have them share information with you about that event etc. However, Communities do have an additional cost, but any nonprofit organization will get a discount. Either option are great for building a community online. That being said, if most of your users are all on Facebook, don’t suddenly move them over to Chatter because you think it will be easier for you. If your community exists on another platform, don’t disrupt them, join them there. Once you create or join a community, you need to be sure you have someone moderating & participating in these communities. No one wants to join a dead community.

Q: I need to automate the process of entering a donation into Salesforce and spiting out a donation letter.
A: CONGA MERGE! The panelists agree that this is a great solution and they offer discounts for nonprofits. You can set up an automated thank you letter, end of year tax receipts and even set up custom profiles with your logo. They also offer great customer service.

The panelists covered much more than what we published here, so be sure to watch the full session on video:

Do you still have additional questions? We recommend checking out the Power of Us Hub and searching to see if others have asked your question already, OR if others can answer your question for you.

Monika McMahon

About Monika McMahon

Monika joined Heller Consulting after spending 8 years in the Boulder technology startup scene. She is an expert in Social and Digital marketing, adopting and implementing new (and old) platforms for organizations ranging from ecommerce, SaaS, and nonprofits. Monika not only understands how these platforms work but how to use them to meet business objectives. When she is not educating and sharing her online talents, she can be found enjoying the music scene in Denver.


  1. Mary Pustejovsky has been renewed for the Salesforce MVP program for her third year in a row. Congratulations Mary!

  2. Susan Kenna Wright

    I attended this session at Dreamforce and really enjoyed it. I really liked both of the MVP sessions I attended. I highly recommend watching these sessions’ videos.

  3. Keith Heller

    That’s a powerhouse panel! It’s great to see how across organizations collaborate in the Salesforce ecosystem to solve problems together. Also quite cool just how many ways nonprofits are using the platform.

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