Six Resources for Nonprofits using Salesforce

Six Resources for Nonprofits
So you’re a nonprofit who wants to figure out Salesforce on your own?

There are countless resources available to help nonprofits figure out what to do with Salesforce. Unfortunately, there is not a lot of help figuring out which resources are best. After seven years and over 700 projects, we at Idealist Consulting have gathered up the top six most helpful resources for nonprofits looking to figure out Salesforce.

The Basics

About 90% of Salesforce training videos are tailored toward the standard, corporate use of Salesforce used by companies all over the world.  To navigate these videos, and to make them effective for nonprofit use of Salesforce, it can help to get an overview of “regular” Salesforce.  This simple video, Salesforce: CRM Overview, will help you wrap your head around how standard Salesforce functions for companies.  Note: this is NOT specific to nonprofits; it is the standard Salesforce layout.  


Now that you know the basics, you can start to see how these functions translate into the nonprofit space.  This translator will help you navigate the Help and Training that is accessible through any instance.  A quick review of the Nonprofit Translator will help you translate standard Salesforce into nonprofit terms.

Get Specific

Now you are ready to see what has been built specifically for the nonprofit community.  This video is an intro to the Salesforce Nonprofit Starter Pack (NPSP).  This managed package was developed about four years ago with the help of Idealist Consulting. It is designed to facilitate the basics of fundraising, and although it is different from standard Salesforce it provides much of the same functionality.

Ask Questions

Over six years ago, Idealist Consulting along with ten other contributors started the Nonprofit Salesforce Practitioners Google group (NPSF). It has grown to over 2000 members.  This group was designed to be a gathering place for nonprofit users of Salesforce to connect with other nonprofits on the platform, as well as consultants, partners and solution providers in the Salesforce for nonprofits space.

Watch and Learn

Functions like report creation, Chatter and campaigns can be difficult to navigate without a visual aid.  The Salesforce Foundation YouTube channel has a number of training videos designed to do just that.

Get Set Up

So now your nonprofit is ready to dive into Salesforce. This video will help you navigate the process of getting set up as a nonprofit on the Salesforce platform: Salesforce: How to install the Nonprofit Starter Pack

These are the basics…and they will help you get going.  Of course there are more advanced considerations such as configuration, data migration, training and integration.  Many nonprofits opt to work with an implementation partner rather than go it alone.  That said, should you wish to take this on internally you can look into more advanced trainings that will assist you with the full adoption of Salesforce for your nonprofit.

What other tips do you have for those just learning about Salesforce?

Rob Jordan

About Rob Jordan

Rob Jordan is the principal and CEO of Idealist Consulting Idealist consulting provides progressive and innovative Salesforce CRM deployments for NonProfits, Business and Governmental organization. The Idealist team is a robust group of developers,consultants and project managers having deployed over 750 projects throughout the hemisphere operating in both English and Spanish. To learn more about Idealist Consulting and how we may help please reach out to us directly at 800-678-9874


  1. Hello Rob, For more resource I found one more website for nonprofits NGO’s

  2. Where can I find Salesforce training taught virtually in the context of the nonprofit?

  3. A great list for those getting started.
    Our experience was that we needed one more step, as we had to manage relationships between mentors and program participants that just weren’t accomodated in the NPSP for the Aunties and Uncles Qld program. And as a small organisation with a volunteer IT/systems function, getting expert help to configure changes properly from day 1 meant we didn’t need to ‘make do’ in the meantime, or make interuptive changes later.

  4. Sherry Byrnes

    The link for the preview video listed under “Get Specific” for “Salesforce Nonprofit Starter Pack (NPSP)” comes up “Private – Sorry about that”. I’d like to see it, if there’s another way to get there. Thank you.

    P.S. The info here and on the Heller website is fantastic. Thank you for making this kind of thing available to neophytes so we might venture into this brave new world.

  5. Good post Rob. I’d like to add one more resource, we recently released the first and only FREE Salesforce manual for nonprofit organizations. Organizations can download it from the AppExchange here:

    • Marylee McInnes

      Thank you, Tal. Got it installed and looking forward to using it!

  6. Great tips Rob! I just applied to join the Google group.

    Thanks for sharing all of these resources!

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