Welcome to Tech Tips!  Here you will find articles written by technology experts focused on nonprofit software, CRM and enterprise systems. We hope to provide nonprofits with information and tips that they can use in their daily operations. Please check back for frequent articles or subscribe to The Connected Cause and receive new tips via email as they are posted. Scroll down to read the latest article.



Salesforce Learning Resources

Posted by on Mar 17, 2015 in Blog, Partners, Salesforce.com, Tech Tips, Technology | 2 comments

Salesforce Learning Resources

With the growth of Cloud Computing and the Salesforce Platform, many people are looking to learn how to work within this space and increase their skill level. While some of the terminology may seem foreign, the Salesforce community has developed a wealth of resources for you to use, whether you want to learn new concepts or deepen your existing understanding of the platform.

Salesforce Activities – What You Need to Know [Tech Tips]

Posted by on Sep 10, 2014 in Blog, Salesforce.com, Tech Tips | 15 comments

Salesforce Activites
While helping with the Salesforce Foundation office hours a few weeks ago, I was asked an excellent question. Someone asked if there was any place where they could find all the limitations/gotchas on Salesforce Activity records (i.e., Tasks and Events). While I had a few answers, I knew there must be more, and I realized I had never seen a single location describe all of them. I’ve collected all the major ones I could find from friends in the Salesforce Community, both nonprofit and for-profit. This includes fellow MVPs as well as gracious persons in the Power of Us HUB. Of course, you could scan through the Ideas site as well, but I think these are the ones that affect people the most and I’ve heard of more than once.

Tips for Hosting a Successful Webinar

Posted by on Feb 7, 2014 in Blog, SocialMedia, Tech Tips | 8 comments

Tips for hosting a successful Webinar
While perusing the Social Media for Nonprofits LinkedIn Group, I came across a discussion on what the best webinar platform is and why. Over the past year we’ve hosted and participated in many webinars and figured we’d share some of our knowledge from experience.

While we were looking at the hosting options we’ve used for our webinars, and exploring ones that we hadn’t, it became clear that the service selected plays a small role in the success of a webinar, but there are many other factors that will determine success. Below are some tips that we’ve implemented to increase the success of our webinars over the past year.

Salesforce Tech Tips Roundup

Posted by on Jan 8, 2014 in Blog, Salesforce.com, Tech Tips | 1 comment

Salesforce Tech Tips

Over the last year, we’ve published many posts designed to help you get the most out of your nonprofit organization’s Salesforce instance. These Salesforce tech tips cover everything from the basics, to selecting which data structure is right for your organization, to outlining the functions of different nonprofit applications and much more. Below we’ve also included some general constituent relationship management (CRM) system tips that aren’t specific to Salesforce, but are useful, nonetheless.

8 Tasks for Training New Salesforce Users

Posted by on Nov 1, 2013 in Blog, Salesforce.com, Tech Tips | 6 comments

Training New Salesforce Users

As we all know, Salesforce Administrators are often short on time, between ensuring the database is up to date, taking care of the many requests that employees ask of them, training new employees and more. We’ve discussed how user training is crucial to the adoption of a new system, but often the admins don’t have enough time to properly train users. Unfortunately untrained users can often be a security risk if they are not using the system properly. Gorav Seth from Ashoka – Innovators for the Public has outlined 8 training steps he uses to help quickly get new users up and running with Salesforce, and an automated process that lets him efficiently run new users through this training.

Gorav developed a hands-off initial training strategy for new Salesforce users by creating a limited “training” profile, which allows users to dive in and experientially learn how to use Salesforce while preventing them from deleting or modifying existing records. This custom profile allows for a greatly simplified user experience for new users, so they are not overwhelmed by fields, objects, and tabs, and also allows for a custom home page where he has embedded videos and helpful training material, so they are not dropped into the river without a paddle.

Four Excel Functions Explained and How Your Nonprofit Can Benefit

Posted by on Sep 6, 2013 in Blog, NonProfit, Tech Tips | 6 comments


As a CRM consulting firm, Heller Consulting encourages organizations to ditch their Excel spreadsheets in favor of a more dynamic data management tool. But we’re not going to tell you to ditch Excel as a data manipulation tool. In fact, some might say that Excel is the greatest data manipulation tool. Almost everyone has access to it, it has some extremely robust data manipulation functions, and for the most part it is easily self-taught – many functions can be learned by Googling, reading and testing.

How to Manage Your Salesforce Reports

Posted by on Jul 24, 2013 in Blog, Salesforce.com, Tech Tips | 2 comments

How to manage Salesforce Reports

Databases are fantastic because you put data in once and pull it out many times for many purposes. A common frustration is the inability to retrieve data with ease and confidence, when this frustration is present, user adoption usually tanks. After all, what’s the point of entering data if it can’t be accessed later?

This happened at my old job; we invested in a great Salesforce database, designed it to our specifications, and were thrilled to finally have a tool to capture our data. We started entering data. Soon management wanted a piece of the action and started requesting reports of how much, how many, when, what frequency, where… and we couldn’t confidently or consistently provide the answers. You can imagine how it looked when two people provided different responses to the same question. From there it went downhill quickly… “Why do we even have Salesforce, at least with our old spreadsheets…”

Are you experiencing a similar situation? Well, luckily our solution is repeatable across organizations…

Scaling Salesforce as You Grow, Part 4 [Tech Tips]

Posted by on Jun 19, 2013 in Blog, Salesforce.com, Tech Tips | 0 comments

Scaling Salesforce as You Grow

In the previous post, I covered picklist collisions and properly matching the function of Salesforce.com fields with the time and granularity of the data in your instance. Today, I’ll conclude with a few notes about Activities, namely when they’re helpful and when they can bog you down.

Does a Checkbox Give You Accurate Data? [Tech Tips]

Posted by on Jun 14, 2013 in Blog, Salesforce.com, Tech Tips | 2 comments

Does a checkbox give you accurate data

To checkbox or not to checkbox, that is the question. Checkboxes have many advantages, especially for system administrators. They are generally the fastest and easiest fields to create, and they are preferred when creating field dependencies, formulas, and workflows. They also facilitate quick data entry and make reporting easy. But do they really give you accurate data?

Scaling Salesforce as You Grow, Part 3 [Tech Tips]

Posted by on Jun 12, 2013 in Blog, Salesforce.com, Tech Tips | 1 comment

Scaling Salesforce as You Grow

In my most recent post in this series, I covered considerations when setting up Multi-Select Picklists in Salesforce.com to ensure your organization can scale Salesforce.com in the future. What’s next?

Picklist Value Collisions: the “Both/And” Problem

Consider the following Contact Type picklist that might appear on a record: (more…)