Frequently the best choice for nonprofits
December 18, 2014

Frequently the best choice for nonprofits

Anna Hazel Crotty | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Software Version


Modules Used

  • Chatter
  • Knowledge
  • Non Profit Starter Pack

Overall Satisfaction with

My job is to solve the problems of the nonprofit sector using technology. I'm not married to Salsforce, but I use it to solve a lot of different problems because no other platform provides as much out of the box functionality with as much opportunity to customize at such a good price point. (Note that my review is all about SF in nonprofits.)

Salesforce strengths for nonprofits:
  1. 10 free licenses
  2. 1000+ apps on the app exchange, many free or reduced price to nonprofits
  3. Salesforce will definitely be around a few years from now, and they're investing more in nonprofits every year
  4. You can have donations, grants, volunteers, program management and program outcomes all in one place. Especially useful for organizations where these categories overlap.
  5. Huge ecosystem of resources to use, including training, videos, consultants, app providers, etc.
Salesforce weaknesses for nonprofits:
  1. Has "sales" in the name. I recommend using the phrase "The platform" with executives, board, etc.
  2. You will probably need a consultant to help with initial setup and training. It is free like a puppy is free. You really don't pay for the puppy, but the puppy needs vaccines and food and all that.
  3. It is not a magic wand. It will not raise money for you, run your programs for you, or send underserved kids to college. It can give you good information about your activities in all those areas IF you put the information in.
  4. It can be tough for nonprofits to explain what they need to the technical people who can customize it for you.
  • Very flexible - it really is a platform. Not the greatest development platform in the world, but you can do almost anything with it.
  • You can do a lot of customization without writing a line of code.
  • Huge ecosystem of resources. Thousands of apps, consultants, etc.
  • Nonprofit Starter Pack 3.0 is way better than previous versions, but still has room for improvement. The relationships object is a particular disappointment, and I recommend avoiding it.
  • As a development platform, it would be good to be able to relate objects (tables) to each other in more ways.
  • Every quarter there's a new release, and while SF definitely provides a lot of info about what is new, it tends to be tough for most people to digest.
  • Increased efficiency
  • Significant increase in understanding of how an organization works
  • Significant increase in ability to demonstrate an organization's effectiveness to funders/donors.
  • The Raiser's Edge,donorperfect,NeonCRM,bloomerang,Microsoft Access,FileMaker Pro,,Fore
SF has more flexibility and out of the box functionality, at a better price point. Most of the competitors in the nonprofit space track one kind of thing, but not all. Being able to put donations, grants, volunteers, program management and program outcomes in one place is a big deal.
We have no reason to switch to anything else.
We usually won't work with organizations that want to use Salesforce but have fewer than one full time employee who will use it. We find that without that person who is committed to using it, the system is unlikely to be used properly.

We also insist that any organization we work with have a person in a leadership position who clearly understands why the adoption of the system is necessary for the organization. This person needs to keep everyone else focused on the "why" of the project. Otherwise the change management just doesn't work, and people keep their old spreadsheets and fail to use the new system.