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5 Productivity Tools in the New Year for Nonprofit Staff

By January 24, 2019

Nonprofit ProductivityNonprofit work isn’t easy, whether you’re a frontline fundraiser, a programs officer working late with clients, or lone marketer trying to find time in the day to actually communicate. Your time, along with your passion and ingenuity, is quite possibly the most important resource you have as a nonprofit professional.

But one of the biggest productivity killers is data. For instance, if you met with a funder 3 months ago and lost your notes, winging it the next time you meet likely won’t lead to the best experience. Or, if development officers don’t document pledge data because it takes too long, it can lead to poor forecasting of revenue. Lackluster segmentation for marketing data means generic, meaningless communication. And partial programs data means a whole host of issues we all cringe at.

For nonprofits, what may seem fast in the short run (like using disconnected point solutions) can actually cost you time and lead to poor results in the long run.

As we think about setting New Year’s Resolutions for nonprofits, a popular theme is not to waste time. One way to get a fast productive start is with integrated tools that are easy to adopt and provide “productivity hacks.”

So this year, think about tools and experiences that give your colleagues or staff time back in their day and help them work, communicate, collaborate, and learn the way they want. Here’s a list of five lightweight gems that help you drive adoption, productivity, and dare we say it…JOY! back into your jobs.

5 surprisingly simple tools you can use today at your nonprofit

#1: Drive productive constituent conversations and data

Imagine your email, calendar, and communications just got smarter with every bit of constituent data in Gmail, Outlook, or your mobile device. Save staff time with logging emails, scheduling meetings, setting reminders, and entering donation data. Basic email integration will let you get started, but Salesforce Inbox takes productivity to the next level for the cost of a cup of coffee a week per person.

#2: Simple, seamless staff collaboration

Changing the world is hard, but working together doesn’t have to be. Collapse chat, documents, wiki’s, tasks, apps, and data into a single portable experience for all your staff, with live data pulled from CRM. That’s right, you can export reports and collaborate on them in documents or slides with pretty charts and graphs, all updated from Salesforce. And, you can write content on a flight offline, and then it automatically syncs when you’re back in a free wifi zone.

#3: Get a great experience for everyone, everywhere

If you are not on Salesforce Lightning, this is your year. Lightning is easier on the eyes, stronger with workflows, and better for non-technical admins. Best of all, you can expect a boost of adoption, productivity, and sheer joy by leaving the old interface, with Lightning components that make designing that experience easy and productive too.

Learn about nonprofit CRM best practices with Trailhead for free!

#4: Turn nonprofit staff into tech trailblazers

We all have enough IT staff, right? Budget? Adoption? Protect your investment, data, and most important relationships by giving staff the 1-to-1 support they need to be a change agent for your nonprofit tech strategy with Premier Success Accelerators. Also, if you haven’t used them already, mix up some training for new employees on Trailhead. Here’s a new Trail for Fundraising on NPSP to get you going.

Nonprofits at Portland Community Sprint

#5: Get together with your #nptech family

This year is chock-full of events, both in person and online in the Power of Us Hub. Coming up quick this year in Portland from March 13-15 is NTC, and AFP follows from March 31 – April 2 in San Antonio to get you going. Send your staff to events and user groups to develop your network and hone their skills, and make sure they are connecting digitally to solve sector problems together.

If you can get precious time back in your day, with less fiddling and fighting technology, you’re heading in the right direction. If you can enjoy your day more with tools because they modernize and amplify your work, you’ve nailed it, and will gain the benefits of better data and decisions. Not to mention fewer hassles and more happiness.

Happy New Year everyone! Please share technology and tools that you love that can help with us on Twitter: @SalesforceOrg

About the Author
Jarrett O'BrienJarrett O’Brien is passionate about helping nonprofits build capacity and further their mission with technology. He focuses on the success of small organizations at, as a Product Marketing Director on the Industry Solutions team. Before, Jarrett founded a startup helping nonprofits with their software strategy, and connected missions with corporate partners. His background has been in marketing, consulting, and business development with software companies over the last 15 years. Connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter.