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About Our Journey to Nonprofit Cloud

By Lori Freeman July 24, 2018

Nonprofits serve the most at-risk people around the world: refugees, veterans, children, the homeless, those affected by natural disasters. Nothing is more important than being able to connect to those people and to your supporters. But the technology most nonprofits are using has left you disconnected. People expect a personalized and relevant experience, donors want more transparency about how their donations and time will be used, and delivering programs are more important than ever.

Nonprofit challenges

These are significant challenges, but technology can help. That’s why we’ve come together to launch Nonprofit Cloud.

How did we get here? It wasn’t overnight. Since Salesforce was founded almost 20 years ago, we’ve been working towards the goal of giving back to the community and helping the organizations that are doing that important work. And our mission and our incredible community of Trailblazers have grown and strengthened over time. We’ve grown from the early days of the Salesforce Foundation, through the birth and growth of, through the constant and accelerating innovation of community-driven solutions.

Here’s how we have evolved:

Our Journey to Nonprofit Cloud

    1999 – The Salesforce Foundation started
    2014 – and our new social enterprise model were born
    2016 – The Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP) was created
    2018 – Nonprofit Cloud launches

Our Journey to Nonprofit Cloud

Since we started developing solutions on the platform, we had one goal: turn the world’s #1 CRM into the world’s #1 CRM for nonprofits.

Two years ago we introduced the Nonprofit Success Pack for Salesforce, which customizes Salesforce CRM out-of-the-box for nonprofits. Today, over 34,000 nonprofits use Salesforce to build relationships with their constituents: donors, volunteers, staff, partners, and beneficiaries.

Launching NPSP, a standard data model for nonprofits that includes building blocks for fundraising, was our first step to putting the world’s best technology in the hands of changemakers.

2018 is an exciting year for and this community because we’re taking it further, not just delivering the best CRM for schools and nonprofits, but purpose-built solutions to organizations to raise more resources, engage smarter, and guide everyone you serve on your path to success.

Meet the Clouds

Introducing Nonprofit Cloud

Nonprofit Cloud is the complete set of solutions to run your mission. Now you can track and measure programs in real time, raise more resources by unlocking your data, and take every constituent on a personalized journey to impact.

Allyson Fryhoff presenting Nonprofit Cloud to our community at Salesforce headquarters in San Francisco.
Allyson Fryhoff presenting Nonprofit Cloud to our community at Salesforce headquarters in San Francisco.

What Leading Organizations are Doing with Nonprofit Cloud

This summer we have been hosting Nonprofit Cloud events throughout our community. Last month in San Francisco, we heard from various organizations about the impact that Nonprofit Cloud has had on their internal processes and decision making.

In particular, we noticed a trend in how nonprofits are using data to advance their missions.

Reading Partners Improves their Impact with Real-Time Dashboards

Reading Partners is an organization that matches youth to tutors. They wanted to be better able to use their data to show their impact and drive change. Initially, their data was housed in multiple systems and they only had one administrator. They partnered with Cloud for Good to implement Einstein Analytics, which gave them easy access to their data, allowing them to make better decisions to improve their programs. Dashboards gave them access to compare national metrics and regional metrics about their programs’ impact. Thanks to Nonprofit Cloud, which includes Einstein Analytics, Reading Partners was able to take action in regions that were underperforming to implement strategies that would better help them meet their goals.

While change can be scary, implementing Einstein doesn’t have to be. Cloud for Good recommends thinking big about the vision you have and starting small. Don’t be afraid to do some prototyping and whiteboarding sessions. Experimenting with dashboards can give you a better sense of how useful your data is.

Playworks Turns Data into Meaning

Collecting data is an essential prerequisite to impact measurement, but it’s just the start. Before implementing Nonprofit Cloud, Playworks, an organization that empowers young people to stay active through play, didn’t have reports on which schools were continuing to sign up for their services. After integrating their data with Salesforce, PlayWorks found that the numbers told a very different story than they had anticipated. This data changed the way they market to schools. Accurate data points help you learn the story behind your data so that your organization can make strategic decisions towards furthering your mission. The data won’t tell you exactly what to do, but using this critical service data to make data informed plans is quickly become the standard way to deliver your programs. With the lean resources most nonprofits have, you can’t afford to approach this work on instincts alone.

Turning Data Into Dollars

To better understand and engage donors, it is key to have a platform, not just a point solution. Technology has to be a part of your strategy in the work you do. Technology is a resource, an equalizer that we at are working to deliver to this sector. One Nonprofit Cloud partner who presented at last month’s Nonprofit Cloud event is Classy, which integrates with Salesforce to make the donation process easy. They offer blog pages with client branding that give donors an opportunity to read about the organizations cause and to donate easily. Classy offers real time integration with Nonprofit Cloud, allowing clients to track lead scores, web behavior and prospect alerts through Pardot. The Salesforce Engagement Studio allows organizations to implement strategic actions based on donor engagement allowing you to use data to tailor your donor engagement strategy to nurture first time donors into lifetime supporters!

Program Dashboards: How Data Transforms Lives

Having tangible data that speaks to program outcomes and impact is essential to successful fundraising. For Guide Dogs for the Blind, dashboards allow them to communicate key indicator reportings to the board that demonstrate how well they are doing reaching their operational goal and achieving their mission with specific initiatives. Their data also helped them secure funding for a strategic partnership with LightHouse Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired to provide readiness skills for folks who would benefit from a guide dog.

For LifeMoves, an organization that helps match people experiencing homelessness to stable housing, Nonprofit Cloud gives them valuable insights into their clients’ life status after the LifeMoves program. LifeMoves sends out surveys bi-monthly to clients which help them understand what aspects of the program are working and what needs to be improved.

One Platform to Support Your Growth

The beautiful thing about the Nonprofit Cloud is that you can customize the solutions within it to your needs. You might start with 10 free subscriptions through the Power of Us program, and then add on apps from the AppExchange. Or you may work with a Nonprofit Approved Partner to help you get going. Whatever direction you choose to take, Nonprofit Cloud is the only solution that can provide your organization with the tools you need to move your mission forward.


For more information on Nonprofit Cloud, visit