Nonprofit Starter Pack Developer Sprint 2012
by Kevin Bromer, Solutions Architect, Salesforce.org
(reposted from kevinbromer.com)
Well that’s a wrap. Three amazing days of hacking on amazing new features for the Nonprofit Starter Pack, new tools and resources for nonprofits, and new packages and functionality for the community as a whole. At the risk of understating things, it was pretty damn awesome.
We kicked off this past Tuesday, May 15 at the Salesforce.com offices in San Francisco. More than 20 volunteers showed up bright and early and heard an incredible presentation by Steve Wright at the Grameen Foundation. Grameen in combination with Timba Software (and funded in part with a Salesforce.org grant) is building an incredible mobile survey application on Force.com. Designed for use in impoverished communities, the Android based application features completely customizable survey structures, a beautiful interface in Salesforce, and data resiliency and retention features designed for high-latency/low infrastructure areas. A phenomenal tool, and one everybody is excited to see the maturation of.
After Grameen’s presentation, our volunteers formed up into groups to tackle particular areas of interest. I’ll try and do some justice to those projects and volunteers in the descriptions below. A big thank you goes out to the volunteers, their families, and their employers who let them sacrifice three days of their time, energy and money to volunteer with us. Special thanks to (in alphabetical order): 907 Pine Partners, Exponent Partners, Groundwire, Idealist Consulting,Now IT Matters, NPower Northwest and of course Salesforce.com
Nonprofit Resource Center Discovery & Proposal (Sam Dorman, Brad Struss, Kate Witt)
Sam, Brad and Kate put their extensive consultative prowess into producing a proposal and outline for a Nonprofit Resource Center, basically a center that pulls together essential info and best practices for successful Salesforce implementations. The 6 page document (in only a day no less!) outlines a set of key principles for driving the project forward, including requirements that:
- based on real organizational user needs and insights
- populated with concise, easy-to-navigate resources and info
- seeded with highly useful info and resources that provide real value (something people would recommend via word of mouth)
- kept updated and relevant
- built to allow for and incorporate constructive feedback from the community
Just an awesome document to build on, and something we’re really excited to help use internally as we look at the next phase of the Nonprofit Starter Pack program.
Nonprofit Onboarding, Security & Ramping (Veronica Waters, Gorav Seth, Tim Lockie)
Do you recall back when you first installed the Starter Pack? Remember all of those really helpful custom profiles that were pre-built in? No? Yeah… neither do I. So Veronica (V), Gorav and Tim set about fixing that little problem, and a WHOLE bunch more. Predefined permission sets, security profiles, and recommended NPO best practices around preconfiguration of the org. They also tackled the enormous task of bringing much of the onboarding material directly into the org and beginning the creation a truly awesome profile landing tab. Just some amazing work, and some long overdue template improvements. They’re still going strong post-sprint, so it’ll be exciting to see what comes next.
Geocoding Interface (Evan Callahan, Todd Reasinger, Wai Ho, Sara Chieco)
So, you like clean data and geocoding, but aren’t sure which of the many available services you want to use? Don’t worry, its all plug-n-play here. Evan, Todd, Wai and Sara went to town on an interface for providing access to whichever services you like (or even multiple services side-by-side!) to handle your addressing and geocoding needs. While we’re still working on the code base, the project is already available here.
Relationships Visualization (Laura Meerkatz, Patrick Tewson)
Based on the work done at the NYC Dev Sprint this past December, Laura and Patrick helped bring your relationships to life. Utilizing the Arbor.js framework (just HOURS of fun pulling those little circles around…), this addition to the next release of the Relationships package will help make it easier to visualize the interconnected nature of your constituents, and add a little fun to the process too. Add new relationships or explore existing ones right from the interface!
Customizable Household Naming (Drew Piston, David Cheng, Kevin Carr, Derek D’Souza, Nick Bailey)
Finally, the moment you’ve all been waiting for. We’ve had more than 350 issues, bugs and requests logged for the Nonprofit Starter Pack over the years, and in numerical order, this feature request is #3. Customized. Household. Naming. While it may just a bit longer before its production ready, Drew, David, Kevin, Derek and Nick built one of the most elegant and complex solutions to this problem I’ve ever seen. Define your own fields and format, assign the scenarios in which you want it to occur, point it to your greeting field, and voila, your own customized Household name, greeting, whatever. The screenshot here won’t even do it justice…
Just an amazing 3 days in San Francisco, hanging out with some brilliant developers, consultants and admins. The best part of this event for me personally is always the firehose of knowledge I get the privilege to drink from that the attendees put out there. Just a huge thank you again for all the participants, and their organizations that continue to support the Nonprofit Starter Pack and make it available to the more than 4700 nonprofits that use it. Keep an eye out here and throughout the Foundation’s communication channels for more information about the above features/packages/code as we’re able to make it available. I’ll leave you with one more glimpse of a new project that was also started at the Dev Sprint, but we can’t yet talk about. Hopefully this whets your appetite for more…
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