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Run the NPSP Health Check in Your Org

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:

  • Explain how the NPSP health check and Salesforce optimizer tools can help maintain your org.
  • Run an NPSP health check.
  • Run the Salesforce optimizer tool.


Every few months or so (or after any major data imports or updates, including installing, upgrading, migrating to Nonprofit Success Pack), you should run the NPSP health check to ensure everything is running smoothly in your NPSP org. Health check looks through your Salesforce org for any data inconsistencies or errors and reports back with information about any error and a description of what went wrong.

At our fictional No More Homelessness (NMH) org, admin Gorav is doing his regular quarterly review, including removing out-of-date reports, looking at exception reports (to look for missing data), and checking for data inconsistencies. He wants to run health check to look specifically for problems in their account-related data. 

Let’s shadow Gorav as he runs NPSP health check.

Run NPSP Health Check in Your Org

1. Click the NPSP Settings tab. If you're not in the NPSP app, click the app launcher ( App Launcher icon) and enter “NPSP settings” in the search bar.

2. On the NPSP Settings page, click System Tools > Health Check.

NPSP Settings page highlighting System Tools and Health Check


3. Click Run Health Check

Health check results including errors

Uh Oh, Now What?

The health check is run in real time and the results are returned on the same page. If there are any errors listed in your health check report, you’ll also see recommended actions to help you fix those errors. If you need help understanding or fixing an error, the recommended practice is to ask a question in the NPSP group in the Power of Us Hub community. (Psst! There’s a link in the resources at the end of this unit!) 

Gorav reviews his errors list and gets to work. He starts with the second error on his list. The error text tells him that there are three opportunities in his org that have more than one opportunity contact role marked as primary. Having multiple opportunity contact roles marked primary can cause opportunity rollups, like Total Gifts, to be incorrectly calculated. Someone on the NMH staff probably entered a primary contact role accidentally for an opportunity that already had one, either manually or via a data import tool.

Let’s follow along as Gorav finds and fixes this error. The first step is finding the offending records through a handy NPSP report. 

1. Click the Reports tab. In the left menu, click All Folders > NPSP Health Check.

Reports tab, All Folders, highlighting NPSP Health Check folder


2. Click the Opportunities with Primary Contact Roles report. The report is limited to opportunities with a close date in the last 90 days, so you may need to adjust the date filter.

NPSP health check folder list, highlighting the Opportunities with Primary Contact Roles report


3. Click Sum of Primary to sort by that column so opportunities with more than one contact role will appear at the top of the table. In the report, click an opportunity ID you need to fix.

Opportunities with Primary Contact Roles Report


4. Go to the contact roles related list. You should see a listing of all the roles marked as primary.


5. Edit or delete each role until you're left with a single contact role marked as primary.


Gorav repeats this process for all affected opportunities. If there is a large number of opportunities to fix, Gorav could consider using a data import tool, but he fixes the three opportunities manually in just a couple minutes. He also fixes the other issues on his list and runs the tool again. 

Salesforce Optimizer

In addition to NPSP health check, there’s a tool called the Salesforce optimizer that takes a snapshot of your org and looks for potential problems. The Salesforce optimizer gives you a detailed report on more than 25 metrics covering everything from storage, fields, custom code, custom layouts for objects, reports and dashboards, and much more. For each metric, Salesforce provides a blueprint that you can use to build a plan to address problem areas or improve user adoption. 

The optimizer report generally isn’t helpful with new orgs or if you don’t have time to review the extensive report. But, if you have inherited a Salesforce org from a previous admin or if your organization has been on Salesforce for some time, running the optimizer can be one of the best places to start to learn more about how to optimize your org.

Run Salesforce Optimizer

Running Salesforce optimizer is the easy part of the process:

1. Click the Setup icon and select Setup.

2. Enter “optimizer” in the quick find box, and click the result.

3. Click Create PDF

Create PDF for Optimizer

4. In the confirmation dialogue, click Allow.

5. In the next confirmation dialogue, click Got It.

That’s it! Salesforce typically emails the report within an hour, but it can take longer if your org is complex. You can also find the report by navigating to the Files tab in your org. The report file name begins with SalesforceOptimizerReport and contains the version number and date.

Salesforce Files object, highlighting the most recent Salesforce Optimizer Report

Once you have the report, it’s time to review the findings and create a plan to address the issues. Remember we said that running the report is the easy part? Each section of the report contains data about the status of your org, as well as recommendations and best practices. We’re not gonna lie, the report is big and it will take some time to review. Luckily, the report highlights (1) high impact issues in your org and (2) impact scale icons help you prioritize the recommendations.

Highlights and high impact issues found by Salesforce Optimizer

Let’s take a quick look at two of the most common issues that optimizer flags. 

Behold! Fields of fields

It’s common to see objects with hundreds of fields. While Salesforce allows up to 500 fields per object (depending on your edition), Salesforce optimizer flags any standard or custom object with more than 350. Are all those fields necessary and useful to your users? When people have to scroll through hundreds of fields on a detail page, adoption and usage suffers. And consider the mobile experience. Scrolling through pages of fields on your phone is painful and frustrating.

The optimize and maintain section of the report can help you see whether those fields are actually populated with data. Many customers are quite surprised to find that a significant number of their custom fields are not being used and are empty, and therefore provide no value to users. 

Too many admins

Salesforce optimizer considers any user an admin if they have the permissions to modify all data and customize applications. Granting superuser permission level to lots of users is a recipe for disaster. We know it happens...folks are busy and rather than take the time to set up groups or permission sets, you just grant all access. But liberally doling out these kinds of broad permissions is risky and should be avoided. Data breaches, data quality —  there are all sorts of unintended consequences when you have too many cooks in the kitchen. So what’s the right number of admins? It really depends on the size of your organization, its complexity, and the volume of requests that come in. 

Speaking of admins, one of the responsibilities of a Salesforce admin that sometimes gets pushed aside by other priorities is keeping up with the cycles of NPSP and Salesforce innovation. While we understand the challenges, taking full advantage of new releases is critical to maintaining a healthy org. And how should you keep on top of new releases? Funny you should ask! We have the answer for you in the next unit. 

Resources