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Discover How to Volunteer Your Salesforce Skills

Learning Objectives

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

  • Explain how Salesforce.org serves nonprofit and educational institutions.
  • Describe the role of pro bono in supporting organizations with the use of Salesforce.
  • Recognize when pro bono is appropriate (and when it’s not).

You Have Super Powers!

We’re here to tell you that you have superpowers. That’s right—you have Salesforce powers, and you can use them to help nonprofit and educational institutions do more good. Pro bono is an opportunity to use your Salesforce expertise for good and gain a new perspective on how organizations use Salesforce to power their missions.

Illustration of a woman wearing a cape flying above a city.

Wait, nonprofits use Salesforce? Of course, they do! Nonprofits and educational institutions use Salesforce in different capacities—from tracking their donations to managing relationships, just to name a few. There are 40,000+ nonprofit and educational institutions that power their missions with Salesforce. 

Let’s take a look at a real-life example.

Boston Day and Evening Academy (BDEA) is a school like no other. Every single one of its students has struggled academically or has felt lost, unsafe, or unengaged in previous schools. Check out how BDEA uses Salesforce to help re-engage students in their education.

Pretty awesome, right? Well, it gets even better. Behind the scenes, Salesforce’s very own Jarad Caico and Nitin Kohli served as pro bono volunteers, working with BDEA and their consulting partner to update their Salesforce org. They were BDEA’s trusted advisors, helping them navigate challenges and guiding their progress. Jarad and Nitin specifically helped BDEA understand how to effectively customize their contact record types and report on their contacts.  

Thanks to some super-powered help from Jarad and Nitin, BDEA now has a single, consolidated view of each student and a clearer picture of each student’s grades, attendance, and challenges. New reporting capabilities help identify early signs of a student’s struggles and shed light on interventions to help keep students engaged.

So, you’ve been unmasked! Your superpower is your Salesforce expertise. So, what are you going to do with these newfound abilities? Well, before breaking out the cape and utility belt, there are a few things you need to know first.

Salesforce.org: Your Impact Partner

Salesforce.org puts Salesforce technology into the hands of nonprofit and educational institutions working to make the world a better place. We believe that technology is the most powerful equalizer of our time and our ultimate goal is to help nonprofit and educational institutions accelerate their impact using Salesforce technology. Our product donation program and discounted pricing model provides equal access to change-making organizations of all sizes. 

The Power of Us

Let’s go over what products and services Salesforce.org offers to eligible nonprofit and educational institutions. 

  • All eligible organizations receive 10 donated Enterprise Edition Lightning CRM licenses through the Power of Us Program.
  • They also receive deep discounts on purchases of additional licenses, products, and services.
  • Eligible organizations typically sign up for a 30-day trial of Salesforce with one of our industry solutions pre-installed.
  • The free trial converts to a live instance if they decide to continue with Salesforce.

Along with subscription donations and discount pricing, eligible organizations get access to the Power of Us Hub, an online community specifically for nonprofit and educational institutions. Think of it like the Trailblazer community, but populated entirely with nonprofit and educational institutions.

Nonprofit and educational institutions get access to many of the same tools offered to commercial companies, such as Help and Training and Premier Success Plans. There are even Trailblazer Community Groups for nonprofit and educational institutions.

Every Nonprofit Hero Needs a Super-Powered Sidekick

Image of Salesforce employee, David Everitt.

David Everitt, Lead Solution Engineer, Salesforce: “The biggest contribution you can make to a nonprofit is to use your Salesforce skills. There aren't many who can do what you can do with Salesforce.”

While our donation and discount programs make Salesforce accessible to nonprofit and educational institutions, many can’t afford all of the expertise needed to make the most of Salesforce technology. Resources can be so tight that some nonprofit and educational institutions can’t afford a dedicated system admin. Instead, admin duties become additional responsibilities for an already overworked staff member.

So, where do resource-strapped organizations go to get Salesforce expertise? Well, one of two places. While budgets are tight, especially in the nonprofit sector, we do encourage organizations to work with a Salesforce.org certified consulting partner to do new Salesforce implementations. Certified partners have deep knowledge of the nonprofit and education sectors and are experts when it comes to implementing Salesforce.org industry solutions. 

Even after a successful implementation, some organizations struggle to take full advantage of basic features and functionality because they lack the time or expertise needed to configure them. We’re talking about creating page layouts and fields, setting up useful reports and dashboards, and automating business processes. And that’s where you come in! Thousands of nonprofit and educational institutions turn to pro bono volunteers for help with the basics, so they can do more good with the platform. 

Do No Harm

Volunteering your time and talent is one of the most impactful ways to give back. However, it’s critical for you to commit to doing no harm before you start a pro bono project with a nonprofit or educational institution. In other words, don’t be a pro bono villain!

What does this mean exactly? Well, it means that you commit to using your current skills and expertise to help an organization make the most of Salesforce technology. You shouldn’t view a pro bono project as your chance to gain experience, test new skills or experiment on an organization’s instance. 

Nonprofits and educational institutions play a vital role in our communities. They’re often underfunded and understaffed, which means they probably won’t be able to fix mistakes that you make. If something goes wrong and you don’t have the expertise to fix it, you might hurt the organization’s ability to serve their community and achieve their mission.

Note

Note

The stakes are just too high to try untested skills on a nonprofit’s or a school’s org. Please, only volunteer your current Salesforce expertise.

Doing no harm also means following through on the commitments that you make. Nonprofits and educational institutions probably won’t have the expertise or bandwidth to complete your project if you depart before it’s finished.

Now that you’ve discovered your Salesforce superpowers and have committed to doing no harm, you’re ready to learn more about Salesforce.org solutions for the nonprofit and education sectors. 

Resources