Prepare for Your Pro Bono Project
After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:
- Build your knowledge of Salesforce.org products.
- Assess which types of projects fit your skills and experience.
- Find a pro bono project.
Nonprofit and educational institutions are achieving amazing things with Salesforce—often with limited resources and expertise. That’s where you come in!
Jsun Pe, Program Architect Director, Salesforce: ”Pro bono allows me to use my expertise for the greater good. It shows my son that he doesn’t need a cape or superpowers to be a hero.”
You can make a huge impact on the mission of a nonprofit or educational institution by volunteering your current Salesforce expertise. To leverage your skills responsibly, you’ll need a mix of professional experience and industry and product knowledge.
Your path to pro bono superhero starts by completing these core fundamentals before offering to help with a pro bono project:
- Salesforce Administrator Certification
- Minimum of 2 years full-time experience administering Salesforce
We also strongly encourage you to get your Nonprofit Cloud Consultant Certification if you plan to volunteer for nonprofits or the Education Cloud Consultant Certification for volunteering for educational institutions. Earning your certifications is an investment in your ability to deliver high-impact projects with our industry solutions. It also demonstrates your commitment to making the world a better place by volunteering your Salesforce skills. There are free self-study guides and certification prep courses using Trailhead (Trailmixes) to help you get started. See the Trailmix links in the Resources section at the end of this unit.
If you’re looking to make a real impact using your Salesforce skills for a social cause you care about, get certified!
At a minimum, you should learn about our industry solutions through Trailhead and familiarize yourself with product documentation. Our Resource Guide for Pro Bono Volunteers contains guided learning paths for learning our industry solutions: Nonprofit Cloud and Education Cloud.
Once you have some familiarity with how nonprofit and educational institutions use Salesforce to power their missions, it’s time to do some reflection and decide how you can best use your Salesforce powers for good.
First, think about what you’re good at, whether that’s business process analysis, building reports and dashboards, or automating tasks. We’ve put together a chart below of commonly requested Salesforce pro bono projects that can be done in 10 to 20 hours. Of course, this is only an estimate. Projects might take longer or shorter depending on your professional experience and how familiar you are with nonprofits and how they use Salesforce. Use the chart to get a sense of what type of projects might fit your skills and qualifications.
||Good for volunteers with experience with:
|Configure Standard Objects
||Use point and click configuration to modify fields, change page layouts, and create custom fields for one or two standard objects.
||Record types and custom page layout and field creation, as well as a solid understanding of the security model.
|Build Reports and Dashboards
||Depending on the nonprofit’s needs, you might build reports, build dashboards, or train staff on running reports.
||Building reports and dashboards.
|Migrate data into Salesforce
||Assist with the development of a data migration plan and the migration of data into Salesforce, excluding data clean up.
||Using Data Loader or other similar data loading tools for Salesforce.
|Transition to the Lightning Experience
||Assist with developing a Lightning rollout strategy, train end users, and provide best practices for making the transition.
||Running and reading the Lightning Experience Readiness Report.
Scoping required conversion elements (custom buttons and link, Salesforce Knowledge, etc.)
|Automate Business Processes
||Create a process map and use automation tools (e.g. workflow, process builder, visual workflow) to automate one or two business processes using point and click tools.
||Workflows, Process Builder, Lightning Flows and Triggers and ability to determine which to use in various customer situations.
||Develop and test Lightning Components or customized Visualforce/Apex code on an existing configuration.
||Experience writing, testing and deploying code from sandbox into production.
Salesforce Certified Platform App Builder.
Once you have a sense of the types of projects you can help with, it’s time to find a pro bono project. Pro bono intermediaries such as Taproot Foundation and Catchafire specialize in matching professionals to pro bono projects with nonprofit and educational institutions. They also often provide resources and support to help you to be successful. You can find a pro bono intermediary that serves your area through the Global Pro Bono Network in the Resources section of this unit.
You might also consider attending a local Nonprofit or Higher Ed Community Group meeting. This is a great way to connect with nonprofit and educational institutions in-person. Who knows, you might find the perfect organization to volunteer with! Just remember to bring your resume with you.
Just like a job interview, you should come prepared to discuss your qualifications with any potential organization. Make sure to add a section to your current resume of your relevant Trailhead badges and Salesforce certifications, and include a link to your Trailhead profile. Don’t know where to find the URL to your Trailhead profile? Follow these steps:
- Login to Trailhead
- Click on your profile image and then click “Profile”
- Scroll down to the “About Me” section and find “My URL”
- Copy the URL to your resume
In addition to updating your qualifications, you should be prepared to answer the following questions when you meet with your organization:
- Why are you interested in doing a pro bono project with the organization?
- What Salesforce experience do you have? Can you provide references?
- What’s the most complicated functionality that you’ve built to date?
- How much time can you commit and for how long?
- Will you be working on any other projects at the same time? How do you expect to manage multiple priorities?
Congratulations! You’re well on your way to using your Salesforce superpowers for good. Ready to dive deeper? In the next four units, you’ll learn best practices for the four phases of the pro bono project lifecycle, including plan, scope, build, and deploy.
- Knowledge Article: Resource Guide for Pro Bono Volunteers
- Website: Global Pro Bono Network
- Trailmix: Nonprofit Cloud Consultant Certification (Free Training & Prep Course)
- Trailmix: Education Cloud Consultant Certification (Free Training & Prep Course)
- Trailblazer Community Groups: Nonprofit or Higher Ed