Add Engagement Scores and Automation

Learning Objectives

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

  • Define engagement scores.
  • Create and apply engagement scores to contacts.
  • Describe how automation can improve constituent engagement.

Michael is super happy with how he and super admin Gorav have combined engagement plans and levels. By sorting the No More Homelessness (NMH) volunteer advocates into levels based on the total number of events they’ve planned, promoted, and hosted, Michael has been able to create custom messaging and support for each group. This way, all volunteers get appropriate and actionable information that can help them grow, regardless of their current ability or achievement. And the strategy has been working well; volunteers are more engaged and NMH is starting to see improvement. Everyone seems to be growing the number of events they host and moving up levels. 

Well, almost everyone. Some volunteers seem to still be struggling with scheduling events, others are having a hard time consistently attracting people, and then there’s Charlie Gibbons. Charlie hasn’t held any meetings or events at all. Which doesn’t make a lot of sense. He attended one of the very first advocacy training workshops! He’s been trying for some time.

Maybe Michael can find a reason to explain Charlie’s very few (nay, nonexistent) events. Engrossed in his work, Michael doesn’t realize that he’s been talking to himself about Charlie as he digs into various records, looking for clues. 

Aniyah, sitting on the other side of the cubicle wall, pops her head up and over into Michael’s space. Did she hear that right? Charlie Gibbons isn’t engaged with NMH? Not by her team’s standards! The development team knows Charlie personally. He donates substantially to NMH every year, solicits donations from other community members, and also volunteers regularly at fundraising events. 

Well, that’s interesting. Each team seems to have a different understanding of how engaged Charlie is with NMH because they only consider the interactions he’s had with their department. The whole point of the Salesforce Nonprofit Cloud is to unify data, so there must be a single way to see a composite of a constituent that includes many of the contact points they might have with the organization. 

And there is. Gorav, listening to the conversation as Michael and Aniyah migrated to the break room, suggests the whole team work together to set up engagement scores.  

A Holistic View of Engagement

An engagement score is a numerical value given to a constituent that indicates their overall level of involvement with your organization. Scores are determined from different numeric or currency fields in NPSP, so you decide what the scores are, what they mean, and how they’re calculated. 

To create engagement scores, an admin and a team work together to decide which fields to use as proxies for a person’s involvement. The admin then writes a formula to calculate those variables and determine the scores, and adds a custom field to display the calculated value. By using different data types in the calculation, the score offers a more holistic view of a constituent’s engagement than a single department (or person) often can see or track. Because the input must be from more than one field (which, we repeat, can only be number or currency fields) and the output is a number, some organizations use engagement scores as the levels in NPSP. 

Michael wants to use engagement scores so everyone at NMH can see at a glance how active any given person is. He (wrongly) assumed Charlie wasn’t an engaged constituent because he hasn’t hosted any events as a community advocate, and he wants to make sure no one else makes a similar mistake. It would be quite embarrassing to send introductory materials on the cause to a champion of the organization. 

How to Score Engagement

Michael asks Gorav to calculate the NMH engagement scores using three variables: total giving this year, volunteer hours, and advocate level. To keep it manageable, Michael defines four ranges within each of the three variables and assigns points to each range.

Total gifts this year

  • 0-$100 = 1 point
  • $101-$500 = 2 points
  • $501-$1,000 = 3 points
  • $1,000+ = 4 points

Total volunteer hours this year

  • 0-10 hours = 1 point
  • 11-25 hours = 2 points
  • 26-40 hours = 3 points
  • 41+ hours = 4 points

Advocate levels

  • Awesome Advocate (0-3 total events) = 1 point
  • Amazing Advocate (4-6 events) = 2 points
  • Ace Advocate (7-9 events) = 3 points
  • A1 Advocate (10+ events) = 4 points

Gorav creates a custom formula field on contact records that calculates the points a constituent has in each of the three categories and assigns the overall engagement score.

Charlie would rank as a 1 if advocacy was the only variable considered, but his engagement score, as a composite of everything he does with NMH, tells a different story: Charlie gets a 9! One point for his advocacy level, four for his giving history, and another four for his volunteer hours. Woo-hoo, Charlie! 

The engagement score on a contact record highlights panel

With engagement scores, the NMH team can act more strategically. This isn’t, after all, only about Charlie. The team can see the engagement score for all constituents. To help boost overall constituent engagement–appropriately, based on personal scores–Michael proposes a cross-department goal to raise 50% of engagement levels by 2 points before the end of their fiscal year. Ambitious, yes, but aim for the clouds to reach the sky!

Automatic Gratitude

Looking at the advocates through the new composite engagement score lens, Michael is so impressed with the overall commitment from volunteers like Charlie that he wants to shower them with a little extra love. He asks Gorav if there’s a way to use engagement scores to thank constituents. 

Michael should know by now that when asking his admin a question if Salesforce can do something to make life easier, the answer is (almost) always yes. Gorav tells him that there is a really neat automation tool in Salesforce called process builder. 

Process builder can automate so many things: send emails, add contacts to campaigns, assign tasks, and apply engagement plans. But before Gorav can set anything up for Michael, they need to first work together to define the thresholds for action. They decide on three gratitude categories for all constituents, based on engagement scores: 

  • 6 points = You Rock!
  • 9 points = Incredible Work!
  • 12 points = What Would We Do Without YOU?!?

Whenever a constituent reaches one of these engagement scores, Michael wants to automatically send a congratulatory email from NMH’s Executive Director. Additionally, when someone reaches the highest level (12 points), Michael wants a task assigned for the whole team to send a handwritten thank-you card, NMH t-shirt, and travel mug. And show up at the person’s house with balloons. Too much?

Automatic Everything!

Michael is impressed with this automation and wants to try it for everything. He’s thinking it would be a great way to encourage some friendly competition among the volunteer advocates. Slow down there, Gorav warns. Yes, automation is great and useful and all that, but before you can do anything with it, you need to first establish a clear goal and reason for the automation. Once you know the what and why, then you need to choose the data points that will inform the automation (like an engagement score) and define the criteria or when the automation will trigger. 

Michael has some good instincts, so the idea of using an engagement score to encourage healthy (note: healthy) competition is a good one. Gorav and Michael begin to explore what further automation it might take to send email to advocates congratulating the A1 person publicly.

With the engagement scores, Michael can see holistically the level of NMH’s constituents involvement. And even better than that, he and the staff at NMH are acting on this information. Thanks to some pretty simple Salesforce functionality (and one really fantastic admin), the staff has increased constituent engagement and furthered the NMH mission.