Top 5 New Features That Nonprofits Can Use in the Salesforce Winter ’14 Release

Three times a year, rolls out new features to its users. Most of these new features are enabled automatically (you don’t have to do anything!). Although there are some new features that are optional, and therefore have to be enabled by your System Administrator.

If you’re new to the releases, here’s a quick FAQ on new releases:

How do I know when a new release has been rolled out in my instance of Salesforce?

Salesforce Embeded Dashboards

Unless you’re using a custom logo, you'll see a new icon on the top left when you log in to Salesforce. For Winter ’14, it’s a polar bear. You'll also see the orange "Discover Winter ‘14” link on the top right side of your homepage. If you click that link, it will take you to additional resources like videos and the Release Notes, letting you know what’s new. Here’s a link to the Winter ’14 Release Notes.

I work for a nonprofit, and the release notes talk about a lot of features that don’t apply to me. How do I know which features are most exciting for nonprofits?

You can always come and check out KELL Labs, or visit other nonprofit community resources to see what other nonprofits are saying. The Foundation also hosts a webinar for each release, where they show examples of the new features along with use cases for nonprofits.

We attended the Foundation’s webinar and took some notes so you don’t have to. Here are our top 5 favorite features from Winter ’14 that nonprofits can use:

Read more: Top 5 New Features That Nonprofits Can Use in the Salesforce Winter ’14 Release

5 Insider Secrets for Nonprofits to Make the Most of Dreamforce

So you’ve gotten tired of everyone telling you how amazing Dreamforce is and you’ve finally decided to register and see for yourself? Or maybe you have been attending for a few years, but frankly you don’t get what the big deal is – except that Dreamforce is just big.

This year, Dreamforce is expected to attract more than 100,000 attendees, both in-person and online, November 18-21. Thousands of them are from nonprofit organizations just like you. If you haven’t registered yet, it’s not too late.

Read more: 5 Insider Secrets for Nonprofits to Make the Most of Dreamforce

5 Reasons Why Your Nonprofit Should Not Use Person Accounts in Salesforce

person account

To learn about Person Accounts, the features and their intended use, download and review this training guide from Salesforce.

This post serves to answer the frequently asked question, “Why NOT to use Person Accounts as a Nonprofit.”

On the surface, Person Accounts appear perfectly suited to meet the needs of a nonprofit. In a nutshell, Person Accounts are a type of account, allowing the organization to have “Business Accounts” and “Person Accounts,” where Person Accounts are individuals. A Person Account effectively merges the Account object with the Contact object, yet it still allows for these special accounts to be related to custom objects like Households, etc. Sounds perfect right?

Unfortunately Person Accounts are not well suited for nonprofits. Here are some reasons why.

Read more: 5 Reasons Why Your Nonprofit Should Not Use Person Accounts in Salesforce

Introducing Matching Gifts and Partial Soft Credits SmartPack

We admit it. We used to be Nonprofit Starter Pack snobs. We thought the Starter Pack was probably a decent solution for a small entry-level organization with only simple, minimal needs. It couldn’t be taken seriously as a solution for a more sophisticated organization that needed to track their constituency and fundraising across a variety of channels.

We were wrong.

Read more: Introducing Matching Gifts and Partial Soft Credits SmartPack

Meet Our Superheroes: Adam Kramer

We have a fabulous team at KELL Partners – some may call us geeks, [and we’re ok with that] but we like to call our team members superheroes. This regular series will highlight a KELL team member. This post will focus on one of our Senior Project Managers, Adam Kramer.

Kell Adam KramerWhat’s your favorite thing about working with nonprofits?

My favorite thing about working with nonprofits is being able to help improve the efficiency, systems, and eventually the missions of all the different causes I support. There are so many nonprofits out there that I want to thrive that it's great that I get to work with so many different ones at once.

Why do you enjoy working with Salesforce?

With thousands of hours under my belt, I’ve implemented Salesforce for nonprofits for more than 5 years. I’ve consulted with hundreds of people and analyzed countless nonprofit system processes. I’ve watched the remarkable way in which Salesforce has helped them improve their fundraising and their "back office", and my former life as a nonprofit staffer gives me the perspective of the end user when working with clients.

Specifically, I love helping organizations leverage the Nonprofit Starter Pack’s (NPSP). I came to the Salesforce world as a nonprofit user and intimately understand why the Nonprofit Starter Pack is such a vital resource. While there are many great alternatives, I love how easily I can configure and customize the NPSP to match my clients various needs. 

Do you volunteer with any nonprofits? Why those organizations?

I don't have a specific favorite cause but human rights, environmental, and education rights groups are towards the top. I've volunteered for Habitat for Humanity and various environmental, prison reform, and educational nonprofits throughout the years.

Read more: Meet Our Superheroes: Adam Kramer

Life After Common Ground

While a few members of the KELL team had worked at Convio or on Common Ground in the past, I was actually working for Blackbaud on the Common Ground team when the axe fell a little over a year ago.

It was an emotional time for me on many levels. Not so much for me personally. My last day at Blackbaud was September 28th, 2013 and I started as an employee at KELL Partners on November 1. Once I was finished at Blackbaud and I started exploring career choices, there was no other company that I felt was a better fit for me.

This past year has flown by, as I’ve spent a great deal of my time exploring options to Common Ground for our clients. As sad as the end of Common Ground was for me, I’ve been so excited by the solutions that are already available to nonprofits.

Read more: Life After Common Ground

Let’s Talk About Common Ground - Part 3

The good news, the bad news...and the ugly truth. Part 3 of 3: The migration.

This is part three of a three-part series on Common Ground. Last week we published part one and part two.

Here’s the truth some people won’t admit and some organizations don’t want to hear.

Migrating from Common Ground is NOT like unplugging your toaster. This is serious stuff that takes time and know-how to execute successfully. I realize I’m biased as a firm selling migration services, so if you feel my suggestions are inaccurate, please call me out.

Read more: Let’s Talk About Common Ground - Part 3

Let’s Talk About Common Ground - Part 2

The good news, the bad news...and the ugly truth. Part 2 of 3: The alternatives.

This is part two of a three-part series on Common Ground. Check out part one and part three.

Every one of the Common Ground clients that haven’t migrated their data has a very important decision to make. You cannot remain on Common Ground. Either you migrate to another Salesforce-based option to which there are several, or you move to a non-Salesforce solution, to which there are hundreds.

Read more: Let’s Talk About Common Ground - Part 2


  • App Focus

    We take a look at the latest Salesforce apps for nonprofits

  • Salesforce Foundation

    Our take on the latest news from the Salesforce Foundation

  • Dreamforce

    The world's largest technology conference hosted by Salesforce

  • KELL Culture

    A look inside KELL and at our fabulous team of superheroes.

  • Best Practices

    Our clients ask a lot of great questions! They want their Salesforce data to provide answers. It's our job to make the technology provide the answers quickly and efficiently. These solutions have helped us to develop hundreds of best practice solutions for nonprofits using Salesforce.