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Busting the myths of salesforce.org

With Lianne McGrory UK & Ireland Country Manager at salesforce.org and Rob Dobell Managing Director at Hart Square.

At Hart Square, we provide a range of guidance and support services exclusively to non-profits who are considering changes to their technology. Our advice is completely technology-agnostic and to help our clients make the right choices for them, we make it a priority to keep in close touch with the many organisations which can offer solutions to the non-profit sector, including salesforce.org.  

Whilst salesforce.org is one of the best-known CRM systems, and we consider it to be a strong proposition for non-profits, we have found that sector has not embraced it to the extent we might expect.  

With that in mind, last month Rob Dobell, Managing Director at Hart Square was joined on an expert panel by Lianne McGrory, UK & Ireland Country Manager at salesforce.org. They tackled some of the most common questions that they hear from non-profits and busted some of the myths around salesforce.org. 

Salesforce have had a specific non-profit offering for the last 11 years  

Salesforce.org, previously the Salesforce Foundation, have had a specific non-profit offering for the last 11 years, Lianne explained. “This is a pre-built package on top of Salesforce technology, built specifically for non-profits, speaking their language, and built to follow their processes.” 

Philanthropy has been at the heart of Salesforce since its inception, when it was set up with the 1-1-1 model in which 1% of the Salesforce technology, income and volunteer time would go back into the non-profit sector. As part of this model of giving back, Salesforce.org provide 10 free licences to any charity in the world. Lianne explained that of the 3,500 organisations in the UK and Ireland which use Salesforce technology, 65% are using their free licences.  

As the client, you do not need to have huge amounts of technical knowledge  

Rob and Lianne explained that a common misconception of implementing a Salesforce solution is that, in addition to the implementation partner, you need lots of client-side technical knowledge. Rob explained that this is not the case, but you do need to be able to describe what you need from the technology. Additionally, you may want to provide some form of training for your team to ensure you can get the best out of the solution.  

Understanding the costs and complexity 

There is still some perception that it is difficult to calculate the full cost of a Salesforce.org project. Rob and Lianne explain that at the early stages of any change project, you should work out your goals for the project and gather a clear set of requirements. At the end of the discovery phase, you will be able to solidify the scope of the project with associated costs and timelines. Rob details that it is important to be disciplined throughout the project, holding new ideas for later developments, to ensure you can protect both your time and budget.  

Lianne also added, that if you have chosen Salesforce technology and you are concerned about costs and complexity, it is important to voice your concerns with the Salesforce team as there may be ways to cap, limit or predict changes in costs over time.  

Hart Square’s Definitive Guide to Salesforce for non-profits 

At Hart Square, we believe Salesforce.org is a strong offering to the non-profit sector and we have set out to explain it our Definitive Guide to Salesforce for non-profits which you can download for free here 

The full panel interview, including the live Q&A, with Lianne McGrory UK & Ireland Country Manager at salesforce.org and Rob Dobell Managing Director at Hart Square is available to watch back here