By Tal Frankfurt
Nonprofit organizations and higher education institutions continue to choose Salesforce to manage their programs, admission, fundraising, marketing and everything in between. Salesforce has become the gold standard in efficiency for these organizations, and the dedication Salesforce.org has to these sectors continues to grow. As part of that dedication, Salesforce.Org announced today the acquisition of roundCorner, welcoming NGO Connect (NGOC), Advancement Connect and foundationConnect into their product offering.
The Evolution of the roundCorner Partnership
Salesforce.org initially partnered with roundCorner to release NGOC in September of 2014. One of the main drivers of the partnerships was to deliver a solution for enterprise-class fundraising and engagement. NGOC was created by roundCorner but sold and supported by Salesforce.org.
Salesforce is an amazing Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) system that thrives with open-source software. This means that their clients can have the flexibility to control their own destiny and make the platform work for their needs. NGOC is a managed package that was originally developed for public broadcasting organizations, meaning that the flexibility that we all love about Salesforce was often limited. Because of this, Cloud for Good stopped recommending NGOC to its clients in late 2015. In June 2016 Salesforce.org ended the partnership with roundCorner. roundCorner became an ISV Partner and NGOC, Advancement Connect and foundationConnect were all made available in the AppExchange, now supported and sold by roundCorner.
Salesforce.org and the Salesforce Ohana have made a significant investment in the Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP) over the last few years. The team of developers dedicated to the NPSP has grown by hundreds of percentages and the community started contributing new features through Open Source Sprints. This resulted in many great features including Engagement Levels, Customizable Roll-Ups, improved documentation, and most recently the updated Batch Gift Entry.
Listening to Our Clients
Over the last few years, we’ve had many clients approach Cloud for Good expressing their challenges with the functionality of NGOC and Advancement Connect. Relying on our years of industry expertise, we’ve held extensive discovery calls to better understand these organization’s business process and nuances, eventually helping them migrate from NGOC or Advancement Connect to the Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP) and Higher Education Data Architecture (HEDA). We documented and shared these migrations and how they helped organizations like JA Worldwide, Gordon College and FIRST better adopt Salesforce and create new value for their organizations.
But we’re not the only ones hearing these concerns. Just like at our organization, Salesforce.org has heard concerns from their clients and prospects needing a more flexible solution.
The Acquisition is Great News, and Here’s Why:
With this acquisition, Salesforce.org is communicating a very powerful message to their clients, including that:
Salesforce.org cares about you and your success.
Salesforce has always been known to listen to their community or Ohana. They’ve created avenues, such as the Power of Us Hub (HUB), where their users can come together as a community, make recommendations for improvement and seek help from their peers.
I believe that with this acquisition they acknowledge the challenges you and the community were facing and are taking the steps needed to support and develop solutions that are designed to increase your satisfaction. Salesforce.org is dedicated to clients and client success, this acquisition is a great example that Salesforce doesn’t leave any nonprofit behind.
An opportunity to enhance NPSP and HEDA
NGOC, Advancement Connect and FoundationConnect have some great features. I’m hoping to see some of these features incorporated into the NPSP and HEDA. Specifically, I am excited about the possibility of adding Event Management functionality into NPSP. NGOC has some powerful event management functionalities such as event registration and visual event seating. I am also excited about the best practices that could be shared from roundCorner’s experience with direct mail and large data segmentation.
The Acquistion is also about people
As with any acquisition, it isn’t just about the products. Often even more important is the people an organization acquires. At roundCorner, the employees are well versed in an enterprise-sized nonprofit organization and higher education institutions. They’ve worked with some of the top organizations over the past five years and understand the needs and nuances that this size of organization requires. Their employees also understand how to develop and managed enterprise-level solutions. With Salesforce.org’s support and dedication to their products and roundConers’ expertise in enterprise accounts, Salesforce can enhance the support and deliverability they can provide to their enterprise clients.
At Cloud for Good, we’re excited for the doors that this acquisition may open and new features we hope to see come to the NPSP and HEDA. Whether you’re using NPSP, HEDA, NGOC, Advancement Connect or FoundationConnect, we’d love to talk more with about how to optimize your CRM to best fit the needs of your organization. We look forward to hearing what’s next for Salesforce and all the new ways that both Salesforce and Cloud for Good can help you become more efficient and effective for your mission.