Salesforce Outbound Funds Tracking – It’s available, people!
This is an update on the exciting initiative of an open-source Salesforce-based CRM solution for outbound grantmaking, particularly foundations. If you need a refresher on the project, please read our Outbounding Grantmaking and Salesforce blog post and our most recent update.
Great news! The application is available, people! Members of Salesforce.org’s Power of Hub can see the release announcement here.
The idea of using Salesforce for management of grantmaking (or more generally outbound funds) has been around for years. Judi Sohn, Director, Customer Centric Engineering at Salesforce.org and one of the original members of the Salesforce nonprofit user community (pre-dating the Power of Us Hub) comments that, “It always would come up…the perennial problem of how do you differentiate between outgoing and incoming funds without turning Salesforce into your general ledger.”
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FoundationConnect has been an option for many years but primarily limited to Enterprise organizations because of the scope and cost of the application. Alternatively, organizations could have built a custom solution from scratch. Prior to her role as Senior Manager, Partner Success with Salesforce.org, Rev. Tracy Kronzak was an early flag-bearer for this initiative. She says, “Salesforce solutions have been getting created (for management of grantmaking) but nonprofits haven’t been able to have a conversation about how they’ve been leveraging (learning from each other) because they haven’t had a consistent platform which means they don’t have a shared language.”
With this release, organizations have a means of managing grantmaking activities with the mindset and philosophy of: keep it simple, keep it scalable. As Judi, points out, “Organizations with simple needs can use it out-of-the-box; organizations with complex needs can build complex solutions on top of it.”
Big picture wise this milestone is huge, as it means organizations that have been on the fence waiting to use Salesforce for outbound fund management have an immediate option with a bright future.
Back to the present there are number of good resources that can be accessed today. An online walkthrough and introductory discussion can be viewed here. Organizations are installing it, trialing it and commenting on it primarily via the Power of Us Hub group (for Salesforce.org customers). Use Cases, Configuration & Beyond can be read about here.
At the July 2018 Salesforce.org Sprint in Denver the volunteer team made great progress on documentation and new features, using questions and feedback from the community to guide their efforts. If you want to have a voice in this effort, try out the package and fill out the feedback survey; both available at the Power of Us Hub group mentioned above. If you are a developer looking to contribute, a repository has been set-up at Github; see this Power of Us post for more information.
Next big milestone is for the package to be applied to real-use situations in production instances of pilot organizations. We have scoped the package into a project of ours that will launch in the fall as are other organizations of which we are aware. For early adopters, the time to get started is now! For those looking for a track record before getting started, the next year should surface clear pathways for grant-making organizations of different sizes to meet their needs.