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Salesforce has been solving an ever growing number of operational and technical problems for thousands of businesses all over the world. Much like it works for businesses, Non-profits can greatly benefit from using the platform. Salesforce recognized this, so they developed a system for the use of the Salesforce platform in the Not for Profit sector: The Non-Profit Success Pack (NPSP).

Through the Salesforce Foundation, Salesforce donates 10 licenses for their Enterprise Edition each year to eligible Non-profit organizations. These organizations receive 10 subscriptions of the Salesforce Enterprise Edition for free. They also get discounted add-ons, apps, and access to relevant user groups, events and webinars. 

Using Salesforce, non-profits can take advantage of the world’s #1 cloud CRM to manage most of their processes - from keeping track of campaigns, sponsor contacts, grants, volunteers, partner organizations, to the detailed logistics of delivering free vaccines. Salesforce, combined with the programs of thousands of non-profits and education institutions, drives scalable positive impact.

Training & Implementation

Once the Non-profit solution has been implemented, there is a challenge of how to train users. The options organizations have include:

  • Try and work it out with Salesforce Help and Trailhead
  • Develop custom training materials on their own
  • Engage a training provider to create training materials
  • Get a Quick Start Guide such as ‘Jumpstart Your Force’

All of the training and implementation options cost time and money, and considering that Non-profits need to keep their operational costs to a minimum, in order to allocate a bigger chunk of resources towards actual programs, they should consider the path that will be most cost effective. 

With that in mind, we’ve asked Shawn from Jumpstart Your Force to give us a view on how nonprofits can benefit from using a quick start guide.

What was the reason you created the JumpStart guide?

JumpStart began as a training resource for our non-profit customers. The non-profits we work with share several things in common – they are overworked, underfunded, and under staffed - often relying on volunteers to handle the day-to-day administrative tasks. While these organizations clearly understand the benefits and value of the Salesforce NPSP, they were often unable to get it off the ground effectively. From a time and resource perspective, obtaining a Salesforce certification, or going through the Trailhead exercises was not a viable option for them.

Our objective was to build a user’s manual that would enable someone totally unfamiliar with Salesforce to get up and running with the basic tasks as quickly as possible. JumpStart compliments the format of the material covered in Trailhead, certification courses, technical documentation, and user groups which is often more detailed and time consuming than our users can afford.

   Screenshot from Jumpstart Your Force

How does the Jumpstart guide compare to Trailhead?

Trailhead walks the user through illustrative scenarios to get their concepts across. This can take time and certain level of interest – which may or may not be available to the end user. JumpStart attempts to boil down the concepts and “how tos” to their basic steps – e.g. “Click here”, “enter this”, “Click that”, etc. The objective is to help the user accomplish the task at hand as directly and efficiently as possible. We chime in with notes, opinions, thoughts, potential pitfalls, etc. that we have come across in our experience to further assist the end user.

Why should I pay for this, when there are free guides available?

Based on our own experience with Salesforce, when faced with a puzzling issue we investigate solutions from any number of resources – both paid and unpaid. We look for the best, most direct solution to whatever the situation is that we are facing, regardless of the source. Our solutions have come from any one of a variety of sources.

JumpStart does take time and effort to create and maintain, and is of value to our users. Any fees received for use of the manual go toward supporting these efforts as well as our ongoing pro bono work in the non-profit sector. We also plan to continue expanding on content available without having to register, so we are seeking to provide a balance there as well.

How have you used your practical implementation experience in creating this guide?

Having sat in our user’s seat, building out their orgs, we’ve worked our way through the same basic day-to-day activities and tasks our customers are most likely to encounter – adding contacts, logging donations, managing duplicate records, setting up event “campaigns”, etc. We document each step along way, noting or commenting on any potential pitfalls, best practices, and/or tips we think may be useful to the end user.

Ideas for the content contained in Jump Start comes from a variety of sources – covering the basics is obviously first and foremost, but we also receive suggestions from our customers, some has come from functionality (apps) we have reviewed for our projects, and sometimes we just like sharing things we simply find to be cool.

   Screenshot from Jumpstart Your Force

How do you intend to keep up with Salesforce updates?

We view JumpStart as an evolutionary resource that will continue to grow and add value to its users. Our approach is user driven and evolves in large part with input from our user base. If one of our customers is asking for help with a particular issue, functionality, third-party app, etc. and we think it would be of value to the broader market, we will add it to the content base.

Content will be reviewed against release notes as they occur, with updates being made accordingly.

There tends to be a high turnover with this group and resources such as the JumpStart user’s guide can help reduce the on-boarding / training time for these users."

How are the organizations taking it so far?

Several of our non-profit relationships have been using the JumpStart manual as they have been going through the implementation process. The feedback has thus far been very encouraging. It is also proving to be of benefit as some of these organizations utilize a network of volunteers to manage their ongoing administrative tasks. There tends to be a high turnover with this group and resources such as the JumpStart user’s guide can help reduce the on-boarding / training time for these users.

It’s all ideal, how Salesforce helps save not only businesses but also answers the needs of the world. If you are in Non-profit or Higher Ed sector looking to take full advantage of Salesforce, there is a long jump ahead; but it can get easier if you find some place to make a good start with the JumpStart Guide.

Get a 'JumpStart' on NPSP

“JumpStart” is a user’s manual designed to help you get up and running with the Salesforce Non-Profit Success Pack as quickly and with as little fuss as possible. This guide is ultimately for the individual(s) who run, maintain, or use your Salesforce system on a daily basis. With over 100 “how to” sections, this guide will show you how to handle getting your system set-up, how to upload and maintain your data, log donations, create reports and dashboards, manage volunteers and events, and much more.


The subscription entitles you to unfettered access for 12-months including all updates, additional content, App reviews and “how tos”.

Disclosure: We may receive commissions when you click links on this post and make purchases. However, this does not impact our opinions, reviews and comparisons. We try our best to keep things fair and balanced, always in the interest of giving value to our audience.

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