Think about all of the places information about constituents can live and THEN think about the task of consolidating all of that data to make it useful – it can be overwhelming! But it can be done, and it can be done quicker and for less money than you might think. All that’s required is an understanding of the current sources of your data and where you ultimately need that data to go, a process called data mapping.
So, anything a software vendor can do to make it easier to find where the data lives on their application only decreases the time, budget and effort put towards consolidating your data in one place. Luckily, that’s what Salesforce is doing for us with the new Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP)!
Because Salesforce functionality covers common needs like Constituent Management and Householding, Donor Management and Volunteer Management, the data on constituents’ details, donor history, and volunteer activity is standardized on a single architecture. This makes it much easier to map data into Salesforce from other applications like Raiser’s Edge or even homegrown applications because half of the work – finding the destination for data – is already done.
Traditionally, part of the data-mapping process requires understanding where all of the data needs to be integrated into and – more challenging yet – understanding the relationships between all of the data objects. For example, is a Donor and a Volunteer the same object or two separate objects in your application? How are multiple people from the same company grouped so they can be recognized as working together? How would the application store a husband and a wife where one made a donation and the other volunteered?
Salesforce NPSP already defines all of these objects and the relationships between them, it allows for complex contact management and you are able to track one person as having multiple roles in relation to your organization. This means you can start to see the relationships they have to other contacts and companies. NPSP was also designed to make technical access to the database simple by providing standard tables and views, so that all organizations can benefit from the common architecture instead of each going through the painstaking process of laying out the architecture from scratch.
Combine Salesforce NPSP with Jitterbit and integration becomes even easier. When you think of building integrations, you may think of developers burning the midnight oil (and your budget). But Jitterbit offers a smarter approach to integration, giving you a graphical interface to build your integrations through clicks, not code. Your Salesforce Admin can easily bring data into Salesforce, allowing your users to work with just one application to complete the jobs they need to do and significantly reducing the time, budget and effort each task requires!