If your nonprofit currently uses Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP), you might feel uncertain about the future of this tool. In the spring of 2023, Salesforce announced it would switch focus to supporting Nonprofit Cloud, a nonprofit-focused Industry Cloud solution, as their primary platform for nonprofits.
This announcement is exciting news, as Nonprofit Cloud is a core product that offers nonprofits access to exciting features, from AI data analytics to easy-to-use online experience builders. Additionally, Nonprofit Cloud and its data model will receive investments and innovation from Salesforce over the coming years.
Currently, Salesforce has no plans to stop supporting NPSP, but it could still be in your nonprofit’s best interest to shift over to Nonprofit Cloud. In this guide, we’ll provide an overview of this change and what it means for nonprofits using NPSP:
- What is the difference between NPSP and Nonprofit Cloud?
- Why release Nonprofit Cloud?
- What do these changes mean for your nonprofit?
Understanding the differences between NPSP and Nonprofit Cloud enables nonprofits to make an informed decision about which tool they should use. To get started, we’ll break down these differences.
What is the difference between NPSP and Nonprofit Cloud?
Salesforce NPSP and Nonprofit Cloud are solutions designed by Salesforce for nonprofits that provide nonprofits with various management tools for charitable organizations. Both rely on Salesforce’s core CRM platform to function, but each solution’s level of interoperability, features, and cost differ.
Here are the key differences in more detail:
NPSP is a set of managed packages developed by Salesforce. This package’s main objective is to provide nonprofits with the tools to manage essential operational processes like case and project management, fundraising, and donor management.
Here are some NPSP basics:
- Interoperability: NPSP is an app built atop Salesforce Enterprise Edition. Through NPSP, your nonprofit can use other Salesforce-native apps and integrate third-party solutions as needed.
- Features: NPSP provides nonprofits with a set of managed packages such as Recurring Donations, Relationships, Affiliations, Contacts & Organizations, and Households. NPSP features are designed to help your nonprofit manage contacts and households, donation payments, grants, relationships between contacts, and more.
- Cost: Nonprofit organizations receive their first ten subscriptions to NPSP for free.
NPSP offers an industry-standard data model that organizations can use to manage anything from donor relationships to recurring donations to fundraising events. Keep in mind that for larger organizations, various projects or specific needs may require investing in other Salesforce apps or third-party tools.
Nonprofit Cloud is now part of the Industries vertical and is a core product rooted in cloud-based Salesforce solutions like Service Cloud and Sales Cloud. Core products are foundational to the Salesforce platform, while managed packages tend to be extensions of these core products that are adapted for specific industries.
Other details about Nonprofit Cloud include:
- Interoperability: With Nonprofit Cloud, your nonprofit can access the Industry Cloud Common Components (tools available for use in multiple Industry Clouds), other Salesforce products, apps listed in the AppExchange, and more. Additionally, you can build custom integrations with the help of a Salesforce partner.
- Features: The Nonprofit Cloud data model includes solutions that aid constituent management, program management, case management, and more. Salesforce is also building other tools and features to assist in grantmaking.
- Cost: To use Nonprofit Cloud, organizations need to pay licensing fees. These fees range from $60 to $100 per month as of 2023.
Overall, Nonprofit Cloud is a more robust, flexible tool than NPSP. Essentially, nonprofits using Nonprofit Cloud will be able to more easily scale their software and customize it as their needs change.
Why release Nonprofit Cloud?
Because thousands of nonprofits use and find success through NPSP, many wonder why Salesforce released Nonprofit Cloud. Here are a few reasons Salesforce may have come to this decision:
- It makes nonprofit work easier. Nonprofit Cloud makes it easier to keep your data tidy and complete the tasks you need to further your mission. Since this solution is an Industry Cloud product and uses the Industry Data Model, it will continue to be improved by Salesforce.
- It’s easier to connect with donors. Features like the Actionable Relationship Center (ARC) and OmniStudio allow you to accurately track critical moments in donor relationships and craft positive online experiences.
- It is suited to large and/or growing organizations. As a core product that easily integrates with other Industry Cloud solutions, Nonprofit Cloud has a more stable infrastructure suited to large organizations with complex needs.
These large-scale improvements benefit different organizations depending on how they leverage the tool. Remember that working with a consultant can help you implement and adapt to the changes associated with switching to Nonprofit Cloud.
What do these changes mean for your nonprofit?
It can be difficult to conceptualize what switching to Nonprofit Cloud means within the context of your organization. Here are some of the benefits you can expect and examples of how those changes could impact your nonprofit:
- Improved scalability. Nonprofit Cloud can accommodate your organization’s growth in multiple areas. Leverage improved connections with other Salesforce Clouds to customize your software. For example, you might use Marketing Cloud to launch an in-depth donor communication strategy or leverage an industry-specific cloud with compliance reporting tools for your field.
- Access to new features. Through Nonprofit Cloud, you’ll have access to more than 40 Common Components, such as OmniStudio (for NPSP users, this is similar to Flow or Apex). According to Fíonta’s guide to Nonprofit Cloud, OmniStudio is a digital engagement suite with drag-and-drop capabilities that make creating prebuilt guided experiences quick and straightforward. You might use this feature to create a seamless, user-friendly volunteer onboarding experience or a donor portal where supporters can track their past involvement.
- Improved fundraising and community building. While yet to be offered, Salesforce is set to roll out robust fundraising tools for Nonprofit Cloud. These features will help you align with the best practices in NXUnite’s guide to donor relations like researching prospects, communicating during important events, and inviting donors to opportunities and events that align with their interests. For instance, life events and milestone tracking features allow you to record these crucial occurrences to visualize the donor’s journey with your nonprofit.
Remember that one of the most essential benefits of Nonprofit Cloud is its ability to adapt alongside your organization. If you find your organization outgrowing NPSP, attempting to navigate complicated integrations, or strongly considering a shift to Nonprofit Cloud, reach out to a Salesforce partner to review your options and next steps.
The decision to continue using NPSP or switch to Nonprofit Cloud lies with your organization, and it depends on your nonprofit’s unique needs, existing resources, and goals. Your tool should have the technology needed to manage operations in a scalable, sustainable way.