Salesforce.com is viewed mainly as a business to business tool for sales people to follow-up with customers, create new leads, track forecasted revenue and their report on deals won and lost. However, Salesforce.com can be a powerful tool for assist non-profits in tracking members, taking online payments without an IT staff and provide invoices for member dues, sponsorship and donations that are received.
First let’s take a look at the need for a non-profit to track members. It is important for a non-profits who have members to understand when a member joined, what their dues are if any, and when did they pay last. Salesforce.com is deal to organize and structure all of this information for the entire organization to view and search on a real time basis. One of our clients did just that. Salesforce.com Accounts were set up as members, new member and renewal members dues were set up as Opportunities. Since an Opportunity records focuses on tracking dollar amounts, the member dues and renewal dues are tracked as opportunities. Workflows behind the scenes allows for updates back to the Account when member dues are paid.
Non-profits also have a strong need to track sponsorship money and donations that are made to the organization. Again Salesforce.com opportunities are a great way to track these dollars as well. The same client that used Opportunities for member dues also uses Opportunities for sponsor money, donations and any special fees such as a table purchase at an event. What is great about using Opportunities for these items is all of the payments can be tracked and rolled up to the member account to provide a quick reference of the members total annual giving. In the past this contribution and payment detail would reside only in the accounting system and not available for the organization to see. By using the simple user interface that Saleforce.com provides, everyone can see what members have contributed or donated to each program without bothering accounting for a report by member as it is needed.
Now, I bet you want to know how payments are made for all the different opportunities. Members or sponsors can mail in checks of course, but in today’s world you must offer the ability to pay online and make it easy and convenient for the customer or member. Non-profits don’t normally have a huge IT staff to support website development and take on the responsibly and compliance requirements for handling credit card information. Well there’s an app for that. The Salesforce AppExchange is a resource for any Salesforce.com customers that provides add on’s to the enhance the standard Salesforce.com functionality. Linvio PaymentConnect is a wonderful add on application that handles all the payment and invoicing processing and leaves the non-profit to do what they do best.