Spring ’12 Release – what’s exciting for nonprofits?


Happy New Year!

Salesforce recently dropped the release notes for Spring ’12 and there are several features in there that should be useful for nonprofits. Here are some of my favorites.

  • Analytics Edition – this is a paid add-on (not sure about the pricing at this point), but something that every nonprofit needs to seriously consider purchasing.  Joined Reports, Bucket Reporting, and Cross-Filtering (i.e. – Contacts WITHOUT Donations) each provide great value to nonprofits when reporting on their data.
  • Chatter Now – Instant Messaging right inside Salesforce!
  • Chatter Customer Groups – This is a big one.  It’s already available, but is going to be turned on by default with Spring ’12, so start thinking about how you’ll want to use it.  This is great for creating private Chatter groups for volunteers, board members, etc.
  • Social Accounts and Contacts – Keep up to date with your constituents.  Let’s you see their Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Klout, and LinkedIn (for an additional fee) profiles right on the Contact page.  Even if you aren’t big on social media, this let’s you add a picture to your Contacts which is great for the development team.
  • Cross-object Workflow on standard objects – Finally.
  • Workflow Field Updates can fire another Workflow rule – This is pretty cool, allows you to “cascade” workflow field updates.
  • Cloud Flow designer GA – Killer new tool for nonprofits. Dead simple drag-and-drop creation of “wizards”.  For all the orgs out there that have wanted a custom Donation entry wizard but didn’t have the resources to build one, this is your chance! Also great for creating online forms (volunteer signup, RSVP for an event, human services applications, etc.) since you can add a flow to a public Sites page with literally one line of code.
  • Up to 3 filters on Filtered Dashboards – This is a HUGE improvement that allows orgs to consume and analyze relevant data in an elegant way (and will make creating dashboards much easier, not to mention that you’ll need fewer of them). Dashboards are underutilized in general, and even more so by nonprofits.  I would strongly encourage admins out there to invest time in building at least one filtered dashboard for your organization.

There is a bunch of great stuff in this release for developers too, but I just wanted to call out some things that will be useful for nonprofits that don’t have developer resources.  Let me know your favorites!

Take care,
Nick

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