Questions for Nonprofits to Consider When Creating Salesforce Fields

Questions for Nonprofits to Consider When Creating Salesforce Fields

Questions for Nonprofits to Consider When Creating Salesforce Fields

Many nonprofit organizations utilize Salesforce for their database management. As organizations look to continually refine and adjust how they manage their data capture, you may need to review how you’ve structured fields.

There are four questions we ask ourselves when we’re reviewing the fields in your database. These may help you think about how you can most effectively structure your database. While the terms are Salesforce specific, the concepts are good for all databases.

How often am I using this information now?

When reviewing how you structure your data fields in Salesforce, you have to balance how you’ve used Salesforce in the past and how you should use Salesforce in the future.

Evaluating your prior use – even if you’re working to change it – is helpful when trying to plan. Past performance and usage is often the best indicator of future use. If you’ve only captured data in a particular field for 12 people in your database of 6000+ contacts, it may be better to use a checkbox or text multi-select picklist.

Will I need to pull reports on this information for grants?

Even with the best planning, the grant-writing process can chaotic. Evaluating if a field may be useful for grant outcomes can help you determine how you want to structure the text and field type.

If you need pull reports quickly and assess information, a structured field type may be best. If you use a picklist, you may have an “other” option. Do you need to capture more information about the constituents that fall under the “other” group? Would adding a text field be beneficial for providing more context for grant writing?

How many users will be using this field?

The number of users in Salesforce or any database can have a direct effect on the quality of your data. The more users you have, the simpler you’ll need to make things. If many people will be using a field, you may consider developing a definition of terms for your users. While “How they learned about our organization” may be a simple field to you, your users may be confused on what this means.

How clean do I want Salesforce to be?

We don’t recommend making your database decisions based on aesthetics, but this is a factor for some users. Some individuals thrive with a messy desk and others can only focus in a structured and clean work environment. Your database is similar. We’ve all worked with folks who are overwhelmed with data capture and review. A complicated and lengthy contact page in Salesforce may cause you to lose your users that are easily overwhelmed. While we believe that the best data capture should always win over aesthetics, Salesforce and database layout is a factor to consider when making your decisions.

These question should help you review how you’re using your Salesforce fields. And these links should help you catch up on nonprofit news from the week.

  1. Thiago Guimaraes of Business Insider compiles demographic data for the major social media networks.
  2. The Red Cross has picked up quite a bit of bad press this week. Laura Sullivan of NPR details the issues.
  3. John Hayden previews some of the features of the new Google Inbox app and discusses how it may impact email marketing.
  4. It’s a John Hayden double dip! Hayden highlights CharityWater’s approach to donations on this post on Razoo.
  5. For your long read of the week, the Stuart Foundation published a research brief that looks at the impact the local control funding formula has has on school districts.

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