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Salesforce Nonprofit Cloud Consultant Certification

Salesforce’s New Nonprofit Cloud

A bit over a year ago, Salesforce.org (Salesforce’s philanthropy part) introduced the Salesforce Nonprofit Cloud. (Insiders may call it the Salesforce Nonprofit Pack, or NPSP for short). With Salesforce’s ever-so-strong desire to empower Nonprofits — so they can make an even greater impact — the new nonprofit cloud helps them to manage all aspects of their nonprofit organisation in real time. Plus, it offers them 360-degree views of to their volunteer management, success of their charity programs, fundraising efforts and constituent engagement. Better insights, better charity program results.

Soon after (Dreamforce ‘18), Salesforce announced its nonprofit certification program. Salesforce insists on its implementation consultants and nonprofit Salesforce Admins to build a solid understanding of the new Nonprofit Cloud. So nonprofits can make the most of their Salesforce cloud.

Then, Salesforce followed up with a non profit Trailhead program. This helps to prepare for the certification. Salesforce likes certified consultants to have both hands-on experience; plus have 2-5 years of experiences as a business analysts; and have experience in rolling out a new cloud platform.

Nonprofit at Heart

I have been a STEM Ambassador for years, volunteering at Coderdojo (Raspberry Pi Foundation) and beyond. And at CloudAnalysts, we started from day one with a 1+% Pledge. We focus on giving our time, for good.

So, when this Cloud came out, it peaked our interest. With 4 Salesforce certs already under my belt, plus those 5 years worth of both nonprofit and Salesforce consulting experience, I decided this one is for me. I kickstarted the process for CloudAnalysts to become nonprofit proficient!

What that entails is the topic of today’s article. Here’s my take on it all:

I think for any Salesforce consultant wanting to get into nonprofit CRM implementation, besides this being a professional service, it’s best if you operate from the heart. This is an opportunity to make the world a better place.

Imagine: .. what if you were to multiply the effects of your favourite charity

Help in Getting Nonprofit Certified

Preparation materials touch upon several of my other certifications such as Salesforce Admin, Pardot and Marketing Cloud, but also relates to my experience in Salesforce Service Cloud implementation.

Nonprofit Cloud Consultant Certification Prep Materials

All Salesforce cloud certifications come with a study guide, like the nonprofit study guide.

But, out of all the certifications that I have to date, this was the broadest, most elaborately resourced out of all of them. This Trailhead trail alone is a whopping 80 solid hours of technical and hands-on Salesforce nonprofit cloud training!

Beyond this, there is the Power of Us – hub, a whole separate Salesforce ‘world’ with an incredible amount of information, resources. All written as user-friendly as possible. Even the technically challenging components are described in lay(wo)man’s terms. You’ll love it. The hub gives you also a whole new community with new nonprofit connections and SFNP success pack experts, so it will be worth poking around and reviewing questions and answers of others.

You can get a 30 day trial nonprofit org, you can get yourself access to the hub and a non-profit environment to get hands-on with the tools.

Exam Breakdown

As you can learn from the study guide, the exam is broken down into 6 areas, as follows

  • 20% NPSP Settings and Administration
  • 11% Nonprofit Cloud Data Management
  • 6%   Nonprofit Cloud Analytics
  • 18% Domain Expertise
  • 24% Nonprofit Cloud Solution Design
  • 21% Nonprofit implementation Strategies and Best Practices.

I don’t want to repeat what is shared there. Let me just share my findings instead. Plowing through the study materials, you’ll realise a few things:

  • Prior to the announcement of the official nonprofit cloud, Nonprofits could use a Salesforce AppExchange pack that held a number of customisations for nonprofits. Now, built out as a fully fledged cloud, it is still a pack that sits on top of our regular Salesforce org, but now with rather extensive additional pre-configuration. It’s serious!
  • It will really help if you have actual Salesforce administration and configuration experience, besides holding an Admin 201 cert. But, a regular, experienced Admin 201 would fail without the nonprofit-specific prep.
  • There are many modifications that are different than standard Salesforce: household accounts, multiple addresses, relationships, program management, volunteer scheduling – just to name a few.
  • Getting certified is one (great) way to become knowledgeable on what’s important to nonprofits, the processes in those organisations and the enormous amount of work that charity leaders and volunteers undertake.
  • And, yes, I do encourage you to start volunteering at a local nonprofit too. It will enrich your community, your personal life, and your ability to service as a non profit consultant.

One last plug for getting Salesforce nonprofit cloud certified: key benefit of holding a Salesforce certification is that you get notified of new releases and stay up to date on the latest and greatest in the world of the Salesforce Nonprofit Cloud. Keeps you in tiptop shape serving the nonprofit community.