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How to prepare for an NGOC to NPSP migration

March 25, 2021By

So you’re an NGO Connect (NGOC) customer and you’ve just heard the news: Salesforce will sunset this popular enterprise nonprofit constituent relationship management (CRM) product on January 31, 2023. Time to panic, right? Nah. You’ve got this.

You’re already a Salesforce user, you’re familiar with the platform—maybe even Lightning, if you are on a more recent NGOC release—and all its strengths. Your community is about to get a heck of a lot bigger: while you’ve been part of a small but mighty group of NGOC customers, the NPSP community is nearly 50,000 nonprofits and counting. Think of the peer industry support! The opportunity to connect with AppExchange apps that benefit from the flexibility and lighter footprint in NPSP really opens your world to allow for greater scalability.

This is not a moment to panic, we promise.

What you will need to do, however, is a bit of planning and thoughtfulness around preparing for your NGOC to NPSP Migration:

  • What to bring over into your new Salesforce org
  • What you can leave behind
  • What room is there for data or process transformation

We’re hoping you’re starting to see this as an opportunity to learn from the past and bring that forward. Let’s get started!

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Getting ready to move

We like the analogy that migrating to a new CRM is like moving to a new city: first you need to figure out where to move, then you pick your neighbourhood, find a house (that you can afford), and decide what you’re going to pack and what you might want to find in your new hometown.

When we consider a move from NGOC to NPSP, we not only know what city we’re moving to (Salesforce-ville), we’re essentially moving within the same neighborhood or even housing complex (depending on how fancy you are). Your NGOC house came pre-furnished with a lot already set up: custom settings and visualforce pages and lots of apex classes lined up on every floor and in a bunch of the rooms. You may have had to squeeze in some of your furniture around these items that weren’t a good fit or reused a sectional sofa as a dining table.

In your new NPSP home, you'll have all the essentials.

In your new NPSP home, you'll have all the essentials—solid foundation, painted walls, heat, water, power, cooking gas, a new refrigerator, dishwasher and microwave. Maybe you have a few end tables and a bookshelf. But the rest is up to you. So how do you decide what to take and what to make new? Or even what you need at all? Read on!

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NGOC to NPSP: product showdown

Make a list and check it twice

We like lists (because lists are data, and we sure are data nerds in the Salesforce ecosystem, aren’t we?), so why not start with one or two. Create a core team of stakeholders who will spearhead this work (and to start, list creation). They should be folks who have time to devote to the project and represent different business areas. As NGOC was acquired by Salesforce, their Enterprise Account Services team will work with your stakeholders to prepare you for the move and give you a roadmap for how to move forward.

In the meantime, your stakeholder group can brainstorm your transition goals. Think about:

  • What currently works well?
  • What are some user challenges and pain points?
  • Are there things you’ve been dreaming of that may not be possible now?

Now try listing out all your user groups/roles who leverage NGOC today:

  • What core activities does each team do?
  • How do they interact with each other?

Now comes the fun part:

  • What opportunities do you have for enhancing that experience for them and transforming how they interact with it to ensure it is a useful extension to their job not a convoluted task?
  • What business processes are challenging or inefficient today—either related to your current product stack or institution procedures that you’ve never had the chance to reset or challenge?
  • At what points in the journey do those processes breakdown?

You don’t have to figure out how to change them yet, just start thinking about what you’d like to improve in this move, and it’s important to note that these changes may just not be system related, but could be organization related. After all, why bring a couch full of broken springs and a three-legged table if you have the chance (and budget) to build something that is a better fit for the users who will ultimately make a home in your new spot?

Data, data, data

The foundation of your new life: a rich dataset gives you access to all you have learned and acquired in your work to-date. I’m sure you remember from your move to NGOC, it’s natural to think “let’s just throw everything in boxes and bring it all!” But you already know, there ends up being a lot of unopened boxes in the basement and attic with that strategy.

This is an opportunity to ask if you really need that vintage harpsichord for your living room?

Your stakeholders should think of your data in three piles: keep, archive, leave behind:

  • Keep: What live data do you need access to in your day-to-day system? Current major donors? Gifts made in the past five years? What are you using to track the work you’re doing now.
  • Archive: This doesn’t mean throwing your data in a storage unit and never seeing it again—like in NGOC, we can use external objects to show archived data in the live system or reporting tools to query on it for things like list segmentation and long term year-over-year reporting. Lightening up your data load will improve system performance, so why not think about what you’re really using daily and what you’re reporting on.
  • Leave: Last, what objects or even attributes do you never use? There’s got to be some trinkets hanging around on the back of your bookshelf that you haven’t looked at in 10 years. Old campaign codes? Legacy contact fields from two systems ago? Some child objects on email history that never get updated?

Your key stakeholders should think about what data they are using today (there are even AppExchange products like Field Trip that can give you metrics!) and how, so we can start off fresh and lean.

Get started: NGOC to NPSP migration

We hope this has helped you start thinking about your NGOC to NPSP migration, even made it feel a little less daunting and instead more exciting!

In our next blog post, we compare NGOC to NPSP features to start to plan for how your functionality may translate or need to be transformed. Check it out here.

Need help?

Looking to get started with your NGOC to NPSP migration? Chat to a member of our dedicated nonprofit team.

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