Just over a year ago, version 3 of the Nonprofit Starter Pack was launched. It was a pivotal release for several reasons. This release added a more flexible architecture and a new preferred account model, called the Household account model. It also added new features such as seasonal addresses and streamlined settings. The v3 release also represented the effort of a much expanded Foundation team and even more community involvement. Prior to v3, the Nonprofit Starter Pack was the result of the effort of one Foundation employee along with help from the community at periodic developer sprints. The v3 release was the result of the Salesforce Foundation committing six staff to the project.
What’s been done
Here are a few highlights of what’s been accomplished over the past year:
Core documentation. Nonprofit Starter Pack documentation went from barebones to comprehensive thanks to the work of Jon Michael Varese from the Foundation and many community volunteers. The first nonprofit specific Salesforce workbook was also released.
- Nonprofit-focused Trailhead trails. Trailhead is a great interactive tool to help administrators learn Salesforce. It’s now even better with nonprofit specific trails.
v2 to v3 upgrade documentation. Trish Perkins, Caroline Renard, Ashima Saigal, and others provided amazing upgrade documentation and webinars to help educate the community on the process to upgrade from older account models to the Household Account model.
Features galore. Many new features have been added since the initial v3 release, including custom household naming, custom opportunity naming, handling deceased donors, grant management, email acknowledgement tracking, donation allocations, and a guide and tool for importing donor data.
Developer Sprint. In January, Ryan Ozimek led a Nonprofit Starter Pack developer sprint in Washington, DC with a remote site here in Seattle. This one day event combined documentation with coding and key discussions on governance.
How did we get here?
Last summer’s v3 release energized the community. At Dreamforce ‘14 a group of about two dozen community members met with the Foundation to express their enthusiasm for continuing to contribute to making the Nonprofit Starter Pack even better. During the meeting there were discussions about governance and formalizing the open source process for the Starter Pack. Following this meeting came the first proposal from the Foundation to establish an open source advisory board. The goal of the advisory board is to involve key constituencies in guiding where the Nonprofit Starter Pack is headed.
Where is it going?
Earlier this year, the Foundation hired Judi Sohn as its first open source community manager. Judi has been spearheading the creation of the advisory board along with expert open source advisor Ryan Ozimek of Soapbox Engage.
This advisory board is designed to be the voice of the community. As such, there are representatives from both nonprofit customers and Foundation partners. On August 3rd, 2015, the inaugural Nonprofit Starter Pack Advisory Board was announced. The formation of this advisory board is a huge milestone in the ongoing governance of the Nonprofit Starter Pack.
Why are we so excited about all of this progress?
The Nonprofit Starter Pack is at the core of most of the thousands of awesome, world-changing nonprofit organizations running on the Salesforce platform. The v3 release was a gigantic step forward. We are excited to witness and participate in its continued evolution, helping to provide nonprofits with even better tools to achieve their missions.
We can’t wait to see what the next year brings to the Nonprofit Starter Pack!
Note: this post was updated to reflect the inaugural advisory board and the new nonprofit Trailhead trail.