What a nonprofit Salesforce administrator needs to know — the basics

Congratulations! You are a new Salesforce Administrator at a nonprofit organization. As the Salesforce administrator, you are responsible for driving user adoption, providing training, and ensuring data integrity. You will also need to be a reliable go-to person for reports and help. This is a critical role in the organization that requires training and organizational support.

Whether you are a new Salesforce Administrator in an organization that is just launching Salesforce or you’re taking on the role in an organization that has an established Salesforce system, there are some key areas that you need to understand right away:

  • Data Model:  What is your data model and how are you using it?  Are you on the Nonprofit Starter Pack? v2 or v3?  Are you on the “individual” (or “bucket”) account model, the household account model, or the one-to-one account model?  What custom objects do you have?

    Salesforce Foundation NonProfit Starter Pack webinars, videos, documentation is a great place to start to learn more about the NonProfit Starter Pack.

  • Security Model: What is your security model? Who has access to what? How do you grant access?

    “Who Sees What – Overview” is the first of seven videos that explain the Salesforce security model. I recommend watching all seven to get the full understanding of security in Salesforce.

Other common tasks that a Salesforce Administrator needs to know how to do are:

  • Creating a new field

  • Changing a page layout

  • Editing picklists

  • Adding or inactivating a user

In addition to the technical skills and understanding, there are soft skills that are important to be successful (The Connected Cause).  Because the role of the administrator is a customer service role, key traits to be successful are resourcefulness, flexibility and strong communication and training skills.

There are a lot of resources available for Salesforce administrators to learn what they need to do and to gain the skills required.  Here is the short list of my favorites:

This is the list of what an Administrator needs to know by launch or as soon as possible when starting a new position.  What would you add to the list?

Are you looking to take your administrator skills to the next level? Contact us to learn more about our nonprofit Salesforce administrator coaching services.