Administrator Blog

You don’t have to be a Coder to be a NPSP Contributor

AwesomeAdminOn October 22nd and 23rd, almost 60 passionate folks gathered in Seattle (and a handful more, remotely) for the latest Nonprofit Starter Pack Community Sprint. We came together to spend two full days focused on making the Nonprofit Starter Pack even more awesome — and nothing else.

A few weeks before the event, a friend from the nonprofit Salesforce community emailed me asking if I thought she should attend the Sprint. “I don’t code,” she wrote. “Will there be anything for me to do?”


While many sprints and hackathons are focused on cranking out code and new features, the NPSP Sprints are different. We don’t do Developer Sprints; we do Community Sprints. We self-organized into five tracks, and four of them had nothing to do with code.

I asked a couple of the #AwesomeAdmins who attended to tell us a bit about their first Community Sprint experience. Here’s what they had to say…

Beth Howard, World Bicycle Relief

Beth HowardThe Fall 2015 NPSP Community Sprint was my first sprint ever, and I was nervous about attending. Brad’s post in the Power of Us Hub said “admins welcome”, but I’d always figured sprints were for coders . . . so although I signed up, to be honest, I almost didn’t go. I’m really glad I did, I can hardly wait for the next one, and I would encourage other admins and power users to join as well.

As it turns out, I had a lot to contribute just from actively using, tweaking and improving my instance every day. I know from first-hand experience what’s working great, what my users find confusing, and what new features or improvements we need – and this is exactly what the coders need to know to make the product better. I also recently upgraded my org to NPSP 3.0 with Household Accounts, so I had some insight on how to make the process seem less scary and confusing. (Shameless plug: better documentation and a handy reports package coming soon! It’s not as scary or confusing as it looks! Upgrade!)

A few highlights for me: I’m “stalking” quite a few amazing people in the Power of Us Hub, and I got to meet some of them in person. I spent part of the afternoon working with a coder and a consultant on making QA (quality assurance) reports for people who are upgrading to NPSP 3.0, and in the process, they taught me some cool new tricks with Workbench. And I had a chance to chat with a couple of knowledgeable people about making the NPSP a global product, with better support for multiple languages and multi-currency orgs.

This is a friendly community – everyone is ready to listen to your ideas, teach you something new, and learn something from you. So, if you’re an admin or power user on the fence about attending the next sprint, hop over and join us!

Jennifer Alden, The Nature Conservancy

NPSP Community Sprints are for everyone! I attended my first NPSP sprint and had no idea what to expect and what was expected of me. I have experience with the NPSP, but it’s not an application I regularly use or support, so I questioned the value I could provide to the Sprint. I kind of felt like the outlier NPSP user since my org does not use it for fundraising as most other NGOs do, but I had an interest in learning more about NPSP and specifically, how to upgrade from 2.0 to 3.0.  

I chose to be in the NPSP upgrade and documentation group which was perfect since I was planning perform an upgrade at my org in the near term. I learned a ton from my group and I found ways to contribute by going through the NPSP upgrade process and documenting it along the way. It was a learning opportunity as well as getting some of my own work done. I am now ready to deploy the NPSP 3.0!

As an SFDC admin with a really small team, it was so valuable to meet and connect with the broader SFDC community doing similar work. Meeting everyone was my favorite part and now I won’t hesitate reach out to the community to ask questions. Whether you are a new admin, developer, coder, consultant, or end user, I would encourage you to not miss this event in the future. It is an amazing group of people dedicated to collaboration and getting work done!

The event exceeded my expectations!

I am so grateful for all the diverse skills everyone brought to the table at the Sprint. These are just two of the many smart, dedicated, passionate folks who dove in to use their superpowers — writing, engagement, planning, research, code, or anything else — to benefit the entire NPSP community.

See you at the next Community Sprint!

Note: This post first appeared as a guest post on the Salesforce Foundation blog.