Q. Does your organization qualify for donation licenses from Salesforce?
A. PALTA is a 501(c)3 organization and based on the criteria provided on the Salesforce website (http://www.salesforce.org/nonprofit/power-of-us/eligibility-guidelines/), it appears PALTA would be eligible for the donation license.
Q. Has PALTA identified or agreed to salesforce NPSP package as of yet? There are two NPSP packaged available. One if for the Lightning Enterprise edition plus NPSP for $36/mo and the other includes more support services and unlimited online training at $72/mo per user.
A. We have not yet purchased a salesforce package. We are looking to the consultant to guide us in this process.
Q. Does PALTA want to phase out FileMaker and have Salesforce NPSP. Is the assumption correct? We also presume that salesforce need to integrate with ‘Constant Contact’, ‘PayPal’, ‘Gravity Forms’ and ‘Google Groups’. Is this correct?
A. Yes. We would no longer use Filemaker. The CRM would manage all of our data. We collect data through Gravity Forms and would like that data pushed automatically to our new CRM. We are open to other web form solutions as long as they have the same user-ease and functionally as Gravity Forms. Google Groups and PayPal data are less of a priority but we’d be interested in understanding any options that allow us to collect this data more easily into the CRM.
Q. Is Event functionality (Event Planning, Registrations, Attendance, and so on) being managed in Gravity Forms? Does PALTA plan to continue to use that even in future or do we need to set that up in salesforce?
A. Currently, event registrations are captured through Gravity Forms, exported into Excel for reporting purposes and than imported into Filemaker (after the event) for permanent data collection. The goal is to have data pushed automatically to the CRM and produce reports templates to monitor attendance and other aspects of the event.
Q. Which system will be master of contact /organization information.
A. The new CRM would be the master database.
Q. Is the assumption correct of having 5 users of the new CRM system for training purposes?
A. We have five staff members. Two staff members predominantly utilize the database but it would be helpful for all staff to have access. It is unlikely that all staff would require high level training.
Q. There are a lot of things on your list. If you had to prioritize them in two or three phases, can you tell me which things are most important to get done first and which may be less important?
A. [EDITED TO ADD CLARIFICATION] Compared to many RFPs we have reviewed, our requests do not seem to be overly complicated or sophisticated. Most of the reporting we want seems to be fairly standard. We want an intuitive system that offers easy reporting and can efficiently retrieve/organize data from 3rd party systems. In regards specifically to 3rd party systems, PALTA would prioritize integration of event registration information (currently acquired through Gravity Forms/Wordpress) and Constant Contact (or a comparable email system that the consultant would recommend).
Q. How many members are there in each Google group?
A. Currently, one group has about 100 members and the other about 150.
Q. Can you tell me how you’re currently tracking the legislative outreach portion of your advocacy function? What tools are you using to find out the member’s interactions with legislative offices and is that data currently stored in Filemaker?
A. [EDITED TO ADD CLARIFICATION] We built a database in Filemaker that tracks PALTA and member organization interactions with legislators. This data is not connected to our general database. We would like to be able to track these interactions in the new system so that when we view an individual profile, we know if they have a strong relationship with their legislator(s) and what interactions they have had in the past. Data entered into the system regarding legislative interactions is PALTA staff feedback or information conveyed to PALTA staff by individuals through email or phone calls.
Q. Do you have any recurring donors set up in PayPal and if so how many?
A. None at this time.
Q. Salesforce doesn’t have an auto-save function without writing custom code. Is this a deal breaker for you?
A. We would likely explore the custom code option, as long as it is not cost prohibitive.
Q: We do dozens of Assessments and Software Selections each year, so many of our questions would generally be answered in that process; since you have already completed an assessments and software selection process many of the questions below many be answered by providing us with the results and details of that project. Can you provide any documentation regarding your assessment and selection
A: We conducted internal research, discussions, product trials, etc. We do not have a written assessment. We understand that no product is perfect and that every product has potential limitations. We felt Sales Force was robust enough to comply with our needs but we are open to other recommendations. We do not wish to expend significant resources on any further assessment at this time.
Q. Based on our experience working with similar organizations, we are comfortable moving ahead with Salesforce and the NPSP as well. We work with other CRM platforms as well. Can you tell us which other platforms you considered and why Salesforce was chosen?
A. We looked at CiviCRM but believe the costs to implement would outweigh its benefits. We also looked at Total Community Manager, Donor Pro, NEONcrm, and WildApricot. None of these seemed to offer any exceptional value over Sales Force, while some had significant limitations. What we liked about Sales Force is that it has an immense community of developers and experts, as well as plugs-ins and off-the-shelf applications that could eliminate some of the customization needed in other platforms.
Q. Do either of the PALTA project managers have experience with Salesforce? If no, do they have experience with any other online CRM or AMS platforms?
A. No one on staff has worked directly with Salesforce other than the trial version. Staff has experience with various other platforms.
Q. Have either of the PALTA project managers led a CRM (or similar) implementation project with data migration?
A. Yes. Both were involved in some level of database implementation or migration.
Q. Although PALTA has provided a thorough RFP, it is difficult for any consulting firm to provide a fixed cost for implementation based one document. We generally will provide a fixed price for Discovery and a price range for implementation. Can you clarify your pricing/budget expectations? For example, is PALTA looking for a complete project fixed price?
A. We do not want the consultant to focus too much on exploration. We would prefer to spend the majority of the project resources on implementation. We do not have a set budget for this project. We do want a solid idea of total project price, inclusive of consultation, implementation, and training, etc.
Q. Do you have any budget expectations for the project and support?
A. No. We do not want to prematurely constrain ourselves in terms of budget limitations, of course costs will be one factor in choosing a consultant.
Q. Do you have an expected completion date?
A. No, though we’d like to see the new system up and running by June.
Q. Is it safe to assume that PALTA does not have any data in spreadsheets that we would need to access?
A. Our data is managed through Filemaker; .xlsx or .csv files can be exported.
Q. It sounds like PALTA has Filemaker Pro expertise; too keep costs down will PALTA be extracting and cleansing the data from the Filemaker Pro database? If we provide mapping sheets for data migration, can PALTA populate them? Alternatively, we can do that work, but that will increase the cost.
A. PALTA has been working the last several months to cleanse and organize data. We can export data from the database, if necessary.
Q. Can we assume that all contacts and relevant information from Constant Contact and the various Gravity forms are in the Filemaker Pro database? Or do we need to merge and dedupe any of that data? Can we assume that all the data will be coming from Filemaker Pro?
A. All data that exists in Constant Contact currently resides in Filemaker. Relevant data has already been exported from Gravity forms into Filemaker.
Q. Does PALTA expect to continue with the Google groups for now? Or would PALTA like to discontinue that and move to Salesforce Communities or another integrated platform?
A. We’re open to recommendations. We have experienced some issues with Google Groups (primarily, inaccessibility for those who either do not have Gmail accounts or are using Gmail for their email server.)
Q. I’d like to confirm that PALTA is not expecting to change from AccountEdge nor expecting direct integration between Salesforce and AccountEdge; as it doesn’t appear to exist.
A. That is correct.
Q. Does Palta transfer data from Filemaker Pro to AccountEdge or is that a parallel process or some combination? Does PALTA expect to have all income/revenue flow through Salesforce, or will some be directly entered into the AccountEdge?
A. The hope is that the new system would create reports that may make data input into AccountEdge more efficient. Data will still be entered directly into AccountEdge.
Q. In our experience, accounting report development, bank and credit card
reconciliation can be complex and/or very manual. Can you describe your
processes today, provide any reports utilized, and any expectations for change. We find that some organizations are open to change, while others expect that their will be no or minimal changes with accounting integration.
A. PALTA receives minimal donations through PayPal or online credit card transactions. Staff create a PayPal report on a quarterly basis that is reconciled with the accounting software. The data (donor information) from PayPal is manually inputed into Filemaker. Online event registration allows for users to pay by credit card, check or PayPal. Staff tracks checks received in Gravity Forms. We are very open to recommendations on how to improve data integration between PayPal, Gravity Forms and the new CRM.
Q. Is there anything unique or particularly challenging about your membership or fundraising process? With respect to membership, in your selection of Salesforce, did you note any gaps in functionality that may require customization or configuration?
A. We feel that most of our needs are fairly standard. We have organizational members, associate members, and individual donors. We may require some customization when it comes to reporting, but won’t really know how far our needs deviate from standard reporting until we discuss with the consultant.
Q. Does PALTA prefer to continue utilizing Constant Contact with a Salesforce integration? If so, then the email history will remain Constant Contact since the integration does not include detailed mail information.
A. We are open to recommendations. We would want something comparable to Constant Contact in terms of its design capability and functionality.
Q. For Advocacy, in your selection of Salesforce, did you note any gaps in functionality that may require customization or configuration?
A. Not at this point. We are looking for recommendations in terms of plug-ins and tools to track our advocacy efforts and regards to the specifications laid out in the RFP.
Q. For reporting and dashboard creation, Salesforce has excellent reporting tools as well as several advanced (paid) App Exchange reporting tools. These reports can be run with “press of the button” and/or scheduled to be emailed. In our experience, we find it best to create a few sample reports and then train your team to develop the remainder of reports. We find this best because it ensures that your team can update or create new reports in the future. Is this acceptable?
Q. Are you expecting to run your conference completely from Salesforce? We generally recommend that this decision be made after the first phase implementation, unless this is a primary driver of the technology change. Are you okay with this approach?
A. Not sure what you mean by “run your conference completely”. We’ll likely continue to use Gravity Forms at WordPress to collect registrations (unless a comparable solution is recommended by the consultant). The CRM will track all conference data and allow staff to pull conference reports. If there is a suitable Saleforce plug-in (or other solution) that we should consider, we are open to making that change.