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Idealist Consulting’s Top Blog Posts of 2019

1.9.20 By: Christopher Bayerle

What You Read Last Year and What We Think You Should Read in 2020

Here’s what I think is interesting about end-of-the-year wrap-up posts like this: they potentially tell us a lot about what the collective concerns of those who read that blog are.

And sometimes you find a gem you otherwise would have missed.

That being said, I’m going to read the top posts from the Idealist Consulting blog like tea leaves. I think they say a lot about what’s happening at the intersection of the nonprofit world and the Salesforce ecosystem.

This post is broken up into three sections. I’m going to list our top three posts that were read in 2019, none of which were written last year. I’ll then provide the five most-read posts we wrote in 2019. And finally, I’m going to share the posts I think everyone should read to get ready for 2020.


Most-Read Blog Posts in 2019

Many of our top posts in 2019 were classics—blog posts from previous years that people just keep coming back to. And when you see the list of the top three, you’ll see why.

  1. 6 Stunning Examples of Custom Salesforce Design
  2. Marketing Cloud Account Engagement 101: Specialist Certification
  3. Marketing Automation Showdown: Marketing Cloud Account Engagement vs Marketing Cloud

So, what do we have? There’s an article about what you can do with Salesforce; an article for people who have invested in marketing automation and want to prove that they’ve mastered Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (powered by Pardot); and an article for people who are beginning to recognize that Salesforce by itself may not be enough and are looking to invest in marketing automation.

What I see is a sort of linear progression from Salesforce adoption to marketing automation adoption to mastery and certification. I wonder how many of you see yourself in this timeline. Where are you at in this progression now?


Most-Read Blog Posts Written in 2019

The most-read posts we wrote last year varied in content. Some were a little more technical, and, in one case, a little inspiring.

  1. 6 Tips for Duplicate Management with Apex
  2. Make the move to Lightning for Salesforce Winter ‘20
  3. Marketing Cloud Account Engagement 101: The Consultant Certification Exam
  4. Our Advice for Passing the Salesforce Nonprofit Cloud Exam
  5. Corporate Social Responsibility in 2019: Tips for Nonprofits

Here’s what we’ve got: an article with very clever (if technical) solutions about a persistent problem that plagues every Salesforce admin; a post about converting to Salesforce Lightning because it’s coming whether we like it or not; two more articles about professionalization because a lot of us have been riding in this rodeo a while and want to prove it; and finally a piece about social responsibility because we all expect more from the companies we interact with and work for. I love this last entry because I feel like nonprofit and B Corp-certified organizations already lead the way here, and so many companies could be doing more. It’s time—we’re all demanding more from the organizations we work at!


What We Think You Should Read in 2020

Finally, let’s talk about the things we think everyone should be thinking about in 2020. If you haven’t read the posts below, we think you should.

  1. A Perfect Engagement - choosing the right event management applications — Events management is a topic perennially important to nonprofits. At our Engagement Party at Dreamforce this past year, we did something special: our sponsors not only financially supported the biggest party for nonprofits, but also came together to provide the technology that ran the reservation system, processed ticket fees, and sent text messages to help attendees find the event. We wrote this blog post to show how all this came together.
  2. Community Building: How Nonprofits Can Leverage Salesforce Experience Cloud — For nonprofits that have seen success in leveraging Salesforce for donor engagement and moves management, Experience Cloud is a natural next step in Salesforce adoption and community development. We recently published this bundle of resources that focus on how other nonprofits are using Salesforce Experience Cloud, how Rochelle, our in-house Experience Cloud expert, first got involved with this product, and on learning how to get started with Experience Cloud.
  3. Three reasons it’s time to update Salesforce — Every once in a while you’ve got to give yourself a little time to sit and consider whether your Salesforce instance is really giving you what you need. The beginning of the year is as good a time as any! And this blog post will lead you through a couple considerations as you ruminate on your organization’s goals and your Salesforce configuration.
  4. How to Stop Buying Lists and Become an Ethical Marketer — There’s no reason to not be ethical in your marketing. You’ll see better results and feel good as a person. You can commit to ethical marketing no matter what marketing automation platform you use, but Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (MCAE) does have a few features that help.
  5. We’ve got your back with admin support — Most of the clients who come to Idealist Consulting need significant assistance implementing or optimizing Salesforce, MCAE, or Experience Cloud. But here’s something you might not know: even if you don’t have a giant project you need help with, we’ve got your back. We can provide on-going assistance if you need it. There’s no reason to stress in 2020.


If you found any of the blog posts we mentioned here helpful, consider signing up for Ideation, our monthly newsletter about Salesforce, nonprofit tech, and trends in the B Corp community.

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