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Marketing Cloud Account Engagement vs. Marketing Cloud for Nonprofits

By: Lisa Gilham

If you’re a nonprofit marketer, you may have heard rumblings about the new Marketing Cloud for Nonprofits. You may also be wondering how to determine whether Marketing Cloud Acocunt Engagement (powered by Pardot) or Marketing Cloud for Nonprofits is the right fit for you and your organization, since they both integrate with the Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack. We were wondering the same thing! So, we did some digging, asked around, attended a few webinars, and came up with some clear descriptions and distinctions to pass along to you. 

What’s the Difference Between Marketing Cloud and Marketing Cloud for Nonprofits?

Let’s start with the most important thing: Marketing Cloud for Nonprofits is a stepping stone to the larger Marketing Cloud suite. It is intended to support the sometimes steep learning curve into Marketing Cloud and be a first step into more Marketing Cloud channels and capabilities. So, right off the bat, if you’re not wanting to invest in Marketing Cloud, Marketing Cloud for Nonprofits might not be the right fit for you. 

That being said, if you anticipate a lot of growth in your organization in the marketing department (see what I did there?), you plan to add mobile or advertising in the next five years, and you are focused primarily on fundraising right now, Marketing Cloud might be a good fit for you in the future and Marketing Cloud for Nonprofits would be a great step in the door. 

Marketing Cloud for Nonprofits: A Little More Detail

Let’s talk real quick about what Marketing Cloud for Nonprofits provides. Currently, it’s an email tool that comes with three pre-built templates that serve fundraising. At first glance, you may have seen a Journey Builder that, for example, is all set up to facilitate a Welcome Journey for 1st time donors. That Journey Builder is an add-on, which is an additional cost to consider. These templates and Journeys are designed with a small (as in, maybe just one staff member) nonprofit marketing staff in mind. A nonprofit with a larger and more mature marketing team might not find the same value in this solution. 

Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (MCAE): A Little More Detail

Now, let’s talk about MCAE for nonprofits. Marketing Cloud Account Engagement, formerly Pardot, can also take a first time donor through a Welcome Journey, through custom-built Engagement Programs. Beyond that, you can facilitate a range of use cases including connecting volunteers to opportunities, working with students to submit applications to a new program, and reminding members of upcoming events. MCAE is flexible and customizable and have you seen those new email builders?? They are user friendly and don’t require any coding knowledge. It’s all drag-and-drop components. 

While Salesforce traditionally positions MCAE as a B2B lead nurturing tool, it can easily flex to facilitate a wide range of journeys. And even if you don’t have a “sales cycle” in the same way a for-profit org might have, you could still be nurturing leads like new troop leaders for local Scout troops. We have a rich library of MCAE blog posts that detail all the ways nonprofits can use the tool to support their unique needs. Take a look around!

Finally, our Idealist Consulting MCAE consultants function a little like a pre-built template. And by that I mean, they are there to guide you step by step through the world of effective email marketing and data analysis, after first listening to your unique needs. They bring strategic minds, technical know-how, and oodles of experience with nonprofit business processes to your projects. If you are ready to take your marketing technology to the next level, but Marketing Cloud isn’t in your future, reach out and talk to us about how we can support you with Marketing Cloud Account Engagement!


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