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What Nonprofits Should Expect When Migrating from NGO Connect to NPSP

What Nonprofits Should Expect When Migrating from NGO Connect to NPSP

By: David Cheng

When Salesforce announced in 2019 that they would no longer be innovating on NGO Connect (NGOC), it was a little surprising. NGOC was a very successful platform with a ton of great out-of-the-box features that made it incredibly useful to nonprofit organizations.

Now we know that Salesfore is shutting down NGOC on January 31, 2023, but they’re doing a lot to help organizations as they transition to the Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP).

So it’s definitely time that organizations start making plans to move. With that in mind, let’s take a look at what made NGOC so attractive to nonprofit organizations and from there review what you should expect if you’re considering a migration to NPSP.

A Brief, Parting History of NGOC

Salesforce once described NGO Connect as NPSP’s little sister. It was developed by roundCorner as a full-featured fundraising managed package for nonprofits.

Salesforce first started investing in NGOC as a solution in 2014 to help “satisfy the most demanding nonprofit customers” who needed enterprise features set up out of the box. NGOC accommodated nonprofit fundraising in Salesforce and had features to support donation payments, web forms, and event management. Consulting partners such as Idealist Consulting have been helping nonprofits implement the solution since Salesforce first started investing in the platform.

In early 2019, Salesforce acquired roundCorner and NGOC. But instead of maintaining two platforms, they saw an opportunity to bring the best parts of NGOC to the more flexible NPSP architecture. Salesforce is working with partners like Idealist Consulting to help customers migrate to NPSP by the 2023 retirement date.

So it had a good run, and now most nonprofits are making plans for moving away from NGOC. If you’re in this boat and are trying to figure out what the migration to NPSP is going to look like, let’s talk about what you should expect.

Things You’ll Like Better About NPSP

So what are some of the things you’ll appreciate after you move from NGOC to NPSP? Here are three things off the top of our head:

  • The Salesforce AppExchange. Ok, sure — NGOC customers already had access to the Salesforce AppExchange, but far more apps are NPSP-aware and take into account the NPSP data model that supports fundraising. That means you’ll have access to more apps with less customization required.
  • Rollup summary field customization. The rollup summary fields in NGOC are not as robust or customizable as what is available in NPSP. So if pulling together data from multiple records is important to your organization, NPSP is going to make you happy.
  • Address Management. The Address Management features in NPSP are far more streamlined, easy to use, and flexible, and they don’t take up as much data to boot.

Something That Will Be a Little Different in NPSP

One big difference you might find during migration is that NPSP lacks NGOC’s Preference object.

The Preference object in NGOC can be used to track a wide variety of information, including communication preferences, specific interests, and other categories specific to your organization.

NPSP doesn’t have a specific object for these functions, but other existing NPSP fields combined with custom-built fields or a custom object can be used to provide this tracking.

If your organization relies heavily on the Preference object in NGOC, it will take time to figure out what data you’re relying on in the NGOC Preference object and how that needs to be accommodated in NPSP. This could entail migrating data to an NPSP field that already exists, building a custom field in Salesforce, or creating a whole new custom object. A consultant can definitely be helpful when untangling this.

Things You Won’t Find in NPSP Out of the Box

Here are five NGOC features that you won’t find out of the box with NPSP:

  1. Payment processing. NPSP does not have native payment processing. You’ll need to consider Salesforce’s new Elevate product or another 3rd-party payment app, such as Blackthorn or Chargent.
  2. Online form functionality. You can’t natively build public online forms for donations or data collection with NPSP. Again, this is where you’ll need to consider Elevate or a 3rd-party application like FormAssembly.
  3. Event management. NPSP does not provide native online registration and ticketing functionality for event management. This is another place where a 3rd-party app will help you.
  4. Account-focused relationships. NGOC is very account focused whereas NPSP is more contact-centric. There are a lot of relationships between accounts and other objects in NGOC that you might find related to the contact in NPSP. This means you might have to change your way of thinking about the data and how you report on it, or this might require custom work to provide similar functionality.
  5. Matching and commit rules. NGOC has a robust Batch Upload function with a great data entry user interface. This includes customizable matching and commit rules to control how records and fields are created and updated. NPSP has a Gift Entry tool with a similar UI, but it does not have matching or commit rules, which means you’ll need to invest a little more time reviewing your data before entry.

What Should You Do to Prepare for the Migration?

If you’re preparing to migrate from NGOC to NPSP, the first thing we recommend doing is taking quick stock of the NGOC features you rely on the most, like payment processing or event management.

Make an inventory of the following items:

  • Reports
  • Custom objects and fields
  • 3rd-party applications
  • Forms
  • Your data storage usage in Salesforce
  • Custom Salesforce automation, like Workflow Rules, Flows, and Process Builder automation
  • Custom Apex

Then make a plan of action. The biggest task will be migrating data, and that’s why Idealist Consulting has put together a Data Migration and Security Package through Capstorm for clients with a large volume of records, sensitive data, or data that needs to be migrated from multiple sources. But even if data migration could be the biggest task, many organizations moving from NGOC to NPSP are taking the opportunity to examine their use of the Salesforce platform and re-think their processes. Several of Idealist Consulting’s clients migrating from NGOC are working with their consultants to re-examine their business processes and use of Salesforce to make sure it’s the most efficient.

Salesforce is offering an NGOC bootcamp beginning March 3, 2021 for organizations that want to make the transition themselves. But if you have a ton of legacy data, complex customizations and automation, or want to make the transition with as little disruption to your operation as possible, consider talking to a consultant.

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