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Why I attended the Community Commons Sprint

London Salesforce Community Commons Sprint 2023 Photo Montage

Last week I spent 2 days at the Salesforce Blue-Fin Building attending the Community Commons Nonprofit Sprint, leading the Nonprofit ‘How-to’ Video series.

The Commons program creates opportunities and spaces for those in the community that want to help solve technology challenges within the global Nonprofit and Education sectors.

But why did I participate? This is a question many people have asked me, and one which has caused me much reflection.

Firstly, how did I start sprinting?

In 2020, I didn’t even know the Sprints existed. I knew about the community commons creating great products, but I assumed they were Salesforce employees and a handful of MVPs…it turned out I was wrong. Sprints are attended by volunteers, admins, consultants, developers, architects, nonprofit experts. You name it, they come to the sprint.

During lockdown the Sprints went virtual, so this was a great opportunity to join events that you wouldn’t necessarily have the chance to attend. One of the people who joined the first virtual sprint was my ecosystem friend, Mark Jones. After attending his first sprint, he told me all about it, and I joined the next, and soon I was contributing with the rest of the team.

It was during my first sprint that I spotted the Nonprofit ‘How-to’ video team (also historically known as videography) and I found out that they did all the videos that go with the NPSP documentation. I have no idea that volunteers created these videos, many of which I have used as helpful resources over my time learning and growing as a consultant.

At the next sprint, I joined this group. I was warmly welcomed by leads Barbara Christensen and Bill Florio, and here I felt like I’d found my tribe. This was what I wanted to help with.

So, what does the Nonprofit ‘How-to’ video team do?

The Nonprofit ‘How-to’ video team creates short walkthrough videos demonstrating the features and best practices of Salesforce for Nonprofits products to help admins learn Salesforce.

At the London 2023 Sprint, I was asked to lead the team I had been working with. It was such an honour being asked to take on this role. I was nervous and wanted to ensure we achieved a great experience for whoever joined our group, and we had an outcome that would benefit the nonprofit community, luckily Barbara was on hand to mentor me to ensure I had everything I needed.

A big thank you to our whole team: Yvonne Small, Louise Lockie, Gin Matharu, Deepthi Kudrathayan, Avni Patel, Dan Kingsley & Keith Finlay

Nonprofit How to Video Group

We collectively delivered 7 scripts and peer reviewed 5. We covered a number of topics including Viewing NPSP Errors, Handling Anonymous Donations with Salesforce, Configuring Payment Automation and How to Manage Reports. These are now ready for the committee to review. Video recordings will follow. I can’t wait to see them published!

I hope more EMEA sprinters – or would be sprinters – will join future sprints. A virtual sprint in the AMER timezone is planned for 29th and 30th March 2023. Register here! Come for one day, half a day, both days, it’s super flexible.

Further sprints will follow, including mini sprints for many of the topics, which are a nice half day event (often Americas EST afternoon, so early UK evening) to meet and get more done between the main sprints. I am also hopeful for a London sprint again in 2024, it would be so great to do it again.

But why did I do it? Why miss two days of paid work to Sprint? Why pay to go to London, for a Hotel room, be away from family and everything that goes with it?

It’s quite simple really, I enjoy it. Knowing that I can support other nonprofit professionals – whether that is consultants, admins, end users, those new to the ecosystem, whoever is watching – to help them learn more about a certain feature or functionality that they can look to include in their Salesforce instance. Allowing allow them to deliver on their nonprofit mission, which in turn helps someone else, is incredible.

Also, bringing together a community of like-minded people, helping people make connections with others, who they can reach out to, creating a synergy of ideas is amazing. During the two days, not only did we deliver items for the sprint, but we discussed other problems we were facing. I know of at least two conversations that took place and allowed someone to find a solution for their nonprofit – which is awesome!

The buzz of the energy in the sprint room was amazing, we had such a great time, and we made bonds with so many people. We had fun, and we made an impact, and that’s what counts.

Oh…and Sprinty (our ‘mascot’) came to visit…spot me in this photo, if you can…

Many of my fellow sprinters have written blog articles, you can find some of them here:

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