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The Best Gift is You!

Giving Back to the Ohana

I took on some pro bono work to support the Salesforce ecosystem by “giving something back” and to increase both my soft skills and Salesforce knowledge – and of course support the charities that I would be working with.What Good Shall I Do This Day?

I found pro bono work in two places – firstly on Facebook where I saw the Supermums looking for Salesforce volunteer trainers and mentors. I immediately knew that I wanted to be able to “give back” through some training, as training is a passion of mine. I completed the online form and within the next two weeks I was hosting my first session! Secondly, I found charities looking for support on Taproot Plus. I responded to a post for a charity looking for Salesforce admin support. I was soon in touch with the charities “Counselor to the President” who was looking after their Salesforce instance and was given a brief of what they needed. We discussed whether this was within my remit, and the timelines for completion. Soon I was logging into their org and beginning a discovery process.

With the Supermums, I was signed up as a volunteer, signed a volunteering agreement, and completed some mandatory training. This was a straight forward process. I was provided the deck for the training, on my favourite topic of “Reports and Dashboards” and soon I was standing in for one of the trainers who was attending Dreamforce (lucky them!) and training the current cohort. The training was done via Zoom, with a recording for those unable to attend. The attendees were able to ask questions via chat, or by unmuting their lines, and soon our 2 hours was over. I was thrilled to have helped this group of Supermums (and Dads) move forward with their training, and I received some fantastic feedback. It was great to feel the buzz of knowing you’d helped a group of the Ohana by sharing your knowledge.

“They loved you and said you were awesome” Salesforce Supermum Training Coordinator

With Ideas Beyond Borders, it was a little more tricky (as you will see in a future blog post about discovering the “Not for Profit Cloud”) as it turned out that the majority of the tasks that they needed performing were part of the Non Profit Success Pack (NPSP). The previous two volunteers had failed to realise this and rebuilt a whole flow (which did not function correctly) to try to complete the required donation import process.

Being under prepared for NPSP myself (which now I kick myself for). I should have gather this information from the start. Had I asked about their license cost the 10 complimentary licenses would have given it away!!! I was upfront with my contact that I needed time to get up to speed, and that I may not be the right person for the job. At this point I was super grateful for the free training on Salesforce Trailhead, and the Power of Us Hub, and soon I was learning all about the NPSP, and had a sandbox environment of their instance to ‘play in’.

Once I had ascertained what was needed, I found that Salesforce was able to do so much of what was needed ‘out of the box’. With some additional customisation and some creative thinking, I was able to deliver what the charity required. I felt a sense of pride at having achieved something outside of my comfort zone, and was thrilled with this feedback…

“Managing the donations that we receive each week via social platforms is critical in building a sustainable support system. Emma helped us create a system whereby we are able to track and understand our donations and communicate with our donors in a timely and effective manner.” Skip Winitsky, Counselor to the President, Ideas Beyond Borders

I will note, at no point did I do anything in production that I did not feel comfortable with, I simply felt stretched. I practiced anything I was unsure of in a ‘safe space’ and ensured that their production environment was not in any danger of any catastrophic mistakes. It is often scary to see new admins being advised to offer their assistance to Non Profits to widen their knowledge and gain experience, when this is an industry that could not afford to pay to undo unwanted mistakes. You can find out more about volunteering, and this caution, in this Trailhead Trail Volunteer Your Salesforce Expertise.

Pro Bono Basics for Salesforce Professionals Badge

I have now handed back the Salesforce instance to Skip at Ideas Beyond Borders and continue to support the Supermums in their training. I would urge anyone in the ecosystem to look at where they can ‘give back’ and feel the benefit of Pro Bono work.

I look forward to working with more Non Profits in the future, and working towards my Nonprofit Cloud Consultant certification.

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