Resources You Need to Know
Whether you are a long time user of HomeKeeper or new to the HomeKeeper community, you want to make the most of your system. You probably (hopefully) had some level of introduction to the system and perhaps were given some resources to help you. If you are a newer user, this may have all been a bit overwhelming. If you are a long time user, you may not remember what was shared with you AND the resources around the HomeKeeper environment may have changed. This is our short list of resources for you to help you make the most of your system.
HomeKeeper? Salesforce? Nonprofit Starter Pack? What do I have? What am I using? Why are there so many different names?
You have them all. Let me explain what each one is and provides for you:
Salesforce.com is a constiutent relationship management (CRM) system. It provides the base for tracking contacts, organizations, task, activities, and has incredible flexibility in letting customers customize their database to do whatever they can imagine. It has a solid analytical system to customize reports and create dashboards. Want to know more about why Salesforce is a good solution for Nonprofits? Read Ten Benefits of Salesforce As A Nonprofit CRM.
HomeKeeper is one of the many “apps” built on the Salesforce.com platform. Think of your your phone. Whether you have a Windows phone, Android phone or iPhone, you have your phone platform and you have added an “app” or two to make your phone more than a phone. HomeKeeper is a robust program management app designed specifically for affordable homeownership programs. It provides one place for all your property, homebuyer and program data, and oftentimes you won’t even realize you’re on Salesforce, because you do so much work within the HomeKeeper app.
Nonprofit Starter Pack
The Nonprofit Starter Pack (NPSP) is an additional app on Salesforce managed and supported by the Salesforce Foundation. This app provides basic fund development functionality along with functionality to track Contacts, Households and Accounts. Read more about the the Nonprofit Starter Pack here.
Wow, that’s a lot! Where do I go for help?
The great thing about being part of the Salesforce platform with the HomeKeeper and Nonprofit Starter Pack apps is that you are part of a large community of users throughout the world and in your own backyard. This community can be helpful to you in so many ways €¦.but you have to jump in.
The HomeKeeper Community
HomeKeeper Support Forums
The HomeKeeper Team has an online knowledge base that you can find at homekeeper.zendesk.com, that includes how to articles, video trainings and answers to other HomeKeeper members’ questions. This is a knowledge base exclusively for the homeownership programs using HomeKeeper, so you’ll need to log in to access it.
HomeKeeper Office Hours, New User Q&A Online
Twice a month, our team is available via webinar to answer user questions. We periodically theme office hours, but they’re open for you to ask any question you like. In 2015, we ! Topic specific trainings are always recorded and you can find the slides, recording and links in the HomeKeeper Training Forum.
HomeKeeper Webinar Trainings
Want to learn about a specific Salesforce or program task in the context of HomeKeeper? That’s why we hold themed trainings about 6 times a year focusing on things like from grant reporting, to Chatter to how to create a rockin’ dashboard for your board.
- Look for upcoming dates in the User Announcements forum, HomeKeeper Newsletter and HomeKeeper Training Schedule.
- Find recordings in the Trainings forum in the HomeKeeper Support Forums!
HomeKeeper In Person Trainings
Often, the HomeKeeper team is on hand at regional and national conferences where we host in person trainings that bring HomeKeeper users together. We oftentimes walk through scenarios step by step, and give new staff a chance to learn HK in person.
The Nonprofit Community
Power of Us HUB
Salesforce Foundation has created an awesome platform for the Salesforce.com nonprofit community to work together, ask questions, share ideas, and learn from others. I’d encourage everyone to join (well, you actually already have when you received your Salesforce login!).
- Just go to powerofus.force.com and sign-in using your Salesforce user id and password.
- Once in the Power of Us Hub, join a group or two or three. There are many groups for specific issues, topics, or groups of people. I recommend joining the HomeKeeper group. Depending on your interests there are also groups for Fund Development, women (Girlforce), Volunteers, Reporting and Analytics.
- And don’t just join, jump in! As the saying goes, the only dumb question is the one that doesn’t get asked. Ask away! There are many knowledgeable people ready to share their expertise and answer questions. Don’t worry about not knowing the right terminology or the right question to ask. The people responding will ask questions for clarification and guide you along the way. I have often seen people work back and forth through questions throughout the day.
And, of course, if you have an opinion or answer to someone’s questions, please respond! In Salesforce, there are often 17 different ways to do something. Share your experience. What worked for you?
Local Nonprofit user groups
There are over 200 user groups where Salesforce admins and power users come together in person or online to share information. User groups are a great way to meet others that are using Salesforce, gain tips or tricks, learn about new applications, and get the most of your Salesforce system. Each user group is different. Some cities have a user group for all Salesforce users and a specific one for nonprofit users. Check out the list here. If you don’t find one near you, start one.
HUB Office Hours
Each week, a group of Nonprofit or Higher Ed Salesforce users are on hand to try and answer your questions. Come and join us in a session if you need help with setting up or managing your Salesforce instance. Sessions are free to attend and you don’t need to RSVP. All levels of experience with Salesforce are welcome! You can find more information in the Weekly Office Hours group in the Power of Us HUB.
Salesforce Foundation Webinars
The Salesforce Foundation often hosts webinars. The topics vary, from highlighting nonprofits doing great work with Salesforce-to regular webinars each time Salesforce puts out a new release (where they highlight features that nonprofits will be most interested in!)
The Salesforce Community
The Salesforce Success Community is an online portal where you can access help, give feedback, ask questions, and collaborate with Salesforce, partners, product specialists, employees and other customers. While sometimes you’ll need to log cases with support, the Success Community is a secondary place to get assistance when you encounter a problem, error or serious issue, as well as a place to ask “how to” questions. The Success Community is knowledgeable about all things Salesforce (Accounts, Contacts, Opportunities), but the HomeKeeper Support Forums and Power of Us Hub are better for questions on HomeKeeper and Salesforce, respectively.
This is a recent addition to the many offerings from Salesforce. It is a way to learn how to use Salesforce. There are several different €˜trails’ to take from Beginner Admin to Developer trails. Each trail has several modules that have bite-size steps within them (15 – 30 minutes). You can even earn badges as you complete the modules!
Dreamforce is the annual conference for Salesforce.com. It is traditionally held in San Francisco. The dates vary from year to year. There are hundreds of different sessions including Roadmap sessions where you learn about what is coming and Hands-on-Training sessions, where you are in front of a computer changing a Salesforce instance. For the cost of the conference, you definitely get your money’s worth. There are several articles on why people should attend Dreamforce. This is just one of them.
There are so many people involved in the Salesforce world and many of them are blogging about their experiences and their ideas. It’s a great way to learn how others are using Salesforce. Here is a list of our favorite blogs (besides ours!):