Salesforce is a popular option for charities who are considering investing in a CRM, and because of this it is one of the platforms we work with on a day-to-day basis at Impact Box. Over the six years I have worked with Salesforce in the charity sector I have seen it go through many changes. Salesforce is constantly evolving, bringing new features every four months that charity users can take advantage of.

The Spring ‘18 release is on its way in February and I have had the pleasure of reading through the 400+ page release notes (okay, I admit, it was a skim read) to pull together this summary of what I think are the most interesting new features coming to Salesforce.

In the below I’ll frequently refer to Salesforce Classic and Lightning. These refer to the two different user interfaces available in Salesforce, with Lightning being the newest offering from Salesforce. You can find out more here.

GDPR and data privacy

In May, GDPR will be enforced across Europe, so it’s no surprise that the sweeping changes to data protection have been a hot topic with charities over the last few months. The Spring ‘18 release sees the introduction of some basic built-in compliance in the form of a new data object called Individual which contains fields for storing the and managing data privacy preferences for a Contact or Lead. This includes:

  • Collecting, storing, and sharing their personal data
  • Packaging their personal data so they can take ownership of it
  • Solicitation of products and services
  • Tracking their geolocation and web activity

Alongside this Salesforce has also released new documentation and guidance for Data Protection and Privacy Regulations. This includes common scenarios and Salesforce’s recommended solution to dealing with them.

Themes and branding (Lightning only)

Finally I can say ‘yes!’ when asked if there is anything I can do to change how Salesforce looks and make it unique for each charity. I’ve always found it surprising that a platform that is so customisable lacked the ability to change the user interface. You can now add an image, choose background colours, link colours and heading colours. This means you can make Salesforce feel like your own and ensure it is consistent with your charities branding.

Paths for Organisations and Campaigns (Lightning only)

One of my favourite features of the Lighting user interface was the introduction of Paths. Paths have been available on Opportunities and Custom Objects for some time, but adding this functionality to Accounts / Organisations will allow charities to use Paths to model, record and report on your charities long-term relationship building process with partners and funders. Fingers crossed that Salesforce will continue to roll out Paths to more objects (Contacts please!) in a future release.

Charts and dashboard improvements (Lightning only)

Charts and Dashboards are much easier on the eye in Lightning than they ever were in Salesforce Classic. However, there is still some reporting functionality that can be done in Classic but not Lightning. These gaps are narrowing and Spring ‘18 has some exciting new reporting features:

If you have any questions about the features I’ve highlighted above, please get in touch!