Contacts, Households & Organizations - an introduction
Individuals (donors, volunteers, etc) and organizations (foundations, corporate sponsors, etc) are the backbone of any CRM system, and Salesforce is no different. Salesforce uses two different objects to track this vital information: Contacts & Accounts.
What you get with Salesforce
Salesforce out of the box comes equipped with these two primary, linked objects. Contacts are used to track individual people and Accounts are used to track organizations. However, Salesforce was designed for for-profit business trying to sell their products and services to other business, so there are some features that you might expect a CRM to have that don't come with Salesforce out of the box. The out of the box Salesforce structure centers around the Account object and assumes that Contacts are only important as a means to work with these Accounts (which are assumed to be organizations). Luckily the Nonprofit Success Pack addresses these issues as well as adding in some great additional functionality for nonprofit organizations.
What you get with the Nonprofit Success Pack
The Nonprofit Success Pack offers tons of great functionality for nonprofit organizations when it comes to these two key objects. Additionally, it solves one of the main issues with Salesforce out of the box functionality - with NPSP, the Contact object becomes the central object in your CRM system.
NPSP accomplishes this re-centering of the CRM data structure by implementing a new "Account model" that is baked into every other facet of their code. Over the years, they have adjusted and updated this model to provide the right mix of functionality for nonprofit organizations without adding more customization than necessary. The latest and greatest account model, the "Household Account model," is what is configured in your KELL360 instance. In the Household Account Model, you can still use the Account object to track organizations that you work with, but Contacts are connected to a special type of Account, a household account, instead of these organizations. The Household Account holds summary information about the entire household and is where you manage addresses and other general information, and is also where you can see a summary of all giving by all members of the household.
In addition to this switch, NPSP introduces two new objects to help you track relationships between your contacts and between contacts and organization (non-household) accounts. The Relationship object is used to track a relationship between two individuals. The Affiliation object is used to track a relationship between an individual Contact and an Account (like an employee-employer relationship).
Salesforce.org maintains some great documentation on all of the features that they add on their documentation page in the Power of Us HUB in the "Manage Households, Organizations, Contacts, and Addresses" section. For more targeted reading, check out the summary articles from the glossary below.
- Email and Phone: NPSP allows you to track multiple email and phone numbers for an individual and choose a preferred contact method
- Relationships and Affiliations: a deeper dive into these objects with links to Salesforce.org documentation
- Address Management: a summary of NPSP address management features with links back to the full Salesforce.org documentation.
What KELL360 Adds
KELL360 builds on the Household Account Model and on the two added NPSP objects to bring you even more great functionality.
- Custom fields and automation allow you to track detailed solicitation preferences for each contact, and to automatically keep these solicitation preferences for everyone in the same household in sync.
- Custom automation built on top of the affiliation object allows you to easily track board members and their families.
- Custom-built Quick Actions quickly let you add a new contact from an organization account. The Contact gets their own household account, but is also given an affiliation record to the organization account and can be marked as the primary contact for that organization.
- Additional fields on the Contact & Account objects for tracking demographic information and other constituent classifications, including visual summaries of solicitation preferences and contact classifications.