How nonprofits can minimise Salesforce implementation costs
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How nonprofits can minimise Salesforce implementation costs

Hyphen8 strives to help nonprofits to minimise Salesforce implementation costs wherever possible. As well as being passionate about our social mission, in the current economic climate, we are all keen to sharpen our pencils. None more so than third sector organisations who need to demonstrate the value of investments to Trustees, donors and other stakeholders, and in some cases to rely on fundraising to pay for the configuration of new technology.

In this blog, I explore some of the main ways that non-profit organisations can keep down the cost of their Salesforce implementation when they engage an external partner.

1. Phased approach

The beauty of the Salesforce platform is that it is completely flexible and easy to configure. So you don’t need to ‘go live’ with all of your processes at the same time. You can fast-track the benefits by taking a phased approach as ongoing changes can be developed and tested in a Salesforce Sandbox (development environment).

  • Prioritise the key processes for phase 1 that will add the most value
  • Phase future enhancements over time in line with available budget
  • Factor in existing software contract renewal timings to reduce licence costs

2. Appoint internal super-users

We are great believers in self-sufficiency – using one of my favourite analogies, we like to give you the fishing rod rather than the fish. This not only reduces reliance on external partners but also increases internal ownership and user adoption. Internal super-users can be trained during the implementation to get involved in the configuration of time-consuming elements such as forms and communication templates.

  • Super-users don’t have to be technical wizards but it does help if they are more technically-inclined
  • Make sure that time can be dedicated to this role without detrimental impact on their day job

3. Minimise scope creep

With careful initial scoping of requirements, your implementation partner can provide accurate cost estimates for the implementation. However, costs can creep up if too many change requests are raised during the project. It is vital that rigorous project management processes are in place so that there is complete transparency on time/costs incurred.

  • Ensure that requirements and deliverables are documented in sufficient detail before the project starts to avoid any disputes over what is in scope
  • Appoint an internal Project Manager who can channel feedback and monitor time logged against requirements
  • Plan and finalise the content of data capture forms, email and document templates before they are handed over

4. Avoid unnecessary bells and whistles

It’s a simple fact (that applies to most things in life) that the more bells and whistles you add, the more it will cost. The Salesforce platform allows you to go beyond standard functionality and develop custom processes, screens, buttons, apps, integrations – the scope is almost unlimited. These are, of course, often necessary but they all take time (and therefore money) to develop. The good news is that it is now more than ever before easier to configure complex requirements using native Salesforce tools. If you do want to keep costs down, we encourage you to stick to standard Salesforce unless it is absolutely necessary.

  • Make sure your partner identifies any requirements that will require custom code that will require specialist skills to maintain
  • Don’t assume that users will reject standard Salesforce functionality until they have tested it
  • Check that your selected partner is up to date with the latest Salesforce tools

5. Prepare your own data

It may sound dramatic but data is the blood that pumps the heart of any database. If users lose trust in the integrity of data in their shiny new system, their interest may wane. Data migration can often be the area that burns a lot of time. Don’t brush this under the carpet, it’s better to invest some internal time to this task to avoid unnecessary costs being incurred.

  • Prepare your data – if you have multiple spreadsheets / data sources – consolidate them where possible or opt to carry out some of the imports yourselves)
  • Only migrate the data that you really need – the more disparate and complex the data sources, the more time it will take to migrate
  • If you don’t have internal capacity, think about drafting in low cost resources (or even family members) to help clean up your data

6. Train the trainer

Training is an important part of the introduction of new technology within an organisation and should not simply be a tick box exercise. Depending on your team’s size, diversity of roles and geographical location, training costs can mount. Especially if all sessions are delivered by an external trainer. So we often recommend a ‘train the trainer approach where an internal user can cascade their knowledge.

  • Choose someone who is engaging and understands your business processes
  • Don’t request lengthy user training materials if these can be managed internally and are likely to change frequently
  • Plan for an ongoing training programme that includes refresher sessions, new starter inductions and advanced training

7. Widen the scope

It is very common for organisations to use a wide variety of applications for different purposes and the ongoing costs for these can add up.  To save ongoing costs, consider whether Salesforce can be used instead. With a rich array of out of the box features and continually enhancements with 3 new releases each year, chances are the platform offers what you need. There are also thousands of plug in specialist applications available on the Appexchange, Salesforce’s app store, many of which are free or discounted for nonprofits.

  • Even if they don’t seem relevant, do make your partner aware of ALL of the apps currently used
  • Have an open mind – it can be difficult to switch away from apps you have used for years but if cost-savings are significant, it’s worth exploring alternatives

8. Choose the right partner

The process of selecting the right Salesforce partner to implement your solution should not be taking lightly. It should not just a case of comparing day rates – it’s more about evaluating who offers the best value for money. It’s also worth investigating whether you qualify for any pro bono time from or partners that participate in the Pledge 1% programme.  

Your partner should guide you through all of the elements that will help you to save costs and not incur them and:

  • Have experience delivering similar types of solutions to minimise solution design and development time
  • Be able to provide references for projects delivered on time and on budget
  • Demonstrate that they follow best practice in terms of methodology, quality of documentation, project management processes

I hope that this blog provides some food for thought that will help to save money that can be put towards contributing to good causes.  If you need help estimating the cost of your Salesforce implementation, get in touch at

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Salesforce Spring 19 Release

Spring… those lighter evenings, warmer weather… Unless like last year we had 12 foot snow drifts to contend with and a cold spell that kept coming back. Anyway Salesforce Spring 19 offers a little a ray of sunshine in an otherwise grey and dreary February.  So grab a cup of tea, some leftover christmas chocolates and read our  Spring 19 highlights.  

Lightning is here to stay

Salesforce have announced that Lightning is going to be activated on a rolling basis starting in Winter ‘20. You can opt out of it by contacting support, but we highly recommend getting on-board with Lightning, as the constantly growing feature-set is well worth the initial time investment to migrate. For any more information on making the leap to Lightning, please contact our Evolve team.

Enjoy expanded data storage

Salesforce have listened to their users and have increased data storage from 1GB to a whopping 10GB minimum plus the usual allocation for users! Orgs will begin to see the increase in March 2019! 

Additional Storage Release Notes

Pinned list views

Again Salesforce have listened to their users and FINALLY you can change the default list view – and even better, each User can select their own default and update it whenever they want with handy pins. Finally an end to searching for your favourite list view.

Add custom resources to the help menu

Garry Willis, Evolve Manager here  at Hyphen8 likes this feature  because it’s intuitive – Users instinctively go towards the help menu when they need it and for heavily customised orgs the standard menu isn’t always that helpful. The ability to add Custom Resources opens up some great options for self-help within an organisation.

Lightning reporting improvements

So many improvements,  I couldn’t pick just one! As someone who loves building reports in the new Lightning report builder and activated it immediately upon release, i’m excited to be able to make joined reports, resize columns, input conditional formatting and stack summary fields to make matrix reports easier on the eyes. Lightning Report Release Notes

Conditional highlighting for reporting

Looking for a way to help staff easily identify grants or donations that need immediate attention? Want to know at a glance which Organisations  have grants valued between £100,000 and £500,000? Apply conditional formatting to summary or matrix reports in Lightning Experience to lend colour to your reports and gather insights at the same time.  release Notes  Conditional Highlighting Release Notes

Email template folders

You and your team can now organise email templates into more folders than just Private and Public. Also, nesting folders makes it easier to organise and find email template. Email Template Folders Release Notes

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10 Hyphen8 Highlights of 2018

This time of year provides an ideal opportunity to reflect on Hyphen8’s achievements over the past 12 months.  2018 has been an incredible year for us so I have picked out my 10 highlights:

  1. Launched grantFlex, our free application built on Salesforce’s Nonprofit success pack to provide grant-makers with a proven data model based on our deep knowledge of this sector (to date installed and configured for 11 organisations)


  2. Achieved Silver Salesforce Consulting Partner status thanks to continual customer referrals, glowing customer satisfaction ratings and our commitment to Salesforce certifications


  3. Recognised by Salesforce for our Nonprofit specialisation, we are very proud to be considered trusted partners of an increasing number of amazing non-profit organisations


  4. Increased our community of non-profit customers with 17 new Salesforce implementation projects, the majority of which came from existing client referrals


  5. Renewed, uplifted and initiated over 50 support partnerships for our ongoing customer care programme evolve


  6. Grown our team of certified consultants all of whom are carefully selected not just for their expertise but for their shared passion to work with nonprofits


  7. Ramped up our marketing efforts with a shiny new website, increased social media presence and a schedule of events


  8. Continued our commitment to our social mission through participation in Pledge 1% programme, enhancements to our core grantFlex product and team fundraising efforts


  9. Practiced what we preached – we are continually evolving our own salesforce instance and now have seamless integration with Xero for finances and HR management including expenses, absence and personal development plan tracking


  10. Appointed a new CEO (me) and I am delighted to be leading our team on our continued mission to help non-profit organisations benefit from cloud technologies


We are excited about what 2019 will bring and wish everyone a restful break.



The Hyphen8 Team, celebrating their highlights from 2018
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Tips and Tricks for Admins Autumn 2018

These are the need to know tips and tricks for Salesforce. We will be bringing you more tips in the Spring.. Check out our latest blog posts to keep upto date with the latest Hyphen8 news

Become A Salesforce Trailblazer

Have you discovered Trailhead yet? Trailhead is Salesforce’s online learning platform. You can complete Modules to earn badges and points which can be displayed on LinkedIn etc. The more points and badges you earn, your profile changes.  Trailhead is a fantastic way to “learn” Salesforce. New Trailhead badges are added frequently so its perfect for keeping up to date with the latest Salesforce advancements. Trailmixes are a mix of modules compiled like a spotify playlist for you to work through. Reach out to us if you want to attempt one of our trails.  Start your Salesforce Learning Adventure Here. 
Trailhead is the ultimate online, free and fun way to learn Salesforce. 

Get Rid of Inactive Report and Dashboards

Are you fed up unwanted clutter in your organisations report folders? People always create a report, save it, run it and then forget all about it. Not only do unwanted reports use up valuable space, they also mean it can take a while to find the report you need.

1.  Navigate to Report Types:

  • Salesforce Classic: Setup | Create | Report Types.
  • Salesforce Lightning: Setup | Feature Settings | Analytics | Reports & Dashboards | Report Types

2. Create a report type with Reports as the primary Object and Dashboard Components as the child Object.  Name it “Reports WITH OR WITHOUT Dashboards.”

3.  Create a new report using this new report type.  Include the “Last Run” field.  Run the report.

4.  Sort on the Dashboard name (Title) column to separate the reports not attached to dashboards.  Finally, observe the last run date of the reports.  If the dashboard’s reports do not show a current last run date, then you can assume this dashboard has not been “refreshed.” Refresh triggers the report’s “last run.”

Turn on field history tracking for those important fields!

Field history tracking is a fantastic way to capture edits to your data.
Field  history tracking, allows you to track changes on up to 20 standard or custom fields on an object which can be viewed on a record’s History related list or through History reports. For each field, tracking logs the date and time of change, the user making the change, and old and new values.

Field history tracking is easy to turn on.

To enable field history tracking

  1. From Setup, click Object Manager and select The Object you need.
  2. Select Fields & Relationships, and click Set History Tracking.
  3. Select Enable “Object” History, then select the fields to track:
  4. Click Save.

Now you just need to add the history pane to the page layout.

  1. Find the object in the object manager.
  2. Click Page Layouts.
  3. Click on the appropriate Layout.
  4. In the palette, click Related Lists.
  5. From the palette, drag the  History related list onto the page layout and drop where you would like the list to display.
  6. Remember to click save!

Page layout highlighting the Related List option in the palette and the Account History section below.
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Lightning Object Specific Actions

Lightning Object Specific Actions are a great way to give users the power to do updates with easy configurable functionality; rather than having to build them using any code.  They are simple to set up and maintain. They are also easy to add to the List Views; with a couple of clicks. End users (who don’t also have access to anything like ‘Workbench’) may have regular updates they need to do on a weekly, monthly, quarterly basis, and doing exports, data manipulation and upserts would be too time consuming.  They can instead create a List View; and use the Mass Update button to select the records they need to update; add in the new value; click save and have all the records update instantly.

Object-specific actions let users create records that have automatic relationships to other records, make updates to specific records, and interact with records in ways that you define.

1.  From the management settings for the object for which you want to create an action, go to
Buttons, Links, and Actions.
2. Click New Action.
3. Select the type of action to create.
4. Customize the action.
• For a Create a Record action, select the type of object to create.
– If the object has more than one record type, select the one you want to use for records created through this action.
– If the object for which you’re creating the action has more than one relationship with the target object, select the field you want to populate when a record is created. If the two objects have a master-detail relationship, you can’t select which field to populate.
The master-detail Relationship field is selected by default, and you can’t change this setting.
• For a Custom Visualforce action, select the Visualforce page, and then specify the height of
the action window. The width is fixed.
• For a Lightning Component action, select the component called by the action.
• For a flow action, select the flow to render.
5. Enter a label for the action. Users see this label as the name of the action.

Tip: If you’re creating a Create a Record, Send Email, or Log a Call action, choose an option from the Standard Label Type list to have Salesforce generate the label. For the labels in this list that include “Record” and “Record Type”, Salesforce fills in the type of object or the record type the action creates. For example, if you choose the Create New “Record” standard label on a create contact action, the generated label is Create New Contact.

6. If necessary, change the name of the action.
This name is used in the API and managed packages. It must begin with a letter and use only alphanumeric characters and underscores, and it can’t end with an underscore or have two consecutive underscores. Unless you’re familiar with working with the API, we
suggest not editing this field.

7. Type a description for the action. The description appears on the detail page for the action and in the list on the Buttons, Links, and Actions page. The description isn’t visible to your users. If you’re creating several actions on the same object, we recommend using a detailed description, such as “Create Contact on Account using New Client record type.”

8. For a Create a Record or Log a Call action, select whether you want a feed item to be created when the action is completed.

9. For a Create a Record, Update a Record, or Log a Call action, you can add a custom success message that displays after the action
executes successfully.

10. Optionally, click Change Icon to select a different icon for the action. Custom images used for action icons must be less than 1 MB in size.

11. Click Save.
After you create a quick action, customize its layout, add predefined values, and then add the action to page layouts


For Instance; you could have a checkbox on your Account Page to Activate the Account and you want to Mass Update based on list criteria

  1. Go to Setup – Object Manager – Object (e.g. Account)
  2. Navigate to Button,Links & Actions
  3. Click ‘New Action’
    • Action Type = Update a Record
    • Standard Label Type = If you choose one of these like Update [Record]; Salesforce will use this and the object to name the Action; for example, ‘Activate Account’.  If you don’t select this you can name the action yourself
    • Name = Underscored Name
    • Save

Setting Up a New Action on a object

4. Edit the Layout by clicking ‘Edit Layout’ button

  • Add in fields you need and save
Lightning Action Edit the Layout by clicking ‘Edit Layout’ button Add in fields you need and save

5.  Go to the Search Layouts – List View and add in the new button under ‘List View Actions in Lightning Experience’

Go to the Search Layouts - List View and add in the new button under ‘List View Actions in Lightning Experience’

6. Go to the Object tab and select your View; for example ‘Activate Accounts’ – (Display As ‘Table’)

7. The Action should now appear next to the buttons on the top right hand page

The Action should now appear next to the buttons on the top right hand page

8. Select the records you want to update and then click the Activate Account’ button.

Select the records you want to update and then click the Activate Account’ button.

9. Update the value in the relevant field and click ‘Save’


You can also use an existing Quick Update button.  Just click ‘Edit Layout’ below and then add in the required field/s:

You can also use an existing Quick Update button. Just click ‘Edit Layout’ below and then add in the required field/s:

The Salesforce Help Guide on Object Specific Actions can be found here

To read more blogs from our team at Hyphen8, Please check out our blog page