Challenge: We started using NPSP affiliations without customization or clear purpose.
Affiliation is a great feature of the Non-Profit Success Pack. Many non-profits have people at the center of their work and being able to track current and historical relationships with organizations can be key.
Applications for Affiliation:
- Employment and employment history of donors and external contacts (replaces the contact and account Salesforce model when the household model is used)
- Measure participants employment gains as related to your effort
- Maintain history of contact’s educational history and degrees
- Volunteer status between contacts and other organizations
- Board membership
Native Salesforce contains a feature called contact roles where multiple contacts are related to an account with the role that person plays. In a business-to-business landscape, this is probably sufficient as the sales function only cares about who’s at the company and what their purpose is when making a sale. It’s not very customize-able, for example, you can’t indicate when they started or ended the role, designate if they’re a volunteer or board member etc.
Affiliations are an improvement over contact roles and come with a couple of cool features:
- You can use the Primary Affiliation field on a contact to designate the main account related to the contact.
- If you add or change the reference in the Primary Affiliation field on a contact, it auto-generates an affiliation record.
- If you check the Primary checkbox on an affiliation record it will change the Primary Affiliation reference on the contact and uncheck all of the other affiliation’s Primary fields
This leaves us with some challenges:
- Job titles can get mixed up especially if it’s important to have the title appear on the contact record
- You can quickly add the primary affiliation reference on a contact when someone changes roles, but you’ll still have to manually go back and manage start dates and end dates
- The status field on affiliations is not automated upon entering an end date.
- If you have a web form that creates or updates contacts, a “Company” text field could also create confusion of where to record employment.
- If tracking employment is critical to your mission, you don’t have a way to verify employment is up to date
- It’s not easy to report out overlapping affiliations
Part 5 Create a process for staff to verify affiliation data (Coming soon)
Part 6 Find potential duplicate affiliations (Coming soon?)