Top Changes for Power of Us Grant Holders (Small but Mighty) Summer 2023

It is worth noting that Industries Cloud is bringing out the new GrantMaking feature (which is shared by customers from the Public Sector and the non-NPSP based Nonprofit Cloud). This may not be of interest to small nonprofits, but it’s worth considering. A small nonprofit can request to split licenses between NPSP and Industry Cloud and then work out data sharing. It’s a brand new possibility with high potential value for the right organizations. For the first time in history, there are release notes available under Industry Cloud for Education and Nonprofit.

These are new offerings that Salesforce continues to caution are NOT compatible with NPSP or EDA. It’s the consensus view of almost all consultants that Salesforce for Nonprofits is not a minimum viable product at this time, but it will eventually overtake NPSP. I personally remain unconvinced that there are no strategies for rapid migration when the product is ready or even strategies to have different orgs coexist using Data Cloud or other forms of external data.

Here are the features I’m excited about:

  1. App pages now have accordions and tabs to better organize tasks and provide better user experience. I believe these may provide the best way to host helper flow apps that aren’t particularly “record pagey” for both desktop and mobile.

I’m excited about App pages getting accordions and tabs. I have lots of app pages to help staff with specific tasks, and being able to organize them into tabs or accordions to provide better focus is super. Plus, a lot of the tools we put on app pages are flows these days, and putting them in a tab or accordion improves the user experience because the flow gets small initially when you go to a new screen and then as it loads, gets bigger. So the screen jumps around, and the user can lose their place. One flow / one tab is my new mantra!

  1. In-App Guidance can now target specific fields. This may be a very focused and quick way for a solo admin to help users adapt to a small but important change in a page layout.

Small nonprofits probably don’t get much lift from In-App Guidance, but there is a feature that intrigues me introduced in this release. You can target guidance for a specific field. Often when we introduce changes on a page, we need to explain it. This might allow doing just that quickly and easily for a solo admin to more easily integrate successful changes with their users’ daily life.

  1. Flow email action is not pretty much on par with email alerts. And Flow Data Table has been updated with more records, search, and an email core action that supports Lightning Email templates. These are typically the modern things to be doing in flow. Users deserve data tables so they really know what they are seeing and selecting. Separate the template from the flow and log actions so users can know that happened.

Flow email action

When you are thinking of building flows, it’s important to be modern. There are hundreds of videos and tutorials that are totally out of date. Almost anytime you need to view, select, or edit records, you will want to use DataTable as the screen component. Users, even at a small nonprofit, deserve more than just the name of a record to help selection. In this release of DataTable, we get more records, search, and a second flow update that is super important to *start* with, is the email core action which now supports Lightning Email templates and is pretty much on par with an email alert now. So you can build the flow, and users can maintain the content!

Flow data table:

  1. Dashboard Widgets are new and allow for the addition of static images and text to help a dashboard communicate more clearly.

This may thrill many people: You can now add an image or a static piece of text to dashboards in something called a Widget. Each will consume a dashboard component count, but we get 5 extra for adding widgets. This will make some dashboards much more appealing. You also have component Titles, subheadings, and footnotes to help users on your components.

  1. Quick actions on standard related lists are now available (beta) on the desktop. This makes for exciting new possible ways to mass edit and add records while looking at a related list.

Related lists get quick actions on the record page! This is a desktop feature only and beta, but it will prove powerful. We really still need in-line editing (on both desktop and mobile, please), but quick actions will likely allow editing and adding records. I think this means we can also now add a call to a flow, but I’m not certain. It all depends on what makes it in the final release. Note that this is separate from the Dynamic Related Lists (which also still don’t support mobile) but already have quick action support.

  1. The email composer for cases gets an open beta update, with potential future changes impacting daily user life. You’ll want to watch this one. I find it hard to believe changes to the activity email composer won’t be far behind.

The email composer that is embedded in the case page in Service Cloud gets an open beta update. I don’t know if this will be important to small nonprofits, but it may be worth a look as it will likely be GA in the fall and simply change. Such changes that impact daily user life are often important to tend to. Sometimes we get to control timing of new activity features, and sometimes they just turn on with the GA release. I don’t yet really know if this impacts the other forms of email composers we have in Salesforce. I hope so as we get a lot of good feature support in this beta.

  1. Custom calendars have a beta enhancement, making them more user-friendly. Calendars are a great way to visualize data if you can get over the user training hurdle.

Calendars are a powerful and easily understood way to view data. I find myself using the custom calendar function to view and help make decisions about our scheduled programming, volunteer history, and even donation calendars. Custom calendars are *NOT* user experience friendly to configure but are quite powerful. They get a bit more friendly in a beta enhancement. My main beef with them is no mobile support and no way to deploy shared calendars to everyone as a team tool. Everyone has to build it themselves currently. That’s no good for any admin! The calendar seems still at Salesforce to be mostly to see your events but it can be so much more powerful.

  1. Dynamic fields for mobile are now available (beta), which is absolutely critical for small organizations with mobile users.

Mobile gets a beta version of dynamic fields. This is super critical to me because I can no longer deploy features that don’t work “naturally” on desktop and mobile as it takes too much of our scarce administration energy to maintain two sets of apps, and we have mobile users. Sadly, mobile was 7 releases behind on dynamic forms (nearly 2.5 years!). I’d like to see a rule at Salesforce that no beta feature can go GA without a mobile implementation or a clear consensus that it’s not applicable to the user experience (but I’m crazy, I know). Based on my survey of nonprofits, this won’t affect most as most of us aren’t in the main using mobile. This needs to change! There is a lot of cost savings if you have (and you do) people in the field, people on the floor, etc. Mobile isn’t just for big business!

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