5 Nonprofit Trends From the State of Salesforce Report

By Blake Becker

For the past six years, Cloud for Good has conducted an annual “State of Salesforce” survey. As a leading cloud consulting firm helping nonprofit organizations and higher education institutions through Salesforce technology, they administer this survey to help better understand the continual evolution and best practices of Salesforce.

The State of Salesforce report is informed by the extensive survey, polling hundreds of organizations on how they use Salesforce, the results they’ve achieved, and the insights they can share.

In the latest 2022 State of Salesforce in the Nonprofit Sector, some of the findings related to:

  • How Salesforce is creating digital transformation.
  • How Salesforce is helping growing organizations to scale efficiently and effectively.
  • How nonprofit organizations are expected to change over the next 12 months.
  • The measurable success Salesforce is helping nonprofits achieve.
READ MORE: Use Your Salesforce Skills for Good in the Nonprofit Sector

Here are our top five trend takeaways from the Cloud for Good 2022 State of Salesforce in the Nonprofit Sector report:

Salesforce is Helping Nonprofits Connect and Centralize

65% of nonprofit organizations surveyed reported having more than one of their departments on Salesforce, and another 19% are expected to move additional departments onto Salesforce in the next year.

The three departments most commonly utilizing Salesforce are:

  • Donor/Constituent Management (70%)
  • Fundraising (65%)
  • Program Management (62%)

What this tells us is that more and more organizations are recognizing the value of a connected, multi-departmental use of Salesforce. Such utilization helps to centralize a source of truth, leverage touchpoints with donors, volunteers, and constituents to deliver more impact.

Additional solutions such as customization through the Salesforce AppExchange and Salesforce’s open API were reported to be commonly used as well. Through a bevy of business technology solutions, the Salesforce platform is unifying the efforts of nonprofits today and preparing them for success tomorrow.

READ MORE: How to Best Customize Salesforce for Your Nonprofit

A Talent Gap Currently Exists in the Ecosystem

Nonprofits are experiencing a rapid maturation in the application and utilization of digital solutions. Clearer analytics, streamlined reporting, and automation are opening more and more doors within the space. To that end, 66% of organizations surveyed reported they have increased their technology investments over the last twelve months – and that number is expected to continuously grow year over year.

An unfortunate side effect of this industry-wide growth is an emerging gap between the number of qualified Salesforce-trained workers and the available positions opening up as a result of the increased need. A staggering 91% of those surveyed felt they could more effectively leverage Salesforce if they had more additional resources on staff. 81% reported currently having open positions.

IDC has forecasted 9.3 million new jobs will be created in the worldwide Salesforce ecosystem by 2026, creating a great opportunity for anyone looking to pivot careers or double down on an existing career in the ecosystem. With an average of five open positions per available candidate, staffing solutions such as Cloud for Good’s Talent for Good are helping to address, and ultimately close, the growing talent gap.

Salesforce Promotes Fundraising Innovation

Perhaps unsurprisingly, increasing fundraising was reported to be the biggest priority of nonprofit organizations over the next twelve months. With such a strong focus placed on generating more support for each nonprofit’s mission, Cloud for Good asked how those organizations are trying to reach more donors.

A number of different tools and technologies were reported to be in use, such as business intelligence solutions like Salesforce Tableau CRM that visualize data and make it more actionable. Survey results also showed that organizations are turning to workforce management tools like Asana to connect to Salesforce and provide real-time insights into goals, helping streamline work requests.

65% of all respondents say they manage their organization’s fundraising directly in Salesforce. As such, a connection between fundraising efforts and accounting systems are being leveraged to help inform strategy. Progressive organizations are breaking down departmental silos between finance and fundraising to reduce manual reporting and promote clear communication between all systems across the organization.

That communication has also paved the way for increased constituent engagement through tools, such as SMS outreach, to meet constituents where they are at, in the way they want to be communicated with.

READ MORE: Implementing Salesforce for Nonprofits: 4 Key Considerations

Salesforce Drives Engagement

The top three ways in which nonprofits are looking to improve constituent engagement over the next twelve months are:

  • Social Media (55%)
  • Stronger Marketing Automation Tools (54%)
  • Text Messaging (42%)

These concerted efforts to break through the noise are taking place during a time when nonprofit organizations are also attempting to set themselves apart from the competition. However, it’s not just industry-specific competition that nonprofits should be planning for…

Consider how companies like Netflix, Amazon, and Apple offer their customers simple interfaces and intuitive experiences. The ability to enable purchases with a simple click or tap has become ingrained into the psyche of the modern consumer. When a nonprofit supporter goes to make a donation, they expect the process to be as smooth and simple as placing an order on Amazon or loading up a movie on Netflix.

This heightened consumer sophistication ties to a 10% increase (over last year’s State of Salesforce) in the number of correspondents reporting use of Salesforce Experience Cloud. Experiences, or Communities, help drive collaboration and communication through self-service information updates and greater engagement with the nonprofit’s driving mission.

READ MORE: What is Marketing Cloud for Nonprofits? (New Edition!)

Salesforce Helps Create Measurable Success

The majority (54%) of surveyed organizations saw a return on their Salesforce investment in 3-6 months, with 55% of survey respondents saying Salesforce has helped their organization communicate more effectively.

This speaks to Salesforce’s innate ability to limit barriers to entry, as does the fact that 48% also noted Salesforce has helped increase employee productivity. Leveraging Salesforce’s reports and dashboards has helped nonprofit organizations support ongoing growth and maintenance of their orgs in both the short and long term.


Salesforce technology provides nonprofit organizations with a platform built to innovate and transform. As Cloud for Good’s 2022 State of Salesforce in the Nonprofit Sector report illustrates, the nonprofit space today is more sophisticated and forward-thinking than ever before. We believe these trends will only strengthen over time as more organizations move onto the platform and experience the innovation firsthand.

For more information, and to see how your organization compares, visit and download the report today.

READ MORE: What is the Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP) from

The Author

Blake Becker

Blake is the Content Writer at Cloud for Good, a certified B Corporation and Salesforce Partner specializing in technology implementations for nonprofits and higher education institutions.

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