Drupal Salesforce Integration – How Your Nonprofit Can Benefit

Drupal Salesforce Integration – How Your Nonprofit Can Benefit

Charitable giving worldwide has taken nonprofits for a rollercoaster ride this year. With the arrival of COVID-19, donations dropped in the 1st quarter, and then began to climb again in the 2nd quarter. According to The Nonprofit Times, giving during the first quarter of 2020 dropped by 6% year over year. Many nonprofits were worried that the data would only get worse, when numbers showed the impact of the pandemic. 

But despite the worldwide pandemic and high unemployment, charitable giving in the U.S. and Canada actually increased by nearly 7.5% during the first half of 2020, compared to the first half of 2019. That was due in large part to an increase in small donations, and an increase in new donors. 

In fact, nearly 3 in 4 millennials have donated money during the pandemic in the United States this year. They’re donating at higher levels than any other generation. This may be money sent to help support friends and family, but they are also donating to food banks, social justice groups, and other causes they believe in.

That’s just a snapshot, and may not accurately reflect the reality of your organization. If you depend on in-person events such as holiday galas, races, and golf tournaments for a major source of funding, you may have seen charitable giving decrease in 2020. Hopefully, your #GivingTuesday efforts will be a roaring success. 

Looking ahead to 2021, you may be looking at new ways to engage new donors and retain old ones. Did you know that by leveraging technology, you can increase online giving? It’s true. You may be familiar with Salesforce, and you may have heard of, or already be using Drupal. But to get the most out of both of them, you should consider a Drupal Salesforce integration. 

What Is Drupal?

Drupal is an open source content management system (CMS) that launched in 2000. It is the third most popular CMS in the world by market share. After nearly two decades of constant updates from contributors like North Studio, Drupal 9 is the latest iteration.

As an open source CMS, anyone can use Drupal, and it will always be free. Powerful and scalable, Drupal offers easy content authoring, reliable performance, and excellent security.

Drupal by the Numbersdrupal integration

Drupal has:

  • 38,000 modules
  • 2,700 themes
  • .56 million live Drupal sites (As of February 2020)
  • 120,245 Drupal users actively contributing
  • Availability in 100 languages


Benefits of Drupal for Nonprofits

Some of the biggest and well-known nonprofits and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the world power their websites with Drupal, including:

  • Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders
  • Rotary International
  • Habitat for Humanity International
  • Human Rights Watch

Some of the biggest benefits of Drupal for Nonprofits include:

  • Open Source Means It Is Free to Use – No Licensing Fees
  • Scalability to Grow With Your Organization
  • Superior Security for Processing Online Donations
  • Multilingual Capabilities to Reach a Global Audience
  • Easy Content Management
  • Community Support
  • Continuous Improvements

What Is Salesforce?

Salesforce is the world’s #1 customer relationship management (CRM) platform. 

Salesforce for nonprofits allows your marketing, sales, commerce, service, and IT teams to work together from anywhere in the world with Customer 360 — a powerful CRM platform with a suite of connected apps. 

As a nonprofit, your donors are your customers. Salesforce helps you connect your Fundraising, Program Management, Grants Management, and Marketing teams for the best customer relationship management. 

Benefits of Salesforce for Nonprofits

More than 47,000 nonprofits around the world use Salesforce.

There are a number of reasons so many nonprofits use Salesforce. Benefits of Salesforce for nonprofits include:

  • Open source Nonprofit Success Pack
  • 10 free subscriptions and discounts on additional subscriptions for nonprofits
  • Easy to use and manage
  • Cloud based for access from anywhere
  • Powerful security
  • Support community

And according to nonprofits who use Salesforce, all of those qualities provide quantifiable results, including:

  • Improved prospect acquisition
  • Improved donor retention
  • Saved cost per dollar raised

Bringing It All Together — Benefits of Drupal Salesforce Integration

Drupal and Salesforce are both powerful tools. But when you bring them together, it can have an exponential impact on how well your nonprofit can track participants, donors, transactions, and interactions. There are 3 main benefits to a Drupal integration with Salesforce for your nonprofit. They include:

1. One Website for Ease of Use and a Better User Experience

By integrating Drupal with Salesforce, you keep all your user interactions on your main Drupal website. You no longer need to link to a separate database or another system for online donations, event registration, and profile management. Keeping the user experience (UX) easy and consistent helps build engagement and donor trust. It also reduces the barriers between contacts, content, and your features.

2. Use Marketing Automation to Provide a Custom UX

Increase donations and maximize efficiency even more when your Salesforce marketing automation is integrated with Drupal. Track site visitors across your website and social media, and target giving offers to them specifically. With Drupal, you can assign rules for marketing automation in the form of drip campaigns that are triggered by user interaction. 

For instance, if a visitor signs up for an event, modules allow you to assign rules for automated marketing, such as  sending an email offer regarding a triple match of a donation, a discount on branded merchandise, an offer of something free with a minimum donation, assigning them to a particular email list, and more.

3. More Efficient Outreach

With a Drupal Salesforce integration, you are able to keep data up-to-date more easily and efficiently. Donors can even update their own records. If someone uses the Entity Registration module to register for an event, their Salesforce contact information updates in real time. You can also create targeted donation forms. When a user submits a form, a new contact record is created or an existing one is updated in both RedHen and in Drupal. The record then syncs to Salesforce in real time.

Drupal Salesforce Integration Methodologies

There are two ways to implement your Drupal Salesforce integration: real-time and queue-based. We can use one method, or both on the same website. 

Real-Time Drupal Salesforce Integration

As the name implies, with real-time integration, we export your Drupal objects to Salesforce in real time. We get immediate notification telling us whether the item exported successfully or failed to export. The data is available to utilize in Salesforce almost instantly. Real-time integration is a great choice if you need the data in Salesforce ASAP.

Queue-Based Drupal Salesforce Integration  

In queue-based integration, we use a batching system that runs in the background. This allows us to send numerous Drupal objects to Salesforce at the same time. In this integration method, instead of sending an object to Salesforce the moment it is created, altered, or deleted, it goes into a queue where it waits to be exported along with other objects. 

The integration process then picks up the queued items, usually every 10-15 minutes, and  exports them to Salesforce in batches. Batching data synchronization can increase website performance and use fewer API calls, which can be a big factor if your organization has large data sets.

Both export approaches use a similar batch process to import data from Salesforce. Drupal requests for notification of all changes to mapped objects in Salesforce, looks for currently linked objects, and then either creates, updates, or deletes the corresponding Drupal objects. The latest changes are the ones that go into effect.

Data You Can Integrate

You can integrate most data. Whether you want to sync donations,  accounts and organizations,  or your content or webform submissions–the Drupal Salesforce Suite can make it happen. The Salesforce Suite is a set of modules that support data integration between Drupal and Salesforce. Custom modules can also provide data that we can then integrate via the modules–so you can pretty much integrate any data you want. 

We can specify the direction of the data flow at the field level. In other words, we can push and pull information. This includes synchronizing names with emails, pulling Salesforce IDs into Drupal and pushing Drupal usernames to Salesforce. In addition, we can configure trigger points such as create, update, and/or delete at the mapping level. Salesforce mapping will keep the same version of data at both ends. 

Trust North Studio with Your Drupal Salesforce Integration

Don’t trust your Drupal Salesforce integration with just anyone. You need an experienced Drupal development agency like North Studio. We’re one of the oldest Drupal specialty shops in the world, and we are proud contributors to the open source Drupal community. Over the years, we have developed thousands of websites utilizing the Drupal CMS. 

While the integration process may sound incredibly complex, for our team, it’s relatively straightforward. We’ll help you plan for the integration, and determine whether real-time or queue-based integration is right for your organization. We’ll make sure we minimize the integration effort and costs. Our goal is to implement your nonprofit’s Drupal Salesforce integration with the least disturbance to your fundraising efforts.

We will thoroughly test your Drupal Salesforce integration to ensure that everything is working exactly as it should. And we are here to help you with any future integration and migration needs your organization may have.