Explore our top picks for the best Salesforce plugins for associations!

Salesforce Plugins | 7 Top Picks for Your Association

If your association uses Salesforce, you already know why it’s the world’s leading CRM and management platform for businesses and organizations of all sizes. Its features are comprehensive and offer an unrivaled level of functionality.

However, the Salesforce AppExchange is by far one of the platform’s biggest benefits.

The AppExchange is a central marketplace for Salesforce plugins, which allows for the complete customization of the platform’s utilities. This makes it incredibly easy to build your own toolkit of features, all designed to work seamlessly on the management platform you’ve come to rely on.

We’ve written elsewhere on the top Salesforce plugins for event management, but hosting member events is just one part of what your association does.

Associations have complex needs. From membership management to fundraising, partnership building to digital marketing, you’ve got a lot on your plate. Study up on the wide range of Salesforce plugins available on the AppExchange with our top picks:

  1. Fonteva Membership
  2. Fonteva Events
  3. Salsa Labs
  4. OneCause
  5. SwagIQ
  6. Marketo
  7. SMS Magic Interact

These top 7 plugins offer a fairly comprehensive overview of the level of quality and utility to expect from top-notch apps. Let’s dive in:

Top Salesforce Plugins from Fonteva

Fonteva Membership is a top Salesforce plugin for associations looking to streamline management.

1. Fonteva Membership: Best Salesforce Plugin for Association Management

Salesforce Plugin Overview

Designed to be the last management tool you’ll ever need, Fonteva Membership is the future of association management software. With comprehensive data management, member engagement, and eCommerce features, Fonteva’s AMS solution is a top Salesforce plugin that should be on every association’s radar.

The intuitive features of Fonteva Membership makes it one of the top Salesforce plugins.

A few features and characteristics make this plugin a top association management software solution, including:

  • Full member profiles. Comprehensive profiles are automatically populated with new engagement data, combining the robust CRM foundation of Salesforce with the management insights of Fonteva. Easily track key engagement metrics at every level.
  • Member portals and communities. Create public and private microsites and member communities. Empower your members to engage in new ways with self-service options and interactive chapter, committee, and group portals.
  • Intuitive reports and dashboards. Draw from your wealth of data to generate customized reports at the push of a button. Refine your engagement and management strategies in real time with built-in dashboard capabilities.

Intuitive data reporting tools make Fonteva Membeship a top Salesforce plugin.

Why This Plugin Stands Out

It can be a challenge to find the right association management solution to meet your needs, but if your association already uses Salesforce, this one’s a no-brainer.

Because Fonteva is a native Salesforce plugin, that is, software built entirely on the Salesforce platform, the integration is seamless. 

This translates into several major benefits for your association. As a true-cloud solution, Fonteva Membership software is always up to date. Your management and database tools speak the same language, meaning all your data is automatically reported.

The intuitive, comprehensive, and lean features of Fonteva Membership give your team the flexibility to effortlessly switch focus from individual metrics to big picture trends and fine-tune your strategies like never before.

Fonteva Events is a great Salesforce plugin for nonprofits that need to plan and manage events of any size.

2. Fonteva Events: Best Salesforce Plugin for Event Management

Salesforce Plugin Overview

As Fonteva’s suite of event planning and management tools, Fonteva Events is a fully native Salesforce plugin. Designed to streamline even the most complex, enterprise-level events like major conferences and expos, Fonteva Events packs a punch with its comprehensive features.

Fonteva Events is one of the most powerful Salesforce plugins for event planning available.

Associations regularly plan and host all kinds of events for members, partners, and their communities. This plugin makes planning events in Salesforce a breeze because it offers features like:

  • Event lifecycle management. Comprehensive planning features and intuitive management interfaces let you track the progress of your events every step of the way. Get big-picture insights as you manage micro-level details.
  • Dynamic session builder. Association events have to be engaging, and Fonteva Events makes it easier than ever to create custom session tracks for your attendees. Your member communities can even collaborate on their own sessions for the big day.
  • Custom event sites. An event website has to accomplish a lot, from promoting your sessions to processing registrations and payments. Fonteva Events offers an all-in-one solution to host your event website and report its generated data directly to your Salesforce database.

Custom event sites integrated with your database makes Fonteva Events an excellent Salesforce plugin for associations.

Why This Plugin Stands Out

Like its counterpart membership management suite, Fonteva Events is the perfect Salesforce plugin for event planning and management because it’s fully native to the platform.

In the past your organization might have used a third-party event planning tool to organize and manage your meetings, conferences, and fundraisers. If that’s the case you already know that a lot can fall through the cracks when your team is busy switching between platforms.

With Fonteva Events, all your management data and tools reside within your Salesforce CRM.

This allows your team to make more informed decisions at every step in the complex event planning and management process. Plan smarter events, manage them more efficiently, and then learn more from them than ever before.

Be sure to explore other top Salesforce plugins for associations.

3. Salsa Labs: Best Salesforce Plugin for Online Fundraising

Salsa's online fundraising tools integrate like a Salesforce plugin to create a powerful suite of features.

While not available as an app on the Salesforce AppExchange, SalsaLabs offers a robust online fundraising suite that fully integrates with your Salesforce CRM.

For associations that devote considerable time and energy to raising money and processing payments online, Salsa’s collection of tools can be an invaluable addition to your toolkit. Its full integration with Saleforce means it speaks the same language as the management platform on which you’ve already built your operations.

Some top features of the Salsa suite of online fundraising tools include:

  • Peer-to-peer fundraising capabilities
  • Customizable fundraising and donation forms
  • Donor, advocate, and volunteer-specific tools
  • Embedded matching gifts database access

Integration with Salesforce means your set of online fundraising tools from Salsa Labs can draw directly from your data, helping you make smarter decisions in any campaign.

For instance, integrated fundraising tools make the perfect addition to the list segmentation features of Salesforce. Target your members and supporters better than ever while raising more along the way.

4. OneCause: Best Salesforce Plugin for Donor Engagement

Saleforce plugins from OneCause are excellent for associations that need to engage members and donors with auction events.

OneCause leads the race in donor and member engagement tools.

Besides offering a suite on online fundraising tools, OneCause makes a powerful partner for associations that need to better engage their members. Even better, it offers a free Salesforce plugin to ensure that all the valuable engagement data you generate goes exactly where it needs to be — in your Salesforce CRM.

OneCause specializes in a few main areas of donor and member engagement, including:

  • Text-to-give software
  • Online payment processing
  • Mobile bidding tools and apps
  • Online auction planning and management

Auctions are among the most reliable fundraising and engagement techniques for all kinds of enterprise-level organizations and associations. OneCause leads in online and mobile auctions  because its tools were the first and continue to be the best in the space.

If your association needs a new engagement-boosting set of tools for its arsenal, the integration provided by the OneCause Salesforce plugin might just be the icing on the cake.

5. SwagIQ: Best Salesforce Plugin for Building Relationships

SwagIQ is a top Salesforce plugin for associations because it simplifies the process of building relationships with key partners.

Your association has a lot of crucial relationships to foster and cultivate. From sales to partnerships, marketing to engagement, it’s essential that your team stays on top of managing the web of relationships that supports its efforts across the broader space.

SwagIQ is designed to help you close more deals, attract more partners, and break through the noise by simplifying and managing your interactions.

As a Salesforce plugin, this means your whole database of information is at your fingertips as you use any of SwagIQ’s key features:

  • Create and manage your swag gifts and products for members, partners, and donors
  • Boost your marketing efforts by making real connections
  • Track shipments, direct mail, and digital marketing campaigns
  • Trigger outreach at the right moments with real-time, rules-based alerts in Salesforce

Relationships with their members, whether individuals, businesses, or other organizations, is of utmost importance for associations. Smarter tools and Salesforce plugins like SwagIQ make it easier than ever to drive engagement and grow your influence with both physical and digital outreach.

6. Marketo: Best Salesforce Plugin for Digital Marketing

Marketo is a powerful Salesforce plugin for associations focused on increasing their digital marketing efforts.

More and more, associations depend on their ability to engage members online and attract new audiences using digital content and tools. Digital marketing is a challenge for many associations, but the right tools can help.

You already know that Salesforce offers powerful tracking and reporting capabilities for your marketing campaigns. Adding the Marketo suite of marketing and email automation tools to the mix is a smart move for any association.

Some of Marketo’s top features and tools include:

  • Email campaign creation, management, and tracking
  • Smart automation tools to maximize impact of email communications
  • Lead nurturing features for cross-channel campaigns
  • Lead scoring and analytics to track potential donors, members, and upgrades

Of all the aspects of your association’s operations, the ability to easily access and analyze your data is perhaps the most important when it comes to marketing. Marketo is an ideal Salesforce plugin to help your team better streamline its marketing activities and learn more from your past campaigns.

7. SMS Magic Interact: Best Salesforce Plugin for Communication

SMS Magic is a great Salesforce plugin if your association needs to boost its communication strategies.

Smarter communication strategies are an essential way for modern associations to maintain the healthy cultures of engagement that they encourage among their members.

Salesforce plugins like SMS Magic Interact make it easier than ever for those associations to reach members where it really matters — on their smartphones. Increasing visibility in the right places goes a long to increase member engagement.

Consider these features:

  • Central text conversation management, segmentation, filtering, and alert tools
  • Industry-specific message templates for easy use
  • Fast text campaign set-up and customization
  • Video and image embedding

Like Fonteva’s suite of association management tools, SMS Magic Interact is a native Salesforce app. This means all of your text message tools, past campaign data, and member contact information are within easy reach of one another. Take your communications to the next level to keep your members engaged!

If your association is smart enough to use the world’s leading CRM and data management platform for businesses and organizations, you owe it to yourself to explore the AppExchange.

Salesforce plugins can completely change your interactions with the platform, taking it from an excellent foundation to the ultimate toolkit.

Be sure to continue your research with a few additional resources too:

Demo Fonteva's native Salesforce platform to see how it can streamline all of your association's operations!

Microlearning and the Digital Age

If you are running an education or training program, you’ve probably come across the terms microlearning or micro-credentials. You have probably also heard a lot about the Digital Age and how associations need to evolve with the ever-changing times to remain relevant to their members and prospective members. So what does microlearning have to do with the Digital Age? Well, it could be the key to staying relevant and evolving your association’s value proposition!

Before we get into the thick of it, here is a quick definition of micro-credentials (paraphrased from our client, The Institute of Credentialing Excellence): Often viewed as a mini-certification, which serves as proof that a learner has mastered a specific skill or area of study. Micro-credentials are smaller than full certification programs, therefore require less ongoing commitment of time and investment on the part of the learner. Often micro-credentials are represented by digital badges, which may be awarded upon completion – additionally, micro-credentials are typically seen as stackable, to attain a broader competency or sets of skills.

So how can you use micro-credentials as ammunition to reshape your association’s value proposition in the Digital Age?

Subscribe & Filter

We have moved from an economy of ownership to a sharing economy and a subscription economy. This is being realized in both our personal and professional world. A 2018 survey, Thinking Inside the Subscription Box: New Research on e-Commerce Consumers, provided a glimpse into the current state of the subscription economy. Some stats included 15% of online shoppers having subscribed to an e-commerce service over the past year, with 46% having subscribed to an online streaming-media service such as Netflix.

And what about sharing? Some popular examples of this include Airbnb, Uber, WeWork, Rent the Runway, and Lending Club. We control how much or how little of the service we want to utilize and when it comes to subscriptions, decide if we want to continue subscribing or unsubscribe as we please.

Micro-credentials present professionals seeking formal learning with very similar flexibilities. Instead of buying into a long one or two-year certification program, learners can choose from a pool of available micro-credentials, which may only take a few classes to attain. Then, if that micro-credential’s area of study does not meet the needs of the learner, they have the ability to filter through other micro-credential options or ‘unsubscribe’ by not pursuing further micro-credentials with that organization and/or not pursuing micro-credentials in that area of study. No longer are learners constrained with the burden of ownership that may come with a committed certification program, which requires recertification or maintenance of certification on an ongoing basis.

Promote

We each maintain an online presence (or multiple online presences). Daily, weekly, and monthly, we meticulously curate what we share via our online presence and carefully promote or showcase our accomplishments. Our online presence is a tool which we can use to establish personal and professional connections, seek out new opportunities, maintain career mobility, and climb to new professional heights.

Micro-credentialing aligns well with our need to continually maintain our professional online presence. For example, as we mentioned earlier in this post, digital badges are often used to represent the completion of a micro-credential. These can be easily showcased on a platform like LinkedIn as a visual representation of ongoing achievement and lifelong learning.

Millennials

We hear the word over and over again, and it shouldn’t be ignored. Organizations are starting to look at their eLearning programs as a whole and have been slowly starting to replace their standard training programs with the more bite-sized content that millennials typically prefer.

In turn, this helps attract a younger demographic that is continuing to grow into leadership roles and also look for their educational content in other places aside from traditional four-year colleges and universities. Microlearning can also serve as a way and as a place for this younger audience to not only continue their learning but a way they can quickly grow as they start their careers.

I Understand Why, But How?

You see the benefit of microlearning and micro-credentials. But you need some ideas to start implementing programs? Here are a few ideas to get your started:

  1. Reinforce or supplement formal training. According to a 2017 ATD Report, 81% of adopters cited this as the most common application. This could include delivering short pieces of content to learners before a training program or conference to build excitement and grow their knowledge base before the event, as well as follow up afterwards, to ensure they don’t immediately forget everything that they’ve learned!
  2. Another application of microlearning is what is referred to as ‘just-in-time content’. This is easily digestible content that a learner can use to brush up on a skill before completing a task. Examples of this include a software developer implementing new code, a lawyer taking on a case with an uncommon argument, or a nurse performing a procedure at the hospital.
  3. Micro-webinars. While 60-minute webinars continue to be the most popular length of webinar (which many times can be attributed to receiving continuing education credit after viewing), micro-webinars have started to take hold. Whether these are utilizing a webinar platform such as Adobe Connect or GoToMeeting, or going live on a social platform such as Facebook, the shorter 10-20 minute web events on specific topics continue to grow.
  4. Repurpose content you already have! Take those hour-long podcasts, webinars, and conference sessions, and start breaking them down! Utilize a team that can help you edit the content you already have into smaller chunks, and set aside some time to start creating new pieces of content that are each just a few minutes in length.

While it may seem like a daunting task to fit so much education into such a short amount of time, remember that while the content comes in small pieces, it doesn’t mean that your learners won’t string a few together at a time – now you are just making the content less intimidating for them to absorb!

Author Bio

Jocelyn Fielding – Director, Marketing & Sales Operations

Jocelyn is responsible for all marketing activities at Blue Sky eLearn, as well overseeing sales from an operational standpoint. She has over 10 years of experience in sales and marketing, with 7 of those years being spent at Blue Sky, marketing and selling to associations, corporations, and pharmaceutical companies. When Jocelyn isn’t working, she enjoys being outside – whether hiking or heading to the beach. She’s also an avid traveler, has been to six of the seven continents, and is always planning her next trip (or two!).