A lot of our customers are like us. They use Salesforce and have Xero for their Finance System. One of the common questions we receive is how and why should we integrate Salesforce and Xero?
How you should approach integrating Xero and Salesforce depends tremendously on the type of Non-Profit. I’ll group them into roughly three categories:
- credit-card based fundraisers,
- high value donations (more than 10k), and
- trading / social-enterprise Non-Profits.
Fundraisers who primarily take donations via Credit Card
If you are in this category, I’m going to make a surprising suggestion – don’t integrate Xero with Salesforce. Instead, consider integrating Salesforce with your Credit Card Merchant account (for the record we recommend Chargent).
Why would I say this? It’s based on how Xero receives donation data. Most fundraising charities receive (we hope!) more than one donation a day. Donations are aggregated with other donations, and passed to your bank account with minimal details. Names, phone numbers, emails, and even the amount is all stripped out. All you’ll see in Xero is single transaction each day, containing Date, Merchant Account, and the aggregated Amount. And, unless you laboriously copy over data from your merchant account, you won’t have anything to match it to!
Here’s a screenshot of what your Xero bank reconciliation will look like for a daily distribution of multiple credit card donations.
That’s it! The amount might represent 5 or even 500 donations, but by looking at Xero you have no idea. This is because the valuable information is kept at the merchant account level.
Instead of trying to grab this aggregated, anonymous data from Xero, we recommend looking at either a fundraising platform native to Salesforce or a merchant account integration like Chargent. This establishes Salesforce as your transactional system and source of truth providing a complete 360 degree view on what your supporters are doing with your organisation.
Fundraisers who focus on large donations
Are you a fundraising charity that focuses on large donations? Or grants? While integrating with Xero here might make a bit more sense, it’s not always a compelling use case.
When you get a gift or grant for 10k, or 100k, so many things need to happen. The donor needs to be thanked, possible a few times. The details and communication need to be recorded. Potential projects can be initiated. In this process, editing the corresponding potential donation to “Posted” in Salesforce is often a quick and easy part of the overall process.
We hope you get a donation for 1.5 billion. It happens! The heir to the McDonalds franchise fortune donated 1.5 billion to the Salvation Army. If you saw the movie The Founder, about Ray Kroc, this is his wife at the end of the movie. Just don’t send your donors an Invoice after they promise to donate. It sends the wrong message!
Trading Charities / Social Enterprises / Business-esque Non-Profits
While some charities will have a trading arm to help fund their activities, others will actually take on a business role to achieve their aims. Whatever the reason, if your charity sends out Invoices to other charities, educational institutions or businesses and gets paid later for goods or services, then the benefits of integrating with Xero are more clear cut.
In this case, we would recommend Breadwinner, which integration Xero and Salesforce at the Invoice level, which makes it a good choice for Trading Charities but not the above mentioned fundraising charities. It’s what we use ourselves at Morphate.
If you are coming to the Salesforce World Tour in Sydney make sure you drop by the Breadwinner booth and Stony and the team can talk to you more about Breadwinner.