Nonprofit Cloud VS NPSP: Exploring the Key Differences

10 min read

We’re hearing a lot of buzz about transitioning to Nonprofit Cloud, especially from nonprofits who previously used Salesforce’s NPSP pack. They want to understand the difference between the solutions and the worth of switching to a new cloud. Some even suggest that Salesforce is gradually phasing out NPSP and considering retirement for the package. So, in this blog, we are exploring this topic, providing you with an understanding of Nonprofit Cloud and its features, and exploring key differences between the solutions.

What actually happened?

Starting on a mission to empower nonprofits, Salesforce introduced the Nonprofit Starter Pack (NPSP) in 2008 (eventually upgraded to Nonprofit Success Pack in 2016 ) – a complementary solution that consists of a set of tools and features designed specifically to meet the needs of nonprofit organizations. The app is completely free and readily available on the AppExchange platform.

Then, ten years later in 2018, Salesforce announced a Nonprofit Cloud that was meant to expand and streamline the core capabilities of the Salesforce platform for nonprofits. The new Nonprofit Cloud was designed to give nonprofits everything they need to keep track of their programs in real time, generate more funds by using data-driven insights with AI, and guide everyone involved from the start to making a real impact.

Is Salesforce moving away from NPSP?

We don’t think so. We believe NPSP will continue to exist alongside the new Nonprofit Cloud, serving as an additional choice for nonprofits utilizing Salesforce.

 And here are the main reasons for that:

  • NPSP is an open-source product, so even if the pack is retired some day users would still be able to install it in their orgs. So, it just can’t be retired at all.
  • Many nonprofits recently migrated to NPSP in response to the January 2023 retirement of NGO Connect. They are less likely to adopt the new system in the near future.
  • The idea of migrating is intimidating for nonprofits that have been using the Nonprofit Success Pack for quite some time. Considering that migration to a new system requires time, effort, and budget, most nonprofits will continue using NPSP.
  • After all, it’s still not clear how seamless the current switching process into Nonprofit Cloud is. As a result, people will likely continue using what they’re familiar with, avoiding the risks associated with migrations.

What we believe is that Salesforce will probably pay less attention to the NPSP pack in the future and not prioritize making new features or releases for it, investing more in Nonprofit Cloud. However, the pack will still be available for downloading and use. Worth mentioning that all new nonprofit customers will be implemented on NPC, not NPSP.

So, let’s see what the future holds. But what we know for sure is that even if NPSP will be retired someday, it’s not going to happen anytime soon.

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Nonprofit Cloud VS NPSP: main differences between the solutions

Both solutions serve nonprofits that use Salesforce and both were built with nonprofit organizations specifically in mind to address the common challenges associated with all nonprofit processes, such as fundraising, accounting, program management, grantmaking, etc. I think there’s no need to explain in detail what NPSP is in Salesforce or provide the foundational capabilities of the new Nonprofit Cloud. If you’re reading this blog, you know both solutions and are looking for key differences between them. So, here you go!

While some of the use cases are similar, Nonprofit Cloud is radically different and more complex than NPSP in most of the key ways.

Here are key differences between Nonprofit Cloud and the NPSP package you need to keep in mind:

  • NPSP is essentially a package that renames or adds various fields, installs some apps, incorporates apex triggers, and introduces new tools. All of these elements could be individually built out by an admin/developer if a nonprofit truly wants a more customized experience. On the other hand, Nonprofit Cloud is a core part of the Salesforce ecosystem, meaning no add-ons or packages.
  • NPSP was built on the most basic features of Sales Cloud while Nonprofit Cloud is a more complex solution for complex processes.
  • A lot of OmniStudio is built in the Nonprofit Cloud. So, your success depends on how well you know and use OmniStudio. It would also be good to be comfortable with Flows, Business Rules Engine, LWC, Tableau and Data Cloud.
  • Nonprofit Cloud involves more objects that become standard when the license is enabled. However, not every nonprofit really needs that number of standard objects to work with.
  • In Nonprofit Cloud, much is based on an understanding of Person Accounts and Industry Common Components. One standout feature is using Person Accounts instead of NPSP Households. In NPSP, a Household account may have multiple contacts, but a Person Account combines account and contact fields to represent an individual while still having the functionality of an account. You can still build households but will need to use a new object – Party Relationship Groups – to create relationships between the accounts.
Nonprofit Cloud VS NPSP
salesforce nonprofit cloud
  • Nonprofit Success Pack comes out-of-the-box with robust address management functionality for tracking multiple addresses for a household. Since Nonprofit Cloud doesn’t have the Household Account model, this functionality is not available for users.
  • Actionable relationship center (ARC) – new component within Nonprofit Cloud that’s not available in NPSP. With Nonprofit Cloud, Salesforce introduced the possibility to configure a new, easy-to-navigate graphical view of all relationships among members and businesses.
  • Program Management module in Nonprofit Cloud instead of Program Management in Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP). Worth paying attention to name changes of some objects in Nonprofit Cloud.

Program Management objects comparison

NPSP VS nonprofit cloud

Fundraising management has a completely different data model than NPSP. Nonprofit Cloud comes with 4 pre-built Fundraising apps: Philanthropy And Partnerships, Fundraising Strategy, Donor Engagement and Fundraising Operations each of which consists of a whole set of new objects that make it a complex solution. In NPSP fundraising and donors are managed through Opportunities and Recurring Donations objects.

salesforce nonprofit cloud
  • The Case Management object workflow in the new Nonprofit Cloud is similar to that in the NPSP package. However, there are also some differences in object names. For instance, Case Plans in NPSP become Care Plans in the new Nonprofit Cloud. The Client Notes object in NPSP has been replaced with the Interaction Summary object in Nonprofit Cloud.

As of now, V4S is compatible with Nonprofit Cloud. To investigate this further, we created a new org with Nonprofit Cloud and installed the V4S package. The package appeared to be working correctly. If your client has already been using NPSP with V4S, they will need to do data migration as Nonprofit Cloud requires a new org and cannot be used with NPSP.

Salesforce Nonprofit Cloud: resources for learning

There are plenty of cool features in the Salesforce Nonprofit Cloud but also lots of learning as the new platform includes a collection of components and tools that are not available in NPSP. Before starting your journey on Nonprofit Cloud, you’ll need some time for learning. Don’t ignore getting a Learner Org to play with new features and spend time exploring Trailhead.

Here are some resources that will help you on your learning journey:


In conclusion, as we’ve explored the key differences between Nonprofit Cloud and NPSP, it’s evident that each has its unique strengths and features. Nonprofit Cloud introduces more complexity and additional tools, while NPSP provides a simpler approach. The decision between them depends on the specific needs and preferences of your nonprofit organization. Take your time to explore and understand both to make the best choice for your nonprofit journey!

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