To start with: there is no simple answer to this question. NPSP – part of Salesforce’s Nonprofit Cloud – and Converse – specifically focused on the Dutch market – both have their pros and cons. g-company is pre-eminently the party to advise you on the right choice in your situation. We have enormous experience with the implementation of both products, and therefore know each advantages and disadvantages.
The issue in the title is relevant to the recent acquisition of Converse by CISIS. Below is a reflection on this issue, focusing on the past, present and future.
In 2013, we started the Salesforce practice for non-profits within g-company. Salesforce was already an extremely powerful CRM for non-profits at the time, but there were challenges: for example, linking donor payments in Salesforce. While we were working on our first projects at fundraising organisations MamaCash and Compassion to find a repeatable solution for these challenges, Bas Visser came across our path. Bas, previously successful at Salesforce himself, was starting a new company. His goal: to develop a good solution for fundraising on the Salesforce platform, focusing on the Netherlands and Europe.
As a result: StepOrange was founded, and we set off together. The first version of the application was evaluated positively by our consultants: it was a powerful solution for our core problem and it had a lot more to offer. This is how Compassion became the first customer for StepOrange. Of course there were teething problems and we paid our dues during the first projects. After Compassion, Wilde Ganzen and Terre des Hommes followed.
In the following years StepOrange developed strongly and the name was changed to FinDock. A lot has happened since then. In 2017 Bas Visser sold Converse to ABSI, which in turn was acquired by PwC in 2019. A few months ago, PwC sold Converse again to CISIS. What does that mean for the present and the future?
Until 2-3 years ago, organisations often chose Converse as their fundraising solution. Since then, NPSP has been catching up. At this moment we cannot provide a general answer to the question “Who wins the contest? In recent years we have at times been dissatisfied with the support for Converse, and on behalf of our clients we have had to push for improvement. Little functionality has also been added. CISIS is currently showing a lot of ambition to make a big change.
The unrest about the ownership has led various non-profits (such as Leprazending, Dorcas and Sea Shepherd) to choose NPSP, to their complete satisfaction. Sometimes we see clients making the switch from Converse to NPSP. In addition, of course, NPSP is made available by Salesforce without extra licence fees. The ambition expressed by CISIS does give cause for confidence that Converse is entering calmer waters, with more focus on quality, support and further development.
The innovation power of Salesforce – and therefore NPSP – is unprecedented. In three major releases per year, those innovations become available seamlessly, without any effort on your part. On the other hand, CISIS has the strategy to further develop Converse with a full focus on Dutch fundraisers. This includes a connection with CollecteKracht: a successful app developed by CISIS, which is used by the Hersenstichting, ZOA and Amnesty International. The future will show how non-profits in the Netherlands will value the future development of NPSP and Converse.
The takeover of Converse by CISIS is accompanied by strong ambitions, which could be of great benefit to Converse’s customers. g-company is therefore currently opting for a positive wait-and-see attitude. We look forward with interest to the roadmap in which the ambitions must become concrete, and will follow the developments on behalf of our current support customers. At the same time, we have had many positive experiences with NPSP. Based on all this, you can count on our honest and independent advice if you want an answer to the question in the title of this article for your own organisation!