Salesforce is a globally renowned American software company founded in 1999 that primarily provides cloud-based services geared towards customer relationship management (CRM). Besides, Salesforce offers other services, such as its suite of enterprise applications that look to simplify and streamline marketing automation, customer service, analytics, and app development. As of 2020, Salesforce has nearly 50,000 employees worldwide, making it a giant translational company that provides services all over the world. 

Among the major services offered by Salesforce, we are focusing on two similar yet vastly different services: its Non-profit Cloud service and its Philanthropy Cloud Service. If you’re confused as to which of these services would best suit your organization, worry not, because below we’ve provided you with everything that you need to know about these two services and their differences. 

Benefits of Salesforce

Before proceeding with information on the two specific services mentioned above, it’s important to first highlight some general benefits of using services by Salesforce. The two services mentioned above fall under the broad umbrella of Salesforce’s service cloud, which offers some generic benefits. Given the fact that customer relationship management (CRM) is often key to the success or failure of businesses, it makes sense to stick with a company that provides a robust, reliable CRM service with a proven track record. Salesforce does precisely that, and below, we’ve listed some of the general benefits of using Salesforce’s service: 

  • Workspace for Agents – Salesforce offers personalized user interfaces (UI) on their services for employees devoted to customer service and maintenance of customer relations. This not only helps improve productivity but also helps employees keep track of customer views using analytics. 
  • Organizing Knowledge – Company agents can access and manage resources within the company’s knowledge base. 
  • Automated Service Process – Salesforce provides several services and functions which can be seamlessly integrated with artificial intelligence (AI) for greater efficiency. 
  • Integrating calls and customer information – Knowing your customer is a key part of customer relationship management and Salesforce helps employees do this by allowing employees to have customer information on hand when making phone calls.   
  • Managing assets and orders – In addition to providing customer information, Salesforce also helps employees keep track of customer data, including important information such as past orders and past support-related queries. 
  • Automated tasks – Customer service tasks can sometimes become tedious and repetitive and Salesforce helps prevent employee exhaustion by automating repetitive tasks and allowing employees to save precious time. 
  • Specific Omnichannel Routing – It’s often difficult to keep a track of all service related queries and cases, and Salesforce helps optimize this process by transferring specific cases and related leads to concerned agents, based on the agents’ skill-set and availability. 
  • Managing Cases – Keeping track of customers’ queries can be difficult and Salesforce helps employees do this through their service console. It allows employees to multitask which gives them the leeway to work across multiple channels. This might include either the work system, personal computers, or mobile applications. 

Now that you are acquainted with the general benefits of using Salesforce’s CRM services, you have to make a decision on which particular service suits you and the needs of your organization the best. While both the options have their benefits, they cater to very specific needs, and it’s important to discern between them. 

What is Salesforce Nonprofit Cloud? 

Salesforce’s Nonprofit Cloud service is exclusively aimed at non-profit organizations and helps such organizations to create and maintain lasting relationships with supporters and beneficiaries using one integrated platform. A core offering from the global software company, Nonprofit Cloud is something called an industry vertical cloud – meaning that it is a specialized cloud service for a specialized industry, non-profit organizations in this case. 

Among other things, the service allows non-profit organizations to integrate fundraising, marketing, program management, and grantmaking operations, thereby increasing efficiency and allowing such organizations to seamlessly achieve their goals. Further, the service also allows organizations to create customized workflows that sync well with their activities.

It should be noted that several products fall under the broad umbrella of the Nonprofit Cloud service: Nonprofit Success Pack, Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud, Lightning Platform, Chatter, Success Plans, and NGO Connect are some. 

To help non-profit organizations get started out using the service, Salesforce offers additional services such as various training modules for staff, as well as expert advice on how to streamline operations better and get the most out of the Nonprofit Cloud Service.

Finally, the thing that makes Nonprofit Cloud particularly lucrative for non-profit organizations looking to expand their footprint is the fact that Salesforce offers this CRM service at a very nominal rate, thereby making it an affordable yet sublime service. 

What is Salesforce Philanthropy Cloud? 

As the name of the service itself suggests, Salesforce’s Philanthropy Cloud is geared towards…well, philanthropy. While that sounds cliched, Philanthropy Cloud is unique in how it seeks to revolutionize corporate social responsibility and decentralize it so that employees in an organization can directly contribute to the causes that they care about. 

Organizations using the Philanthropy Cloud open up hundreds of avenues for employee-driven philanthropy. The service allows employees in an organization the means to directly contribute to over 1.8 million non-profit organizations which are listed on GuideStar.

But that’s not all – the Philanthropy Cloud service also allows employees to create profiles that track their contributions, and since the service works independently, it allows these profiles to be transferred from one Salesforce CRM to another when employees change jobs – in other words, these profiles stay with employees for their lifetime.

Additionally, the service also leverages Salesforce Einstein and artificial intelligence to personalize profiles of employees and recommend non-profit organizations that they are likely to contribute to. 

Differences Between Nonprofit Cloud and Philanthropy Cloud: 

While the two services sound similar – insofar as they’re both oriented towards helping organizations and employees change society for the better – there are significant differences between the two. So, if you’re confused about which service to opt for, it’s important to note these differences. 

Salesforce’s Nonprofit Cloud is a core service – that is, it is a full-fledged industry vertical cloud service tailored to the needs of non-profit organizations exclusively. In contrast, Philanthropy Cloud is an add-on service created in partnership with United Way that allows organizations, in general, to set up a platform that allows employees to directly contribute to causes that they care for, from a list of millions of non-profit organizations. Thus, the key difference between the two is that the Nonprofit Cloud allows non-profit organizations to optimize their operations and business processes, whereas the Philanthropy Cloud allows pretty much any organization to create a culture of employee-driven philanthropy. 

The other differences between the two services stem from the aforementioned fundamental difference between the two. Nonprofit Cloud is a business-centric service that allows non-profits to manage everything from contributors to pledges to payments to beneficiaries on one platform. Philanthropy Cloud is an employee-centric service that allows organizations to create a culture of philanthropy and encourage employees to give their two cents to the causes they care about. 

Which service should you choose? Nonprofit Cloud or Philanthropy Cloud? 

As the discussion above makes evident, if you want to optimize the operations and business processes of your non-profit organization, Nonprofit Cloud is the way to go because it allows your organization to use one platform to track every aspect of your business, from volunteers to donors to payments to aid recipients, through the lifecycle of your organization. 

On the other hand, if you’re looking to improve employee engagement in your organization, Philanthropy Cloud is the way to go. With a new generation in the ascendancy, paychecks are not enough and the new generation of employees often seek purpose in their work and are very conscious of what values their employers stand for.

Given this fact, Philanthropy Cloud is a great way to get these young minds to contribute their two cents to the causes they care for – since employees can make individual donations or group donations, it also gives employees much-needed flexibility as they look to fund non-profit organizations that are striving to make the world a better place. 

It should be noted that both the Nonprofit Cloud and the Philanthropy Cloud services are geared towards nonprofits, but they are vastly different in how they function. While the Nonprofit Cloud service is tailor-made to help non-profit organizations optimize their business processes and become more efficient in the work that they do, Philanthropy Cloud is the flip-side of this and encourages more and more people to donate to this already vast and ever-growing network of varied non-profit organizations working in sectors ranging from public health to development to education to climate change. 


Now that you have a fair idea of how the two services work and differ from each other, you are in a better position to start getting into the details, such as pricing, availability, support, and so on. If you’re thinking of subscribing to either of these services, we recommend that you contact Salesforce directly and communicate with one of their representatives about the details of these two services.