Build Your Skills Through Volunteering

Build Your Skills By VolunteeringA lot of people ask me how they can develop or broaden skills in managing, using or administering  My typical answer includes signing up for a free dev org at, leveraging the many step by step guides in Salesforce’s Help & Training page,  and volunteering for a nonprofit organization.  The last one might surprise you, but in my experience nonprofits have some of the most interesting use cases for the platform, are more likely to use it throughout their organization, and are often willing to leverage volunteers.

Last year, NPower, a national nonprofit that brings information technology services to nonprofits, unveiled a site dedicated to connecting nonprofits to corporate volunteers.  The Community Corps allows you to search through requests for volunteers by category and see listings with details of specific needs.  Check them out at!  Another approach is to join a nonprofit user group in your area to meet with organizations who might need help.  User group listings can be found at

Since the Foundation began offering free and deeply discounted licenses to nonprofits, more than 6000 orgnizations have adopted the platform.  Countless more can and will benefit.  Application partners in the ecosphere have joined in to offer similar deals on their products, resulting in a great boost to nonprofit infrastructures.  Put together this generates a clear win-win for you in developing your Salesforce skills and the many nonprofit organizations that can benefit from some business system acumen.

David Carnes - Founder & CEO

about the author

David Carnes

David’s role as Chairman & Chief Digital Evangelist is centered around driving meaningful client engagement and business development. The key to this is serving as an advisor to OpFocus’ SaaS clients as they scale their revenue operations and embrace digital transformation.

In his early career, David worked in IT and operations for software companies, developing an interest in CRM, marketing automation, and analytics while building out systems, processes, data, and reporting for the business teams he supported. He earned a Masters in Software Engineering and credits a Harvard summer class in database management for opening his eyes to what systems could do to support operations. In founding OpFocus in 2006 David took another step toward focusing on business operations, seizing on Salesforce’s vision and never looking back.

David is a frequent speaker at Salesforce and Salesforce community events around the world, mentors through the Trailblazer Mentorship Program hosts Dashboard Dōjō, and serves as a Platform Champion and a Pi-TaP board member. Due to his involvement in the trailblazer community, David’s recently been awarded the position of Salesforce MVP!