Learn how connecting your Zengine platform with GuideStar, SalesForce, or QuickBooks can make your job easier.
Integration may sound like a scary word -- and anyone who has gone through a poorly planned software implementation probably has a few war stories to share. That’s because a company saying they have integrations doesn’t mean that they are for all software, that they can access the data you need, or that they are going to come cheap. So let’s dive into lesson #1 right here from the get-go: if you are currently shopping for a new application management platform, always ask about integrations during your requirements call! (Current WizeHive customer? Reach out to your implementation lead if you think you need to add some integrations. We can walk you through your options!)
If we haven’t sent you off worrying yet, then let us also throw this more positive soundbite out there -- integrations can be your best friend. When you get one that you really need and you have it set up properly, it can be an amazing time saver and help you achieve tasks that were nearly impossible before. It virtually removes manual insertion, double entry, and human error, but also allows clients to see all their data in new, clearer, and more helpful ways. We know because we’ve had some customers tell us these integrations have reduced their workload by more than 50%.
What is an integration?
Good question. Before we go further, you might be wondering exactly what an integration really is. Most simply put, an integration is when two software platforms, programs, or databases (ie, Zengine and GuideStar) are able to talk to each other and share information with each other. This is done via an API -- an open door these systems can pass data in and out of on each end.
There are different types of APIs though, and different computing languages, which is where things can sometimes get tricky. You’ll also want to make sure the data you want shared between the two systems is data that can move through the API -- not everything in a system is movable!
If your programs speak the same language and the data you want them to share is accessible, then you have a successful integration, and information can move seamlessly from one system to another.
So let’s get into some integrations we implement pretty often ‘round here, shall we?
Zengine and GuideStar
A good percentage of our clients are nonprofits, and as such work to distribute funds via grants, scholarships, or other programs with other charitable or philanthropic organizations. This means applicants for their programs need to be a certified 501(c) organization.
GuideStar is an industry standard for verifying the nonprofit status of such organizations, as well as gathering other basics about them like operating budget, number of staffers, and annual giving.
With Zengine’s GuideStar integration plug-in, applicants can be asked for their EIN number as part of an application. Once entered and submitted, Zengine sends that EIN to GuideStar to check if it’s in the database. If it is, GuideStar sends back the information needed, verifying the organization’s status. If the EIN is not in the system GuideStar notifies Zengine that the organization is not verified. Grantmakers can even make this a conditional field, prohibiting applicants from completing further questions or submitting the application if the plug-in does not verify the organization.
Zengine and Salesforce
Salesforce is easily one of the most popular CRM databases on the market, and with a free version available for nonprofits a number of foundations, schools, and charities have taken advantage of its features.
Many of our clients want to utilize Zengine to manage their application management, but then want to share some of that information -- like who applied for a grant or who received one -- with the rest of their organization via Salesforce. Zengine integrates with Zapier, which allows us the integrate in turn with 1000+ cloud-based programs, like Salesforce. For example, one of our clients has had us set up an integration between their Zengine worksplace and their Salesforce account through which Zengine shares with Salesforce the email addresses of the individuals who have applied and won their grants. Salesforce receives them and populates a custom field in each contact record with the name of the grant applied for and/or the name of the grant awarded. Now the entire organization, regardless of area, can see the breadth of a particular contact’s involvement in the grants program, or pull applicants and grantees historically.
Zengine and QuickBooks
Accounting and QuickBooks are practically synonymous, so it was no surprise when we had a number of clients on the platform and looking to share budget data between it and their Zengine workspace.
Also using Zapier, integration with QuickBooks allows our clients to better manage a grant or other giving program inside Zengine by, for example, keeping a clear record of payments made to a grantee together with the grant application and all other related data. For organizations using Zengine as grantees for grant tracking, the integration could allow them to clearly see the receipt of grant funds as well as reconcile each budget line as funds are utilized.
Want even more?
Our partnership with Zapier opens up the potential for integrations with 1000+ other cloud-based programs like MailChimp, Basecamp, Slack, Gmail, Airtable, Dropbox … the list goes on. If there’s another program your team uses, there’s a great chance we can send your Zengine data there. Learn more about how Zapier works and how all these integration options can further streamline your programs.