Practice Groups

Hands-on learning for a stronger database.
Support to inspire and guide admins of all levels.


What happens after your first treks? You’ve got your nonprofit’s database in place. You’ve had some ups and downs in learning along the way, with more yet to come. You’re an admin who knows that how you care for the data is just as important as the tool you use. Or you’re an executive director who knows there’s nothing better than a savvy, informed database admin, but you’re not sure how best to support them.

Database Sherpa’s Practice Groups are made for this part of your nonprofit’s journey. They’re a thoughtful, cost-effective space for deeper learning on common challenges, key features, and practices that shape the day-to-day life of your Salesforce database.

Seeing and walking through the learning together in real life and real time, with the opportunity to ask questions and puzzle through its application, is so much more impactful than reading Trailhead.”

Laron Olson, system administrator at Take the Next Step


Now Registering: 2020 Practice Groups

Register Now


$1,200 and about 30 hours of participation over 12 months

We’ve made the practice group fee as accessible as possible and comparable to attending a one-time offsite conference or learning event. While one-time trainings or conferences can be a great catalyst, we approach database management as a living practice. For many database admins, the learning happens in ebbs and flows, between staff meetings and grant deadlines, and in everyday relationship with your database. That’s why we’ve designed the groups around a year’s worth of support—to guide your nonprofit as needs arise and help admins make the learning a part of their daily work.

In 2020, three practice groups will be available, with no more than 4 participants in each group to ensure thoughtful conversation and plenty of individualized attention. Each group will meet at a standing time each month. You’ll be asked to choose your time when you register.

Second Monday of the month
9 am PST/Noon EST to 10 am PST/1 pm EST
4 spots left in this group

Third Tuesday of the month
Noon PST/ 3 pm EST to 1 pm EST/4 pm EST
3 spots left in this group

First Friday of the month (FULL)
9 am PST/ Noon EST to 10 am PST/1 pm EST
This group is full!

Refund policy:
A full refund is available up to 60 days before your group’s first session. Refunds will not be given after that.


From a Current Participant

“One of the most fascinating things for me is seeing the different organizations and how they employ the NPSP. Sometimes, I can extract from that example a new twist or a better direction in how I use the software. There’s a steady – but not overwhelming – flow of ideas and tips. They range from creating a report I knew I wanted, but didn’t know how to do it, to creating a report I would never have thought of… to a ‘heads up this is coming, so you might want to do x now’ and save some time and trouble later… to ‘Gee the training example demonstrates this aspect of the software, but here’s a different way to use it for another organization.’”

Margaret Magnus, who manages fundraising
and database administration at Meher Mount

2020 Practice Groups
Register Now

A full refund is available up to 60 days before your group’s first session.



Every practice group includes 12 months of…

Live monthly learning sessions

Hosted online and facilitated by Ashima Saigal, these one-hour sessions are highly engaging. Think of these as learning labs where we’ll dig into an aspect of managing your database, trade notes on what’s worked (or not) in our own journeys, and support each other in trying new practices.

The sessions are a mix of training and group coaching. Sometimes they’ll involve collaborative discussion and workshopping of a participant’s database challenge. Sometimes they’ll include a walkthrough of a new feature, followed by Q&A to help you reflect on how to implement it within your nonprofit. Sometimes they include a guest speaker, who provides outside expertise or special insight on a user’s perspective.

Topics follow the needs of the group and reflect emerging issues in the Salesforce and database admin community. Examples of past topics include: optimizing your database for a major giving campaign, making the most of volunteer management with Salesforce, working with users who have limited understanding of databases, and more.

training resources

As we exchange new practices, address questions, or identify common challenges in the group, Ashima will gather and provide resources to deepen your own learning and give you takeaways you can share within your organization. These can be especially useful as you work on your nonprofit’s documentation, train more staff members, and/or work to improve internal adoption of your Salesforce database.

Private Community, with Q&A Support

Each member of the practice group will have access to a forum, using Basecamp, where the conversation and learning continue. It’s a space for asking questions, offering feedback and ideas to fellow practice group members, and getting on-the-go insight from Ashima as you try out the practices from our monthly sessions. This private space will also include documentation and resources—making it a learning library throughout your time in the practice group.

Priority Access to Additional Support

Should your nonprofit need additional support beyond the practice group, you’ll have priority access to Ashima’s schedule. Nonprofits in the practice group will also receive a 10% discount on additional project fees in 2020, as a thank you for the investment you’re making in ongoing learning and staff development.


From a Current Participant

“The group is hosted by a Salesforce MVP who offers her expertise to problem-solving both during our live meetings and via Basecamp. When information regarding a specific topic is requested by the group, Ashima has prepared a presentation and supporting documentation for the group. The size of the group gives every member the opportunity to be heard and have their issue addressed. As valuable as a User Group is, it is more of a one-way conversation—lots of valuable "how-to" information, but there is little troubleshooting regarding specific issues. The Sherpa practice group really is a valuable trouble-shooting group, we check back with each other with ideas on how to resolve issues and report results and successful methods. Yes, the HUB offers this, but given its current size, responses are not as guaranteed or necessarily prompt. The Sherpa group provides an opportunity for a more nuanced conversation.”

Deb Van Zegeren, information technology manager
at Cutaneous Lymphoma Foundation


Ready to practice with us? Space is limited.
Register early to claim your spot!

2020 Practice Groups
Register Now

Questions? We’d love to help as you decide whether the practice group is a good fit for you.
Please drop a note to Ashima to talk more.