Old School Ways Optimized with CRM Software

CRM Software for Nonprofits can help improve old school ways

Do you realize that the success of your nonprofit may be tied directly to the data you keep? This statement is as true whether your company operates under a for-profit model, or if you operate under a non-profit model. In this article, I address briefly a question posed to me by some of the industries tribal elders about the value of CRM for Nonprofits today.

Old School Ways Optimized By

CRM Software 

Every business is challenged with the task of curating and utilizing data about its members, donors, or customers in order to be effective at attracting, converting, & continually delighting them. And, to be quite direct, you cannot use your constituent data and manage relationships effectively without the use of customer relationship management software for nonprofits.

  • No, a Rolodex will not suffice if you want to remain in business.
  • No, your financial software (QuickBooks & Peachtree etc.) won’t cut it either.
  • No, regardless of what your dear old grandma may say, those trusty old 3×5 note cards just aren’t up to snuff either.

A CRM can help nonprofits organize your operations, schedule fundraising lists, keep your schedule on track, remind you to send out that thank you card after a donation, make that important call, and manage your data in a way you may have never dreamed of. Honestly, I find it hard to believe. But, there are some nonprofits executives who ignore CRM software because they don’t realize how a CRM software tool can help them raise funds and develop stronger relationships.

Maximize Donations with the Basics of CRM

More data on your potential supporters and existing donors can help your nonprofit maximize donations. How? The list is quite long. But, to be considerate of your time, you don’t have to go deep into the feature set of entry-level CRM software tools on the market today. In fact, the basics of having a detailed profile of everyone who donates money to your company can be very useful. The Huffington Post opines:

How exactly would we know who gave what? You guessed it – a CRM! With [this] tool, you can track all sorts of things about a donor or prospective donor, such as their contribution history, engagement history, social media links, and more. Having this data at your disposal will [ensure your] valuable time results in more funding.

Retain your Supporters 

Any business owner will tell you that retaining your customers is low-hanging fruit. Understanding how to create loyal customers so you can retain them is one of the most important things for any business. Most companies focus on acquisition more than customer retention, even though it can cost 7x more to acquire new customers. Most nonprofits do too!

CRM software functionality can help keep the supporters you have now. Like all people, your donors want to be treated well. A simple personalized direct mail piece which includes specific details about your donor can make a huge difference. Solid data stored in CRM software can help make your communications more personal.

Personalize the Member, Donor, & Customer Experience 

Emails by nature tend may tend to be a little impersonal. With data stored in the CRM, you will have a treasure trove of data at your fingertips, which could change all that. You can use CRM software to personalize every message, segment based on unlimited data, and then reach out to the right people at the right time who may donate to your nonprofit like never before.

Contact us if you would like to learn more about CRM for Nonprofits. We can help you find the best fit based on your goals, requirements, and budget.

Until next time, keep SmartThoughts in mind.

Free CRM Software Purchase Guide

Do NonProfits Need Customer Relationship Management Software?

Customer Relationship Management software, CRM for Nonprofit, is important to your Nonprofit.

The customer relationship management software (CRM) market has been growing at a fast pace over the last several years. In this article, we wanted to focus on a few reasons why you may consider CRM software in your nonprofit.

Does your Nonprofit Need CRM Software?

CRM tools have been around since the middle 90’s. Before that, we referred to them as contact managers (ACT! & Goldmine) and Salesforce automation (led by Salesforce.com) tools. For someone like me (with not much gray I might add!) who has been through the evolution, it’s been fun to watch the buzz of CRM in recent years in the nonprofit industry.

Why Customer Relationship Software?

I believe that there has been a convergence in the mentality of traditional for profit businesses and nonprofits due in large part to what some experts call Buyer 2.0. Most businesses today are in need of growing, developing, and supporting a community of loyal customers similar to what a nonprofit association has provided for years. And, conversely, the Nonprofit world is competing against other nonprofits (and for profits) in order to remain viable in today’s economy which expects us to move quickly, to deliver solutions and results almost immediately. As a result, many forward thinking executive teams and boards must be prepared to arm their staff with different technology which are capable of providing a competitive advantage.

A CRM solution helps an organization recognize the value of your customers and improve relationships within your business community. The better you understand your members or donors, the more responsive you can be to their needs and ensure they are served in the best possible way. With the right people and processes, the proper CRM tool can help boost marketing efforts, enhance member or donor services, increase revenue, improve productivity, & reduce costs. In other words, CRM isn’t just a “nice to have” for nonprofits anymore rather a “must have” in order to develop, maintain, and grow relationships with their donors, members, and customers.

Customer Relationship Management Saves Time

Everyone has to do more with less and nonprofits are the poster child for that “way of doing business”. At the core of traditional CRM software is task management. And, due to the nature of business today, everyone needs to plan their day and share it with others. CRM helps tremendously in this area. Further, if your non-profit relies on employees or volunteers to manually process donations, reach out to potential donors or stay in touch with repeat donors, CRM can help you save a lot of time as well. A good CRM tool can be used to automate certain processes such as a receiving donations or sending automated messages to potential or repeat donors. You can then have employees or volunteers focus on more important tasks.

CRM Will Facilitate Communication With Your Donors

The ability to share automated and personalized messages with your donors will make sharing information a lot easier. You can use a customer relationship management tool to provide donors with a better experience, for instance by sending a personalized thank you message after they make a donation or by sending automated messages for birthdays or holidays. You can also rely on CRM to share updates about your activities and make your non-profit more transparent. The communication between your staff and donors is critical activity history which should be stored and recorded for easy look up. CRM tools can and should be able to integrate and capture emails and phone calls made on all devices used by your staff (Outlook, Gmail, Mobile).

CRM Software Can Help You Generate More Donations

The CRM system should be viewed as a living & breathing entity for your organization. Automating interactions with donors makes it easier to stay in touch with them and provide them with information they are interested in. A donor who keeps receiving relevant automated messages about your non-profit will be more likely to donate again in the future than someone who has lost interest in your non-profit or who does not have access to relevant information.

CRM Software Helps You Improve Your Strategies

In addition to being a blessing to the staff, your Executive and board will benefit as well. Using a CRM tool to interact with donors and receive donations means you will have access to detailed reports on how much money was received and which strategies helped generate donations. You can then review these reports to determine which strategies were the most successful and find the areas that need to be improved. On the long-term, the right CRM tool will help fine tune your approach to managing donations and interacting with donors in a much more educated fashion.

To sum it up, Customer Relationship Management is a process of managing your donors, members, & customers in a strategic and systematic manner. And, we believe CRM Software should be considered as a competitive enabler in order to facilitate your mission. If you are contemplating ways to do things differently in your nonprofit, we have experience in both the industry and CRM software to best help you understand how CRM solutions may help your nonprofit. Contact us today for your free consultation on which tools may best suit you!

Until then, keep SmartThoughts in mind.

We provide a free list of Nonprofit CRM & Best of CRM software for you to begin your search!