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.