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!

Software Advice Nonprofits: CRM Software for Nonprofits, Membership, & Donor

Database Software for CRM, Membership, and Nonprofits

Software Reviews, Comparisons, & Reports 

(Fort Worth, TX,  April 1, 2014) – In an effort to help nonprofits overcome their current challenges with finding the right CRM software for Nonprofits, SmartThoughts LLC., a professional software selection firm has been launched.  With the charter of this new firm, a fresh new approach to nonprofit software selection is now available to help nonprofits make smarter software decisions.

The Mission Is To Provide A Smarter Way of Evaluating Software for Nonprofits

Chad Stewart, Principal, Chief Selection Adviser, of SmartThoughts stated, “ Over the past decade there has been a monumental shift taking place in the way that people buy goods. The way we have procured software has been forever transformed by this fact. We no longer look to vendors to uncover the basics, when executives are ready to talk, they require true counsel in sifting through the marketing noise of options. Our goal in starting this company and website is to be the primary source for nonprofit professionals beginning their search to find the right CRM software for their organization. We have listened to the nonprofit market and are responding to one of the biggest challenges facing nonprofits today; Technology.

Why we are Unique in Evaluating CRM For Nonprofits

We are unique in the online software advice options. We are not paid by the vendors to write about, recommend, or provide software leads. Rather, we provide education and services to help elevate our clients above the marketing noise and assist them in selecting the software tools they need based on their goals, needs, and budget. We are committed to an agnostic approach and plan to use our combined industry experience and valued strategic partner resources to help educate and align our association clients with the proper vendor partner solution based on the information we have curated over the last 20 years in the software industry. It’s our goal that our organization will give nonprofits the insights they need to meet their strategic objectives with technology automation well into the 21st Century”.

Purpose of SmartThoughts Website

The website will continually evolve over time. However, our desire is to educate executives in the areas of software selection processes, CRM Software for Nonprofits, Membership Database Software & complimentary software solutions which work in concert with their respective software solutions. SmartThoughts brings expertise in many software disciplines with specific expertise in Membership Management Software solutions, Customer Relationship Management Software for Nonprofits, Marketing Automation software, and other complimentary software designed to ignite the use by staff and member alike. The website contains a specific blog which is designed to serve as a free resource for selection process tips, nonprofit software reviews, current software in the market, software vendors, solutions providers, and general technology information pertinent to the association and nonprofit industry.

Subscribers to the blog will be able to sign up to receive weekly posts so association software information will be as close as their inbox. In addition, SmartThoughts is accepting applications for guest bloggers for the new site. Association professionals, Software Vendors, and others are invited to share on the site. We encourage all to apply on the site.

###

About SmartThoughts:

Our mission is to shift the paradigm involved in the evaluation and acquisition process of nonprofit software. Our Software Selection Services are designed to help associations conquer the ever-changing challenge with determining how to find the software they need to engage their members and donors grow their membership, and efficiently manage their human capital investments. Our goal is to work in the spirit of collaboration managing the relationships with buyers and vendor partners in order to find a solution which truly meets the needs of the clients.