Maximize Development and Marketing with CRM Software

Development and Marketing enhanced by CRM

Since it was first conceived in the late 1980s, integrated marketing communication (IMC) has become the predominant method of marketing. The concept focuses on integration across all marketing tactics, projecting a unified message to customers regardless of the outlet. In this article, I share with you my thoughts into CRM Software for nonprofits and how it may assist in helping donor development officers and marketing align more effectively in their shared purpose.

Is Lack of CRM Software Impacting Alignment in your Nonprofit?

The methodology of IMC may be replaced with new terminology. IMC is now sometimes referred to SMarketing. SMarketing is the alignment and connection between sales and marketing. Since Sales (Development & Membership Executives) and Marketing work closely together in most nonprofits organizations, it’s often typical for these two groups to sometimes compete with one another. But if you improve SMarketing at your nonprofit, you’ll likely sale more memberships and increase donor contributions.

Whether you are a nonprofit or for profit, marketing and sales alignment (whatever you call it) is more important than ever. Competition for donor mind-share is at an all time high. And, nowadays buyers expect a seamless brand experience across channels. And as more nonprofits invest in delivering fluid member experiences, the delight of receiving the right message at the right time becomes more than a nice-to-have; it becomes an expectation. From working in both nonprofit and for profit, this expectation is no different for all types of organizations.

Now back to the concept of IMC. In many instances I have observed, the ideology of IMC falls to the wayside when it comes to the integration of marketing and revenue (or, for non-profit, donations, booth sales, memberships etc.). Marketing seeks to attract constituent interest and generate brand advocates, at which point the development department takes over and seeks to convert these supporters (leads) into donors with their own messages and strategies.

What if you could align your strategies across your company into an integrated marketing and donation effort? I believe that CRM Software for many nonprofits can do just that. And, I believe that doing so creates a number of significant advantages. Here are a few:

A Unified Message

First, an integrated approach to donations and marketing allows your nonprofit to project a unified message about your products and services to your audience. From the first touch all the way to closing the sale, your audience will know exactly what to expect and why they should donate to your cause.

Added Information

As any development officer knows, the more information you have about a potential donor, the better. Marketing can gather that information through its various analytics tools, and an integrated approach ensures that the information gets passed on and is included in the CRM for easy access. Armed with that added information, development officers can touch on important decision points and influences when asking for donations.

Higher Donor and Member Revenue

Ultimately, a unified message and more information for your sales or donations team will lead to higher revenue and business growth. Research shows that companies who are integrated from the first until the final touch become 67 percent better at closing with their ask, achieve a 24 percent higher revenue growth, and retain 36 percent more customers or donors.

Stated differently, can your nonprofit afford not to align their development and marketing approaches? Chances are you’ll be better off if you do. And, the nonprofits which I see doing this excel.

To learn more about how Customer Relationship Management software can help your nonprofit, contact us. Until next time, keep SmartThoughts in mind.

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

The Value of Using Association Membership Software

the value of #membershipsoftware

What should you expect in terms of ROI for your Association Membership software?

Association Management Software (AMS) is absolutely necessary for every member based organization. Any association executive who has spent hours dredging through piles of paper for event registrations or who has updated a members contact information in a number of different places will love Association Management Software. The key is finding the right fit for you.

The Value of Membership Software 

It sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? Association Management Software has many capabilities that will keep an association organized and running like a well-oiled machine.

Association Management Software will help with everything from event planning to tracking e-commerce so that staff employees can focus more on the members or donors and less on the member data information updates or donor financial processing.

Association Management Software is huge in the world of small or larger associations. Typically, an association (like all businesses) have very little manpower and a small pool of funds with which to pull in new employees or volunteers. Hiring an employee to update the databases, plan the events and follow the e-commerce or donations just isn’t economically feasible. Therefore, an existing employee is charged with the duty, on top of the normal duties of his or her job title. This quickly leads to burn out and disgruntled employees.

Most associations software tools today are accessed via a web browser, therefore, any employee or volunteer can grab the information at any time/anywhere. And, your members can have access to the information on-line as well only adding to the value of the expenditure. The tool can become the foundation for all aspects of your business today; website, database, communication tool, government relations, eCommerce, Events, Billing, Orders, etc.

Why Should you consider Membership Software?

Why wouldn’t every association (small, medium, large) have one integrated association membership software platform? Good Question!

Perception is often the enemy. Many old school executives are living in the past. We often hear phrases such as “I am too small for that” or “AMS software is too expensive”. However, that couldn’t be farther from the truth in today’s technology world. The cost of the typical Cloud based association management tool can be as low as $ 100 a month per user (staff).

Key Value Areas of Membership Software

This small investment greatly outweighs the labor costs of hiring an employee, the overtime costs associated with piling extra work onto an existing employee, redundant data entry from one system to another, or the poor perception of your members without the capability of offering 24/7/365 days service. With this acquisition of technology, you can realistically see the benefits of:

  • Reduced Labor Costs
  • Improved Staff Time and Productivity
  • Increased Revenue Opportunities
  • Improved Customer Service and Satisfaction
  • Enhanced insights for better decision making

As an executive at an association, it’s imperative that you have a membership software program that will work for you in this day in age. We encourage your board to take the step to investigate the right solution for your particular needs.

SmartThoughts can help you determine whether or not obtaining an Association Management Software platform is right for your organization. A small investment now will pay off through money earned over time. It’s up to you. Until then, keep SmartThoughts in mind.

Free Membership Software Purchase Guide for Nonprofits