The Cherry in CRM Membership Software is Engagement & Participation!

Best Membership Software for Nonprofits helps Engagement and Participation

Do you have the right membership system in place now to handle your goals? If you are a membership based nonprofit (Church, Museum, Association, Society) you likely have big plans for outreach and growth in order to keep your nonprofit on track to accomplish its mission. And, chances are member engagement is at the top of the list of priorities in years to come too. In this article, we tackle how Membership CRM software may help with participation and engagement.

The Benefits of Engagement in Membership Software

Maximizing engagement with members and boosting their involvement with your association has become increasingly important over the past decade. According to the 2017 Membership Marketing Benchmark Report, the majority of associations consider engagement to be their most important goal, followed closely by membership retention.

Could a Membership System help? To know, you may find value in asking yourself the following questions:

  • Do you spend much of your precious time digging through databases and spreadsheets looking for the right information?
  • Do you feel like you never have a full understanding of what is going on to help plan for your association’s future?
  • Do you wonder if you’ll ever have more time for revenue-generating, member-focused activities?
  • Are the systems you have in place now allow you to put forth a solid effort in meeting your member needs?

This may sound odd for some nonprofit executives. But, there are still many nonprofits diligently putting forth an effort to serve their members needs with outdated systems. In fact, it’s amazing for me to find many associations still loading their member data on a spreadsheet. It’s a shame!

Today, Membership Software, can help in so many ways. But, one of the key benefits is helping take member engagement to the next level, by streamlining association processes to make your organization more efficient and easier to manage for sure. But, also keeping track of participation and engagement too.

Today, one of the wonderful benefits of “cloud technology” is the fact that the “cloud” has made strong membership management tools available for even small associations. In the past, perhaps you were limited by options. In fact, you maybe still living in that “pre-cloud” reality but may not realize the value of integration and the possibilities for better engagement with an integrated database and website.

The Power of Integration & Engagement in Membership Systems

I have seen some pretty interesting methods to keep track of members, dues, donations and event registration. These methods range from a Bob Cratchit (remember Scrooge’s clerk?) pen-and-ink ledger to a combination of the aforementioned spreadsheet and database (and hope for the best) approach.

A Membership software solution can “house” all of an organization’s information in one centralized database — from member email addresses and postal updates to social media profile information, preferences, and history. Without the right AMS, associations can end up with a disjointed, incomplete view of their members. With an AMS, though, you gain a 360-degree view your members and the ability to make informed decisions.

Today, an AMS executive dashboard can even offer instant snapshots of member participation, so Executive Directors can answer fundamental questions about what members are doing and capitalize on new opportunities for the association. With actionable integrated business data they can be confident information is updated and accurate. From there, they can make smart business decisions regarding the association’s future, and identify and develop best practices for the organization that align with industry trends including engagement.

The Possibilities of Capabilities in Membership CRM Software 

With membership software today, it may help in so many ways to increase engagement. Here are several quick examples:

  • Provide engagement because it is one central data entry and output location for your membership information.
  • Contain a strong content management tool for managing personalization of content.
  • Seamlessly connect with all existing software applications you use and eliminate duplication and data errors.
  • Manage your entire database and membership website. Integrating the database with your organization’s website is key when trying to present a consistent experience for members resulting in better engagement possibilities (From event registration and membership renewal to dues payments and social networking).
  • Allow your constituents to update their own files, collaborate, & participate with others.
  • Increase engagement because they are now available by members in a mobile environment.
  • A membership system allows Executives to focus on the bigger picture.
  • CRM Software for membership manages allows one to easily gather data on and share information with committee members (whether it is event updates, the latest documents, or day-to-day reports) in order to keep everyone up to date.
  • Taking advantage of reporting tools ensures that associations are given the proper feedback to continually provide meaningful content to members while eliminating the content that falls short.
  • By building events through the central database, communication management can invite members, collect registrations, and even poll attendees for post-event feedback all through one system.

Membership Activity Tracking to Facilitate Engagement 

Tracking the ways in which members are engaging with your organization isn’t just useful for reporting and business intelligence.

Using your membership system to collect these interactions on a per-member basis allows each member to do some of the following:

  • Receive targeted and relevant information consistently.
  • Your marketing and communications team members are able to use a membership system to automate member interactions and ensure that members are presented with events, campaigns, and offers that directly relate to them based on their previous interactions with the association.
  • Through Single Sign On capabilities, marketers are able to reach out to members on all active channels, in one system—making a notable difference in membership engagement.

The output is all about using your member data in meaningful and useful ways – reports, workflow, etc. That output greases the skids to making your association vastly more efficient, productive and successful. And, equally important increasing participation and engagement.

We can help you decide which software tool is best suited to lead your organization into the future.

Contact us and we’ll help get you there. Until then, keep SmartThoughts in mind.

Online Membership Software for Engagement

CRM Software Review of Databank Database

Databank Nonprofit Software product review for Nonprofit Executives

We are excited to share this quick look at thedatabank, developed by thedatabank, gbc, which is a custom CRM solution designed for many types of nonprofits.

For those interested in learning more about thedatabank beyond this summary, we are available to share with you our thoughts about this membership software and others and how it fits into the larger membership software market today.

Suffice it to say, we have curated, interviewed, and prepared more detailed information for executives employed in the not for profit association industry to set up a time to discuss at length. Our software reviews are designed for those who would like fair and objective insights into the capabilities of this AMS software for nonprofit program.

Our Sources: Over the course of half a decade or so, we have worked with the thedatabank team many times to help our clients. We have reviewed the solution in brief and detailed demonstration overviews with their team, curated specific insights from the vendor for various use cases, read through countless software website pages, case studies and read multiple peer to peer reviews. This brief summary is a culmination of those insights.

Buyer Disclaimer: It can’t go without saying, there are many unique things which a custom solution can do that are not mentioned. And, some possible holes too.  So, be mindful of this fact. While we believe this is a good summary, this short review should not be your only source of the truth!

The databank Nonprofit CRM Software Solution

Brief Summary of thedatabank, gbc: 

The Databank software is developed by thedatabank, gbc.

Per the companies website, thedatabank, gbc is on a mission to provide technology and expertise to make the world safe, sustainable and just. They proclaim to do this by building custom all-in-one software for nonprofits and other organizations that they believe in. Their objective is to be with their clients every step of the way as you build capacity and make the world a better place.

thedatabank, gbc began in 1998 as a for-profit company with a social mission. Today they are a Certified Public Benefit Corporation that strives to act responsibly to their employees, their clients, partners, community and the planet.

To be sure, this is a unique approach in the software development space.

As of 10/2018, they have offices in St. Paul, MN., where they employee an estimated 15 employees.

They purport to have specialties in software for nonprofits, CRM software, advocacy software, fundraising software, government technology, all-in-one software, nonprofit technology, and custom databases.

Overview of The databank CRM Software 

The databank software is designed for the nonprofit community and has many features which make it a viable option for core membership organizations such events, advocacy, and chapter management.

At it’s core, it is a Customer Relationship Management software, an all-in-one cloud software solution that combines a database with tools for Fundraising, Membership, Advocacy, and Communication. The Databank’s solution is web-based nonprofit software and is designed to help organizations develop and sustain long-term relationships with their supporters, members, and donors.

The software is a suite of integrated tools which can help create an affordable, effective relationship management and communications system specific to a nonprofit organization’s needs.

What Features Does the databank Software Include? 

The databank solution is a custom crafted CRM solution.

They believe that each nonprofit is unique, so your technology should be too!

They work with you from the very beginning to understand your nonprofit’s needs, goals, and strategies and build you an all-in-one solution.

In the past they offered packaged solutions in the following manner:

  • Databank Essentials which was an affordable fundraising and communications software with all of the essentials: a donor database, online giving, and bulk email all in one easy to use system. It was perfect for smaller nonprofits with up to 5,000 records who have a limited budget.
  • Databank Fundraising was your one-stop-shop for everything you need to create a powerful campaign. Comes with everything included in Databank Essentials plus advanced relationships, bundle data entry, a Form Builder tool and more.
  • Databank Advocacy includes everything from the Fundraising package, plus award-winning Advocacy software powered by The SoftEdge. Features include legislator form fill, automatic district append, representative matching, robust reporting tools, and more.

Why is the past packaged applications important? Well, today they have taken this expertise above and packaged approach in a different direction.

They have devoted themselves to developing custom solutions with expertise to include, but are not limited to, solutions for:

  • Advocacy
  • Fundraising
  • Coalitions
  • Data Analysis & Reporting
  • Data Enhancement
  • Member Management
  • Program Management
  • Volunteer Management
  • Workforce Development

Again, a very unique approach which may or may not be a fit for you.

Where does The Databank Database likely Fit?

  • Small to mid-sized nonprofit organizations who believe that they are unique.
  • Small to mid-sized nonprofits that do not believe that a pre-configured software system is going to meet all of the needs of staff or organizational goals.
  • State and Local membership organization which want to partner with a software development firm committed to their success.
  • Nonprofits looking for traditional donor, member, fundraising, and advocacy experience in their partner.
  • Nonprofits which require strong fundraising functionality.

Key Development Strengths of The databank Database Solution?

We believe what makes the databank, inc. shine is the company’s focus and seemingly unwavering commitment to nonprofit organizations success.

The databank, inc. is a company with a mission to create positive social change through technology and they seem to be carrying out that objective.

For a very small amount of investment, they are able to provide all the benefits you’d expect from a professional software company – ease of use, rich features, customization, top notch security, affordability, and customer service .

From our interview and review, their customer service has earned them a very high retention rate. Below you will find several notable strengths:

  • Strong solution for donor and member based organizations.
  • Integration expertise for those that would like to keep existing IT assets in place.
  • Strong commitment to customer service and included service options.
  • They will provide a tailored solution specifically designed to an organization’s strategic and programmatic goals.

What is the 911 Peer Review on databank CRM?

Like software options today, software peer review sites are all over the internet.

Below you will find several review sites to choose from on databank from it’s users (where applicable).

  1. Client Testimonials from site here

Due to limited online digital reviews for this vendor, we encourage more time spent in reference checking process with this provider.

Buyer Note:
Before you check out the feedback found on these sites, our recommendation is that you please review our article on how to utilize these review sites and comments on various resources here.
We have independent data from various sources too (not published) which may offer some additional thoughts, comments, and feedback to for various use case scenarios.

A Quick Look at The databank Client Case Studies: 

Case studies are a very good way to learn more about various software options. While they are “spoon fed” by the vendor, it’s still enlightening to read and valuable. You may find some good ones here. 

How Is The databank CRM Priced? 

The databank CRM is a custom solution and therefore everyone has unique pricing.

Since they aren’t a pre-packaged software product, their pricing and fees may not be what you’re used to typically seeing when you’re shopping for new software.

Further, this may be quite unique but important to note. Just like the organizations they partner with and the solutions they craft , the way they price their work is something to note for sure.

So, for the answer to the cost of the solution. In short, they won’t know an honest estimate for how much a solution will cost before they have a chance to sit down with your team and drill down to figure out what solutions your organization needs.

To be clear, they are not starting completely from scratch. Rather, they have a very solid base line of functions and features available for nonprofits of all types so you may find the pricing won’t be what you may expect with a software developer starting completely from scratch.

Is The databank Database the Best Membership Software for Your Association?

We don’t espouse to the belief that there is “one best AMS” for everyone. But, The databank CRM database may very well be your best fit.

However, to answer this question with certainty, we need to know more about what makes you unique. And, discuss other insights about this platform which we have curated, clients interviewed, and discuss more detailed information beyond just this summary.

Please know that our detailed analysis and expertise is available upon request. To be sure, our software analysis is not a “pretty brochure”, “marketing noise.” or a “sales pitch.”

Rather, we provide a free objective dialogue and insights designed to help nonprofit executives make a smarter software business decision.

If you are interested in some help with reviewing your options and comparisons, please check out our “vendor matching” services here.

Want More AMS Membership Software Reviews?

Please stay tuned to our ongoing “Searching for A Smart AMS Software” where we will continue to provide further insights into membership database software options designed for our 501(c) 6 membership focused organizations.

For the most recent published reviews, please click below:

And, to obtain a sample list of the database software reviews we have, you may follow the link here 

If you work for an AMS database software system and you would like us to include your firm in our software review process, please contact us.

Until next time, keep SmartThoughts in mind. Happy Software Buying!

Membership Software Advice

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.

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