Can your nonprofit even measure its return on investments (ROI)? Putting together an ROI report can be time consuming, but can also lead to great data and help you find ways to trim costs without shirking quality.
Constituent relationship management systems (CRMs) are a great way to automate data collection and aggregation and build financial, business, and operational reports - all of which are going to help you the next time you meet with your board. And to make it even better, a CRM is very likely to improve your ROI and make your board very happy, according to Technology for Change.
How many services is your nonprofit currently using to manage email, online donations, event registrations, social media, and keep track of donors and their contributions? While each of these services might cost little to nothing individually, how much do they cost all together, and are their future costs to consider down the road when your donor list grows?
I know, so many questions you must ask yourself as a nonprofit executive about tech--and you might not have a background in it! So in terms of keeping costs low and getting more bang for your buck, compare some CRM solutions and assess the cost difference. Some of the best CRMs are built to integrate and be flexible with your nonprofit, offering an all-in-one solution.
A CRM is not just for monitoring donors, it is also a great tool for holding your nonprofit's staff members accountable. Since a CRM is a comprehensive tool, it requires the users to enter frequent updates to individual accounts or an entire campaign, in order to effectively track goals, progress, and performance.
By getting your staff logged into a CRM, you can access data surrounding internal operations such as campaign emails, letters sent, follow-up calls, and overall progress toward campaign goals. If a few members of your staff are falling short on donor contact, this is a good way to show them how their contributions can help or hinder your nonprofit's initiatives. And employees become more motivated when they can visually see the results of their efforts or measure their performance.
Time is wasted when organizations try to track donor data by hand using spreadsheets. A good CRM builds a donor, volunteer, and corporate list automatically by integrating with your website and other locations - allowing your supporters to add their information to your database simply by submitting a donation. Your staff can better spend their time by maintaining these relationships and adding individual status updates.
How safe is your data on your own servers, or stored through the multiple services you use to manage relationships? If that program crashed or corrupted your data, would you be able to operate without it seriously crippling your daily work and goals?
Good CRM providers typically host the service in the cloud, and regularly back up, isolate and encrypt sensitive data, and maintain their own servers and hardware, with their own IT support staff. While you still need to have a healthy concern about information security as a nonprofit leader, you can also feel some ease knowing you are cutting IT costs and actually improving security standards.