A CRM, or constituent relationship management system, robust piece of software that helps nonprofits track every interaction they have with individuals. Whether it be a phone call, email, or direct mail sent out, through a CRM, your nonprofit can track how a person responds to a certain type of communication method, know whether or not they’ve donated, how they’ve donated, and almost anything else you want to track.
A CRM is not intuitive like a mobile app, and is not as familiar as Microsoft Word, Excel, or Powerpoint. A CRM is a large and robust piece of software that has the potential to run an entire business off of. And there are some nonprofits that do!
This is all well and good, but a CRM doesn’t do your nonprofit very much good if the end-users, or your employees, are not trained appropriately.
For this reason, training is imperative for not only introducing your new CRM to your staff, but giving them the tools necessary to be successful a few months down the road. As time passes your nonprofit changes. And with that change, your CRM will need to change, too.
Here are the 3 biggest reasons training is imperative to the success of your nonprofit’s CRM (and future fundraising) success.
I mean really big. There are more nooks and crannies for your employees to explore than an English muffin. Perhaps that was too cliche, but the truth is, a CRM is a large piece of software. It’s sophisticated, and perhaps most importantly, it's integral to the effectiveness of our nonprofit and its fundraising efforts when appropriately implemented.
Because of the application’s relative size, and its importance to your business, it is in the best interest of your nonprofit, who your nonprofit serves, and your employees who are passionate about your mission to train, train and then train some more to ensure your nonprofit is getting the most out of its technology investment.
Your admins need the training the most of all
Your administrators are responsible for not only the implementation of your technology investment, they’re also responsible for maintenance, a handful of employees, and proving the software is generating your expected ROI.
For all these reasons and more it is essential that your administrators are trained early and often to ensure they know the software like the back of their hand.
End users are lost, and training finds them
It’s true. We just stressed the importance of training your administrators. But your end-users are the ones on the front lines. They’re the ones entering the data, making the phone calls, reporting on interactions, and overall making sure your tech investment was worthwhile.
According to a recent poll, one of the largest complaints CEO, CIO, and CTO’s receive about new technology is that their staff does not understand what exactly they need to be using the new software for. Make sure the importance of the implementation is stressed early, their questions are answered from a knowledgeable expert (see administrator training section above), and that expectation are clearly set.