We’ve talked on this blog before about constituent relationship management systems (CRM). We’ve discussed what they are, how they can help your nonprofit, and how to effectively implement your new software to get it up and running faster and more efficiently.
However, what we have not discussed is what the future of CRMs might look like. With the pace at which technology is advancing, it is a safe bet that CRMs, too, will morph into an even more powerful, agile, and important piece of of software for nonprofits to utilize.
For those who are not ardent readers of our blog (it’s never too late to start!), what exactly is a CRM, and how can it help my nonprofit?
Here are 5 quick ways:
- It is a place to store all of your donor, volunteer, and constituent information.
- It breeds continuity between your team. Instead of having to share documents back and forth, or constantly request the latest version of a spreadsheet, everyone on your team will be working from the same fluid software using a cloud. The information everyone on your team needs will be available at a moment’s notice.
- CRMs make metric reporting easy, and most CRMs can even generate reports. This make data forecasting and and future planning possible.
- Allows you to at a glance see the complete history of your nonprofit’s interaction with a specific individual. This information is invaluable, and helps you understand the best way to approach a donor in the future. Ultimately maximizing the potential of that relationship.
- You can integrate your nonprofit’s CRM with a calendar, storing important person events like birthdays, anniversaries, etc.
How will a CRM look in the future?
The future of CRMs is both unknown, and difficult to predict, but that does not mean we are not going to try. What we do know, that the CRMs will only continue to become even more engrained in the way businesses manage their customers, and the way nonprofits manage their donors and volunteers.
Here are 2 ways we see CRMs changing in the future.
If you think being able to integrate your CRM with a calendar is helpful, how about being able to integrate your CRM with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other major social media networks? Storing that information is one thing, but being able to interact through your CRM platform of choice is another thing altogether.
CRMs are meant to make communication easy, and with social media widely accepted as the way the majority of communication will happen in the future, it it only makes sense to conclude that CRMs will integrate with social media outlets, too.
Additionally, many are predicting CRMs will start looking a lot like social media networks, too. Facebook and Salesforce might just start looking more similar than not.
Enhanced communication capabilities
The tech world has its crosshairs centered solely on mobile. Marketing, communication, and social networks are all putting a greater emphasis on the mobile platform than traditional desktop computing.
We’re predicting having the ability to send text messages, emails, and place phone calls directly through your CRM platform.
What the future exactly holds for any technology is hard to say, but it sure is fun to think about.