[Part 1] Make A Case For Your Nonprofit's CRM

Image courtesy of Waiting for the Elevator. Image courtesy of Waiting for the Elevator.

A CRM can do a host of things for your nonprofit. From project management, to boosting donations, to better constituent management. A CRM is a transitive and powerful software that has the potential to change your nonprofit.

That being said, you might be asking yourself: “If it is so effective, then why are so many people in my nonprofit against adopting a CRM?”

The short answer is there exist some misconceptions about CRM technology and what it can be used for. Additionally, it can be sometimes difficult to articulate exactly how a CRM can do all these great things we just outlined.

Fortunately for you (and your employees, mission statement, and the population you're serving), Tech Impact is here to help you show your nonprofit’s board exactly how effective a CRM can be. Here are the first 5 steps to proving to a board your nonprofit not only needs a CRM, but will flourish with it.
  1. Write an executive summary (last)

    If you’ve ever written a business plan, you know you write your executive summary at the very end. Why? Because that’s when you’ve learned the most about company.

    SBA.gov defines the executive summary portion of the business plan as: “The executive summary is often considered the most important section of a business plan. This section briefly tells your reader where your company is, where you want to take it, and why your business idea will be successful. If you are seeking financing, the executive summary is also your first opportunity to grab a potential investor’s interest.

    The executive summary should highlight the strengths of your overall plan and therefore be the last section you write. However, it usually appears first in your business plan document.”

  2. Outline the project’s purpose

    Help your nonprofit board understand exactly what you’re going to be implementing this software for. If it’s for a specific project, show where the CRM fits into the entire thing.

    For example, if your nonprofit is concentrating its efforts on capturing more donor data (which you should be), you’re going to need a place to store that information. And a spreadsheet just does not cut it anymore.

  3. Identify the key stakeholders

    Chances are good if you’re thinking about implementing a CRM at your nonprofit, you have a pretty good idea of who will ostensibly benefit from the software. Identify those individuals and be able to articulate how that specific employee will benefit.

  4. Highlight the critical success factors

    Identify what exactly would make your CRM implementation a success. Whether it is boosting fundraising dollars a few percentage points, increasing your donor retention, or keeping better track of your volunteers, what makes your CRM a success should be clearly defined and well articulated.

  5. Make a few assumptions

    Your board is going to want to see you’ve thought this project all the way through. It’s okay to make a few assumptions about what resources you have available to you, how they can be utilized, what it is going to cost, and the amount of time it takes to deliver and fully implement the software.

Topics: donors, npTech, Fundraising, Tech, CRM, donation, nonprofit technology, nonprofit

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