Most nonprofit organizations are small. In fact, with over 7.4% of the world's workforce employed in the nonprofit sector, a vast majority of those individuals are working as individuals, or in organizations less than 50 people.
Because of their relative size, and in ability to spend money on anything but the necessities, making a purchasing decision on software is a big one. Questions like ‘How is this really going to help my nonprofit’ and ‘what will this software really change?’ are often asked.
But for most nonprofits, these questions are surface level, and don’t address what your nonprofit should truly be concerned with when selecting your CRM.
Here’s what Tech Impact believes your small nonprofit should consider when selecting the CRM that fits your needs perfectly.
What’s your CRM strategy?
What do you envision your new CRM enabling you to do? Are you hoping it will enable you to recruit more donors? Get more people to show up to your events? Or are you just looking for a way to more easily organize your email campaigns?
Start by looking at the big picture, and working backwards. Chances are if you’re seriously looking at implementing a CRM, you have a specific functionality for that software in mind. Make sure it’s clearly stated, and that’s the most important guiding factor when selecting your new software.
What’s your integration plan?
Your nonprofit already uses Office365 and SharePoint, to email, create, and share documents. Maybe your accounting and finance department uses QuickBooks.
You’re already using a ton of software to get your work done each day, so why wouldn’t you want your new CRM to be able to integrate and communicate with these other great platforms. With the right CRM you’ll be able to integrate all these tools so they’ll work in conjunction with one another.
Is this CRM easy to use?
Think about who will be using your CRM on a daily basis. Are they technologically savvy? Will they be able to pick up a new complex piece of software, or will they require something a little easier to use to get up to speed?
If your team doesn’t find the software easy to use, they’re going to have an adverse reaction to its implementation, and you’ll be behind from the word ‘go’.
Who’s available to assist in upgrades and maintenance?
Chances are if you’re a smaller nonprofit, you don’t have a team of developers at your fingertips. Look at choosing a CRM that has a large community of developers following it. There are a lot of tools that have dedicated groups who are constantly innovating
How much does it cost?
You didn’t think we’d get through this article without talking about price, did you? The truth is we’re all concerned about cost. Whether it’s the coffee in the break room or the CRM that’s storing all your data, cost matters to nonprofits small and large. Set a comfortable budget and stick to it.
Understand from the outset that there will be costs associated with the setup, and implementation of your CRM. Additionally, the cost is often determined by the number of users who will be using the CRM from your license.