A lot of information is popping up about CRM, or Client Relationship Management systems. Much of this information can seem overwhelming or too technical, and leaves out a lot of real world applications of the technology.
Bottom line is, a CRM can drastically enhance productivity, give you a broader view of your constituents, and allow for a higher level of communication throughout your nonprofit. The days of huge software buys nmight for the most part be over as many organizations, both for and non-profit move to web based applications for the majority of their software need, according to recent research from Software Advice, 56% of nonprofit organizations plan to increase spending on software in 2015.
Here are some of their key findings:
• Donor interaction tracking is the most used software functionality, cited by 30 percent of fundraising professionals.
• Fundraising software positively impacts the amount of donations collected for 99 percent of nonprofit professionals surveyed.
• The vast majority—98 percent—say record keeping, financial reporting and workflows are also positively impacted by the use of fundraising software.
• Overcoming a high learning curve and a lack of customization options are top software challenges for 67 percent of respondents each.
Better understand those involved
Is your development department using a database to manage your donors, while other departments (communications, volunteers etc.) are using spreadsheets to manage their information?
If your answer is yes, than you are missing vast amounts of valuable information about your supporters.
Do you know how many of your volunteers are donors, or how many attend in person events? How about how many of your advocates follow you on social media? A CRM will enable your nonprofit to see not just their donors, but will allow you to track their involvement, and allow your whole staff to access this information in one place.
Automate tasks, increase productivity
Think about how many of your staff’s daily tasks are done manually. If there was a way for these tasks to be done more efficiently, your employees could spend more time on valuable tasks like servicing your program and its recipients.
A CRM takes tasks like new volunteer signups, management of beneficiaries, and follow up tasks, placing them in one easily accessible place. Additionally, your CRM can track results of programs and fundraising campaigns. You can then turn this information around to show your donors the effectiveness of your programs and their donations.
These statistics from your CRM will allow you to grasp a more complete picture of your contributors.
Access your information anywhere
Because most CRM systems are cloud based, instead of client/server based, your information can be accessed anywhere, at anytime, by anyone who is authorized to do so.
Employees in the field can now instantly access the vital information they need to make a sale, close a deal, or secure funding, instead of waiting for someone in the office to send an email. A CRM system allows your nonprofit to streamline, become more effective, and make better use of its time.
Better volunteer data
Not only will a CRM allow you to track who exactly is helping you, but it also allows a you to track a volunteer’s skill set, and how many other volunteers share this same interest.
This information is crucial when setting up a board or a leadership group, and helps you get better return when asking for assistance, and when delegating responsibility. Instead of blindly asking throngs of volunteers for help, you can singularly target individuals you see will fit, making accomplishing your mission easier than ever.