We explore 4 ways your nonprofit could better utilize its CRM, or constituent relationship management system.
You have likely read about the power of this software on this blog, or elsewhere.
The trick to getting the most out of them is ensuring the individuals who will be using the software are properly trained, and have had their expectations clearly defined. The most effective employee is one who understands exactly what success looks like.
We will expound upon that list in this post, offering 4 more ways your nonprofit can better leverage the power of its CRM to do good, communicate better, and collect better data.
How does your nonprofit use its CRM? Let us know in the comment section below.
Create a user guide
In part 1 of this series, we put a lot of importance on training your employees to utilize your new CRM correctly, and effectively. Because CRMs have so many capabilities, and are so pliant, your configured CRM may function very differently than the CRM the vendor provided to you. As a result, there is likely very little documentation on how to appropriately enter data into the system.
Creating a user guide is another avenue to set a team’s expectations, and a great way to help admins understand exactly how the process is intended to flow. A used guide is a step-by-step instruction guide that can cover data entry, reporting, policies, field definitions, and information on how the work should be flowing.
Run consistent reports
At the end of the day, a CRM is a robust data repository, with a bevy of bells and whistles that let you leverage that data in interesting ways. If you’re putting good data into your CRM, then you should be taking that data back out using it to better inform decisions that are being made at an organizational level.
By consistently reporting on information you’ve gathered, you’re ensuring that data is being reviewed and transformed into something useful.
The first part of managing performance is running a consistent report. By intelligently leveraging the power of your nonprofit CRM, you’ll be able to visualize performance and track it over time.
You need two things to manage performance. The first being the ability to collect, measure, analyze, and then communicate that information to the appropriate parties. The second, is the ability to track and improve the effectiveness of the practices you’re reporting on.
In order to accomplish those two objectives, follow these 5 steps.
- Step 1: Define objectives and goals.
- Step 2: Identify strategies and tactics to achieve goals.
- Step 3: Track the designated performance data in your nonprofit CRM.
- Evaluate and analyze outcomes from data.
- Outline next steps to blaze a trail toward improvement.
Annually review needs
We live and work in fluid working environment that is constantly changing. And as your needs at work change, the way you use your nonprofit CRM will change, too. Goals, strategies, and the direction of your organization will inevitably shift, and it is up to you to leverage the power of your nonprofit CRM to meet these changing demands.
Ask yourself: Is the data I’m collecting still relevant? If not, what can we change to make it relevant again? What data is no longer useful to us, and can be purged from out system? What are the strengths and weaknesses of our current system? How is out system hurting or helping our organization accomplish its goals?
All of these questions and more should be raised once a year to ensure that your nonprofit CRM is jettisoning your nonprofit into the future of data collection, and utilization.