How to Choose the Best Nonprofit CRM Software
Most Nonprofit organizations find it challenging to maintain a relationship with their constituencies. This is because of poor technology that is in existence in the organization. Dealing with donor management system proofs to be rather cumbersome and difficult to use which increasingly strains the relationships.
The old databases that are in use have become more complex, difficult and unstable to operate. This, in turn, makes life unbearable for an organization in that there is too much work to handle. It further strains the relationship with the constituencies due to reduced interaction time.
For an organization to achieve their mission there is need to relook at the kind of system in use. Interaction with all stakeholders needs to be centralized through use of an integrated system. This is how CRM software comes into the picture. The system allows the Nonprofit organization to have a more transparency interaction with their constituencies.
The system plays different and critical roles for the organizations. It helps in data storage, makes work easier, secure and meaningful. All the units are able to access information as well as update data from one system without compromising on the data security. Privacy and confidentiality is also guaranteed as access to data is restricted through user’s rights.
What is Nonprofit CRM Software?
Nonprofit CRM is an integrated system that manages donors. It is referred to as constituent relationship management. The system borrows a lot from the customer relationship management system that is used in the corporate world. The system helps the Nonprofit organization to promote transparency in their organizations as well as the constituencies involved.
The system is used to manage most critical information from your constituent and store it in one place where it is easily accessible. The system allows one to view contact information, make follow-ups either through emails or other social media platforms, manage tasks, and monitor your impacts in the constituent.
Having the right CRM in an organization boosts efficiency, improves donor relationships and financial accuracy. When a Nonprofit organization is starting off its operation, it's much easy to manage relationships since there are just a few donors and volunteers involved. But as it grows, the interaction becomes complex. It gets hectic to manage and keep data. The simple excel sheets no longer work. This paves way for adoption of a more efficient tool that will keep relationships intact if the organization is to survive.
How does one tell that it’s time to invest in a more efficient system?
- If you are storing information about your donors, volunteers and constituent relationship in different locations
- You can barely manage the activities of your stakeholders with employees and the development team
- It poses as a daunting task to generate and analyze progress reports from your team manually
- Tracking data stored by employees becomes challenging which makes it impossible to schedule follow-ups with existing donors and new prospects
- Your team is not able to share new data in real time which leads to loss of opportunities and new donors
What are the features of Nonprofit CRM Software?
Shifting to CRM software will not only make your organization effective, it will also help in streamlining the operations as well as boost your fundraising and stewardship. The organization will be able to perform dozens of activities at a go with much precision. Some of the most important features that help your organization unleash its full potential are discussed below.
- Event planning
Events are part and parcel of a Nonprofit organization which needs a lot of dedication and right skills for execution. Having a system that can assist in organizing these activities gives the organization leverage. The system makes work easy in that donors can register online, manage reservations online, design event tickets, and generate reports from the registrations for purpose of planning.
Communication helps maintain donor and Nonprofit relationship. CRM software has features that help to keep and track correspondence with the donors and other stakeholders. The process is automated thus making it more reliable and error free. If you want to retain your donors, it is important to customize your communication to suit each donor’s specification.
- Comprehensive data tracking
This feature should help you keep abreast with all your donors. Gathering of the data is not enough, it should be safely stored if it is to be of value to an organization. CRM system should be able to collect, analyze, and store the data for future use. You should also be able to update the data regularly and have it easily accessible by the relevant users.
The system should have a feature that makes it easy for report generation and presentation. It should have multiple screens that give different reports as needed. Advanced data analysis functionalities and statement generation should also form part of the reporting features.
- Gift tracking
You should be able to track if all the payments are done; schedule pledges, make follow up send reminders to those who are yet to honor their pledges. Automate payments or make flexible payment schedules for easy follow up. The system should also be able to have customized tracking system that will operate for several years and be able to generate receipts.
What are the benefits of Nonprofit CRM Software?
As the organization grows, the need for a reliable and efficient system becomes imminent. To be able to compete with other Nonprofit organization for the same donors, volunteers, and employees; the company should have the right structures in place. Investing in the right CRM system eliminates all the headaches involved in running a successful organization. Here are some of the benefits you stand to enjoy if you have the right system.
- Creates a strong relationship with the constituent
The organization is able to focus on the relationship of all the constituents that contribute to the achievement of your mission. All information touching on different areas of the organization are kept in a central place. This ensures there is consistency in communication and also promotes transparency as everyone gets to know what is happening in the organization.
- Helps in managing all the organization's activities
With CRM software, an organization is able to collect all manner of data from the field, configure and generate reports that are used for decision making and planning. The system makes it easy to plan and schedule activities as well as track progress on tasks being performed.
- Encourages self-service
All employees of the company are able to interact with the system to update, monitor, and generate reports with ease. Users have different rights where they only access the relevant information for their use. This helps to protect sensitive information from getting into the wrong hands.
- Boosts efficiency
CRM system ensures there is data integrity as data is collected in real time and verified before storing. Accurate data improves efficiency as no time is wasted trying to verify what has been collected. It also makes segmentation of available constituents easy.
- Helps to integrate all the systems in the organization
Different systems can be integrated to allow sharing and updating of data in real time. Manual processes which are prone to human error are eliminated thus making the system more efficient.
How to Choose the Best Nonprofit CRM?
- Consider a cloud-based CRM solution
The cloud-based software helps to save time and resources for the organization. You don’t need to invest in software apps, servers and frequent upgrades that are associated with an on-premise system. Data safety and privacy are also guaranteed as access is limited to only the licensed users. The software also ensures there is smooth workflow as system updates are not done during working hours.
- Look for a system that can be customized
Your CRM software should be easy to customize to suit your needs. Check for a software that can be easily integrated with other available apps in the market so as to have a one-stop-shop. Tasks such as marketing and accounting can be done by different software that is connected to the CRM system. You should also consider social tools that will enable you to connect with people in the outside world.
- Mobile integrated software
The system should have an app that allows employees to have access to the company through mobile devices. This will enable the employees to work from anywhere without necessarily coming to the office. Field officers can easily confirm vital information when dealing with the constituent, collect and submit data in real time, and carry out other correspondence. The integration should not be for field officers only, also have the back-office and other social networks integrated as well.
- Conduct a need analysis
Before introducing a new system, it is important to bring your officers on board. Have a meeting with business leaders and find out what they would like to be addressed by the system. Employees are involved in the day to day operation of the organization as such they know what would make them more efficient. By involving them it makes it easy to embrace the new change and adopt full use and implementation of the system.