Does my nonprofit need a CRM?
If you’re on the fence about using a CRM, here are a few things you should know.
Back-to-school is always a fun time. Retail stores are filled with school supplies and special campaigns to get you to buy the latest and greatest gadgets. It’s a pretty common occurrence to look at something on the store-shelf and ask yourself: do I really need this?
In the spirit of back-to-school and making sure you have the right tools to succeed, we thought it would be a good time to look at an important question you may have asked yourself: Does my nonprofit need a CRM?
In short, the answer is yes. Absolutely.
We will take a look at some of the best reasons to have a CRM and link it back to how nonprofits of any size can benefit!
Your contact list is bigger than you think.
Regardless of your organization’s size, your team can benefit from having a CRM. Your contact list is bigger than you think — and if you’re doing a good job in the community, it will get even bigger. Every time you come in contact with the community, you are meeting more individuals and groups who would either benefit from your work, or help to advance your work. These relationships mean everything — and you need to find a way to effectively track and manage all of these relationships.
The solution that you’re looking for is something that can scale. You need a system that will grow with you. At a certain point, spreadsheets and multiple accounts on freeware can start to cause you problems and roadblocks.
CRMs can help with the long-term sustainability of your organization.
When you take a look at your organization, you should always be looking to grow. Nurturing your relationships is one of the best ways to do that. With a CRM, you are able to place strategies in place that will nurture relationships.
It’s often said that you do not fundraise in nonprofits — you relationship raise. With a CRM, you can turn volunteers into donors, donors into board members, and email subscribers into advocates. This is the ideal path for any relationship that you have within a nonprofit. When you increase engagement, you can ignite a real passion for your cause.
CRMs enable you to see your most engaged contacts, and you can plan around it accordingly.
Using a CRM, you can finally manage those complex relationships.
Relationships are complicated. They are almost never one-dimensional when it comes to your organization. A single contact can be a donor, a volunteer, and an event attendee. And these can all hold different levels of significance to your work. If you’re tracking these relationships in several databases, the layers of complexity pile on very quickly.
Using a CRM, you can map these complex relationships and see exactly how engaged a contact is with your organization. This is useful for a few reasons:
- You can be more targeted with your outreach
- You can identify who would be interested in similar events/initiatives
- You can track who might be ready for a higher level of engagement or advocacy
Knowing these things enables you to work smarter as an organization, regardless of the size of your contact list. Big or small — these complex relationships exist and it’s important to be able to manage them with ease.
CRMs will cost you; but not using technology will cost you too.
The cost-benefit of using technology within the nonprofit workplace comes down to staff time. One of the biggest questions you have to ask yourself is whether you would like your staff to spend more time doing administrative work, or impact work that is directly related to achieving your mission.
A CRM saves you tons of time. Tasks like updating contact information, pulling reports and even issuing donor receipts all become automated in one central location. Not only does it help with automation, it also helps to consolidate your information in one, secure spot. This means less clicking around for the important information that you need.
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