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Technology and NonProfits – A Guarded Relationship!

How to select a CRM for your non-profit

October 10, 2018

A CRM or a Customer Relationship Management system offers a range of tools that promote effective organizational interactions with customers. When you choose to implement a CRM solution, you are able to fast-track the progress of strategy goals and ensure high quality services for multiple stakeholders. From basic models to ultra-sophisticated applications, the market for CRM software is ever expanding. It is vital to track down a CRM that works best for your long-term requirements and build on existing relationships, while successfully tracking new ones.

There are certain criteria that can used to make this choice:

  • Who will use it?

The CRM software should be useful to all levels of staff that will be accessing it, from a specific department to one team member. Some CRMs have a limit to the number of users it supports, and keep in mind — the more staffers that need access the higher the price of the software. In addition, number of users is only one side to be surveyed. You must also have an estimate of current constituents who will require a profile – which includes sponsors, supporters, volunteers, board members and more. In the non-profit sector, many choose to push for the organization’s employees to implement the system versus hiring external support. Sometimes, it is a smoother alternative to spare the extra expense and employ the right expertise, instead of distracting existing staff members with technical information.

  • What will it be used for?

It is imperative that one understands how CRM software will maximise the performance of an organisation, and the best way it can be utilized. If you are a non-profit that focuses on outreach and advocacy, a CRM might be helpful in order to keep tabs on petition signatures and engagement on social media platforms. Having a purpose will allow you to pick the CRM that delivers exact functions, versus one which provides all the bells and whistles at double the available budget. In case you already have a basic CRM in place but are looking for an upgrade, it is important that you check whether that software offers data transfer options.

  • Do your research!

Features can be very different from one software to another. Whereas one provides a host of options to maintain event management data, another might have only the basic event planning features. CRMs are very customizable and there will ultimately be an option that has most of the capabilities you are looking for to scale up operations and take advantage of a robust technology.

  • What is the budget?

Pricing is oftentimes a make or break factor for non-profit organizations and assessing the cost of a shortlisted CRM software is very important. You can look into whether an open source version of the software is available in the market and if it offers the desired functionality, or is there a possibility to gain a discounted license as a non-profit.

  • Who will maintain it?

Investing in great CRM software is only the first step. You need to make a note of the maintenance process in place at the organisation, should something go wrong or the system is down. If you decide to take the help of an external vendor, that individual should be easily reachable at all times and responsive to your problems. In case you have an in-house IT department, then they should have the appropriate training to quickly solve an technical issues that arise in a timely manner. If the software has mechanical difficulties and not running again in time, you may miss valuable funding opportunities!

 Specifically targeting non-profits worldwide, LiveImpact ticks off all the criteria mentioned above and offers you a complete range of CRM solutions that offers end-to-end seamless integration, suiting a variety of needs. Highly tailored features are aimed at improved online marketing, fundraising, program outcomes, as well as volunteer management.

Michelle is a LiveImpact consultant with 17+ years of experience in nonprofit management. Prior to consulting, she worked for a large public utility company as a Network Specialist. Michelle’s expertise includes nonprofit management, conference/event planning, software training and database design.

MICHELLE PAKULAK

Donors, Misc, Nonprofits, Social Media,
Technology, Volunteers