The Connected Cause is moving forward

Closeout ImageSince 2012 Heller Consulting has managed The Connected Cause to  provide nonprofits with information on the convergence of strategy and technology. To better serve that goal, we will be shifting our efforts to our main site Please join us.


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The Feeling of CRM

Feeling CRM Bernese Mountain Dog

What exactly is the feeling of CRM? Does it have a feeling, or is it just a communication industry buzz phrase? I’m certain that it does have a feeling, and an important one that can help measure how effective a CRM is. The way I experience it, the feeling of CRM comes from when I know an organization remembers me. Not just knows my name and email address, but actually recognizes me as a person beyond just simple data points. It’s a similar to the feeling I get when a server at my favorite restaurant knows I’ll like today’s special. I’m not just another three-top who need water and bread, I feel welcomed and appreciated. The feeling is amplified even more when it happens someplace unexpected. I want to share an example of the feeling of CRM, and how it relates to my dog Poe and me. That’s him above, and he’s pretty small.

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Are you skeered of Online Strategies?

Scared of Online Strategies
Developing online strategies for a nonprofit organization is a constantly evolving challenge, and too often treated as a completely independent entity from the rest of the organization. Sadly, this constant flux and silo’d approach is one of the things that contributes to a lack of truly effective digital marketing efforts. To horribly paraphrase Olive Ann Burns, creating an online strategy is like pouring water into a Coke bottle, if you skeered, you can’t do it. If you approach it with the same care and planning as your direct response fundraising efforts, you won’t slosh a drop. The ALS Association is a recent example of an organization that wasn’t skeered to try something different and the return has been tremendous.

Can we all do an ice bucket challenge and get the same results? Maybe, maybe not. But we can all learn something from what they did and apply it to the effective tools and techniques that we have used for direct response fundraising for years. There was a time when someone did the very first run/walk fundraiser. Now activity-centered events have an entire genre of fundraising all their own. What will be the online fundraising cornerstone in 30 years? Who knows, but I’ll bet when we break it down to it’s core components, it will look pretty familiar and fit perfectly in your already robust CRM. (You do have a CRM, right?)

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This is Not a CRM


If you subscribe to any of the nonprofit news feeds that I do, you’ve seen a few (or more than a few) articles about Salesforce1 for Nonprofits and a slew of other “CRM” systems. Every one is all new, connects everything together, and makes it easy to do all the things a nonprofit needs to do to deliver on their mission. And while I’m always excited to have more technology companies take an interest in the needs of nonprofits (and we have a lot of needs), I want to give a little blog time back on the concept that is the core issue here: CRM – Constituent Relationship Management.

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What To Do With CRM Data

CRM Data
HARK! And ye shall hear the Gospel of Data that has been foretold by the Prophets of CRM! Sound familiar? I hear it all the time. There’s been a shift in the world from what was considered “Mass Communications” to the Next Generation of “Personalized Messaging.” (That was bad, I’m sorry.) There are a variety of CRM solutions to choose from, but the same questions always come up:

  • What can I do with this data? How do I use it?
  • How will access to this data improve my organization?
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