CRM for Nonprofits: Past, Present and Future

The Past, Present, and Future of CRM

The nonprofit sector is really buzzing about Constituent Relationship Management (CRM). But, how did we get here? Why is NOW the time for CRM? And, what do we have to look forward to next in the world of CRM for nonprofits?

The Past

Let’s start waaaaay back in the 1990s. Many nonprofits were putting in place donor databases and adding on systems for event management, volunteer management, and other specific functions. The result: multiple databases with disparate and often overlapping data.

In the early-to-mid 00’s, we then started really seeing the rise of the Internet and email, and many nonprofits began adding even more data silos as they collected online data and managed processes via email. As nonprofits began to see the challenges of disparate data, and the success of Customer Relationship Management in the for-profit space, CRM seemed to be the answer to this growing data problem.

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Top 5 Things Accidental Techies Need to Know Right Now

Top 5 Things Accidental Techies Need to Know

Does this sound like you? Majored in Social Justice. Took a job at a nonprofit out of college to “get your feet wet and make a difference.” Decided to create a blog for your advocacy department because it seemed “like it would be fun.” Upper management now considers you to be the expert on using social media. Your job title doesn’t reflect the technical work you do.

Things Are Getting (More) Complicated

Ah, 2008…remember when all you needed to do was send out a few email messages and update the home page? In just a few short years we’ve added social media, CRM and smart phones to the mix. We know how you feel – it’s tough to stay on top of it all.

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How to Handle Technology Change at Your Nonprofit

How to handle change at your nonprofit.

At Heller Consulting, we spend a lot of time talking about change. We talk with nonprofits, with other team members, sometimes even to ourselves. We also think about change a lot. It’s happening all around us; change is a constant. What’s important is how you deal with it — especially when it comes to implementing new technology, such as a Constituent Relationship Management system.

We think about change so much because that’s our business. We’re called into a nonprofit organization when they want to change something, when they feel that something isn’t where it should be and needs to be fixed or updated. Here are a few lessons we’ve learned over the years that may help the next time you make a technology change at your organization:

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Planning Ahead for CRM at Your Nonprofit: Featuring JDRF and Heller Consulting


After making the important decision to implement a CRM strategy and system for your nonprofit, there are several steps for planning the right approach. These steps involve thinking about what your nonprofit wants from its CRM system, how you need to accomplish your work, how information is (or should be) handled in your organization, and how you want to prioritize various aspects of your CRM implementation. From establishing goals and objectives to understanding your current environment and planning and preparing for change, the steps are critical to a successful implementation of CRM.

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The First of Three CRMready Webinars – The Basics

Get CRMready - The nonprofit CRM readiness webinar

The first session of the nonprofit CRM workshop series CRMready is complete, and was an overwhelming success. Keith Heller of Heller Consulting, Rob Jordan, Principal and Solutions Analyst of Idealist Consulting, and Elizabeth Pope, Senior Researcher from Idealware, covered the following topics:

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