What is CRM and what does it mean to nonprofits?


Questions Concept Blackboard


For the past couple of years, I’ve been hyper-focused on CRM. Changes in the technology landscape and nonprofits’ engagement with their constituents have converged to present exciting opportunities to effectively meet the needs of contemporary nonprofits via CRM. But what is CRM? Three simple letters but often a Pandora’s box full of responses when you start asking. However, I am willing to take a swing at it.

First, the basics. In the nonprofit sector we talk about “Constituent Relationship Management” (in the commercial sector it’s about Customers). To dig deeper, I’ll pull on our firm’s experience designing and implementing CRM environments at many nonprofits large and small, and our conversations with many more organizations.  For our 2012 white paper “Insights into Nonprofit CRM” , we interviewed CIOs at 30 of the largest nonprofits in the country.  In the course of these conversations, three definitions for CRM emerged: CRM as a System, Service and Strategy.

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7 Things to Think About Before You Implement a Fundraising System

7 Things to Think About Before You Implement a Fundraising System

After making the important decision to implement a new fundraising system, there are some key factors to consider before selecting the system, kicking off the project, and implementing the system; and after go-live. I recently interviewed several of Heller Consulting’s implementation consultants for their most practical ideas about ensuring a successful project.

Here are their top tips:

Establish goals and objectives

Before you do anything else, think strategically about the future of your organization. Where are you going? What areas do you want to develop? This is a good time to map out key business processes, as a new system should not be limited by existing processes. Make sure that the fundraising software you select not only fits your current needs, but allows you to grow and meet future needs as well.

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Implementing Salesforce for Outlook [Tech Tips]

Integrating Salesforce.com and Outlook - New Features

Salesforce for Outlook is an application that integrates Microsoft Outlook with Salesforce.com and automatically syncs contacts, tasks and events between them. It replaces Connect for Outlook (now a legacy application). Salesforce for Outlook seems to run more smoothly and efficiently than Connect for Outlook, and it includes a number of new features, the coolest of which is the new Salesforce Side Panel.

Following are some highlights and things to consider when implementing Salesforce for Outlook:

Capabilities and Considerations

When setting up the Salesforce-Outlook sync, it is important for system administrators to understand the options and implications. Before activating the syncing functionality, especially for contacts, administrators should develop a plan for how their organization wants to sync data from their users’ local Outlook applications to Salesforce.com.

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Responsibilities of a Development Database Administrator (DBA)


7 Things to Think About Before You Implement a Fundraising System


In the first article of this series, we talked about critical qualities to look for in someone who is managing your database. In today’s post, we’ll talk about the responsibilities if this position is specifically managing your fundraising database. While I have worked with The Raiser’s Edge®, Common Ground (retired) and Luminate CRM™, the tasks and responsibilities detailed in this article apply to any development database administrator (DBA) at a nonprofit organization. (In a later post we’ll discuss how these responsibilities might differ if you are talking about someone managing your entire CRM system, which could encompass multiple departments beyond fundraising.)

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The Cost of Out of Date Donor Information [Tech Tips]

The Cost of Out of Date Donor Information

It might not be the most exciting topic to think about, but consider this: how your constituents react to your organization is a result of how they perceive you. If your communications with your constituents are in any way inaccurate, that is what they remember. Not your message. Having clean and accurate data doesn’t just leave a good impression, it allows your mission and message to come through loud and clear.

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