Best Practices in CRM for Nonprofits

Best Practices in CRM for Nonprofits

Is your nonprofit a bit disorganized with data in a bunch of different silos? Are the same constituents in multiple systems which leads to miscommunications or poor communications? While your organization may not realize it, your constituents certainly do as they are receiving misinformation from multiple people in your org. They want to feel like they are treated as a single person, and when you put the constituent at the center of your business.

A few weeks ago Keith Heller, CEO of Heller Consulting, participated in a webinar to discuss best practices for nonprofits with regards to Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) systems. The webinar was co-hosted with StayClassy who talked about their recent integration with Salesforce, and also introduced their new relationship with roundCorner.

After the original posting, roundCorner announced their partnership with Salesforce.com and the release of the renamed product NGO Connect. Find out more here.

Much of the information in this webinar comes from Heller Consulting’s 16+ years of experience working with nonprofit organizations, but Keith also shared information from their Insights on CRM whitepaper, which is based on interviews with 30 executives from nonprofit organizations. In the interview, the organizations were asked to define what CRM was to them. In the commercial sector, CRM stands for customer relationship management system, but in the nonprofit world, it stands for constituent relationship management system. That is a big difference as a constituent could be a donor, partner, staff, volunteer or even all of the above. During the interviews half of the executives answered that CRM was a software, while one third said it was customer service oriented and another third said it was a strategy that helped them engage with the constituents where they are.

Why is a CRM beneficial?

  • IT Department – Your IT department will be better able to manage fewer systems that are integrated as opposed to tens or hundreds of ones that are not connected.
  • Communication – You’ll be able to reach more people and track those communications.
  • Costs – Your organization can expand your constituent communications and how your engage with them to include online which the potential to be more cost effective than strictly sending direct mail.
  • Information – Since the CRM can house more information about your constituents, you can collect more allowing you to send more targeted information to these constituents.
  • Fundraising – With more people being more informed and better informed you’ll be able to raise more money for your organization to further your mission.

In the webinar, Keith continues to go on about how you can make the case for a CRM in your organization, the pitfalls and benefits,, and signs of success in your CRM implementation. Here’s a look at his slides from the presentation with roundCorner and StayClassy:

This was just a brief overview of what Keith covered in this webinar, so be sure to watch the whole StayClassy presentation for all of his tips as well as a demo on how roundCorner integrates with StayClassy and Salesforce.

Do you have other ways a CRM has been beneficial for your nonprofit?

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The Connected Cause is a place for experts in the nonprofit online space to share perspective, offer guidance and promote best practices for using today’s technology effectively. Our goal is to provide a comprehensive source of collaborative thought leadership for the nonprofit industry.

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