Top Things to Consider Before Converting Your Nonprofit’s Data into a New System

Top Things to Consider Before Converting Your Nonprofit's Data into a New System

Recently, Laura Bibbo wrote a helpful post on 7 Things to Think About Before You Implement a Fundraising System. Now, here are some things to consider before you move any data into a new system, and a few tips on how to get the conversion process started off right.

Data Mapping

At Heller Consulting, we believe that data mapping is one of the most significant steps in a successful migration. Mapping happens before we begin any other implementation activities. The process involves taking every single field from the old database and mapping it to a field in the new database.

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So You’ve Hired a CRM Administrator…

So you've hired a CRM Administrator, how do you enable them to succeed?

In the opening article of this series we gave our impressions of what are the qualities of a strong CRM Administrator. Several others in the blogosphere have also contributed to this conversation, including Tal Frankfurt at Cloud for Good and Mike Gerholdt at ButtonClick Media.

I’d like to take a moment to talk about some of my own experiences and observations as both a technology manager and Salesforce.com consultant working with nonprofit clients varying in size and scope from a dozen employees to many national offices and site locations.

A lot of traits that cut across the posts mentioned above make strong cases for understanding how to identify people who might fill this role for your organization successfully. Too often, by my assessment, these folks are then quickly beleaguered and locked into a battle of both responding to CRM-related requests and explaining what they do to justify their role and responsibilities.

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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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Why Finishing Your CRM Implementation Doesn’t Mean You’re Done

 

 

Why Finishing Your CRM Implementation Doesn’t Mean You’re Done.  There was a time in the nonprofit sector when organizations would identify a technology need and say, “We need something to send out email, or track donations, or manage our events. Let’s get that one!” These types of technology are called “point solutions,” and are designed for and meet specific, relatively one-dimensional, needs only. As a former technology manager, I’ve seen similar hardware acquisition activities take place in many nonprofits: “We need a computer, let’s get that one!” It wasn’t until that computer, new in 2007, became so decrepit and slow in 2012 that a need for a new one was considered. In either case, the technology need was relatively straightforward, and the implementation victory was clear: we’re now using the new tool. The tool fits a specific job, and we tend to continue using it as-is until the job outgrows the tool, or the tool breaks down.

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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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