Taking Engagement Seriously – The CRM Vision
Nonprofits are continuously presented with opportunities to engage with constituents – partners, volunteers, advocates, donors, the beneficiaries of the mission and more. While some organizations rise to the challenge and provide a rich engagement experience to those seeking to connect, other times organizations miss an opportunity to meet constituents with the right type of engagement at the right time. Those missed opportunities can translate to loss of connection, loss of dollars, loss of goodwill and loss of motivation to do more with the organization. To help nonprofits understand the impact this can have, Heller has created the paper Taking Engagement Seriously to explain how to develop an Engagement Strategy, and clarify how it can influence how your organization approaches all of your constituent engagement efforts. One of the first places to start with planning an engagement strategy is to have a clear understanding of CRM and how it relates to your organization.
As an organization grows, each of these three areas becomes increasingly dependent on clear strategies and effective systems. However, strategic thinking and systems expertise are not always (perhaps even usually) part of a nonprofit’s initial skill set. At first, an organization is fueled primarily by vision and passion. As organizations mature, these additional skills become important and even crucial. Fortunately, successful strategies, systems and processes don’t vary nearly as much as missions. Because this is true, we can all learn from each other.
Most nonprofits have in common the people and departments for their programs, fundraising, communications, collaboration and administration. They have their own goals, strategies and agendas but need to appear as a unified organization when engaging with constituents. A coordinated engagement strategy and CRM system ties an organization together to address the following questions:
- What do you want your constituents (external and internal) experience to be? What are the core values guiding your CRM vision?
- How do you want to engage with your external constituents?
- How do you need to align internally to make this happen?
For more information on developing an engagement strategy to align your organization and advance your nonprofit’s mission, download the free paper from Heller Consulting, Taking Engagement Seriously.