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Your Complete CRM Handbook for Nonprofits

By January 8, 2015

A growing nonprofit needs a good Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) application. It helps you manage critical program information in one place — and gives you a complete view of your organization. You’ll gain key insights that help you increase fundraising, boost volunteering, and improve program effectiveness. But is now the right time for you?

Signs You Really Need a CRM

Need CRM?Nonprofit relationships typically begin with a basic connection of organization-to-donor and organization-to-volunteer — simple. In such an early stage, it might be fine to just maintain an Excel spreadsheet or jot down notes about donors and events. But as your organization grows, this sort of record-keeping simply can’t do what you need anymore.

Here are some warning signs it’s time to trade in those old ways and start managing your relationships more effectively:

  1. There’s no single source for information.
    Storing your donor, volunteer, and constituent relationships in more than one location, such as a spreadsheet or notes stuck to your computer, puts your teams at a disadvantage. They lack a single view of every stakeholder’s information, donations, volunteering, and interactions.
  2. There’s little or no visibility.
    Not only do you lack visibility into how your stakeholders are connecting with employees, you also lack insight into what your development teams are doing. This makes it difficult to help them be successful – and keep them accountable.
  3. Reports are tedious and painful.
    Generating reports and analytics of your team’s monthly progress would be ideal. But creating reports manually is cumbersome, often resulting in no tracking at all.
  4. You are losing data.
    It’s hard for you to schedule follow-ups with donors and prospects. Great meetings happen on the road, but teams don’t always transfer their notes and important details get lost, especially if an employee leaves the organization.
  5. It’s hard to stay in touch on the go.
    Your reps are out in the field, meeting donors and advocates and discovering valuable info. But all this new data gets stored on handwritten notes or in files on personal computers, instead of being shared with the team.
  6. Every stakeholder is treated the same.
    You don’t target donors based on their value to the organization. Rather, you are sending the same messages to donors in very different stages of the giving process, as well as in different segments and geographies.
  7. You lack a plan to scale fast.
    What if your organization grew from 20 to 200 this year? Are you confident that your current processes will scale? If you know that you are going to grow, are you worried about keeping impact up while scaling up?

If any of these apply to you or your team or department, don’t despair. These are exactly the issues that a CRM system can address.CRM HandbookDownload the rest of Your Complete CRM Handbook to take a look at how a CRM makes your organization more impactful.

Download Your Complete CRM Handbook