Remember Rube Goldberg machines? They’re those ridiculously over-engineered and complicated contraptions that were only created to perform really simple tasks. Unfortunately, that thinking was the norm when it came to nonprofit software.
I work with nonprofits every day that have donor management systems that are complicated, confusing and only succeed in getting in the way of the mission, rather than enabling it. All-in-one suites that try to do everything under the sun usually succeed in doing very little well and become so big and cumbersome that they actually hurt the mission.
Old world technology used to demand that a single vendor create a franken-system that did all things for all people, but never really did any one thing well. Modern cloud technology has made it possible to choose the best solution for the needs of your specific organization, rather than what the software boxes you into.
Here are 5 ways integrating best-of-breed solutions can super-charge your nonprofit:
1. You can choose solutions that are truly best-in-class
Just as nonprofits are hyper-focused on their unique missions, so are we. Our goal is to make the best possible nonprofit CRM. Getting the best system doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice interoperability though. Modern technology lets your best-in-class systems work together like never before. Virtuous partners and integrates directly with services like MailChimp, Eventbrite, Donor Search, and online gift processors including iDonate and Giving Fuel.
2. It’s accessible for all
Gone are the days when integrating systems took an army of developers and six months worth of nonstop coding. Today, open APIs allow any organization to efficiently connect their systems together quickly and more effectively. This allows all the systems to communicate as one without the need for double-entry or manual tasks. By seamlessly connecting these best-of-breed systems, you can harness the power of having a unified system, while still getting the most value out of each area. For example, online gifts you are processing through our partner iDonate can seamlessly flow into Virtuous creating new gift records and contact information (with no duplicate records either!)
3. Drives the mission forward
All-in-one suites are anything but. While they may have tons of buttons and fields to play with, many of these “extra” features fail to actually drive the mission forward and create unnecessary costs and upkeep for the nonprofit. At the end of the day, the software you choose should allow you to drive your mission forward and give your team the tools to do more good. Technology should be there to help enable, not hinder. I’ve been a part of the software world for almost 10 years and one of the things I love seeing is when technology helps enable a better human experience and gives organizations the power to do 10x what they could do before.
4. Speed of innovation
When you decide to integrate best-in-class providers you allow those providers to laser focus on being the best in their area of expertise. Instead of having to wait years for new innovations, you are constantly staying on the cutting edge of technology and getting the latest tools to help you succeed. At Virtuous we take this seriously. We value our customer feedback and take those ideas and put them right back into the product through monthly releases. The same rings true for our best-in-class partners. They are able to focus on being the best email marketing, gift processor, or content management systems around.
5. You have the power
No one wants to be stuck in a contract where a vendor calls all the shots. With best-of-breed, not only do you get to choose the best solution for your needs, but you also have the freedom to grow at the pace you need. Don’t need a email marketing solution yet? Don’t get one. Really struggling to understand your donor base? Focus on a nonprofit CRM that meets your needs, knowing that you’ll be able to seamlessly integrate other solutions in the future. Your priorities should be the priority of your software provider, and not the other way around. Don’t spend money on features that won’t drive the results you need.
At Virtuous, we’re setting out to fundamentally change how nonprofits interact with their givers. We desire to see a world where nonprofits are freed up to focus on the relationships that are so critical to the success of their mission. If you’d like to learn more about how a Donor Management System can help create more personal relationships at scale, schedule a one-on-one demo with our team. We’d love to talk!