4. Integration with Best-in-Breed Tools
When you sit down to eat, you know that spoons and napkins come in very handy. And afterwards, you’re grateful for a good toothbrush. But say you see an ad for a Spookinbrush, a “revolutionary” all-in-one product that blends the spoon, napkin, and toothbrush into a single, nifty device. You probably wouldn’t fall for it. But why not? Wouldn’t it make your eating life easier to have all you need in one product?
You may see where we’re going with this. The imaginary Spookinbrush is to eating what a single software solution is to your charity’s giver management. Managing giver contact information, sending marketing emails, managing website content, and accounting services are all very different things, and they require distinct tools. Fortunately, a range of helpful and affordable solutions for these needs exist.
The modern CRM software, for its part, is designed for a specific purpose – to track, manage, and connect vital pieces of giver information.
Specifically, a modern CRM should provide open APIs and integration tools to:
- Give you financial and relational data for online givers, integrating with whatever tool you use to process donations
- Track touch points – both online and offline – integrating with whatever tools you use
- Understand how people are visiting your website and their content preferences, regardless of your content management system
- Easily issue tax receipts and track all revenues, and then integrate with any accounting software you like
And while we’re at it, we’d add that these capabilities should be accompanied by a clean, user-friendly interface whether you’re using a phone, tablet, or computer.
5. Mobile Optimized for Face-to-Face Relationships
There’s a good chance you are reading this on something other than your computer. With smartphones now passing traditional computers as the most popular devices in the world and with more people opening emails on mobile devices than on any other device, the times they are a-changin’.
Your CRM should be changing with them. The mobile revolution has created incredible opportunities for nonprofits to raise funds as well as awareness. Mobile devices follow us into the most intimate moments and conversations of our lives – including the moments when we take actions to support charities by giving or advocating.
A good CRM recognizes this and should:
- Put mobile apps in the hands of nonprofit staff to help them manage relationships on-the-go
- Have mobile features specifically designed to drive action and enhance conversations with your constituents
- Use push notifications and other built-in features on the phone to help users manage tasks, view reports, and access key insights wherever they are
- Leverage geo-location to identify how givers are connected geographically – then push this to your team based on where you are
Phones are essential to our lives, our jobs, and our relationships. A modern CRM should be designed with these realities in mind.
6. Focusing on Social Capital
One of the most cost-effective ways to scale your impact, build your funding base, and grow your organization is to turn existing fans and supporters into advocates, champions, and fundraisers. It starts with identifying those with social influence, gauging who has how much, and determining who is willing to use it to support your cause.
Your CRM should not only understand and track this “new” form of giving, but also provide tools and insights to help you. This is done by knowing your supporters’ personal passions and networks, then creating opportunities for them to tap into those passions and networks for you!
This not only provides meaningful engagement, but new sources of givers and funds as well. You can then spend more of your time building relationships instead of just closing that deal or getting that check
7. Reducing and Eliminating Administrative Headaches
Your time is a tremendous asset and a scarce resource. There’s only so much of you to go around. Which is why you need to constantly be on the lookout for new ways to streamline your administrative processes, freeing you up to do what you do best. Every minute you spend importing, managing, and scrubbing data is time you’re unable to give to more important tasks – those crucial things no one else can do but you.
A good CRM should be able to help you save time by:
- Quickly importing gifts and data from multiple sources without creating duplicates or incomplete lists
- Tying ROI to project impact, easily showing you results and successes in real-time
- Easily creating elegant reports designed for fundraisers, executive directors, and nonprofits
- Providing fundraising and nonprofit best practices and tips within the tool itself, keeping you on task
- Making search and data segmentation easy and intuitive for all staff – not just for IT nerds
Here’s the bottom line: a good nonprofit CRM should set you free, not bog you down.