Customer relationship management (CRM) software systems are a ubiquitous feature of the business landscape and are now becoming common in the nonprofit sector. What they do is manage a database of customers, or, in the case of nonprofits, constituents, in such a way as to allow the organization to maximize their goals in relation to those people. In most businesses this allows salespeople to sell to these people and to track all tasks and communication with them.
For nonprofits, it is slightly different, in that the database is usually a community that is made up of volunteers, donors and community members. The goals of the nonprofit organization may be to manage volunteers, maximize donations or to outreach to community members with their advocacy work. This radically different focus means that nonprofits find traditional CRM systems like Salesforce may not serve their needs very well.
In recent times, this sector has begun to be serviced with more tailored CRM solutions that take into account the nonprofit industry and their specific goals. Specific features that constituent management requires may include:
Amazingly, research suggests that 96% of donor income is lost through attrition and donor management appears to be one of the primary areas in which CRM systems can improve processes. Building segmented lists of donors for follow-up work and re-subscriptions is a far easier way of maintaining income, than finding new donors. Ensuring the donor journey to pledge is made as simple as possible, by the inclusion of a number of ways to donate, is also a critical process that CRMs can facilitate.
Face to face outreach
A key component of nonprofits is the face-to-face outreach work that takes place at events, in the community or during door-to-door campaigns. Mobile technology now allows apps to aid this data collection in the field and sync that information back to the CRM dashboard.
Specific issues captured from a community make up the tapestry of a proper community engagement software. In business CRM systems this type of dataset is usually ignored in favor of more structured sales-type interactions. Being able to capture issues and follow-up on those issues by category is the hallmark of a constituent relationship management software.
Rich data insights about donors, about the membership or about the community are a common need in the nonprofit sector. A CRM system can channel surveys taken online or face-to-face back to the database of users. This gives the organization a far greater understanding of their community and allows them to respond to that community better.
As indicated above, being able to segment constituents into donors, supporters and so on is something that all campaigns will require. Advanced filtering options, constituent geocoding to Google Maps and the ability to cut turfs for outreach work in the community are all segmentation options that are now available to nonprofits.
The traditional business CRM is something that can be labyrinthine to navigate, especially for nonprofits who may not have staff used to dealing with these systems. Datasets can be vast and difficult to translate into readable reports and analytics. The more targeted feature set of nonprofit CRMs, thankfully, tend not to suffer from this data-overload. Products like Voxcitio take the information that is being collected and display them in easy to read results tabs that facilitate reporting. This predictive intelligence then lets the organization plan out their next move and be on top of actions that will further their goals.
Of course, with all nonprofit organizations, budgeting is very tight and the enterprise costs associated with traditional CRM’s do often preclude their use. However, if a nonprofit can reach on a CRM system to manage their outreach operations they can expect a huge boost in donations as a result of lower donor churn. Nonprofit CRM’s software platforms provide targeted feature sets - which, if used correctly, will give the organization the right amount of influence on the right constituents.
If you want to learn more about how Voxcitio can help you with this process, why not arrange a demo with us.