Nonprofit CRM Software
Discover everything your organization needs to know about nonprofit CRM software with 13 simple tips.
Tip 1: Look for Software that Suits Your Organization
Table of Contents
What to Know Before Buying Nonprofit CRM Software
Tip 2: Understand the Uses
Obviously, one of the main purposes of nonprofit CRM software is to help your organization practice better donor stewardship.
With a complete understanding of your donors at your disposal, you can target them with the personalized outreach strategies that lead to donors for life.
Think about it: when your donors know that you’ve taken the time to get to know them and that you care about them personally, they’ll be much more inclined to keep giving!
Not to mention, you’ll be able to send relevant communications and appeals, which are much more compelling.
Nonprofit CRM software makes campaign management more manageable.
These platforms have a myriad of tools that will help you run more successful campaigns, including:
- Plan out detailed staff and volunteer workflows. Alert staff members when it’s time to complete important tasks.
- Pinpoint prospects and keep track of cultivation processes with centralized planning.
- Quickly accept gifts of all shapes and sizes. With all donations under one roof, it’s never been easier to keep track of your progress!
- Automate communications to make appeals, invite supporters to events, say thanks, and more.
And these are just a few of the ways it can help!
Online and Mobile Donations
With your nonprofit CRM, your organization can build branded online donation forms and seamlessly incorporate them into your website.
Your forms are even mobile-responsive (meaning they look and function great on smartphones and tablets) so donors can give on the go!
With online and mobile giving, donations are convenient for donors and easy for nonprofits.
Not only will your organization have less manual processing to handle, but you’ll also receive donations more quickly.
Plus, since your donation forms are linked up to your CRM, the data collected from them will automatically be recorded in donor profiles, making data management a breeze!
Nonprofit CRMs can make every step of event planning and execution run more smoothly.
With more information about your supporters’ demographics and interaction history on your side, your organization can pick the type of event that makes the most sense for your donors.
Once you’ve decided, it’s easy to segment out your guest list and automate email campaigns to send invites and keep supporters posted about the event.
Additionally, you can build online registration forms that allow attendees to sign up without having to visit the box office!
Your guest list will automatically be compiled in one place, so it’s simple to track RSVPs and sign attendees in at the door.
Staff and Volunteer Management
Nonprofit CRMs aren’t just used for keeping up with donors!
In fact, this type of software can help organizations track data for and oversee the efforts of all types of constituents.
For example, CRMs can be especially useful for organizing staff and volunteer efforts.
With your CRM software, your organization can plan out multistep efforts among multiple contributors and oversee these efforts universally to make sure everything gets done.
Constituent actions are tracked in the system. Look back to see how different people have interacted with your organization in the past, and use this information to inform future efforts!
Tip 3: Discover the Benefits
Deeper Donor Relationships
By centralizing all of your constituent data sources, your nonprofit will receive a 360° view of your supporters.
With a complete understanding, you can personalize your outreach, helping you foster more invested engagement and build deeper, more valuable relationships.
More Informed Staff
Since nonprofit CRMs centralize all information, your staff will have access to a more comprehensive set of data to inform their jobs.
Universal information access enables your staff to perform more effectively, since they’ll be able to see how their roles fit into larger efforts and complete their tasks at the most opportune times!
Nonprofit CRM software automates many of the menial tasks that nonprofit staffs once had to complete by hand.
With these automation features, your staff will have more time to focus on the most meaningful pursuits, like forming relationships with your donors!
More Effective Efforts
Your nonprofit CRM houses all campaigns and efforts in one place so you can view them in conjunction with each other to see how everything works together.
Not to mention, storing your efforts in one place streamlines them significantly, since you won’t have to switch between platforms!
More Accurate Data
Automation is useful for more than just freeing up staff time! By eliminating the manual handling of data, you’ll have a cleaner and more accurate set of data to draw from.
A more accurate set of data enables you to leverage your data more effectively, since you’ll be using the right information.
Ability to Improve
Your nonprofit CRM software’s powerful reporting and analytics features give your organization the objective, quantifiable insights into your performance you need.
With these insights, you can more precisely pinpoint areas for improvement so that your efforts will only keep getting better!
Tip 4: Get a Grasp on the Basics
Tip 5: Make the Necessary Considerations
Getting Set Up & Using Your Nonprofit CRM
Tip 6: Enter Into the Buying Process
1. The Initial Contact
The buying process starts with you! Once you’ve decided that you’re interested in nonprofit CRM software, your organization should get in touch with your vendor of choice. Submit a demo request on your vendor’s website, or pick up the phone and give them a call.
2. The Discovery Call
When your vendor sees that you’re interested in learning more about the CRM, they’ll give you a call to learn more about your organization and assess your needs. After the discovery call, your vendor will direct you to the right solution and lead you through the next steps.
3. The Demo
Now it’s time to see it in action! Your vendor will walk you through a demo so you can get a feel for the CRM’s interface. Since the demo is live, your vendor can cater it to your nonprofit’s needs and highlight the features you’ll be using most. Don’t hesitate to ask questions.
4. The Trial & Follow-Up
If after the demo you’re still not convinced that the CRM software you’re considering is right for you, many vendors will offer a free trial. If you are convinced, you can skip to the follow up, which is a chance to ask any lingering questions and tie up any loose ends before your engagement with your vendor becomes more formal.
5. The Data Review
You’ve found the perfect nonprofit CRM and are ready to get started! At this stage, you’ll provide your vendor with your data in full so they can run an analysis. Depending on how difficult the data migration process will be, your vendor will decide if your organization can handle it alone or if you’ll need the full or partial help of a consultant.
6. The Signing
Your organization loves the platform and has determined that data transfer will be manageable. It’s now time to make your purchase official. Your vendor will provide you with a formal contract outlining the terms of the purchase. In order to get the ball rolling and start setting up your software, all you have to do is read and sign!
Tip 7: Optimize Data Migration
Tip 8: Track All Data
Pin Down Philanthropy
Tip 9: Rock It with Reports
Making the Most Out of Your CRM Software
Tip 10: Integrate with Other Platforms
Since you’ll be collecting lots of valuable data from forms on your website, your organization shouldn’t fail to integrate it with your CRM. If you’re generating forms to embed on your site through your CRM, data collection will be automatic.
However, your online forms aren’t the only important part of your website. In order to capture your donors’ attention and keep them engaged on your site, you’ll need an attractive and intuitive design throughout.
If your website needs a revamp, consider working with a vendor who offers both CRMs and web design services to ensure your website is success!
If your nonprofit also engages constituents through a membership program, then you’ll want to integrate your membership or association management software with your CRM.
By integrating, you’ll have access to more robust membership tools right in your main platform! You’ll also be able to automatically build member profiles so you can learn more about these supporters and see how they relate to others in your base.
Payment processors take care of all of the backend steps that must occur to verify your donors’ payment information and transfer their donations to your nonprofit.
In other words, you won’t be able to accept any types of contributions if your CRM isn’t integrated with a payment processing service!
Make sure you have a dedicated payment processor working behind the scenes so that you can process donations quickly and securely.
By integrating a wealth screening service with your CRM, your organization can better pinpoint major donor prospects.
Your service will be able to draw from all of the donor data you have on file to provide you with the most accurate screenings.
You’ll then be able to plan out the perfect personalized cultivation processes and keep track of them with your CRM’s scheduling tools so that you’ll always strike the perfect timing