Nonprofit CRM and donor management software promote growth, sustainability, and structure for a nonprofit organization that is seeking to take its fundraising goals to the next level. While utilizing spreadsheets, various apps, and websites to handle your events and fundraising campaigns can be a good starting point for an organization, there comes a point when it becomes unmanageable to keep all of these tools and functions separate. Organizations need to practice strong data management to succeed. That’s why utilizing nonprofit CRM software is so vital for a nonprofit or charity to scale and grow.
What Exactly Is Nonprofit CRM?CRM stands for customer (or client) relationship management. For nonprofits, CRM software is a great tool to manage the different constituents and parties that make up and support a nonprofit organization’s community. Here are the various types of data that can be funneled into a CRM platform that make up the multi-dimensional facets of a nonprofit organization:
- Donors and Supporters: Donor information includes name, contact information, lifetime donations and activity of donations, past attendance of events, participation in fundraising campaigns, referral sources, types of donor memberships, the status of donor conversion (i.e. how they were referred, whether they were contacted and when, status of donation requests, follow-up details, and more).
- Sponsors: Sponsor information includes the name of the sponsoring company or individual, contact information, types of sponsorships offered (monetary or in-kind, and what type of in-kind donations), status of sponsorship conversion (i.e. how they were referred, whether they were contacted and when, the status of donation, follow-up details, etc.), lifetime sponsorship donations, tax information, gift receipt information.
- Volunteers: Volunteer information includes contact information, types of experience, past events where they volunteered, attendance for upcoming volunteer opportunities.
- Event Attendees: Event information includes contact information, ticket-type purchased, and event sales activity.
- Vendors and Venues: Vendors and venue information includes contact information, pricing information, contract term details, notations of past experiences, ratings of vendors and venues.
- Public Relations/Media/Advertising: Contact information, websites, costs to advertise, links to press releases sent in the past, and the effectiveness of a media outlet.
- Newsletter Subscribers (Mailing List): The mailing list includes contact information, perhaps the email open rate, click-through rate of emails, conversion rate (whether a newsletter subscriber became a donor), and other newsletter activity.
Benefits of Utilizing Nonprofit CRM and Donor Management SoftwareA nonprofit CRM can be extremely powerful to an organization by being able to bring all of the various information that affects the success and growth of an organization into one place. Let’s talk about the benefits that an organization will gain by using a nonprofit CRM software solution.
Streamlining Information: Finding Activity All in One PlaceThe first and most observable reason why CRM software is so attractive for a nonprofit is being able to find all of your information in one place. Over time, finding such vital data from over half a dozen websites, tools, and software platforms may become overwhelming. When information is scattered across various locations it often lives in a vacuum, without regard to whether the data overlaps with other data and activity outside of the original source. This downfall can threaten donor loyalty, something you certainly don’t want to risk. Contacting donors and prospects too often (or by multiple people within the organization), not being able to strategize your outreach properly, and being misinformed when planning for growth are all risks. When information is streamlined in one place, it is easier to see the lifespan of a prospect or donor, as well as the lifespan of event planning and sponsorship planning.
Planning for Growth Rather Than Just Staying AfloatWhen this information becomes accessible from one easy-to-access place, this allows for powerful and effective analysis to plan for growth. Nonprofits should always build on their past successes, never starting over each time they plan for something new. A nonprofit CRM platform becomes most appealing when the data can give informative insights about donor activity. Reports might include helpful information, such as the following:
- What are the demographics of your donor base?
- What fundraising campaigns are most effective at bringing in new supporters?
- What were the costs and benefits of your annual signature events?
- What channels are most productive for gaining new volunteers?
- Do you have strong monthly recurring donors or could you target new supporters for this program?
- Who can you approach for a major gift or corporate sponsorship?
Tools for Everything NonprofitA robust nonprofit CRM not only funnels information into one database but can be versatile enough to offer other useful nonprofit fundraising tools. This includes integrations and add-ons for such tools as the following:
- Nonprofit crowdfunding
- Peer-to-peer fundraising
- Donations and donor management
- Fundraising event management
- Email Marketing and newsletter management
- And more